Motorola recently launched the Moto G62 5G and Moto G42 phones. We will focus on the latter, which is considered the better of the two. It offers a better feature pack for around £220 in the UK or €210 in the EU. Some cuts were made to achieve this price, but they are in the right places.
Before reading the full review, you can familiarize yourself with the detailed Motorola Moto G42 specs or watch the video below the article.
- Release date: 2022, June 09
- Colors: Atlantic Green, Metallic Rose
- Dimensions: 160.4 x 73.5 x 8 mm.
- Weight: 175 g.
- Screen: 6.4" inc, 1080 x 2400, AMOLED
- Camera : Triple, 50MP
- Chipset: Qualcomm SM6225 Snapdragon 680 4G (6 nm)
- CPU: Octa-core (4x2.4 GHz Kryo 265 Gold & 4x1.9 GHz Kryo 265 Silver)
- Memory: 64GB 4GB RAM, 128GB 4GB RAM
- Battery: 5000, Li-Po, non-removable
- Network: GSM / HSPA / LTE
- Operating system: Android 12
- Sensors: Fingerprint (side-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
Design and colors
The Moto G42 has a plain and uninteresting design, but that doesn't mean it's weak. Its flat screen is preferred by many users because it doesn't react to accidental touches or light glare like curved displays do. The back has a slight curve at the edges for a comfortable grip. The bezels around the screen are relatively small, including the thick bottom bezel that is common for its price range.
As expected for its price, the back panel and bezel are made of plastic, but of good quality unlike the Moto G64 5G. The Atlantic Green version has a stylish look, and a Metallic Rose color option is also available. The right side of the phone has a side-mounted fingerprint sensor integrated into the power button. It functions adequately, but not always accurately. The G42 has water-repellent properties, meaning it can withstand light rain and splashes, but it's not completely waterproof.
The display is what sets the budget Moto G42 apart. It has an OLED screen, a rare feature for a phone priced around £200. This results in an impressive contrast ratio, true blacks and vivid color reproduction. However, to include an OLED screen at this price, compromises have to be made. The biggest problem with the G42 is its insufficient brightness, which creates discomfort on sunny days. Also, the refresh rate is only 60Hz, so while you get better image quality for watching videos and content, animations may not be as smooth.
The Moto G42's front camera is 16 MP and can record Full HD video at 30 fps. The camera quality is average and produces decent selfies, but not so good in low light. On the back of the phone is a 50 MP primary camera with autofocus (f/1.8), an 8 MP ultra-wide camera (f/2.2) and a 2 MP macro camera. The macro camera is a nice addition, but not very useful. However, the ultra-wide camera delivers above-average image quality for its price range, capturing plenty of detail. Although the edges of the image become noisy and blurry, the overall result is still good.
The Moto G42's main 50 MP camera takes good photos in daylight, with realistic colors, good dynamic range and sufficient sharpness. Although not the strongest in low light, the optional night mode can improve detail in subjects. All cameras (main, ultra-wide and selfie) can record Full HD video at 30 fps. Switching between lenses is not possible during shooting.
The Moto G42 is powered by the Snapdragon 680 (6nm) and comes in two RAM and storage options: 4/64GB and 6/128GB. This chip prioritizes battery efficiency over performance, making the G42 a good choice for general use like web browsing and media, but not for heavy multitasking or gaming. The phone is expected to last several days on a single charge, making it suitable for streaming videos and watching shows.
The Moto G42 runs a slightly customized version of Android 12. It has useful added features like gesture control. However, Motorola's track record with timely and consistent software updates is not as reliable as many users expect. The Moto G42 will likely receive Android 13, but future updates and security patches are less certain.
The Moto G42 features a durable battery that can easily last two days with normal use. This is typical for budget phones. The device ships with a 20W charger, which is a decent upgrade over the Moto G62 5G's 10W charger. Note that the maximum charging speed for the Moto G42 is 18W, while the G62 5G can only charge at 15W.
The Moto G42 has above-average speakers and Dolby Audio support, making it ideal for visual media consumption at a good price.
If you prefer another brand, there are other alternatives to consider in the highly competitive budget phone market. The Moto G62 5G is a more affordable 5G phone, but with quality compromises. The Galaxy A33 5G is a better option with a better display, faster charging, a superior camera and a more reliable software update schedule, albeit at a slightly higher price. The Poco M4 Pro is also a worthy contender with a 90Hz refresh rate, improved water resistance (IP53) and better performance.
ConclusionMotorola's Moto G42 has some notable flaws, including subpar camera performance, a weak chipset that affects the user experience, and a display with a 60Hz refresh rate. All in all, this is a budget phone that features a good OLED display and above-average stereo speakers, offering a great experience at an affordable price. In addition, the G42 is highly energy efficient, featuring a large battery that makes it a battery life champion.
- One of the most affordable OLED phones
- Great stereo speakers
- Long battery life
- Uncluttered user interface
- Good image stabilization for the price
- Maximum brightness below average
- Unreliable software support
- U.I. navigation may be a bit choppy
- The ultra-wide and macro cameras are below average
- Disappointing performance of the chip
Motorola Moto G42 video review
Disclaimer: The information presented in this article is based on our team's personal experience with the Motorola Moto G42 and third-party sources. While every effort has been made to provide accurate and reliable information, readers should keep in mind that this is a subjective assessment. The writing of this article was not paid for or sponsored by Motorola.