Exactly a year ago, we put Samsung’s first Galaxy F series device – the Samsung Galaxy F41, under the scanner. Samsung has just unveiled the F42, the successor to this device and it has one key upgrade – 5G support. That should hardly come as a surprise as brands are augmenting their portfolio with future-ready devices even as we wait for Indian mobile networks to keep their date with 5G. As part of the 5G upgrade, this device also gets an all-new processor. Does all this add up?

The first thing I noticed was the cool, icy blue that Samsung calls Matte Aqua. It doesn’t just look premium for the price tag but also stands out in a crowd. This is one of the nicest shades of blue we’ve seen recently at this price point. The surface is a tad slippery though; it also has an affinity for smudges and fingerprints. Your best bet might be to slip this into a lightweight, transparent back case. The F42 5G is also available in a Matte Black. The device crosses the 200gm threshold, it’s marginally heavier than its predecessor. That should come as no surprise given the larger display on the F42.

The 6.6-inch TFT FHD+ display (1080 x 2408 pixels) is one of the talking points of this device. Samsung has added a 90Hz refresh rate to this display that represents a big jump over its predecessor. Colours are vibrant and this has the potential to be your primary binge screen. You can also plug in your favourite wired headphones; this one has a 3.5mm jack. This large display is also backed with a 5000 mAh battery. Although it’s not as formidable as the 6000 mAh battery on the F41, it’s still robust. We managed to stretch the battery life to one and a half days despite heavy usage during our tests. There’s a 15W charger in the box. 

In terms of camera performance, the F42 5G produced a mixed bag of results. Images were quite sharp in optimal light but were below par in lowlight. The rear cam is similar to last year’s F41 except for the ultra-wide cam and depth lenses. The triple rear cam is driven by a 64MP primary lens while the selfie duties are handled by an 8MP front camera. Samsung’s new One UI 3.1 is available for this device. Samsung’s custom UI is layered over Android 11 and it’s quite pleasing on the eye; our crib remains the pre-loaded apps and bloatware. You can uninstall them though. 

While the camera might not seem like a big improvement over last year’s F41, the new 5G-ready processor gives this device extra wings. At its heart is the new MediaTek Dimensity 700. We tried the 8GB/128GB variant, there’s also a 6GB/128GB hardware option. The results in our Geekbench benchmark test (the F42 5G notched up a score of 1689) represent a significant improvement over our test results for the F41. That’s one of the key reasons the Samsung F42 5G deserves your attention if you’re in the market for a 5G ready smartphone in the sub Rs 20,000 price mark.   The Samsung Galaxy F42 5G comes in two colours – Matte Aqua and Matte Black. It costs Rs 17,999 (6GB/128GB) or Rs 19,999 (8GB/128GB) 

Also Read; Samsung Galaxy M52 5G – Review – Firing on all cylinders