Nokia 4.2 Summary

Nokia 4.2 has been receiving mixed reviews ever since the phone makes it out. Even though Nokia has improved its performance a lot in the second release, the smartphone never fails to remind us that several compromises have been made to achieve such a low price.

It comes as no surprise that budget phones have lots of sacrifices, but whether a model can successfully compete on the market depends on what a brand’s competitors offer with their own cheap phones.

The Moto G7 Play from Motorola is just a little bit more expensive than the Nokia 4.2 but shows a way better performance, decent camera, long battery life, and near-vanilla Android experience.

However, it’s not to say that one should never consider the Nokia 4.2. While its camera is slow, it’s quite capable when you are outdoor.

It doesn’t look cheap at all. Its battery life is also long and it runs on Android One, which has an update guarantee for two years.


There is nothing fancy about the HD+ LCD screen with a resolution of 1,520 x 720. If you look at it from a reasonable distance, the panel appears to be sharp and colorful. But if you take a closer look, you will see the pixels.

With that being said, users shouldn’t expect to see anything under broad daylight as the screen is quite dimly-lit. The back level is far from being as satisfying as what you can get with an OLED.

The selfie camera is housed inside a teardrop notch on top. There is still a chin visible at the bottom but the overall design still exudes a modern look.


Nokia 4.2 could be more than it is now if it wasn’t for the processor. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 439 paired with 3GB of RAM and onboard storage of 32GB makes for a quite slow phone. There is a MicroSD card slot so you might want to make use of it as soon as you can.

Overall, the performance is decent and stutters are to be expected when you scroll through apps like Instagram and Twitter; however, the experience is still bearable.

Gaming is good if you don’t go for the graphics-intensive and demanding titles.

You can do most of what you can accomplish with a flagship phone but it takes a bit longer than usual.  

Expect to see a few second delay when you turn the phone on, open an app, or share a picture. Things get quite frustrating when you need to search for something on Google Maps and it takes the phone forever to deliver what you need.

Nokia 4.2’s benchmark scores are below that of Motorola Moto G7 Play, which comes with a better Snapdragon 632. You will see no problem opening or running anything on the Moto G7 Play and Moto G7 Power. Everything runs smoothly.


Nokia 4.2 has only 4GB of RAM so don’t put much hope on it performance.


The best part of the Nokia 4.2 is arguably its battery. The phone can last for more than a day with ease despite the 3,000mAh power cell. With all the specs and a low resolutions screen, it comes as no surprise that this smartphone isn’t a power-thirst one.

Under heavy use, the 4.2 will end up with up to 30% left of power at the end of the day. With average or light use, the phone can make it to the second day; but you will need to plug it in by noon. Not so bad a performance given the price of the phone and the fact that most phones nowadays can barely last for two days.

While its real-world achievement isn’t so bad, it struggles to stand out in tests. With Wi-Fi on and screen brightness at maximum, the phone can only survive for 7 hours and 38 minutes playing a 1080p video. The time is too bad but still lags behind that of Moto G7 Play and Moto G7 Power, which last for 9 hours and 14 hours respectively.

Overall, if you ignore the battery tests, most users will have no problem with how long the Nokia 4.2 lasts.


On the rear, Nokia 4.2 features a dual-camera setup consisting of a 13MP and a 2MP depth-sensing snapper.

The slowness of the phone also extends to the cameras. It takes the handset a few seconds to open the camera app and the shutter also shows delay. This means you will have to make an effort to stand very still to avoid having blurry pictures.

Whenever the lighting is good, Nokia 4.2 proves to be quite a capable phone. It usually does a good job capturing scenes with high contrast with HDR. The results look quite pleasing with solid details and natural colors.

And as you may have expected, photo quality starts to degrade when you are in a low-light environment. What you have are grainy pictures and the requirement to stand perfectly still, like a statue we mean.

The Pro Mode delivers better results but you need to have a certain knowledge of how to tweak the manual controls to use it.

With good lighting, the Portrait Mode works quite well for a smartphone at this price. But the moment you are indoor and the sunlight is blocked, the images will look poor. The good news is, HDR works well with Portrait Mode.

The selfie camera has 8MP and it works decently most of the time. However, you will notice problems when it has to deal with a high contrast scenario. When switching to the Portrait Mode, things look better as we have accurate exposure without any blown-out, the bokeh effect is good too.

In short, Nokia 4.2’s cameras are capable but under good lighting only. When you are indoor, things start to take a negative turn.

The most annoying aspect of working with the phone’s snappers is that you have to stand perfectly still to take a decent photo. This performance can be compared with what the Moto G7 Play can do.

Read more Read less

Nokia 4.2 Full Specifications

  • Technology GSM / HSPA / LTE
  • 2G bands GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 - SIM 1 & SIM 2
  • 3G bands HSDPA 850 / 900 / 2100 - Global
  • 1, 3, 5, 8, 40, 41 - India
  • 4G bands 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 20, 28, 38, 40, 41 - EMEA, APAC, MENA
  • Speed HSPA 42.2/5.76 Mbps, LTE Cat4 150/50 Mbps
  • Announced 2019, February
  • Status Available. Released 2019, May
  • Dimensions 149 x 71.3 x 8.4 mm (5.87 x 2.81 x 0.33 in)
  • Weight 161 g (5.68 oz)
  • Build Glass front, glass back, plastic frame
  • SIM Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
  • Type IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
  • Size 5.71 inches, 81.4 cm2 (~76.6% screen-to-body ratio)
  • Resolution 720 x 1520 pixels, 19:9 ratio (~295 ppi density)
  • OS Android 9.0 (Pie), upgradable to Android 10.0; Android One
  • Chipset Qualcomm SDM439 Snapdragon 439 (12 nm)
  • CPU Octa-core (4x1.95 GHz Cortex-A53 & 4x1.45 GHz Cortex A53)
  • GPU Adreno 505
  • Card slot microSDXC (dedicated slot)
  • Internal 16GB 2GB RAM, 32GB 3GB RAM
  • eMMC 5.1
main camera
  • Modules 13 MP, f/2.2, 1/3.1", 1.12µm, PDAF 2 MP, (depth)
  • Features LED flash
  • Video 1080p@30fps
selfie camera
  • Modules 8 MP, f/2.0, 1/4", 1.12µm
  • Video 1080p@30fps
  • Loudspeaker Yes
  • 3.5mm jack Yes
  • WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, hotspot
  • Bluetooth 4.2, A2DP, LE, aptX
  • GPS Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS
  • NFC Yes (market dependent)
  • Radio FM radio
  • USB microUSB 2.0, USB On-The-Go
  • Sensors Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, proximity
  • Non-removable Li-Ion 3000 mAh battery
  • Colors Black, Pink Sand
  • Models TA-1184, TA-1133, TA-1149, TA-1150, TA-1157, TA-1152
  • SAR 0.43 W/kg (head)     1.08 W/kg (body)    
  • SAR EU 0.45 W/kg (head)     1.53 W/kg (body)