Motorola Moto G42 Review: Desperate Times for Motorola?
The Motorola Moto G42 is another Motorola phone in the sub-Rs. 15,000 segments that tick for all boxes. Should you buy it?
Motorola and Realme have been bombarding the smartphone space lately with affordable and tempting options. While Xiaomi and Samsung have been selling one phone in that segment for almost a whole year, Motorola is trying to pick up sales figures by launching a new Moto G model every few months. The Moto G42, which we discuss here, in a way replaces the Moto G52 – a phone we loved just three months ago. When the G52 becomes expensive, the Moto G42 is Motorola’s answer to offering a phone at a low price.
And it’s sad. The Moto G42 feels like a quickly designed phone without inspiring any imagination or thought. At a price of Rs. 13 999, Moto G42 takes on Redmi Note 11, Realme 9i and Realme Narzo 50 – it is barely able to match them on paper and in the real world? It’s a completely different story. Read on to find out.
Motorola Moto G42 design
When you take a low price, design and style are compromised. The Moto G42, just like all the competitors from Redmi and Realme, looks dull. Motorola chooses to paint its phones in the dullest colors as well, which further drops the appeal. The company boasts of a “new” camera hump, but where I see it, this is exactly the same boring we’ve seen before. The unibody construction in plastic feels nice and the buttons are tactile. The presence of IP52 certification means that this phone can survive sweat and accidental splashes. Therefore boring design, but decent construction with weather protection – this is what the budget segment needs.
Motorola Moto G42 display
Motorola’s obsession with using the AMOLED is evident on the G42. You get a nice 6.4-inch FHD + AMOLED screen with a refresh rate of 60Hz. AMOLED means that the screen looks good with bright colors and actual black colors. It gets decent light even under the sun and the viewing angles are nice. It’s not quite as vibrant and smooth as the 90Hz AMOLED panel on the Redmi Note 11, but the overall viewing experience is good. Motorola’s stock Android experience looks lively with its bright colors on this screen. Note that the fingerprint sensor is located on the power button, which is fast enough.
Motorola Moto G42 performance
The Moto G42 is another of those Snapdragon 680 phones that emphasizes power efficiency rather than performance. The Snapdragon 680 is not a fast chip, and all the phones that use it are lazy and struggle to handle the lightest load – something I have observed this year. Therefore, the Moto G42 suffers from the same problem. Performance is sluggish at best, with apps taking their own sweet time to open, and system animations seem nervous. For a brand new phone, this is just disappointing, and I wonder what will happen in a year with the Android 13 update. Even the “light” stock Android interface seems to be too much for this chip.
Since we’ve covered the subject, the MyUX interface is currently the cleanest and most optimized Android 12 experience I’ve had on a budget smartphone. The pixel-like interface looks cute, has smooth animations and is devoid of system ads, unlike MIUI and Realme UI. There is bloatware pre-installed out of the box, but they can be deleted (Josh, Facebook and Dailyhunt apps), but the overall experience is nice. Customization lovers will also like the minor system tweaks you can use to make your Moto G42 your own.
To continue with the good things is the dual speaker setup, which sounds loud and produces a decent sound quality. There is even a 3.5 mm plug, if you are still using a wired headphone. The call quality is good, and thanks to operator aggregation, I did not encounter any problems with data connection. And for those concerned, the Moto G42 gets the magnetometer for the compass features in Google Maps.
Motorola Moto G42 cameras
Motorola’s advanced phones have not impressed us with image and video processing, and it only gets worse with the cheaper Moto G models. The Moto G42 gets the same 50MP main + 8MP ultrawide + 2MP macro camera setup that we have seen on every other Moto G model that was launched this year. The camera performance is straightforward, as long as it is daylight. Images still appear over-treated with blown-out exposures and textures, as well as washed-out colors.
Check out some of the image examples
The ultra-wide camera performs worse with lower levels of detail, and the macro camera is direct rubbish. The same can be said about the front camera, which struggles with limited dynamic range and exhausted exposures. At night, all these cameras are barely usable. Video recording is also substandard.
Motorola Moto G42 battery
An area where all Motorola phones excel. The Moto G42 with its 5000mAh battery and a weak Snapdragon 680 chip manages to last for over 1.5 days with moderate usage scenarios. In my experience, this surpasses the Redmi Note 11. You only get a 20W charger in the box that takes over 2 hours to fully charge the battery from the dead.
If you have less than Rs. 15,000 to spend on a phone right now, the Moto G42 is a good option to consider. The battery life of the Moto G42 is fantastic, as is the screen quality as well as the overall Android experience. Even the IP52-certified water-repellent body is a big plus if you are very careless with your phone. For someone looking for a simple phone, the Moto G42 is a good deal. But this is not the best value you can get from a phone at this price.
Our all-time favorite, the Redmi Note 11, is still a better bet, considering the faster 90Hz OLED screen, a faster 33W charge and slightly better camera performance – it all starts at Rs. 12,999. The Realme Narzo 50 is an even better deal for the same price, considering you get a smoother 120Hz LCD screen, a faster Helio G96 chip, a 5000mAh battery and a 33W wired charger. Even Motorola’s own Moto G52 for Rs. 14,999 is a better option with the same specifications, but a larger and better 90Hz pOLED screen.
The Moto G42 is therefore not an easy recommendation, unless you are limited to the price of Rs. 13 999 and do not search for anything other than a Motorola device.
Motorola Moto G42
- Good display
- Great battery life
- Pure Android experience
- Poor performance
- Boring design