Vivo X21 Review: The First Invisible Fingerprint Scanner Phone in India

(Last Updated On: July 23, 2018)

Vivo-X21-IndiaThe first smartphone to feature an in-display fingerprint scanner in India, the Vivo X21 was launched in the Indian markets in March 2018 at a price of ?34,000. In fact, Vivo is the first smartphone maker in the world to use this technology in a smartphone.

There are more reasons to like the Vivo X21 than to dislike it, but…there might be better options if you’re shopping for a better phone.

Although the X21 is the first smartphone with this technology in India, it was the Vivo X20 that was the world’s first phone with an in-display fingerprint sensor. And, the X20’s in-display fingerprint technology was a result of Vivo’s collaboration with Synaptics, a US-based sensor maker. X20 Plus UD was released in China in January 2018 and is expected to be launched in India in August 2018.

Vivo X21 features a 6.28-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 1080×2280 pixels. The dimensions of Vivo X21 are 154.50 x 74.80 x 7.40 mm, with the phone weighing 156.20 gm. This dual SIM phone is powered by a 2.2GHz octa-core processor, coupled with 6GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal storage, expandable up to 256GB via a microSD card.

Powered by a 3200mAh non-removable battery, the smartphone runs on Android 8.1. For all selfie lovers, Vivo X21 features a 12-megapixel primary camera and an equally powerful 12-megapixel selfie shooter. The device offers connectivity options like Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, USB OTG, 3G and 4G. It comes loaded with sensors like the proximity sensor, accelerometer, compass/magnetometer, ambient light sensor and gyroscope.


Technical Features

Display size: 6.28 inch
Screen resolution: 2280 x 1080 pixels
Front Camera: 12MP
Rear Camera: 12 MP
Dual Rear Camera: 5 MP
Dimensions: 154.5 x 74.8 x 7.4
Battery: 3200mAh

Display and Looks

Let me confess that this 7.5 mm thick phone is one of the best looking, vibrant and professionally designed smartphones I have seen in recent times. The full HD+ display, which comes with minimal bezel, is extremely beautiful. I fell in love with the sleek design, shiny black panel, all black aluminum frame, glass rear panel and tapered edges, which give this smartphone its premium look and make it very comfortable to hold.


Vivo X21 features an AMOLED (active-matrix organic light-emitting diode) screen that is ideal for larger, higher definition viewing, almost like watching television or a laptop in terms of sharp colours. Always-on-display is a very important feature of Vivo X21’s screen that shows the time, date and battery status, notifications, missed calls and messages by default, even with a locked screen.

The 6.28-inch display with 19:9 aspect ratio is much better than all other smartphones available in the market today. Underneath this display lies the real surprise, the fingerprint sensor. This has been an accomplishment for Vivo, since big brands like Apple and Samsung haven’t released any phones with under-display fingerprint scanner yet!

The fingerprint icon will always be visible, even when the screen is turned off (even in direct sunlight), to let user know where to place the finger to unlock the phone.

The notch in front of this phone resembles the iPhone X and contains the speaker grille and selfie camera. When you’ll turn this smartphone around, you’ll find the dual rear camera with LED flash, which help you get a sharper image with more details.

Camera and Apps

Vivo’s smartphone USP is the ability of its devices to capture great selfies, both indoors and outdoors, and the Vivo X21 is no exception. As I mentioned in the display section, Vivo X21 boasts a dual rear camera setup. It has a 12MP f/1.8 primary camera with phase detection autofocus, assisted by a 5MP f/2.4 secondary camera. The front camera is 12MP, with an f/2.0 lens. The camera app in Vivo X21 is simple and similar to an iPhone.

A Vivo phone is incomplete without a beauty mode, which helps remove wrinkles and smoothens the skin to give a flawless look. AR stickers and Live photos are other interesting features of the Vivo X21.

Performance and Battery Life


The X21 is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor, coupled with 6GB of RAM and 128GB internal storage, which can further be expanded up to 256 GB with a microSD card. Due to the immense RAM capacity, editing apps and multitasking during games becomes a cakewalk. The smartphone runs on the Android 8.1 operating system, paired with Google’s customized FunTouch, with all the standard features of this OS.

Just like iPhone X, Vivo X21 too features a gesture mode to ease the use of the smartphone. The UI is simple and easy to use, just like other Vivo models. However, the launcher is pretty basic in this smartphone.

Vivo X21 is the best buy if you are looking for a good music and audio experience. The phone has a mono speaker at the bottom and a “Hi-Fi” DAC on board.

The 3200mAh battery can last for 24 hours on a single charge with medium usage. However, with heavy use, you might have to consider charging this device after 10-12 hours. Don’t worry, with fast charging support, it will not take very long for the device to get fully charged.


The price tag of ?35,990 for this device comes as a major disappointment for a lot of buyers. With such a hefty price tag, Samsung Galaxy A8 and OnePlus 6 with similar RAM capacity and better processors seem like better buys.

Considering the not so special features the smartphone boasts, other than the in-display fingerprint sensor, buyers would have been more happy if the product was priced under ?30,000.

However, reviews by BGR stated that the software in the Vivo Z10 is the biggest disappointment. The phone runs on the Android v7.1.2 (Nougat) operating system, which is neither the latest Android OS not brings all the benefits to the user. In fact, users have reported that the fingerprint sensor does not work properly. However, Vivo Z10 still has a standard fingerprint scanner at the back.

The company has added the face-unlocking feature, which allows users the convenience of unlocking the phone just by staring at it. It saves the user from typing a password or drawing a password every time they want to make a call. However, face unlocking isn’t considered as secure as the fingerprint sensor, though it is very convenient to use.

The battery capacity of 3,225mAh allows the Vivo Z10 10-12 hours of normal calls and messaging, and around 3-4 hours of heavy usage.

Vivo Z10 Price
In India, the Vivo Z10 is priced at ?14,990, making it a mid-range smartphone. However, this phone is restricted to certain markets of South India, including Telangana, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. The rest of India will have to wait for some more time to buy the Vivo Z10. Also, for now, it is only available in brick and mortar stores

Why I Like This Phone

  • Premium looks
  • Customized software Android 8.1 Funtouch
  • Good battery life

Why I Hate This Phone

  • Expensive for the features being offered
  • Fingerprint scanner is slower than the conventional scanner.
  • It comes with a microUSB port, which is very inconvenient.

Should you buy the Vivo X21

Overall, I think the Vivo X21 is a great phone. With its smart features, it can compete head on with any other leading smartphone in the market, like the One Plus 6. If you have the budget for it, definitely go for it. If not, look for other options. Here are other best mobile phones available in India today.