Nokia 4.2 review

The latest smartphone from Nokia branded phone maker HMD Global in India is Nokia 4.2 and it has been launched in the budget segment. The Nokia 4.2 sports a curved, dual-glass design and runs on the stock Android experience. Apart from this, the dedicated Google Assistant button has been included in Nokia 4.2. The build quality of the Nokia 4.2 is decent and the stock Android software could help the Nokia 4.2 outperform the competition. Especially when Xiaomi, Realme and Asus offer smartphones equipped with better hardware and more features at a lower price. We have tested Nokia 4.2 to find out if buying it can be profitable for you or not.

Nokia 4.2 design

The most striking aspect of the Nokia 4.2 is its design, it borrows some elements from the Nokia 6.1 Plus and Nokia 5.1 Plus (Review) and looks elegant. The overall aesthetic profile is clean, especially the black variant of the phone. We are reviewing this black variant of Nokia 4.2, apart from this, it also has a bright pink variant.

Nokia 4.2 has 2.5D glass on the front and back panels, giving it a premium look. On the other hand, nowadays most smartphones come with a gradient finish. There is a dual camera module on the back of the phone, just below the rear camera is the flash and the fingerprint sensor. The edge of this phone comes with a curved profile and a glossy finish. If we look at the price of the Nokia 4.2, it gives a premium look at this price.


The length-width of the Nokia 4.2 is 148.95×71.30×8.39 millimeters. The Nokia 41. has a smaller profile and is easier to hold and use. You don’t need to adjust the phone after holding it in your hand, nor do you need to stretch your thumb to reach every corner of the screen. Let us tell you that the build quality of Nokia 4.2 is also good.

There’s a dedicated Google Assistant button on the left side of the phone, which might come in handy for those who use the virtual assistant regularly. A single tap will open the Google AI Assistant, while a double tap will open a page with relevant information and suggestions based on the user’s activity and location.

The volume button is located just above the power button on the right side of the phone. On the left side of the phone is the SIM tray, which can accommodate two Nano-SIMs and a microSD card. With the help of the card, it is possible to increase the storage up to 400 GB. The top of the phone has a 3.5mm headphone jack and a microphone, while the bottom of the phone has a micro-USB port, a speaker, and another microphone.

The Nokia 4.2 definitely looks premium, but it also has a downside. Due to the glass back panel, dust particles and fingerprints fall into it. You won’t even get a protective sleeve in the retail box, so you’ll have to buy it separately. Overall, the Nokia 4.2 is one of the best-looking phones in this price range. There is only one variant of Nokia 4.2 which comes with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage and is priced in the Indian market at Rs 10,990.

Nokia 4.2 Specifications and Features

The Nokia 4.2 not only looks premium but also has a good build quality. Now let’s talk about the Nokia 4.2 specification. The phone has a 5.71-inch HD+ display (720 x 1520 pixels) with a waterdrop notch. Its aspect ratio is 19:9 and the pixel density is 270 pixels per inch.


Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 439 processor has been used in the Nokia 4.2. 3 GB of RAM has been given for multitasking. The processor can be a bit disappointing, even when smartphones in the same or lower price range are equipped with powerful processors like the Snapdragon 660 and MediaTek Helio P70 chipsets.

If you bump up the budget a bit, you’ll also get phones powered by the Snapdragon 675 or Snapdragon 710 processor. Nokia 4.2 has dual cameras on the rear. The main sensor is 13 megapixels. This autofocus lens is with F/2.2 aperture. With this, a 2-megapixel sensor will work on Jugalbandi. There’s an 8-megapixel front-facing selfie camera, which will have an F/2.0 aperture.

There are no fun camera features except for Bokeh, Panorama, and Time-Lapse mode. The default camera app on the Nokia 4.2 lacks features like AR stickers, slow-motion video recording, and night mode. Talking about the software, the Nokia 4.2 smartphone is part of Google’s Android One program and runs on Android 9 Pie. Our review unit runs on the February 2019 security patch.


Since the phone runs on Android Pie, you’ll also get features like Digital Wellbeing, Adaptive Battery, Adaptive Brightness, and Navigation Gestures. Ambient Display is another useful feature that shows notifications for incoming messages, calls, and alarms without opening the screen. Nokia 4.2 is equipped with face unlock feature, but it is not reliable and does not work fast. On the other hand, the fingerprint sensor works well and unlocks the phone in a second.

There is no bloatware on the Nokia 4.2 and we also did not see any ads on the phone. One of the main advantages that the Nokia 4.2 has over competing phones is that it is assured of operating system updates. Android Q and Android R will also be rolled out for this phone in the near future. Along with this, the phone will also receive security updates for three years. The phone’s viewing angles aren’t great either.

Nokia 4.2 performance, camera and battery life

First let’s talk about the display of Nokia 4.2. Nokia 4.2 has a 5.71-inch HD+ display, text is sharp, and video content looks decent too. Reflectivity is an issue if the phone is used outdoors in daylight. Readings were acceptable in sunlight. However, viewing photos and videos with dark backgrounds was difficult.

Everyone wants a phone whose display is better and is equipped with high resolution and wide viewing angles. One good thing about Nokia 4.2 is that it has the adaptive brightness feature for automatic brightness adjustment. Apart from this, night light mode has also been given so that there is no problem in viewing the screen at night.

Despite running stock Android, we found the Nokia 4.2 to be a bit slow. We hope that your performance will become faster. Apps take time to load. For example, the WhatsApp and Twitter keyboard takes a while to open when other apps are running in the background.


The Snapdragon 439 processor isn’t quite as capable when it comes to gaming, but we still put it to the test while gaming on the phone. We tested games like Temple Run and Candy Crush and it ran smoothly, but heavy games like PUBG Mobile with low graphics still took a while to load.

While playing Asphalt 9: Legends, we felt the phone slow down a bit. We have also reviewed the similarly priced Redmi Note 7 and Realme 3 and these phones perform better when it comes to gaming. One thing is clear, if you want to game regularly then the Nokia 4.2 is not for you.

Now let’s talk about the camera performance of the Nokia 4.2. Photos taken in daylight were decent but lacked sharpness and edge detail. Photos taken in natural light were sharp, and the dynamic range was above average. Colors were captured correctly in macro shots, gradients were visible, but we got better results with the Realme 3 and Redmi Note 7.

Other than this, you will definitely be disappointed due to the lack of AR stickers, scene mode, and artistic Bokeh or lighting effect in Nokia 4.2. The phone also doesn’t have a low-light mode, so it wasn’t surprising that photos taken in the dark turned up with noise and grainy textures. Now let’s talk about the front camera. Photos taken with the selfie camera looked natural. In addition to keeping the subject of the phone and the background separate, it also applies a blur effect. But there was a lack of sharpness in the images. You can adjust the intensity of the Bokeh effect while taking a photo.

There’s an optional beautifying filter that works by enlarging the eyes, slimming the jawline, and smoothing the skin. This phone comes with a Google lens that easily identifies objects. Although slow to detect, most of the results were accurate.

When it comes to video, both the front and rear cameras are capable of recording video in Full HD and HD resolutions, but there’s no way to adjust the frame rate or aspect ratio. Talking about the video quality, it is average. The colors look decent, but there were some difficulties when locking the focus.

There are two major issues with the Nokia 4.2 that can frustrate users. The phone has some difficulty locking focus, so its effect is visible on the photo quality. The other big problem is that the phone slows down a bit. We often had to wait a few seconds and tap the shutter button a few times before the camera tried to lock focus again. This problem occurred with the front and rear cameras.

To check if the issue was caused by outdated software in our review unit, we tested on another Nokia 4.2 phone that was running the May 2019 security patch, but still had the focus stuck issue.

The 3,000 mAh battery powers this phone that barely lasts a day. We made some phone calls, used social media apps, surfed the web for a while, watched some videos on YouTube, and played a game for about 30 minutes, and that’s not all, we also used productivity apps. Battery capacity is definitely on the lower side.

In our HD video battery loop test, the phone only managed 10 hours and 13 minutes. Speaking of charging speed, the charger that comes in the retail box takes over two and a half hours to fully charge the phone. Nokia 4.2 does not have fast charging support. About 30 minutes of gaming consumed 10 to 15 percent of the battery. The Nokia 4.2 also gets a bit warm.

our decision

The Nokia 4.2 certainly looks the part and many will appreciate its Android experience too. The notification LED around the power button is also well placed, other than this there are no advantages to the phone that can be mentioned. Nokia 4.2 does not have a powerful processor and its camera performance is not very special either. The camera app also lacks many features that customers want. The price of Rs 10,990 is very high for this phone.

Speaking on the basis of the hardware specification and the overall experience of Nokia 4.2, the Nokia 4.2 is not more powerful than the competing phones Redmi Note 7 (Review) and Realme 3 (Review). Apart from this, Asus ZenFone Max Pro M2 (Review), Realme 3 Pro (Review) and Redmi Note 7 Pro (Review) are also good options, which can be a profitable deal to buy.<!–


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