Motorola Moto G42 review – PhoneArena
Motorola Moto G42 Introduction
Why is it better to ask? Well, without saying too much about the device, it just has a better sounding overall package for the price of around £220 in the UK, or €210 in the EU. In other words, the corners that were cut to achieve affordability were the right ones, focusing most of the attention on a few specs that go together perfectly.
But enough beating around the corner, let’s take a look at another Motorola budget phone and see what came out of the pot this time around.
What’s new on the device
- Snapdragon 680 (6nm)
- 50 MP main camera
- 16 megapixel front camera
Moto G42 Unpacking
Inside the Moto G42 box you’ll find the phone itself, but also an included transparent case of decent quality, as well as a 20W charging brick and a USB-C cable. You’d be wrong to expect an included screen protector because Motorola decided that would be too much here.
Moto G42 Specifications
Obviously, the main selling point of the Moto G42 is the fact that it offers an OLED display, which is quite rare in the affordable price range. The surprisingly great dual stereo speakers and Dolby Atmos support make for an even more enjoyable package.
Moto G42 Design and colors
The bezels around the screen are small enough, even the bottom one, which is still thick, but that’s to be expected at this price. The only complaint I have with the front of the Moto G42, however, is the silver ring around the front camera – why not make it black so it disappears with the rest of the screen? It makes even more sense with this phone, given that it has an OLED display, and can therefore achieve true black.
But I digress, now let’s focus on the rear of the Moto G42. As expected for this price, the back panel is plastic, as is the frame of the phone. That being said, it does feel like good quality material, unlike what’s found on the Moto G64 5G.
We’ve got the Atlantic Green version here at PhoneArena, and we’re really digging how it looks, so kudos to Motorola for making this affordable phone so stylish. The other color of the Moto G42 is called Metallic Rose.
On the right side of the phone, you will see a fingerprint sensor integrated into the power button. It works…okay, but doesn’t always register my finger when I place it there.
G42 only exhibits water-repellent properties, which is different from being water-resistant. However, light rain and splashes should not affect it.
Moto G42 Display
Unfortunately, adding a display of this caliber to a budget phone means other sacrifices had to be made. One of the biggest issues with the Moto G42 is that it doesn’t get bright enough to be easily seen in brighter conditions, like a sunny day for example.
Plus, you’re only getting a 60Hz refresh rate here, so you’re sacrificing smooth animations for better image quality when watching videos and other types of content.
Moto G42 Camera
The camera quality and experience of the Moto G42 can be easily described as average at best. You get a triple camera system on the back which consists of a 50MP main snapper, an 8MP ultra-wide, and a 2MP macro. On the front, you have a 16 MP selfie camera.
The main camera produces respectable images and video, as long as you don’t need it to shoot in darker conditions where there isn’t much light. Electronic image stabilization is also surprisingly good with the main camera, so there you have it.
Moto G42 ultra-wide camera sample video:
What surprised me a bit, however, is that you can only shoot 1080p 30fps, while the Moto G64 5G which has the same camera hardware, can also shoot 60fps with the main camera. This could be attributed to the different chips in the two models, but it’s not clear.
On the other hand, the ultra-wide and macro shooters leave plenty of room for improvement. Of course, we don’t expect much from a phone in this price range, but it’s never nice to see such detailed images.
Moto G42 Performance and benchmarks
So, needless to say, the G42 is not a phone for gamers and multitaskers. No, this is a phone for your average Joe, who likes to browse the web once in a while and wants his phone to last for several days before he needs to charge it.
In fact, it fits very well with the phone’s great potential as a device for watching media. You’ll be able to enjoy YouTube videos and maybe even stream some Netflix and have the battery to last you the entire season of a binge-worthy show.
Moto G42 operating system / Android version
That’s all well and good, but what’s not so reassuring is that Motorola tends to be less on-time and less consistent with software updates than most people need these days. Android 13 will definitely come to the Moto G42 once it’s released, however, the same can’t be said for anything after that. This also goes for security patches, although they usually continue for a decent amount of time.
Moto G42 Battery
Apart from its large screen, the Moto G42 also sports a huge battery, which can last two days with regular use, or even more than your usual usage. All that to say, you shouldn’t really worry about battery life with this endurance fighter here. But, frankly, that’s a usual sight with budget phones.
PhoneArena Battery Test Results:
Unlike the Moto G62 5G, which comes with a meager 10W charging adapter, the Moto G42 comes with an acceptable charger capable of 20W output. Don’t confuse these numbers with the phones’ maximum charging speeds , however – the G42 can charge at 18W while the G62 5G at 15W.
Moto G42 Audio and haptic quality
The G42’s haptics are slightly tighter and more accurate than the G62’s. Still, we’re talking about a cheaper model from Motorola here, so don’t expect anything impressive. At best, at least vibration is bearable with the G42, although it really depends on your tolerance.
Another strong competitor is the Poco M4 Pro, which offers 90Hz refresh rate, better water resistance with IP53 rating and better performance.
Moto G42 Summary and final verdict
Motorola’s Moto G42 is undoubtedly lacking in more than one department. Its cameras produce generally disappointing results with both videos and photos, it comes with a chipset inside that affects the overall user experience, and it doesn’t help that the screen isn’t capable of only a 60Hz refresh rate.
That being said, this budget phone knows what it wants to be (unlike its sibling, the Moto G62 5G) – a great device for consuming any type of visual media at an affordable price. Even though you don’t get as much peak brightness and a higher refresh rate, the OLED display shown here pairs perfectly with the surprisingly good stereo speakers to give the user an above-average experience.
We also can’t forget how power-efficient the Moto G42 is, which combined with the huge built-in battery makes this phone an endurance champ.