Forget Pixel 4a 5G — Samsung's new phone could offer 5G for less

Samsung Galaxy A41 5G
(Image credit: Samsung)

If you’re after a cheap 5G phone, Samsung looks to have you covered with its new Galaxy A42 5G. And the phone is shaping up to be a compelling Google Pixel 4a 5G and OnePlus Nord rival. 

While Samsung hasn’t officially revealed the price of the Galaxy A42 5G, it’s set to sit below the $399 Galaxy A51, which is currently Samsung’s cheapest 5G smartphone. So we can expect the Galaxy A42 5G to undercut it. 

But with the OnePlus Nord presenting an affordable, well-specced and critically-acclaimed 5G phone and the upcoming Pixel 4a 5G set to do the same, the Galaxy A42 5G will need to bring its A-game to the affordable phones arena.

With a 6.6-inch Super AMOLED display making use of a teardrop selfie camera cutout, the Galaxy A42 5G has a larger display than the 6.44-inch display on the OnePlus Nord. However, we don't know if the Galaxy A42 5G will have a high refresh-rate display; the OnePlus Nord has a smooth 90Hz refresh rate. 

Like the OnePlus Nord, the Galaxy A42 5G will make use of a quad rear-camera array, though we don’t know what the camera composition will be yet. We’d expect a high megapixel main camera supported by telephotos and ultra wide-angle cameras. 

The OnePlus Nord offers an impressive range of cameras, but didn't blow us away with its performance. So the Galaxy A42 5G has an opportunity here to outperform the OnePlus Nord. 

Samsung Galaxy A42 5G

(Image credit: Samsung)

We don’t know the display size of the Pixel 4a 5G, though we’d expect it to be the same as the Pixel 4a or perhaps a little larger. But the Pixel 4a 5G is likely set to use the same rear camera as it’s non-5G sibling; that means a single 12.2MP camera. 

With four rear cameras, the Galaxy A42 5G beats the Pixel in terms of hardware. But Google’s image processing on the software side is very impressive, so the Samsung phone will also need to bring strong computational photography to the table.

That’s about all we know about the Galaxy A42 5G, as Samsung hasn’t been hugely generous with information. 

The phone was revealed at its Life Unstoppable virtual event, which gave an overview of upcoming Samsung devices and revealed the Galaxy Tab A7 as well. That new tablet is effectively a budget take on the Galaxy Tab S7, though Samsung declined again to mention any pricing. However, it did say the tablet will come with a 10.4-inch display and be focused on media consumption.

No release dates were mentioned for the Galaxy A42 5G or Galaxy Tab A7 but we’d expect to see them this fall, as early next year will be the domain of the Samsung Galaxy S21.

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.