Vivo V21 5G

In December 2020, Vivo introduced Vivo V20 Pro 5G as an addition to its V series which excited a lot of users and made its place in the sub 30K device segment. Now, they are adding a new sibling to their V series i.e, Vivo V21 5G which is inclined towards youth targeting the selfie-centric audience. Vivo V20 Pro 5G and V21 5G share similar design pattern and core specification. But, one question remains which is at a price point of Rs.29,990. Do the new bells and whistles justify its price tag or not?

After using the Vivo V21 5G as our primary device for 7 days, here’s our Unbiased Review of Vivo V21 5G. Before heading towards the review, here are the specifications of Vivo V21 5G.

Brand Vivo
Model V21 5G
Price in India ₹29,990
Release date 27th April 2021
Launched in India Yes
Form factor Touchscreen
Dimensions (mm) 159.68 x 73.90 x 7.29
Weight (g) 176.00
Battery capacity (mAh) 4000
Fast charging Proprietary
Colours Arctic White, Dusk Blue, Sunset Dazzle
Display
Screen size (inches) 6.44
Touchscreen Yes
Resolution 1080×2404 pixels
Aspect ratio 20:9
Hardware
Processor octa-core
Processor make MediaTek Dimensity 800U
RAM 8GB
Internal storage 128GB
Expandable storage Yes
Expandable storage type microSD
Expandable storage up to (GB) 1000
Dedicated microSD slot Yes
Camera
Rear camera 64-megapixel (f/1.79) + 8-megapixel (f/2.2) + 2-megapixel (f/2.4)
No. of Rear Cameras 3
Rear autofocus Yes
Rear flash Yes
Front camera 44-megapixel (f/2.0)
No. of Front Cameras 1
Front flash Yes
Software
Operating system Android 11
Skin Funtouch OS 11.1
Connectivity
Wi-Fi Yes
GPS Yes
Bluetooth Yes, v 5.10
USB OTG Yes
USB Type-C Yes
Number of SIMs 2
SIM 1
SIM Type Nano-SIM
GSM/CDMA GSM
3G Yes
4G/ LTE Yes
5G Yes
Supports 4G in India (Band 40) Yes
SIM 2
SIM Type Nano-SIM
GSM/CDMA GSM
3G Yes
4G/ LTE Yes
Supports 4G in India (Band 40) Yes
Sensors
In-Display Fingerprint Sensor Yes
Compass/ Magnetometer Yes
Proximity sensor Yes
Accelerometer Yes
Ambient light sensor Yes
Gyroscope Yes

IN THE BOX

  • Vivo V21 5G Handset
  • Vivo FlashCharger
  • Protective Case
  • Type C Data Cable
  • SIM Ejector Tool
  • Earphone Jack Adapter
  • Wired Earphones
  • Warranty card and User Manuals

DESIGN & DISPLAY

Vivo V21 Design

The design of the Vivo V21 5G is what the Vivo V20 Pro 5G has been with some subtle differences. As they both share the same core design ethos, the Vivo V21 5G has an Anti-Glare coating with the same satin finish that you might’ve seen in our review of the Vivo X60 Pro. This helps not to surface the fingerprints and smudges easily. As its rear panel is flat which counts under the advantage of gripping the device.

The Vivo V21 comes in three colour variants:- Sunset Dazzle, Dusk Blue and Arctic White. For our review period, we are rocking the Sunset Dazzle colour of it. Due to its dual-tone design, it emits rainbow-like colours when light strikes the panel which looks gorgeous. The construction of the back panel and frame is made up of plastic which is a downgrade in the build quality of the smartphone. The plastic quality feels durable and doesn’t feel cheap at all.

At just 177 grams, the Vivo V21 keeps up to the legacy of being a lightweight device just like other iterations of this V-series. My wrist appreciated that it never felt bulky and chunky during single hand operations. With a thickness of 7.38mm, it feels very thin which makes it convenient to slide it into the pockets. The sacrifice of the headphone jack is compulsive to keep this device thin.

Elsewhere, the essentials are on point. On the right, it boasts a textured power button and volume rockers which delivers pretty tactile feedback. On the bottom, there is a Standard USB Type C Port along with a mono speaker to its right, a noise cancellation mic and a SIM Tray Slot on its left. On the top, it boasts a secondary noise cancellation mic and the left is bare. The SIM Tray Slot shares a SIM Card slot which means either you can use two SIMs or one SIM and one memory expansion.

Over to the display, it tops off with a 6.44 inches Super AMOLED Display with a 90hz refresh rate. With a full HD resolution display along with HDR10+ certification, you’ll keep cherishing your Binge sessions. The bathtub notch of the Vivo V20 Pro has now replaced with a waterdrop notch in the Vivo V21 which won’t annoy while Netflix sessions. This display excels in reproducing vibrant colours with a peak brightness of up to 500 nits which is bright enough for outdoor conditions with an aspect ratio of 20:9 and a density of 409ppi.

It has an in-display fingerprint sensor that is accurate but not as fast as a physical fingerprint scanner. With that, Vivo does provide three profiles for colour calibration of display i.e, Standard, Bright and Professional. If you prefer watching movies then we’ll suggest you switch on ‘Bright’ mode.

PERFORMANCE

The Vivo V21 5G is powered by the Mediatek Dimensity 800U chipset which offers a clock speed of up to 2.4 GHz with a futureproofing of 5G connectivity. It is coupled with 2 storage configurations:-8GB RAM+128GB ROM and 8GB RAM+256GB ROM. The graphics duties are handled by Mali-G57 MC3, we haven’t encountered any issues in jumping between various applications, day-to-day media consumption and browsing social media apps.

The Mediatek Dimensity 800U is based on the 7nm Processor which is a tweaked version of Dimensity 800 with better overclocking speeds, storage but also a little weaker in the department of GPU if compared to Dimensity 800. It also comes up with the Virtual 3GB RAM which allocates 3GB from Internal storage and uses it as Virtual RAM. 

We ran various benchmarks tests on this device; In Antutu Benchmark, it scored 344802 which is more than what we’ve got in Vivo V20 Pro which is powered by Snapdragon 765G. In Geekbench 5, it scored 589 in Single-Core and 1689 in Multi-Score. It also has the support for Widevine L1 which makes it eligible to stream HD content on various OTT platforms.

In the CPU Throttling Test, the CPU throttled to 88% to its max performance. We played many games on this device like Asphalt 9, Alto Adventure, COD Mobile and Genshin Impact and the device managed to pull it off smoothly without frame drops. We’ve encountered various lags and heating issues while intensive gaming and capturing photos.

CAMERA

This device was advertised as having the world’s first 44MP OIS selfie camera. Apart from that, the Vivo V21 rear camera setup is quite similar to Vivo V20 Pro. It houses 3 cameras: 64MP Primary Sensor,8MP Ultra Wide Angle Lens and 2MP Macro Lens. It comes with several modes i.e, High Resolution, Panorama, Live Photo, Slo-mo, Time-Lapse, Pro, AR Stickers, Doc, Double Exposure etc.

The primary camera can capture images with sharp details while emitting natural colours in good lighting conditions. Earlier, there were some focusing issues in the Portrait mode which were now fixed by an OTA update. As for night mode, it holds a tendency to capture some sharp and appealing picture when there’s not enough light in the picture.

Capturing photos from an ultrawide camera doesn’t reproduce a similar colour profile as the primary one does. Sometimes, It fails while maintaining the exposure. But that’s not the case with the Primary Sensor. Hence, I’ll recommend you to use an ultrawide angle lens only when needed to capture an extra field of view.

Speaking of the Macro sensor, it fades the colour away and has focusing issues. Results from it produce digital noise, unsharp images which don’t seem pleasant. Hence, what I felt while reviewing this device is that the camera hardware is capable enough, all it’s required is some software finishing so that the ultrawide sensor can capture better pictures. As I’ve reviewed the Vivo V20 Pro, it carries the same specification but software processing is not so polished right now.

Selfies that are captured from this device hold a great number of sharp details and maintain a natural balance, they look more close to nature. It perfectly maintains the exposure level and a good dynamic range while reproducing rich colours. As soon as you get into the dark, the Dual LED light at the front gets you covered with that too.

Talking about the front where this device got its focus:-a 44MP OIS selfie camera. Due to the OIS selfie camera, this makes it an easy recommendation while shooting stabilized video for vlogging as well. It supports Eye Focus as well which makes sure the human subject should remain in focus. Shooting videos from both cameras at the same time can be done easily on this device which also counts as a perk for vloggers.

SOFTWARE & BATTERY

During our initial review period, this device received 3 OTA Updates as of now; Vivo V21 5G runs on Funtouch OS 11.1 which is based on Android 11. This software includes various bloatware which can be uninstalled and which can’t be uninstalled i.e, Moj, Dailyhunt, PhonePe, Snapchat are the apps which can be uninstalled easily but Hot Games, Hot Apps and Vivo based application which occupies up the unnecessary space in the device.

As I’ve praised a lot in my older reviews about the Funtouch OS delivering a stock like experience, it remains to stand on that place:- It’s snappy, it has various customisation features to tickle on and it doesn’t spam your notification centre with weird advertisements like some of the devices does.

The Vivo V21 5G packs in a 4000 mAh battery which supports 33 Watt Fast Charging which can charge up to the device from 0% to 63% in 30 minutes as advertised by the brand. As per our testing period, the device reached from 0% to 54% in 30 minutes and completed 0% to 100% in 68 minutes. In our usage, the device offered a battery backup which can easily last for a day, which included 6-7 hours of Screen on Time including Playing games, Browsing the internet and social media apps, Fair camera usage with moderate binge-watching on it where the refresh rate has been set constantly to 90HZ.

THE UNBIASED VERDICT

The Vivo V21 5G comes in three colours:- Sunset Melody, Dusk Blue and Arctic White with two storage configurations:- 8GB RAM+128GB  ROM for Rs.29,990 and 8GB RAM+256GB ROM for Rs.32,990.

The Vivo V21 5G targets a different niche where if you are someone who is looking for a device that can capture stealthier selfies with stabilised vlogging capabilities, a Super AMOLED 90Hz display, a beautiful design with some build quality compromises and a stock like a user experience, then this device is for you.

However, the Vivo V21 is a refreshed version of V20 Pro with some minor changes which is not enough to keep the competition to pull down with the competitors like Xiaomi Mi 11X, iQOO 7 and OnePlus 9R. But indeed, if you are someone for whom a selfie camera and gorgeous looks and display matters; Then Vivo V21 should be your choice.

Disclaimer: We tested the Vivo V21 5G (8GB+256GB) as our primary device on Airtel 4G VoLTE network for a week. It was tested thoroughly by our team members – Anmol Bhatia. All our reviews are unbiased and are published without the brand getting to read them before you guys. We don’t change our reviews on pressure from brands and that’s the reason we are not sent review units from companies like Samsung, OnePlus, and a few more.

Well with that said, do let us know your opinions on this post Vivo V21 5G – The Unbiased Review: by dropping a comment down below.

By Anmol Bhatia

20 | Capture Eye Candy Shots while writing about gadgets | Keen interest in TECH since childhood.

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