back to top

Nokia G42 5G Review: Pros, Cons, and Verdict

Nokia deserves praise for equipping the G42 5G with tools to enhance its longevity. However, the default configuration upon unboxing falls short in multiple aspects compared to similarly priced competitors. It does redeem itself aesthetically, particularly in its striking purple variant. Moreover, the primary camera performs admirably in well-lit conditions.

Nevertheless, enthusiasm wanes elsewhere. The absence of both a full HD display and a 120Hz refresh rate disappoints, especially considering the price point and the current year, 2023.

NewForTech Opinion:

Pros:

  • Aesthetically pleasing, especially in the captivating purple hue.
  • The primary camera delivers commendable performance under optimal lighting conditions.
  • Impressive battery life that easily surpasses a day.

Cons:

  • Lacks a full HD display or a 120Hz refresh rate.
  • Prolonged charging duration.
  • Insufficient processor power for gaming enthusiasts.
Nokia G42 5G Review: Pros, Cons, and Verdict

NOKIA G42 5G Quick Review

Nokia’s Sustainable Quest

With repairability in mind, Nokia’s G42 5G continues the brand’s sustainability mission. In vibrant So Purple (also available in So Grey), it aims to stand out.

Update: So Pink Option

As of September 2023, Nokia introduced a new So Pink variant in the UK and Australia.

Balanced Performance

This entry-to-mid-range device performs admirably for daily tasks but lacks flagship extravagance. It is not recommended for graphics-heavy tasks due to its aging processor.

Motorola vs. Nokia

Compared to the Motorola Moto G53 5G, Nokia’s rival offers similar specs but falls short in refresh rate and display quality. Depth sensor cameras and repairability are points of debate.

Display Shortcomings

Nokia’s G42 boasts an HD-only display with a 720p resolution, a letdown given the price. The 90Hz refresh rate is satisfactory but lags behind competitors with 120Hz.

Missed Opportunities

Despite repairability as a selling point, outdated specs upon launch might leave users yearning for more up-to-date devices.

Repairable, but is it Practical?

The G42 offers ease of repair with readily available parts, but whether users will opt to repair a budget phone remains uncertain.

Final Verdict

Considering the price-to-specs ratio and Motorola’s competition, the Nokia G42 5G may not be the top choice for budget-conscious buyers. For minimal compromises, the Moto G53 5G is a better option.

NOKIA G42 5G Quick Review

NOKIA G42 5G PRICE AND AVAILABILITY

Nokia’s G42 5G arrived in the UK and Australia on August 10th, 2023, with no word on US availability. It’s priced at £179 in the UK (originally £199 but consistently discounted by £20) and AU$449 in Australia, featuring 6GB RAM and 128GB storage. Some European markets offer a 4GB/128GB variant.

Comparatively, the Motorola Moto G53 5G, priced at £190 in the UK and AU$329 in Australia, provides stiff competition with minor camera differences. While the Nokia remains reasonably priced, there are more budget-friendly options with comparable specs.

Value Rating: 3/5

NOKIA G42 5G SPECS

SpecificationsDetails
Dimensions165 x 75.8 x 8.55mm
Weight193.8g
Screen6.56in 20:9 HD+ (720 x 1612) 90Hz, Gorilla Glass 3
ChipsetSnapdragon 480 Plus 5G
RAM6GB (4GB in select EU markets)
Storage128GB, expandable up to 1TB via microSD
OSAndroid 13 (with 2 future OS upgrades guaranteed)
Rear Camera50MP (main) + 2MP (depth) + 2MP (macro)
Front Camera8MP
AudioOZO 3D Playback
Battery5,000mAh, QuickFix replaceable battery
Charging20W wired
ColorsSo Purple, So Grey
These comprehensive specifications highlight the Nokia G42 5G’s capabilities and features for potential buyers.
NOKIA G42 5G SPECS

NOKIA G42 5G REVIEW: DESIGN

The Nokia G42 5G opts for a budget-friendly design, with plastic construction in So Purple or So Grey.

The So Purple variant stands out amidst the sea of neutral hues. Its shiny rear panel adds a touch of perceived elegance, elevating its appearance beyond its price.

On the right side, you’ll find a volume rocker and a power button with an integrated fingerprint scanner. To the left, there’s a SIM and microSD card tray. At the bottom, a USB-C port coexists with the increasingly rare 3.5mm headphone jack.

While noticeable bezels frame the display, the front-facing camera’s minimal intrusion maximizes screen space. It’s worth noting that the G42 carries an IP52 rating, offering protection against dust and light water exposure.

Though not groundbreaking, the design should satisfy most users. If considering the G42 5G, the vibrant So Purple model is a compelling choice.

Design Rating: 3.5/5

NOKIA G42 5G REVIEW: DESIGN

NOKIA G42 5G REVIEW: DISPLAY

Nokia goes big with a 6.5-inch display, but it’s a letdown with only HD+ resolution at 720p and a 90Hz refresh rate. The Motorola Moto G53 5G, in a similar price range, offers a 120Hz display.

While budget phones often compromise on display quality, Nokia’s omission of 120Hz support or a full HD 1080p screen in 2023 is surprising.

The default Nokia wallpapers impress with vibrancy and clarity, but third-party content reveals shortcomings. Dark scenes in movies lack detail and depth.

Despite decent brightness levels, the display struggles with darker areas. It does, however, perform well under bright sunlight, boasting a typical brightness of 450 nits and a max of 560 nits with a brightness boost.

The display is replaceable, and iFixit offers complete repair kits. Unfortunately, upgrading to a full HD 1080p display may be hindered by internal constraints.

Display Rating: 2.5/5

NOKIA G42 5G REVIEW: DISPLAY

CAMERA REVIEW

The Nokia G42 5G boasts a notable camera setup, with a 50MP main camera, a 2MP depth sensor, and a dedicated 2MP macro lens.

More megapixels don’t always guarantee superior image quality, but the G42 impresses with vibrant colors and fine details in good lighting conditions.

In low light, the Night Mode pleasantly surprised me. It improved dimly lit shots, though detail suffered when zoomed in.

The macro camera outperforms the Moto G53 5G, but its practicality is debatable. An ultra-wide sensor might have been a more versatile choice.

The front-facing camera struggles with skin tones in good lighting. Selfies using the rear camera fare better, but portrait mode occasionally blurs edges.

CAMERA REVIEW

Running Android 13, the G42 benefits from Google’s photo processing features like Blur and Magic Eraser, albeit behind a paywall requiring a Google One membership.

Camera Rating: 4/5

BATTERY REVIEW

Nokia G42 5G excels in the battery department. Its 5,000mAh unit, replaceable, can easily last more than a day, with Nokia claiming up to three days based on regular usage.

To test this, I played a 12-hour YouTube video at 50% brightness, and it still had 25% battery left after a day and six hours of mixed-use.

In comparison, my iPhone 13 Pro struggles to last a full day with typical tasks. Nokia’s longevity stands out.

Charging from empty to full took one hour and 54 minutes, slightly lagging behind competitors like Moto G82 and Samsung A54.

Battery Rating: 4/5

SHOULD YOU CONSIDER THE NOKIA G42 5G?

AttributeNotesRating
ValueAffordability is marred by cheaper options; repairability’s value varies.3/5
DesignAesthetic appeal and color options outweigh minor dust protection shortcomings.3.5/5
DisplayLacks full HD and 120Hz refresh rate, falling behind cheaper rivals.2.5/5
CamerasSatisfactory performance in good lighting; potential in night mode.4/5
PerformanceHandles basics well, but steer clear of graphic-intensive tasks.3/5
BatteryImpressive longevity, though faster charging would be welcomed.4/5

Consider Buying If:

  • You prioritize long-lasting battery life.
  • You tend to be accident-prone; repairability saves costs.
  • You desire a phone with a distinctive, high-shine finish.

Consider Avoiding If:

  • Video content consumption is a priority; the display falls short.
  • If you’re into mobile gaming; the processor struggles with graphic-intensive games.

More like this