LG K42 Review
Back in January, LG launched LG K42 smartphone in India. The phone is priced at Rs. 10999. What makes this phone special is 2 years warranty and rugged build. LG has launched several phones with MIL-STD-810G certifications in the past, but this is the first time (as I could remember) LG is bringing a budget phone with MIL-STD-810G certifications. That is why this phone becomes interesting. I recently tested this phone as a daily driver and based on my performance, here is the LG K42 review.
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LG K42 Review
LG K42 comes with a plastic body that feels nice. The phone is tall and offers a 20:9 aspect ratio. The front side is the display with a hole punch at the top center for the selfie camera. The power button is on the right side and also equips a fingerprint sensor. On the left, it has a SIM card slot, volume rockers, and a dedicated button for Google Assistant. On the base side, it has a headphone jack, USB Type-c port, and speaker grilles. The back panel is unique and comes with wave patterns. There’s a quad-camera setup on the top left corner of the back.
The phone is also military standard 810G certified for durability. That means the phone can withstand shocks, vibrations, dust, and water. If you are someone who accidentally drops your phone multiple times a day, this phone is the right choice for you. LG is also offering a one-time free screen replacement. This gives peace of mind.
As the phone is the military standard 810G certified, there are several compromises in the internals for keeping the price low.
LG K42 comes with a 6.6-inch HD+ (1600 x 720 Pixels) display that looks good. The color temperature looks to be on the cooler side but you will notice it only if you are seeing a scene with vivid colors. The outdoor visibility of the display is also good. So, you can easily read emails or messages properly even under the sunlight.
In this segment, now there are a lot of phones with 1080p display. but the compromise in display here is due to the Helio P22 that doesn’t support the 1080p display.
Like several other phones, this phone also comes with a Blue light filter. The mode is called “Comfort view.” You can use the quick settings panel to enable it or go to display settings.
The phone packs an octa-core Helio P22 SoC. Helio P22 isn’t much powerful and It only performance good if your usage is normal. Here, normal usage means a few social media apps, music, and videos. The phone has just 3GB RAM, while most phones of this segment come with 4GB of RAM. This phone is fine for normal users, not for power users. The Soc is paired with PowerVR GE8320 GPU that is also average and aims at budget phones. I tried a few games including Asphalt Nitro, and Dead Trigger 2. These games were running well on the phone. I also played Call of Duty: Mobile that was running on low settings but was playable. That means the phone can be used for casual gaming.
Certainly, Helio P22 isn’t the best choice for this price segment. Helio G85 could have been a better choice if we just consider the MediaTek chipsets.
It runs on Android 10 out of the box with LG’s own skin. There are a few bloatware including some games. You can uninstall these apps if you want. By default, all the apps are shown on the Home Screen. If you need App Drawer, you can enable it from the Display Settings. The UI also has an option to hide apps. There’s a Night Mode that you can enable manually or schedule to enable/disable at a specific time. Overall, I liked the UI and its animations.
LG K42 offers 64GB of eMMC5.1 storage. Storage can be expanded further up to 2TB. So, you have plenty of storage to keep your data.
LG K42 has a quad-camera setup that includes 13 megapixels primary camera, 5 megapixels super wide-angle camera, 2 megapixels macro camera, and 2 megapixels depth camera. The camera performance is average. Photos taken from the primary camera are fine. The colors are mostly dull and not many details. Low-light photos are also fine. Wide-angle camera photos are a bit over-saturated. Here are a few camera samples.
There is an AI cam mode that improves photos a bit. Not sure why a separate mode for AI processing. It could have been incorporated into the normal photo mode. Here are two photos to compare the normal mode and AI mode.
The phone comes with an 8 megapixels selfie camera. It captures fine selfies in daylight and indoor conditions. Low-light selfies are not good, especially those selfies that I captured outdoor. Here are the camera samples.
I also tested the video recording and wasn’t impressed. Videos are too shaky due to the absence of any stabilization. Video quality was also average. The same goes for the front camera video recording.
Overall, the camera performance is average. This is a budget phone, so I wasn’t expecting much from the camera. Still, it could have been better. You have already seen the camera samples. So, it is up to you what you decide about the camera.
LG K42 offers a good sound on the speaker and headphones both. As compared to other phones, the sound on the speaker is low. The phone also has LG 3D Sound Engine to optimize the sound. You can also use the equalizer to customize the sound if you know how to use it properly.
The side-mounted fingerprint sensor works well. It quickly unlocks the phone. Surprisingly the phone doesn’t come with a Face unlock. Although, it is not a deal-breaker. This is a dual SIM phone with both slots support 4G. Other connectivity options include Wi-Fi 802.11, b/g/n, Bluetooth 5, GPS, and USB Type-C. The phone also has NFC that is rare to see in a phone of this pride segment.
The phone packs a 4000 mAh battery that performs well. It easily offers more than a day battery backup. I was getting more than 5 hours of screen on time with normal usage. My usage mostly includes calls, emails, and social media apps.
LG K42 comes with a solid build quality and military standard 810G certifications for durability. The display is fine, the audio is good and battery backup impresses. Even if the SoC is weak, performance is satisfactory. But the average camera is a deal-breaker because most people prefer camera performance over anything else. This phone isn’t for millennials who capture a lot of photos and play mobile games for hours. The compromise in the SoC could be for offering the MIL-STD 810G durability. Consider this phone only if you can compromise with the camera, need good battery backup, and want a phone that can survive accidental drops.
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"LG K42 comes with a solid durable body and impressive battery backup. The average camera can be a deal-breaker."
- Rugged design
- One-time free screen replacement
- Good sound
- Good battery
- Average Camera performance
- Design 90%
- Display 75%
- Performance 60%
- Camera 60%
- Battery 80%
- Value for money 70%