Nokia G42 is a pleasant surprise (first impression)

It was a bleak, dark, and rainy day when I unboxed the Nokia G42 5G. A dash of vibrant color filled the room and improved my mood. I must say I was surprised at how well the device looks in purple, especially when you consider the price and the quick repairability of the body.


When the Nokia G42 was announced, I, like many others, thought it was just the same repeated design of yet another affordable Nokia phone. However, the reasonably priced hardware specs make this phone a potentially good purchase. Once I unboxed it, I must say that this device is definitely something you might consider buying if you’re searching for a budget-friendly option.

Check out the specs:

  • Display: 6.56-inch, HD+ (720×1612), 90Hz refresh rate, brightness boost up to 560 nits (450 nits typical, 400 nits minimum), 20:9 aspect ratio, Corning Gorilla Glass 3
  • Camera: Rear (50 MP main AI AF, 5P, f/1.8 + 2 MP depth + 2 MP macro, LED flash), Front (8 MP)
  • Processor: Snapdragon 480+ 5G
  • OS: Android 13, 2 OS upgrades, and 3 years of monthly security updates
  • Memory and storage: 6 GB RAM + up to 5 GB virtual RAM, 128 GB internal storage, up to 1 TB microSD card support
  • Battery and charging: 5000 mAh, up to 3-day battery life, 20W fast charging
  • Audio features: OZO Playback, OZO 3D Audio recording, FM radio
  • Security: Fingerprint and face unlock
  • Connectivity: 5G, Bluetooth 5.1, 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax-ready Wi-Fi, 3.5 mm audio port, USB 2.0 Type C port
  • Protection: IP52-rated dust and water splash resistance
  • Sensors: Accelerometer (G-sensor), Ambient light sensor, e-Compass, Proximity sensor
  • Charging: 20 W charger included in box
  • Price: 210 € – 240€


The box is the same as the one seen with the Nokia X30 or XR21, emphasizing sustainability and a green approach as it is made of recycled materials. Nokia Mobile has finally stopped using plastic wrappings inside the box, and I must say I appreciate the lightweight feel of the box. However, the box doesn’t include a charger, and this could be a problem.

Let me explain why. I agree with the approach of reducing e-waste, and chargers contribute to that. I have at least 10 chargers at home, of which I use 5. The other five are tucked away in drawers. But, in a year, all of them will be useless since they have USB-A ports, while phones nowadays come with USB-C to USB-C cables, including the Nokia G42. So, when my current cables deteriorate, I’ll be forced to buy a new charger with a USB-C port. In these transition times, Nokia G42 could have been shipped with a 30W Nokia-branded charger. Additionally, it’s rather challenging to find new Nokia chargers in retail stores, which exacerbates the situation.

The design is similar to the X30 or G21, with G42 having similar dimensions as the G21, but its back cover can be easily detached, just like in the G22. Also, the spare parts are already available on iFixit.

The overall body design is pleasing. Even the camera bump looks better than in the X30, with slightly protruded cameras. When compared to Samsung’s affordable phones, the G42 looks and feels more organic. However, the only downside of the design is a slight wobble when you press the display in the upper half.

The front is classic, with a chin and a V-notch reserved for the 8 MP selfie shooter. The power/unlock button is now slightly protruded, which I find better than the slightly dented solutions seen in the G21 and XR21, as it’s easier to locate. The display is pretty large, with a 6.56-inch diagonal, which is standard nowadays. It’s an IPS LCD, but it boasts a 90Hz refresh rate and can reach 560 nits in bright daylight, making it perfectly suitable for all tasks. In short, it’s a highly usable screen that displays colors nicely.

The device comes with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 Plus (SM4350), which features an Adreno 619 GPU. The Kryo A76 and A55 cores, along with the GPU, make Android 13 run smoothly, providing a great user experience. Notably, the processor generates less heat than the SD695 shipped with the XR21 or X30.

The Nokia G42 comes with a 50 MP main shooter that captures nice shots. I say ‘nice’ because the best results are achieved when using night mode for daylight shots. However, for quick point-and-shoot scenarios, you get a decent dynamic range, good color representation, and mostly well-focused shots. It’s a great camera for the price. Even the selfie shooter works well, but I won’t subject you to my aging face – I wish you well and will let Abdulla handle that 😊.

There is also a 2MP macro camera and I sincerely don’t know why that thing is there. I’d rather work on main shooter to capture good macro shots as some manufacturers are doing. Ultra wide isn’t needed since the main shooter has pretty wide angle. I haven’t had the chance to test video recording yet, as I need to find something interesting to show you. However, my initial impression of the camera is that it performs rather well for its price range.

Here are some camera samples, but they have been compressed and possibly excessively processed by the engine, so they may not accurately represent the original files. The photos are 5 MB each, which would eat server resources, so I had to reduce their size. Nevertheless, you should still get an idea of what I was conveying regarding photo quality.


The Li-Po battery will last a whole day, or even two, depending on usage, thanks to its hefty capacity of 5000 mAh. The G42 supports 20W charging, so you can expect it to fully charge in about an hour and a half.

I was pleasantly surprised by the device. The setup was easy, thanks to phone cloning over a cable, which is offered when you start the device. Although I prefer setting up a device from scratch, lack of time has led me to opt for cloning my previous device. Also, there’s a multitude of passwords to deal with, and my oldest son keeps prompting me to change them regularly, causing me to forget most of them.

My first impressions suggest that this is a good device for the money. Some issues need to be addressed with software updates, for example, this particular device is still on the May 2023 security patch, which is something Nokia Mobile needs to address, and likely will.


Check Nokia G42 5G at the Nokia web site.


*all the shots of G42 are made with Nokia XR21.