review

Nokia 4.2 Android One 9 Pie Smartphone

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

In this day and age of £1,000+ smartphones, it's a pleasant sight finding budget smartphone alternatives, packing a lot of premium flagship features at a great price!
The Nokia 4.2 Android One 9 Pie smartphone is beautifully crafted, sporting a slender 8.4mm thin body with 2.5D back glass and 2.5D curved glass screen, which gives the screen a slight curvature on the edges but not as pronounced as the side curvature on smartphones with 3D glass screens.
The rounded 2.5D arc design on the edges makes the Nokia 4.2 look more expensive than it is and also makes it feel nice to hold in the hand. Saying that, the slight rounded edges and front-to-back glass makes the Nokia 4.2 a bit slippery so, you definitely want to get a rubber bumper case for the Nokia 4.2!
The Nokia 4.2 has gorilla glass, which is really a must on a 3D glass phone because having curved edges means the screen is even more exposed to damaged when hitting the ground on its side. The gorilla glass version used in the Nokia 4.2 is version 3. While it isn't the latest gorilla glass version 6, gorilla glass version 3 features Native Damage Resistance (NDR) technology, which enables the screen to withstand even deeper scratches.
The 5.71-inch screen size on the Nokia 4.2 has HD+ (720 x 1520) screen resolution, which is between FHD (Full High Definition) and HD (High Definition). The Nokia 4.2 has a good pixel density (295 PPI) for the screen size so, the information displayed is clear and crisp. Of course, there are phones with even higher PPI (Pixels per Inch) like 587 PPI (2K displays) and 806 PPI (4K displays).
The Nokia 4.2 weighs 160 grams, which is extremely lightweight. It measures 7cm wide and 15cm tall and comes with a 19:9 aspect ratio (sames as the Samsung Galaxy Note 10).
The large aspect ratio makes the Nokia 4.2 screen taller with slimmer bezels all around, making it almost a bezel-less display, thanks to the camera hole punch that houses the selfie (front-facing) camera, which allows the screen to come up real close to the edges of the phone.
Speaking of cameras, the Nokia 4.2 selfie camera uses an 8 MP resolution camera, while the back of the Nokia 4.2 features a dual camera setup, consisting of a 13 MP resolution camera and a 2 MP depth sensor camera. The selfie camera has a wide 74-degree field of view (FOV), which equates to 29mm focal length, as well as a fixed-focus, f2.0 aperture and 1.12µm pixel size.
While the 13 MP camera in the Nokia 4.2 features autofocus (AF), it has a f2 2 aperture and 1.12µm pixel size, which is good in bright daylight conditions but not as good for photography in low light conditions (i.e. inside your home).
The lower the aperture value (i.e. f1.8) and higher the pixel size (i.e. 1.4µm), the better the camera will perform in poor light.  The 2MP depth sensor has fixed-focus (FF) with 2 Phase Detection and flash, as well as f2.2 aperture and 1.75µm pixel size.
The rear camera photo resolution can be adjusted from 13MP (4:3), 4MP (4:3) and 10MP (16:9). The front facing camera photo resolution can also be adjusted from 8MP (4:3), 4MP (4:3) and 6MP (16:9). Both front facing and rear facing cameras can record in Full High Definition 1080p and High Definition 720p.
The rear camera can record panoramas, time lapses and be set to PRO mode (to manually adjust shutter speed, exposure, focus, white balance and ISO). There is also Live Bokeh (blurred out background) mode.
As far as the system software, the Nokia 4.2 uses the near-stock version of Android (Android One), running the latest Android 9 Pie, which is Google’s 9th software update for Android phones and tablets, improving from the previous  Android 8.0 Oreo.
The Nokia 4.2 is available with 2GB DDR3 RAM and 3GB DDR3 RAM, which is just about enough RAM for most mobile games, thanks to the Nokia 4.2's Qualcomm Snapdragon 439 processor.
If it was a mediatek processor, it would require at least 8GB of RAM to be able to game on the phone. For proper graphic intensive gaming on a 3GB RAM smartphone like the Nokia 4.2, it needs to be running at least a snapdragon 450 or higher processor.
Thanks to the Snapdragon 439 processor, Android Pie feels fast. The new gestures feature also makes navigating the Nokia 4.2 more convenient than using the traditional navigation buttons.
There are also other improvements done to the user interface (i.e. adaptive app icons to specific background wallpaper) and better privacy for background apps, which no longer have microphone access.
The tweaks on the Android 9 Pie are well and good but, there are also drawbacks like no ability to roll back to the previous OS version, no native selfie flash and broken call recording where the Pie operating system blocks non-root call recording apps from working.
As far as sensors, the Nokia 4.2 features a rear fingerprint scanner sensor, an ambient light sensor, proximity sensor, accelerometer, NFC, and biometric facial recognition so, the Nokia 4.2 can be unlocked with your face, which is cool but still not as secure as the fingerprint scanner. The six-digit PIN and drawing pattern are probably the most secure ways.
The Nokia 4.2 also supports USB-OTG connectivity (no OTG cable is included), which is pretty neat because it lets you connect an external hard drive to it, as well as other useful gadgets like a keyboard, a USB mouse, a memory card reader, a game controller and even a LAN to USB dongle so, you can connect the Nokia 4.2 to a wired broadband connection.
The Nokia 4.2 also features a micro USB port, bluetooth 4.2 and 2.4GHz Wifi but no support for 5Ghz. You get up to 150Mbps down-load speeds and up to 50Mbps upload-speeds.
There is also support for VoLTE and VoWiFi, which allow the Nokia 4.2 to have a better indoor coverage, quicker call connection, better sound quality, as well as group chat and video calls from the native Android dialer.
There is a 16GB eMMC version and a 32GB eMMC version available though, the Nokia 4.2 also has a microSD card slot, which supports up to 400GB. It is a dual-SIM phone so, you can have two different phone SIM numbers, letting you use one SIM for data and the other SIM for calls/texts.
Even though, the Nokia 4.2 doesn't have stereo sound the internal bottom speaker is pretty good for speakerphone and playing audio, thanks to aptX support. There is a dual microphone setup with noise cancellation so, the mic quality is clear and amplified. A 3.5mm headphone jack is on top, on the opposite side to the microphone pinhole. The second mic pinhole is on the bottom of the phone, next to the micro USB port.
The Nokia 4.2 integrates a 3000mAh capacity rechargeable battery, which performs good, thanks to the snapdragon processor. You can get close to 9 hours of screen-on time, 12 hours 4G talktime, 17 hours 3G talktime, and 4 days of music playback time when using the headphone jack.
The Google Assistant button is located just below the SIM tray card, which is a convenient location though, it can be easily pressed inadvertently when holding the phone. Saying this, you can disable the Google Assistant button should you need to.
Below the volume rocker (on the right side of the Nokia 4.2 phone), you find the power button, which has built-in to it the notification light. Having the notification light integrated in the power button is useful as long as you are using a clear case or a protective case that exposes the power button.
The Google Assistant is only available in selected markets and languages. Where Google Assistant isn't available, you get Google Search, which isn't the same as the Google Assistant. The Google Search app works like the desktop version app so, you get a search bar where you type and get instantaneous results when searching for general queries, businesses, sports live score updates, etc.
With Google Assistant you ask for search queries and receive the information based on Google learning about your patterns and habits through your use of Google Services. With Google Assistant, you can complete and request tasks like booking a reservation, and closing an app.
Inside the Nokia 4.2 box packaging, you also get a 5V/1A wall charger, a micro USB cable, a quick start guide and a SIM tray pin. You also get a standard 2 year Manufacturers Limited Warranty, which also includes access to technical support for a period of two 2 years, which is nice.

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