comscore Nokia 4.2 Review: An ideal phone that could use some more power
Review

Nokia 4.2 Review: An ideal phone that could use some more power

With a price of Rs 10,990, how does the Nokia 4.2 fare in the budget segment? It will be up against the market-leading Xiaomi, Realme, Asus, Huawei, and its sub-brand Honor. Let’s find out.

Nokia 4.2 (5)

Nokia 4.2 3.5 5
BGR Rating :
3.5/5

Highlights

  • Nokia 4.2 is powered by Snapdragon 439 cta-core CPU.

  • The Nokia 4.2 is priced at Rs 10,990, and will go on sale May 7, 2019.

  • It comes with dual cameras including 13-megapixel 2-megapixel sensors.

HMD Global today launched a new Nokia-branded smartphone for the Indian market. This new device is the Nokia 4.2, which was initially previewed at MWC 2019 back in February. Given that the budget smartphone range is the most hotly-contested segment in the Indian smartphone market right now, I was excited to test the Nokia 4.2. In the segment where Chinese smartphone makers such as Xiaomi, and Realme are busy offering compelling devices catered to different sets of users, I was curious to see how HMD Global fares. Also Read - Nokia C10, Nokia C20 with 6.5-inch HD+ displays launched: Price, specifications

Also Read - Nokia G10, Nokia G20, HMD Global's latest mid-range phones launched: Price, specs

Nokia 4.2 is a new device lineup that marks a gradual evolution of design and functionality for the new Nokia-branded smartphones. I used the Nokia 4.2 for about a week while trying to push it to its limits in every way possible. With a price of Rs 10,990, how does the Nokia 4.2 fare in the budget segment with the market-leading Xiaomi, Realme, Asus, Huawei, and its sub-brand Honor. Let s find out. Also Read - Nokia X20, Nokia X10 with Snapdragon 480 SoC launched: Price, specifications

Good design and build quality

HMD Global has gone for a simple sandwich design where both the front as well as the back are encased in glass. On the front, we find Nokia branding on the bottom chin while the dot notch on the top accommodates the front camera. The back of Nokia 4.2 sports the dual-camera set up in the middle in a vertical setup. The fingerprint sensor and Nokia branding are aligned vertically with the camera followed by an Android One branding.

Taking a look at the sides, we get the dedicated Google Assistant button and the nano-SIM and microSD card tray on the left side and volume rocker that power button the right side. We need to talk about the power button, more on that later. The top of the device houses the 3.5mm audio socket with a microphone while the bottom comes with the microUSB port, speaker grill, and another microphone. Overall, the design is quite simple, enough to consider in bland in the world where this is what any other smartphone in this segment would look like.

Watch: Android Q First Look

Talking about the overall build quality, similar to any other Nokia-branded smartphone, the quality is as good ad it can get with the given glass sandwich design. The smartphone comes with what appears to be a plastic frame on the sides.

Power Button

You may think about why we have made a separate section for the Power button in this review. If OnePlus and Google Pixel were one of the first to bring colored power buttons to modern smartphones, Nokia here has one-upped them to bring a power button that lights up.

The power button is not limited to just lighting up. Instead, the light here acts as a notification light which is just plain impressive. Impressive for a smartphone in this range where the smartphone maker may or may not decide to add a dedicated LED sensor on the front of the display. The functionality of the button can t really be customized because of near-stock Android software, but I really wish that other smartphone makers are taking a note here.

Nokia 4.2 performance, Snapdragon 439, software

Nokia 4.2 Stock Android Software

Nokia 4.2 Stock Android Software

The Nokia 4.2 is powered by a Snapdragon 439 SoC along with 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage. Given that the device comes with a Snapdragon 400 series SoC, I was a tad worried about the performance of the smartphone. However, after comprehensive usage, I am somewhat conflicted about what I experienced. Let me explain why. To begin with, yes, the Snapdragon 439 SoC is not enough on paper and I wish that Nokia had gone for a Snapdragon 600 series processor. There is ever so slight sluggishness in some portions of the software UI but that is only noticeable if you are really looking for it.

However, the interesting part about Nokia 4.2 is that despite the Snapdragon 439 SoC, it has enough power to run heavy games like Asphalt 9: Legends, ShadowGun, and PUBG Mobile to name a few. Though granted that almost all of these games were running at the lowest of the possible settings but overall, the gaming performance was quite decent. I did face slight sluggishness in the response times while playing these games but it is quite impressive that the smartphone can play these heavy titles in the first place.

ShadowGun on Nokia 4.2

PUBG Mobile on Nokia 4.2

PUBG Mobile on Nokia 4.2

Talking about the software, the Nokia 4.2 comes with near stock Android, fast performance, and absolutely no bloat. The device comes with Android 9 Pie with all the essential features including Adaptive Battery, and Digital Wellbeing. The only custom apps that I noticed in the interface include the Nokia Camera app, FM Radio , and the My Phone app. Another thing to note here is that the device came with the February 2019 Android security patch, which was highlighted in red in the Security status in the Settings app, but I am sure that Nokia will promptly roll out a new update with the new security patch as it is part of the Android One program.

Stock Android on Nokia 4.2

Stock Android on Nokia 4.2

The camera quality on Nokia 4.2

Nokia camera interface on Nokia 4.2

Nokia camera interface on Nokia 4.2

Nokia 4.2 captures decent images from its dual camera setup on the back in ideal lighting conditions. The images have a decent amount of dynamic range and the colors are good with the help of Auto HDR. Though, if you go and look for details then you won t find many as the final images don t sport much texture. However, this is not out of the ordinary for smartphones in this segment. The portrait mode works okay with decent background isolation.

Nokia 4.2

Talking about the camera app, Nokia has considerably improved the camera app along with built-in 1:1 Square mode, Lens for Google Lens integration, Panorama , and Time-lapse mode. The company has also added a proper Pro mode along with Nokia Lumia-era radial dials to change settings in the mode along with Live Bokeh and Video mode in the software. It also includes slides for Beauty mode as well as the Depth in the photo.

The camera software also includes a Depth option in the Settings that users need to toggle (it is off by default) if they want to edit the depth in portrait images at a later date. However, toggling this decreases the resolution of the images captured. Other important options include Location tag, RAW file support, Burst mode and more.

Nokia 4.2 Battery

The smartphone was able to get me through a moderate workday without much issue while providing about 12 hours of battery backup. Things are slightly different on heavy days where the phone latest about 7.5 hours before I needed to recharge the smartphone. A moderate day usage for me includes music screaming for about 2-2.5 hours, 30-45 minutes of gaming, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Facebook all day long, three email accounts continuously on sync, 10-15 photos, and about 1-1.5 hours of video streaming on YouTube or Netflix.

On heavy usage days, the amount of video streaming, images shot and gaming almost doubles. It is worth noting that this backup is when I am always connected on Wi-Fi, 4G cellular connection for these activities is likely to consume more battery. Last but not least, there is not fast charge which means that it usually takes about 1 hour and 45 minutes to charge the smartphone from 0 to 100 percent.

Should you buy the Nokia 4.2?

Overall, HMD Global has made yet another solid offering in terms of the design, build quality and software experience. However, similar to its past devices, Nokia 4.2 also suffers from similar flaws when compared with the competition. At Rs 10,990, Nokia 4.2 is in direct competition with the likes of the Realme 3, Xiaomi Redmi Note 7, Xiaomi Redmi Y3, and Samsung Galaxy M20.

In isolation, the Nokia 4.2 is good but it falls behind when compared with other devices in the same segment. If however, you are looking for a smartphone that you can get your hands on right away, the Nokia 4.2 makes for a decent choice.

For the latest tech news across the world, latest PC and Mobile games, tips & tricks, top-notch gadget reviews of most exciting releases follow BGR India’s Facebook, Twitter, subscribe our YouTube Channel.
  • Published Date: May 7, 2019 4:34 PM IST


You Might be Interested

Nokia 4.2

10990

Android 9 Pie
Qualcomm Snapdragon 439 SoC
13MP + 2MP

new arrivals in india

Samsung Galaxy F02s
Samsung Galaxy F02s

8,999

Samsung Galaxy F12
Samsung Galaxy F12

10,999

POCO X3 Pro
POCO X3 Pro

18,999

Realme 8 Pro
Realme 8 Pro

17,999

Realme 8
Realme 8

14,999

Vivo X60 Pro Plus
Vivo X60 Pro Plus

69,990

Vivo X60 Pro
Vivo X60 Pro

49,990

Vivo X60
Vivo X60

37,990

OnePlus 9 Pro 5G
OnePlus 9 Pro 5G

64,999

OnePlus 9R 5G
OnePlus 9R 5G

39,999

OnePlus 9 5G
OnePlus 9 5G

49,999

Samsung Galaxy A72
Samsung Galaxy A72

34,999

Samsung Galaxy A52
Samsung Galaxy A52

26,499

Micromax In 1
Micromax In 1

10,499

Asus ROG Phone 5
Asus ROG Phone 5

49,999

Samsung Galaxy M12
Samsung Galaxy M12

10,999

Motorola Moto G30
Motorola Moto G30

10,999

Motorola Moto G10 Power
Motorola Moto G10 Power

9,999

Oppo F19 Pro Plus 5G
Oppo F19 Pro Plus 5G

25,990

Oppo F19 Pro
Oppo F19 Pro

21,490

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro Max
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro Max

18,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro

15,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10

11,999

Realme Narzo 30A
Realme Narzo 30A

8,999

Realme Narzo 30 Pro
Realme Narzo 30 Pro

16,999

Infinix Smart 5
Infinix Smart 5

7,199

Samsung Galaxy F62
Samsung Galaxy F62

23,999

Samsung Galaxy A12
Samsung Galaxy A12

12,999

Nokia 5.4
Nokia 5.4

13,999

Nokia 3.4
Nokia 3.4

11,999

Realme X7 Pro 5G
Realme X7 Pro 5G

29,999

Realme X7
Realme X7

19,999

Vivo Y31
Vivo Y31

16,490

Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G
Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G

35,990

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G

1,05,999

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G

81,999

Samsung Galaxy S21 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 5G

69,999

Vivo Y12s
Vivo Y12s

9,990

Vivo Y51A
Vivo Y51A

17,990

Samsung Galaxy M02s
Samsung Galaxy M02s

8,999

Xiaomi Mi 10i
Xiaomi Mi 10i

21,999

Oppo A15s
Oppo A15s

11,490

Tecno Spark 6 Go
Tecno Spark 6 Go

8,499

Vivo V20 2021
Vivo V20 2021

24,990

Vivo Y20A
Vivo Y20A

11,490

Xiaomi Redmi 9 Power
Xiaomi Redmi 9 Power

11,999

Motorola Moto G9 Power
Motorola Moto G9 Power

11,999

Motorola Moto G 5G
Motorola Moto G 5G

20,999

Vivo V20 Pro
Vivo V20 Pro

29,990

Xiaomi Mi 10T
Xiaomi Mi 10T

35,999

Xiaomi Redmi 9i
Xiaomi Redmi 9i

8,299

Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro
Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro

39,999

Infinix Hot 10
Infinix Hot 10

9,999

Vivo V20 SE
Vivo V20 SE

20,990

Vivo V20
Vivo V20

24,990

Micromax In 1b
Micromax In 1b

6,999

Micromax In Note 1
Micromax In Note 1

10,999

OnePlus 8T
OnePlus 8T

42,999

Samsung Galaxy F41
Samsung Galaxy F41

15,499

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

1,29,900

Apple iPhone 12 Pro
Apple iPhone 12 Pro

1,19,900

Apple iPhone 12 Mini
Apple iPhone 12 Mini

69,900

Apple iPhone 12
Apple iPhone 12

79,900

Poco X3
Poco X3

16,999

Realme Narzo 20A
Realme Narzo 20A

8,499

Realme Narzo 20
Realme Narzo 20

10,499

Realme Narzo 20 Pro
Realme Narzo 20 Pro

13,999

Oppo F17
Oppo F17

16,990

Samsung Galaxy M51
Samsung Galaxy M51

22,999

Poco M2
Poco M2

10,999

Oppo F17 Pro
Oppo F17 Pro

22,990

Realme 7 Pro
Realme 7 Pro

19,999

Realme 7
Realme 7

14,999

Xiaomi Redmi 9A
Xiaomi Redmi 9A

6,799

Vivo Y20
Vivo Y20

12,990

Xiaomi Redmi 9
Xiaomi Redmi 9

8,999

Nokia 5.3
Nokia 5.3

13,999

Motorola Moto G9
Motorola Moto G9

11,499

Realme C15
Realme C15

9,999

Realme C12
Realme C12

8,999

Samsung Galaxy Note 20
Samsung Galaxy Note 20

77,999

Xiaomi Redmi 9 Prime
Xiaomi Redmi 9 Prime

9,999

Oppo Reno4 Pro
Oppo Reno4 Pro

34,990

Samsung Galaxy M01 Core
Samsung Galaxy M01 Core

5,499

Realme 6i
Realme 6i

12,999

Asus Rog Phone 3
Asus Rog Phone 3

46,999

OnePlus Nord
OnePlus Nord

24,999

Infinix Smart 4 Plus
Infinix Smart 4 Plus

7,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 9
Xiaomi Redmi Note 9

10,999

Samsung Galaxy M01s
Samsung Galaxy M01s

9,999

Vivo X50 Pro 5G
Vivo X50 Pro 5G

49,990

Vivo X50 5G
Vivo X50 5G

34,990

Realme C11
Realme C11

7,499

Poco M2 Pro
Poco M2 Pro

13,999

Realme X3
Realme X3

24,999

Realme X3 SuperZoom
Realme X3 SuperZoom

27,999

Tecno Spark Power 2
Tecno Spark Power 2

9,999

Oppo A12
Oppo A12

9,990

Oppo A52
Oppo A52

16,990

Samsung Galaxy A21s
Samsung Galaxy A21s

15,999

Best Sellers