Motorola Moto G42 review

Motorola Moto G42 Intro

Yet another couple of Moto G series phones were released by Motorola recently — the Moto G62 5G and The Moto G42. We are here to talk about arguably the better one from this duo, which is the G42. Why is it better you ask? Well, without revealing too much about the device, it simply has a more sound 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 an affordable price tag were the right ones, focusing most of the attention on a few specs that go along together perfectly.

But enough beating around the corner, let’s take a look at yet another Motorola budget phone and see what came out of the cooking pot this time around.

What’s new about the device

  • Snapdragon 680 (6nm)

  • 50 MP main camera

  • 16 MP front-facing camera

Moto G42 Unboxing

Inside the Moto G42 box you will find the phone itself, but also an included transparent case of decent quality, as well as a 20W charging brick and USB-C cable. You would be wrong to expect an included screen protector, however, as Motorola has decided that would be too much here.

Moto G42 Specs

Obviously, the strongest selling point for the Moto G42 is the fact that it delivers an OLED display, which is quite the rarity in the affordable price range. Making it an even sweeter package are the two surprisingly great stereo speakers and the support for Dolby Atmos.

Moto G42 Design & Colors

The Moto G42 comes with a rather boring and uninspiring design, but that does not necessarily mean it is a bad one. First of all, we have a flat-screen here, which many users prefer as it does not suffer from the same accidental touches and light flares that curved displays experience. The back, on the other hand, has a slight curve at the edges, making the G42 more pleasant to hold.

The bezels around the screen are acceptably small, even the one at the bottom, which is still thick, but that is normal at this price. The one gripe I do have with the front of the Moto G42, however, is the silver ring around the front-facing camera — why not make it black so it disappears with the rest of the display? It makes even more sense with this phone, given that it is equipped with an OLED display, and therefore can achieve true black.

But I digress, let’s now focus on the back of the Moto G42. As expected for this price point, the back panel is made out of plastic, and so is the frame of the phone. That being said, it feels like good quality material, unlike the one found on the Moto G64 5G.

We have the Atlantic Green version here at PhoneArena, and we are really digging the way it looks, so kudos to Motorola for making this affordable phone look so stylish. The other color the Moto G42 comes in is called Metallic Rose.

On the right side of the phone, you will see a side-mounted fingerprint sensor embedded in the power button. It performs… alright, but does not always register my finger when I place it there.

The G42 features only water-repellent properties, which is different from being water resistant. Some light rain and splashes shouldn’t affect it, though.

Moto G42 Display

The display on this budget Motorola is more or less what makes it special. As we already mentioned earlier, the Moto G42 comes with an OLED screen — not a feature that is seen very often with phones costing around £200. Thanks to this advantage, the G42 comes with a great contrast ratio, true blacks, and great color reproduction.

Unfortunately, adding a screen of this caliber to a budget phone means that 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 visible in brighter conditions, like a sunny day for example.

Additionally, you only get a 60Hz refresh rate here, so you sacrifice some smooth animations to get that 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 that consists of a 50MP main snapper, 8MP ultra-wide, and a 2MP macro. On the front, you have a 16MP 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. The electronic image stabilization is also surprisingly good with the main camera, so there’s that.

What was a bit surprising to me, though, was that you can only shoot in 1080p 30fps, while the Moto G64 5G which has the same camera hardware, can also shoot in 60fps with the main camera. This might be attributed to the different chips of the two models, but that is not clear.

On the other hand, the ultra-wide and macro shooters leave a lot of room for improvement. Of course, we don’t expect much from a phone in this price bracket, but it is never a pleasant sight to see such detail-lacking images.

Moto G42 Performance & Benchmarks

Powering the Moto G42 is the Snapdragon 680 (6nm). You can get it in two RAM and storage combinations: 4/64GB and 6/128GB. This is a chip that is mainly focused on optimizing battery efficiency, and does not do much in the way of performance.

So, needless to say, the G42 is not a phone meant for gamers and multitasking. No, this is a phone that is meant for your average Joe, who likes to browse the web every now and then and wants their phone to last for multiple days before having to juice it up again.