F42 openRetro is the new cool and Aussie company Aspera sent us the latest in their F series of flip phones to evaluate.

Traditionally aimed at budget-conscious folks – often older people – who are not quite ready yet for a smartphone. Well, at just under a hundred bucks for the F42 I can see there could be good value for something simple that just works.

The Aspera F42 is not a smartphone but a feature phone with smarts…

Here’s my take on that.


• Compact: it’s about the smallest phone you can buy (just105x56x19mm). Small but fairly thick
• TWO screens: the small outside mono display has the time, date and battery as well as network signal, and caller ID for inbound calls
• User replaceable battery
• Quad core 1.1GHz processor
• SD card option
• GPS, Bluetooth and WiFi (also hotspot)
• FM Radio
• Complete with Charger and headphones

• Facebook and Whatsapp built in (Lite versions)
• Browser

• Displays not high resolution so not great for reading small text
• No touchscreen
• Cameras: very basic (2MP and 0.3MP)

• Battery life – about a day just being on, without any actual use…

Aspera F42 book


I like the idea of a basic phone. It has its uses as a second phone (just toss it in the car, take it to the beach, etc) or as a primary phone if you don’t like smartphones.

Not sure if this is a great phone for seniors though. For that group an even more basic but specialised phone with long battery life and emergency priority numbers, dedicated torch, fall detection, etc would be better. I’m in my mid-seventies and fortunately not yet in need of something like that but that time may come…

The limitations might become irritating if you’re used to a smartphone. My companion is the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra which is the exact opposite from the Aspera F42 when it comes to money, features, size.

We reviewed the Nokia 800 Tough some time ago which sports similar basic specs with the inherent limitations. It did have voice navigation to help get some tasks done.
This could be a good addition for this phone as well.

The Aspera F42 is fairly limited as an “Easy Phone” as the company calls it but it’s not a waste of money at 99 bucks to try it out for yourself or to give to someone.