Vivo is the fourth largest smartphone vendor in India. In March, the company launched the Vivo V9 in the country with a 6.28-inch notched display. This was the first smartphone to launch in India with the notch, but the choice to use the budget Qualcomm Snapdragon 626 system-on-chip meant that the phone did not compete well on value. The company had launched the higher-end Vivo X21 in China at the same time, which had better specifications. Then, rumors stated that the Vivo X21 would arrive in India in May.
Now, at an event in Delhi, Vivo has officially launched the Vivo X21 in India. The smartphone is the first to launch in India with an in-display fingerprint sensor. It costs Rs. 35,990 ($530) for the single 6GB RAM/128GB storage configuration, and its specifications are listed below.
Vivo X21 – Specifications at a glance
|Dimensions and weight||154.45 x 74.78 x 7.37 mm, 156.2g|
|Software||FunTouch OS 4.0 on top of Android 8.1 Oreo|
|CPU||Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 (4x 2.2GHz Kryo 260 Performance + 4x 1.8GHz Kryo 260 Efficiency cores)|
|RAM and storage||6GB of RAM with 128GB of storage; hybrid microSD card slot|
|Display||6.28-inch Full HD+ (2280×1080) Super AMOLED with a 19:9 aspect ratio|
|Ports||microUSB port, dual nano SIM (nano SIM/microSD), 3.5mm headphone jack|
|Bands||GSM: Bands 2/3/5/8|
WCDMA: Bands 1/5/8
FDD-LTE: Bands 1/3/5
TDD-LTE: Bands 40/41
|Rear camera||12MP camera with Samsung S5K2L8 sensor, f/1.8 aperture, 2PD Dual Pixel autofocus|
5MP depth-sensing camera with f/2.4 aperture
4K video recording at 30FPS
|Front-facing camera||12MP front-facing camera with f/2.0 aperture|
The Vivo X21’s design is similar to the Vivo V9 and the Oppo F7. The phone has thin side bezels, a display notch at the top, and a chin at the bottom. The dual cameras are vertically placed at the top left of the back. The phone has an aluminium frame and a glass back.
The most differentiating feature about the design is the in-display fingerprint sensor. In India, Vivo has launched a single variant of the X21 that has an in-display fingerprint sensor, choosing to skip the one that has a conventional fingerprint sensor.
In-display fingerprint sensors have been in the news since last year, but the technology has yet to be widely available in commercially shipping products. Last year, Vivo teamed with Qualcomm to demo an in-display ultrasonic fingerprint sensor. In March, it launched the world’s first phone with an in-display fingerprint sensor: the Vivo X20 Plus UD. The X20 Plus UD featured Synaptics’ optical in-display fingerprint sensor.
The Vivo X21, on the other hand, does not use a Synaptics fingerprint sensor. Instead, the in-display sensor is supplied by Goodix.
The X21 has a 6.28-inch Full HD+ (2280×1080) Super AMOLED display with 406 PPI and a 19:9 aspect ratio. The phone has a 90% screen-to-body ratio, thanks to the presence of a display notch. The display’s specifications are very similar to the OnePlus 6. It’s protected by “3rd generation Gorilla 2.5D Glass.”
The Vivo X21 is powered by the octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 SoC. The SoC has four Kryo 260 Performance cores clocked at 2.2GHz and four Kryo 260 Efficiency cores clocked at 1.8GHz, paired with the Adreno 512 GPU. This chip is also used by the Nokia 7 Plus.
The phone comes in a single configuration with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. It also has a hybrid microSD card slot (nano SIM/microSD) for expandable storage up to 256GB.
The X21 has the AK4376A Hi-Fi audio chip for better audio quality. It also retains the 3.5mm headphone jack like the OnePlus 6.
The primary rear camera of the Vivo X21 has a 12MP Samsung S5K2L8 sensor with 2PD Dual Pixel autofocus and a f/1.8 aperture. It’s paired with a 5MP secondary camera that has a f/2.4 aperture.
The primary camera has “AI HDR,” Portrait and Bokeh, Live Photo, and Shot Refocus features. It can record 4K video at 30FPS, and slow motion video recording is also included.
The front-facing camera uses the same 12MP sensor as the primary rear camera. However, it has a f/2.0 aperture instead of the f/1.8 aperture of the primary rear camera.
The Vivo X21 has a 3200mAh battery with “Dual Charging Engine technology.” In terms of connectivity, it has dual nano SIM slots (nano SIM/microSD), Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2, a 3.5mm headphone jack, 4G VoLTE, and… a microUSB port. The presence of a microUSB port at the price of Rs. 35,990 is perplexing. Vivo still refuses to move on to the newer, more advanced USB Type-C port.
The phone is powered by FunTouch OS 4.0 (Vivo’s custom UI) on top of Android 8.1 Oreo. The software comes with Face Access (Vivo’s implementation of face unlock). Face Access has an in-built infrared light sensor for faster unlocking at night.
It also has “AI Game Mode” that knows when the user is playing games. The Background Call feature lets users stay on call while gaming, and Game Mode prevents accidental touches as well.
Vivo X21 — Pricing and availability
The Vivo X21 costs Rs. 35,990 ($530) in India. The smartphone is a Flipkart exclusive, and it is already available for purchase. The phone is available in Black, with the Gold color option set to be available later.
Launch offers include Rs. 3000 off on regular exchange value, 5 percent cashback on SBI credit cards, and 280GB additional data by Vodafone.
The phone competes with the OnePlus 6 and the Honor 10 at its launch price. The Nokia 7 Plus also uses the Snapdragon 660 chip, but it has an advantage of being Rs. 10,000 cheaper than the Vivo X21.
Let us know your thoughts about the Vivo X21 in the comments below.