Nokia G42 5G review

Nokia G42 5G Review: A Budget-Friendly Pink Delight

If you’re in the market for a budget-friendly smartphone with a vibrant personality, look no further than the Nokia G42 5G. With its eye-catching pink design, this phone is a definite head-turner. But, is it all glamour and no substance?

In this review, we’ll dive deep into the Nokia G42 5G, exploring its design, software, performance, and camera capabilities. Priced at under $200, it’s an intriguing option for those seeking an affordable yet stylish smartphone.

What’s in the Box?:

Inside the Nokia G42 5G’s box, you’ll find a USB Type-C cable, a quick start guide, and a handy pin device for inserting your SIM card. Notably absent is an adapter, so you’ll need to hold on to your old one or purchase a new one separately. Now, let’s unbox the phone and take a closer look at its design.

Design and Build:

The Nokia G42 5G sports a standard Nokia design with the exception of its attention-grabbing pink color. The device features a 6.56-inch display with noticeable bezels and flat edges. While not overly thick, it isn’t exceptionally slim either. However, the rounded corners contribute to a comfortable grip.

The phone’s construction primarily consists of plastic, with 60% recycled materials used in its production. Its unique pink hue is more of a purplish-pink shade, which can occasionally appear almost burgundy in specific lighting conditions. The daring color choice certainly makes a statement.

Notably, the Nokia G42 5G is rated IP52 for splash resistance, making it suitable for minor exposure to moisture. Additionally, it boasts Quick Fix Design, allowing users to perform certain DIY repairs, such as replacing the battery.

Software and Features:

Running on Android 13 in its purest form, the Nokia G42 5G delivers a clean and straightforward user experience. The absence of bloatware and custom launchers is refreshing. However, this simplicity comes at the cost of limited customization options, as some elements like the At a Glance widget and the fixed search bar cannot be removed.

HMD Global, the manufacturer, is known for its commitment to software updates. The Nokia G42 5G promises two OS upgrades and three years of security updates, a generous offer for a budget device.

The phone features an edge-mounted fingerprint sensor integrated into the power button, offering quick and reliable unlocking. Face Unlock is also available for added convenience. With 128GB of onboard storage, expandable up to 1TB via a microSD card, storage space is ample.

Display and Audio:

The Nokia G42 5G comes equipped with a 6.56-inch IPS display with an HD+ resolution (1612 x 720 pixels). While it may not match the crispness of full HD displays, it still performs well for tasks such as photo editing and media consumption. The presence of a notch minimally impacts the viewing experience.

With a peak brightness exceeding 500 nits, the display remains visible in outdoor settings, though direct sunlight may cause glare on the glossy screen. The 90Hz refresh rate contributes to a smooth UI experience, surpassing some competing budget phones.

Audio-wise, the phone relies on a mono speaker located at the bottom. While it might not provide room-filling sound, it’s serviceable for casual media consumption and phone calls. Bluetooth 5.1 support ensures seamless wireless audio connections, and the inclusion of a headphone jack is a welcome feature for those who prefer wired headphones.

Performance and Battery Life:

Under the hood, the Nokia G42 5G is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 chipset, designed for budget-friendly smartphones. In everyday use, the device feels responsive and handles tasks efficiently. Even casual gaming, such as Call of Duty, runs smoothly with HD graphics settings, thanks to the chipset’s performance and energy efficiency.

The inclusion of a 5G modem enables the phone to support 5G connectivity, a notable feature for a budget handset.

Battery life is a standout feature, with a 5,000mAh battery that easily delivers all-day usage and can stretch to a full weekend with moderate usage. The efficient chipset, lower-resolution display, and energy-saving features contribute to this impressive endurance.

However, it’s essential to note that the ambient display, though convenient, can consume significant battery life due to the phone’s IPS screen. Disabling it overnight can help preserve battery.

The Nokia G42 5G supports 20W wired charging, which takes a couple of hours to fully charge the device.

Camera Capabilities:

The Nokia G42 5G boasts a triple-lens camera setup, featuring a 50-megapixel primary shooter, a 2-megapixel macro lens, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. While lacking optical image stabilization and an ultra-wide-angle lens, the camera system manages to capture decent shots in favorable lighting conditions.

The camera app offers various modes, including portrait, night mode, macro, and a pro mode for more advanced users. The upgraded night mode enhances low-light photography, even offering a tripod mode for extended exposure shots.

In practice, the camera performs adequately for everyday photography, producing sharp and shareable images. The portrait mode effectively adds background blur, making subjects stand out.

Video recording maxes out at Full HD with no 4K option. While not exceptional, it’s suitable for capturing casual video content. Stabilization is limited, but audio quality is robust thanks to OZO Audio surround sound capture.

The front-facing 8-megapixel camera, when used with AI portrait mode, delivers acceptable selfie shots, provided lighting conditions are reasonable. It’s suitable for video calls, offering decent voice pickup and clarity.


The Nokia G42 5G is a budget-friendly smartphone that manages to balance style with functionality. Its striking pink design, clean Android experience, commendable performance, and impressive battery life make it an appealing choice for users on a budget. While the camera system is serviceable, it won’t compete with higher-end smartphones, especially in challenging lighting conditions.

Ultimately, if you can overlook the lack of 4K video recording and the limitations of the camera system, the Nokia G42 5G offers a compelling package for its price point. Its 5G support, reliable software updates, and extended battery life make it a solid contender in the budget smartphone market, especially for those who want a device that stands out in a crowd.


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Daven Klarsen is a technology writer and researcher. He's also an avid sports fan, especially when it comes to the LAL. When not working, you can usually find him tweaking his Android devices or watching soccer news.