5G capable, deeply purple and capable of self-repair, but will HMD Global’s new G42 5G satisfy?
HMD Global, the company that has the rights to produce “Nokia” branded phones has announced its latest smartphone model.
Like the Nokia G22, the Nokia G42 5G’s big point of difference is that HMD Global is relatively happy for consumers to handle repairs by themselves if they wish to, making parts, guides and tools available through an existing relationship with iFixit.
Nokia G22 Review
Nokia G42 5G: Australian price and availability
The Nokia G42 5G will be available for $449 outright in Australia in July.
Nokia G42 5G: Features
The Nokia G42 5G features a 6.52 inch LCD display with support for up to 90Hz refresh rates, wrapped in Corning Gorilla Glass 3. That’s not state of the art for durability, but again this is a mid-priced-to-budget handset, and one that sells itself on its repairability generally.
Behind the glass sits a Snapdragon 480+ 5G SoC with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage. As the name suggests, 5G is supported, as is 4G and 2G, although in weird official status ways, 3G isn’t specifically supported. HMD Global’s contention here is that networks using 4G have largely farmed that 3G spectrum over to 4G by now – it’ll be fascinating to see how that plays out in real life. Of course, here in Australia we haven’t had 2G networks for many years now.
On the camera side there’s three lenses on the rear, but it’s playing a rather familiar budget game, with a primary 50MP sensor, secondary 2MP macro and 2MP depth sensor. Battery capacity is stated at 5,000mAh with support for 20W fast cabled charging.
The Nokia G42 5G runs Android 13 with a promise of 2 years of OS upgrades and 3 years of monthly security updates. In colour terms it’ll be available in “So Purple”, which is… purple. You can see that, right? Notably at this stage I’m told that in Australia it’ll only be the So Purple variant that’s offered, though HMD Global seems to have both black and red variants of the G42 5G in other markets.
This feels a little bit more compelling to me than the Nokia G22 was; while the concept of more readily repairable phones is a good one at any price point, the sheer slowness of that phone just made it less enticing for its money.
There’s still some odd challenges here – I’m not sure how the not-quite-3G thing will work for the Nokia G42 5G, but maybe users won’t notice that at all. It’s a touch disappointing to see just two years of OS upgrades on offer here, because for the longest time the new Android Nokias were all Google One phones with at least (from memory) 3 years of upgrades as the minimum.
While I do like the purple colour, I’m less taken (on paper) with its camera specifications, but I’ll have to wait and see what it’s like if I can get one in for testing.
I’m still waiting on a number of Nokia phones to pass through my test desk, though, so we’ll have to wait and see on that score.
On repairability, I should point out that while HMD Global make selected parts and guides available, you can still use a repair shop to get this kind of matter dealt with. Based on my own experiences with the Nokia G22, that might be the wise course of action.