Vivo X21 Review – Impressive Camera and Notable In-Display Fingerprint Sensor

vivo x21 review
vivo x21 review

Vivo Recently launched its Vivo X21 smartphone in India. You should not miss this phone as it comes with under-glass fingerprint sensor and feels like a premium flagship. I tested this phone this week to know everything about the phone. The phone is not cheap but got some interesting things to mention. If you are considering this phone, find out if this phone is worth your money in our Vivo X21 Review.

Vivo X21 comes with sleek design and good build but not as solid as premium phones. It has an all-black aluminum frame and a glass back that feels more like plastic. The tempered edges make it comfortable to hold. The phone has 6.28-inch display with 19:9 aspect ratio and features a notch. The notch houses a metallic earpiece, the selfie camera, and an IR sensor. The phone has modern bezel-less look that you will surely like.

The right edge gets volume rocker and power button. Top side has 3.5 mm headphone jack and secondary mic. The base side has SIM card slot, micro USB and speaker. Yes, Vivo is still using micro USB on the phone at this price segment. It is using next generation tech in-display fingerprint scanner but still using previous Micro-USB port.

Back panel has dual camera setup with single LED flash. The back is glass but it doesn’t attract fingerprints. However, the phone is slippery and Vivo ships a case in the box to keep the X21 safe.

Vivo X21 features a 6.28-inch Full HD+ display with 19:9 aspect ratio. It offers edge to edge display from sides and screen to body ratio measures 85.2%. The screen is an OLED panel that offers vibrant colors and nice viewing angles. The display is really good and deserves appreciation. It even gets bright in daylight to keep experience at its best. The display features Gorilla Glass 3 to protect it from scratches.

The phone runs on FuntouchOS 4.0 based on Android 8.1 Oreo. As I said in previous Vivo phone’s reviews, the UI has so many design elements borrowed from iOS. This custom UI is also feature rich and offers some good options to make your daily life easier. You get on screen navigation that you can change to gestures.

If also features a game mode to give you better gaming experience. There are few smart motion option to give you better experience. You can enable “Shake to turn on flashlight” or “Tilt to Zoom pictures” and more. You can also make app clocks and enable one-hand mode when required.

The overall experience is really good. One more good thing is that Vivo X21 is also one of the devices getting access to the recently launched Android P beta.

The phone is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 660 that is basically for mid-range phones and we have Snapdragon 845 in this price segment. But Vivo had to cut the cost to give you the recent tech in form of under-display fingerprint sensor. The Snapdragon 660 performs really well and I didn’t face any issue. The phone performs as good as my OnePlus 5 powered by Snapdragon 835. Vivo X21 features 6GB of RAM for good multitasking. The phone delivers good performance and handles day to task well. Apps open quickly and switching from one app to other is also quick. It also handles game well. It features Adreno 512 for graphics performance. I tested several games on the phone without any noticeable problem.

The phone comes with 64GB of storage that can be expanded up to 256GB via a microSD card

Vivo X21 features a dual camera setup that includes 12 megapixels f/1.8 main camera and 5 megapxiels f/2.4 secondary camera. There is also a 12 megapixels front camera with f/2.0 lens.

The camera perform really well and makes it one of the best camera phone in the market. Photos captured using the phone come with rich colors and good sharpness. Color reproduction is great. Even after zooming to multiple levels, images do not loss quality. It also features portrait mode that work really well. You can adjust the bokeh any later after capturing photo.

Not just in day light but the camera captures good photos in low light as well. There will be slight amounts of noise depending on the light, but end result is good and better than other phones of this price segment.

Front camera also perform great. If you are the person who capture lots of selfies, you should surely consider this phone. Low light selfies also turn out to be really good. The Face Beauty work well and has ability to make anyone look better.

Here are few camera samples.

Vivo X21 has ability to record 4K@30fps and it works good.

The phone features in-display fingerprint sensor that impresses. Vivo has put a thumbnail-sized sensor behind the OLED display. When motion sensor of the phone detects any motion, it shows a colourful fingerprint icon on the display where you need to put finger for unlocking the phone.

The in-display fingerprint sensor works fine but not as accurate as traditional fingerprint sensor found on other phones. Sometimes it refuses to recognise fingerprint and you need multiple attempts.

The phone also comes with infrared-based facial recognition that is fast and accurate.

It has good display that offers decent video experience. Speaker on this phone is loud, so you will get good video experience. The phone also comes with a pair of earphones that are good and provide decent music experience.

Call quality on the phone is good and it sounds clear. The microphone also perform well and features good noise cancellation.

The phone sports a hybrid SIM tray, so you need to choose between two SIM cars and one SIM and a microSD card. It has dual band WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0 and A-GPS. Micro USB is a disappointment and the company could offer USB Type-C.

The phone packs 3200 mAh battery that is good enough for offering a day usage. Thanks to its power efficient Snapdragon 660 chipset. I was using this as my primary device.

The phone supports fast charging and can be charged from 0 to 100% in little over one and half hour. It charges up to 50 percent in just half an hour.

Final Words

Vivo X21 is an interesting phone due to its in-display fingerprint sensor. The phone doesn’t disappoint in anything and offer excellent display, good performance, brilliant camera, and good battery. The phone just come with an underpowered processor for its price, but you won’t be disappointed with the performance. The compromise in chipset is due the inclusion of next gen in-display fingerprint sensor.

At this price, the phone directly competes with OnePlus 6 and the Honor 10. While both the phones come with better chipset, Vivo X21 give tough competition in camera department.


Vivo X21

7.8 Score

"Even with mid-range chipset, the phone doesn't fell short in offering good performance. The camera makes it one of the best in class."

The Good

  • Good Display
  • In-display Fingerprint Sensor
  • Good Camera
  • Good and premium build
  • Good battery life

The Bad

  • micro USB port
  • Underpowered processor for its price


  • Design and Build 75%
  • Display 85%
  • Performance 70%
  • Camera 80%
  • Gaming 75%
  • Battery 75%
  • Value for money 65%