Nokia G42 combines repairability and 5G connectivity in a handsome purple package

Hot on the heels of the G22 launch earlier in 2023, Nokia owner HMD Global has announced the Nokia G42 as the next in its series of repairable smartphones. The G42 continues Nokia’s quest to make at-home smartphone repairs simple, accessible and affordable, but the headline feature in this latest release is the inclusion of 5G connectivity (something that was missing on the G22).

Repairable and replaceable parts on the Nokia G42 include the screen, the battery and the charging port and in order to make the G42 repairable – and to provide the parts with which to repair – Nokia has continued its partnership with global repair community iFixit. 

Nokia’s intention with the G42 – and its G22 sibling – is to allow owners to keep using their phone as if it were new, long after the included warranty expires. 

Aside from its repairable credentials, the Nokia G52 arrives with a 50MP camera, which in tandem with the company’s latest imaging AI technology, aims to deliver clear and detailed pictures that comfortably compete with (or better) phones in a similar price bracket. 

(Image credit: HMD Global)

It makes use of the Snapdragon 480 Plus 5G processor – one that’s used in many other affordable phones such as the Motorola Moto G53 5G – which won’t win any awards for outright speed, but crucially, it brings 5G connectivity to customers at a more accessible price point.

While the brand is under new ownership – and has even produced a new-look logo – in true Nokia fashion, the G42 claims to last up to three days on a single charge. The company even says the health of the battery will still be ticking at around 80% after 800 full charging cycles. But of course, even if the health does dwindle, you can easily buy a new one to replace it.

The G42 is available now in the UK for £199 and will arrive in Australia in “late July” for AU$449. There is currently no word on US availability. When we first saw the G22, which retails for less at £150 / AU$349, we felt it could become one of the best cheap phones of 2023, and the same suggestion can certainly be made of Nokia’s latest release. At-home Fix Kits and replacement parts start at AU$42.99 in Australia, while UK pricing is currently unavailable.

It’s available in just the one configuration of 6GB RAM and 128GB of internal storage, with microSD expansion up to 1TB. In addition to this, the Nokia G42 sports a 6.56-inch HD+ display with 90Hz refresh rate and a peak brightness of 560 nits with brightness boost. There are two colours to choose from: So Grey and So Purple. Nokia has also promised three years of monthly security updates for the G42, along with two years of OS updates.

Swipe to scroll horizontallyNokia G42 5G specsHeader Cell – Column 0 Header Cell – Column 1 Dimensions:165 x 75.8 x 8.55mmWeight:193.8 gramsMain display:6.56-inch HD+ w/ 90Hz refresh rateChipset:Snapdragon 480 PlusRAM:6GBStorage:128GB w/ microSD expansion up to 1TBOS:Android 13Primary camera:50MP (f/1.8)Depth camera:2MPMacro camera:2MPBattery:5,000mAhCharging:20W (wired)Colors:So Gray, So Purple

Analysis: Is nostalgia the future?

Nokia G42 in So Gray

(Image credit: HMD Global)

Cast your mind back (if you’re old enough) to the time when Nokia phones were all the rage. We had some wacky designs, interchangeable cases and we’d all be sending songs and ringtones to each other via Bluetooth. It was at this time that batteries were removable and could be replaced easily, should anything have gone wrong. 

I personally don’t remember having any issues with any Nokia phone I owned, however, and to this day they’re still remembered as being some of the toughest things on the planet. Put simply, if you wanted a phone that would last, it had to be a Nokia. 

Now under the ownership of HMD Global, the Finnish company is clearly keen to really tap back into Nokia’s routes, by offering customers phones that have the potential to last much longer than we’ve come to expect of the current crop of smartphones. 

I’m especially pleased to see that the screen can be replaced at home by following some simple steps. Dropping your phone and cracking the screen is up there with the worst feelings one can feel, largely due to the high cost of having to replace it. With the Nokia G42, you will be able to buy a new screen for AU$89.99 (UK pricing is tbc). That’s not a particularly significant amount of money, and is certainly a cost that is easier to stomach than having to spend hundreds more on a new phone. 

Not only does the offer of repairability mean the phone can lost longer, but I also think that giving the Average Joe the tools to carry out repairs themselves is pretty cool. It allows us to become more attached to our tech and understand more about what goes into their production. 

It would be great to see repairability come to more high-end devices in the future, not only because I think it would have even wider appeal, but reducing the number of smartphones we each own will surely help to reduce the amount of e-waste and then in turn, help the environment. 

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