Vivo wants to change the smartphone game with the Vivo X21, the company’s latest flagship in India. Most flagship smartphones these days come with the fingerprint sensor either on the back or below the screen. The X21, however, has the fingerprint scanner underneath the screen. This is a unique feature that will certainly help the Vivo X21 to stand out from the competition. Vivo X21 has been priced at Rs 35,990, and will be made available through Flipkart and the company’s own online store starting today. I tried the Vivo X21 briefly at the launch event, and here is my first impression of the smartphone.
Vivo X21 first impressions: It’s all about the “invisible” fingerprint sensor
Ever since Vivo demonstrated the X20 UD with an in-display fingerprint sensor technology at CES 2018 earlier this year, I had been wanting to try the phone. My hopes were shattered when the company announced that the device will only be made available in China. Vivo, however, soon introduced the X21 UD – the successor to the X20 UD. In India and other countries, Vivo X21 UD is available as the X21, but features the same in-display fingerprint scanner, and specifications as the original model that went on sale in China in March.
Vivo has worked closely with a sensor company named Synaptics to add the Clear ID in-display fingerprint sensor inside the Vivo X21. During my brief time spent with the phone, I found the sensor to be accurate and fast to use. The sensor is actually “invisible” and there is no physical button that needs to be pressed to unlock the device. If, by chance, the fingerprint sensor does not work properly, you can always rely on a facial recognition feature to unlock the device.
Vivo X21 is a decent looking smartphone with a glass back. However, there’s nothing different about the overall design. The device reminded me of the OnePlus 6, to be honest. Like many smartphones launched this year, the X21 sports an Apple iPhone X-like notch at the top of its 6.28-inch FHD+ 19:9 AMOLED screen. The smartphone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor and has 6GB of RAM and 128GB of non-expandable storage, which should mean a good overall performance.
The phone has a 3200mAh battery and runs FunTouch 4.0 UI which is based on Android 8.1 Oreo. Vivo X21 has dual pixel sensors for both rear and front cameras, and features artificial intelligence scene recognition. In my little time spent, both front and back cameras seemed to take nice shots, despite the low-light setting.
Vivo X21 first impressions: Early outlook
In-screen fingerprint sensors have been in development for years, but smartphone vendors have not been able to perfect the technology. Apple and Samsung are both speculated to work on the solution, but neither of the companies found success. Vivo, for that matter, managed to include an in-screen fingerprint scanner underneath the screen. The question is, will you buy the Vivo X21 only for the in-screen fingerprint sensor? Well, that’s a tricky question to answer.