Vivo Y21L Review: Not the Best Choice of Affordable Smartphone

(Last Updated On: July 31, 2018)

Vivo entered the Indian market in 2014. In 2015, the Chinese electronics major set up a plant in Noida, UP, and joined the Make in India bandwagon to cater to the domestic demand in India. Vivo is one smartphone company that lives by its commitment to offer quality products to its valued customers. However, the Vivo story has been slightly confusing. Many high-end phones from the company fail to please the audiences, while many of its mainstream phones perform better than expected.

In August 2016, the Vivo Y21L smartphone was launched, packed with 4G VoLTE technology, in India. Vivo Y21L was the successor of the Y21. In comparison with its predecessor, Y21L does flaunt better software and a bigger battery.

The phone immediately grabbed eyeballs, since it came from a highly reputed global brand but was priced quite low. The smartphone was made available at an affordable price of around ?7,000 for the Indian customer. Buyers get to choose from White and Grey colour variants of this device.

Related: Check out Vivo Nex review here.

The major highlight of the smartphone was the Smart Wake feature that lets you trigger apps in standby mode by drawing letters on the screen and Smart Click that lets you bring up customized features or apps using the volume key. The phone also boasts unique features like Palm Capture, which lets you click more short, detailed and vivid images, and Voice Capture, using which you can click a photo just by saying the word “Cheese.”

So far, the phone has managed to gather a positive response from the Indian audience due to its small form factor, cool features, comfort in carrying and good camera. But, after almost two years of its launch, is Vivo Y21L is still a worthy choice? Does the phone can still compete with the latest smartphones in the market? Let’s find out.


The Vivo Y21L is a dual SIM (GSM and GSM) smartphone that accepts a regular SIM in both slots. The device features a 4.50-inch touchscreen display with resolution of 854 X 480 pixels. The phone weighs 145 gm and measures 130.70 x 66.40 x 9.20 mm.

The Y21L is powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core processor paired with 1GB of RAM and 16GB internal storage that is expandable up to 128GB via a microSD card. The phone runs on the Android 5.1 Lollipop-based Funtouch OS v2.5. It is fuelled by a 2000mAh removable battery.

The smartphone features a 5-megapixel sensor on the rear and a 2-megapixel front sensor. Its connectivity options include GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, FM, USB OTG, 3G and 4G. The sensors on the Vivo Y21L include the proximity sensor, accelerometer, compass/magnetometer and ambient light sensor.

Technical Features

Screen Size: 4.5 inch

Display Resolution: 854 X 480 pixels.

Processor: 1.2GHz quad-core processor

OS: Android 5.1 Lollipop-based Funtouch OS v2.5

Battery: 2000mAh


Front Camera: 2 MP

Rear Camera: 5 MP

Display and Looks

The Vivo Y21L is a visual delight. I found the design of the smartphone hard to resist. The back cover flaunts an exquisite varnish coating. What I like most is the beautiful double-chin design on the front that takes the appearance to an altogether new level. Its curved structure makes it great to hold in the palm.

The smartphone features a 4.5-inch IPS LCD display with a  resolution of 480 x 854 pixels. Needlesss to say, in comparison with recent smartphones, the screen size and display are very small. However, its 145gm weight and dimensions of 130.7 (H) x 66.4 (W) x 9.2 (T) mm makes it an extremely comfortable device to carry around and use.

Performance and Battery

Under the hood, the Vivo Y21L is armed with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916 1.2GHz quad-core processor, with 1GB of RAM and an Adreno 306 GPU. The specifications are definitely average for a smartphone in the price range this one comes at. However, the processor largely helps in achieving great data speeds on a 4G network, which can help you browse the internet or watch your favourite movies and videos uninterruptedly.

Having said that, for its price, it does come with great internal storage. The Vivo Y21L features 16GB of internal storage that can be expanded up to 128GB, using a microSD card. Even with the staggering 16GB of ROM, one can store more than 2,000 songs or the same number of photos. The device runs on the Android v5.1 (Lollipop) operating system.

Camera and Apps

The Chinese smartphone maker has always made an effort to grab a big piece of the selfie craze through its front camera marketed as providing the perfect selfie. The Vivo Y21L comes with a 5MP camera on the rear, with autofocus and LED flash. For selfies, the phone features a 2MP camera front camera. However, the cameras are nothing compared what Vivo has started introducing in its latest smartphones. For instance, the Vivo Y55L and Y71i, Y53 and Y53i come with a 8MP primary camera and 5 MP front shooter, all of which are priced less than ?10,000.


As I mentioned earlier, Vivo Y21L is priced at ?7,000 for the Indian market. No doubt, the smartphone can be easily afforded by a large number of Indians. However, that certainly doesn’t mean that they should invest in this good-looking device with average camera and display, that doesn’t have something outstanding in store for users.

Reasons Why I Like This Phone

  1. Good Battery Backup
  2. 4G connectivity
  3. Good internal storage

Reasons Why I Hate This Phone

  1. Poor Camera Quality
  2. Poor Display
  3. Old operating system

Vivo Y21L comes with average features and specifications. The phone is suitable for users who are only interested in smooth operation of their day to day work. This phone is a big NO for those who are want to perform more powerful tasks with their smartphone. There are so many smartphones with much better features and functionalities in the Y21L’s price range that it seems a waste to invest in this phone.

Looking for other options? Here are the best mobiles phones in India today.