HMD Global, the Finnish tech giant that now sells Nokia phones, first showcased the Nokia 4.2 at the Mobile World Congress in February. The Nokia 4.2 sits comfortably between the Nokia 5 line-up and the cheap Nokia 3. According to the company, the 4.2 is designed to offer an ‘affordable flagship experience,’ with features such as a notched display, glass front and dual camera system at the back and a fingerprint sensor – and all without breaking the wallet.
Design and display
The Nokia 4.2 features glass at both the front and back and is covered in a polycarbonate frame. While the design is not as elegant as flagship devices, the Nokia 4.2 does feel expensive than it really is.
The smartphone measures 148.95 x 71.3 x 8.39mm and weighs 161 grams. With curved edges, the Nokia 4.2 is easy to hold and can be used by one hand without much issue. But, the most interesting part of the Nokia 4.2 is its buttons. A single press triggers the Google Assistant, double press displays the info according to your preference and a long press works for multiple tasks. Nokia has designed the Google Assistant actions to help you launch apps faster. There is also ‘breathing’ notification light built into the power button that gives you notification alerts. If your device is lying face down, the light will gently glow to tell you that you have received new notifications.
At the rear, a fingerprint scanner sits below a dual camera setup. The camera bump is the thinnest I have seen on a smartphone. The Nokia 4.2 is available in two colours – black and pink sand. There is a micro-USB port at the bottom, while the top houses a 3.5mm headphone jack.
The 5.71-inch display with a 19:9 aspect ratio produces decent colours. The resolution is HD+, respectable given the price, and the icons and texts are bright and clear enough.
Camera, performance and battery
Running on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 439 mobile platform clubbed with 3GB of RAM, the Nokia 4.2 delivers satisfactory performance. The smartphone runs Android 9 Pie, the latest version of Android. User interface is smooth and icons and colours looks lively. The Nokia 4.2 is also a part of Google's Android One programme, which means the smartphone runs an almost stock version of Android, with a promise of major Android updates for two years and security updates for three years.
While it’s an affordable smartphone, the Nokia 4.2 sports two rear cameras consisting of a main 13MP sensor and a 2MP depth sensor. At the front, there is an 8MP selfie camera. The camera performance is acceptable, but the camera app produces little stutters.
The photos look decent in daylight, and the secondary depth sensing camera lets you take portrait-style shots, blurring the background around your subject. You can also adjust the level of blur in the Google Photos editor. The 32GB storage can be further expanded up to 400GB via micro-SD cards.
The Nokia 4.2 is fuelled by a 3,000mAh battery, which is decent and lets you use the smartphone for almost 10 hours on a single charge.
Given the price, the Nokia 4.2 offers great value with a stylish design, solid performance and a clean Android interface. While it will not impress much with fast performance or great photographs, it’s certainly a decent and well-equipped affordable smartphone.
Camera app stutters slightly