The FIFA World Cup 2018 is coming to an end, and if you paid close attention to the advertisements, you’d realise that FIFA has a smartphone partner, Vivo. And explicitly flashing during the match is the Vivo X21, which is Vivo’s latest flagship smartphone.

Thanks to Vivo, I got to take a look at what their latest smartphone can do. To make it easier to digest, I broke it down to 5 reasons why you should get the Vivo X21.

1. Two Unlocking Technologies 

The Vivo X21 has an In-Display Fingerprint Scanner that works. It’s no gimmick. It works exactly like how I imagined it.


Put your finger on the indicator when your screen is on standby or on the lock screen, and it will unlock.

But it’s not without on and off inaccuracies. Smartphone screens are prone to smudges, which could prevent a smooth unlocking experience. That is what I encountered most of the time.

Another way to gain access to the smartphone, other than conventional methods, is facial recognition, which I enjoyed the most. Called Face Access, Vivo X21’s facial recognition was fast and responsive during my test. Even in the dark, the screen projected sufficient lighting to unlocked it.

2. Cameras

One of the most talk-about functions of smartphones is the cameras. The Vivo X21 has dual rear cameras where one bears the same megapixels as the front-facing camera, 12MP, and the other a 5MP lens. Each of these pixels measures up to 1.28μm, giving you sharper and better image quality.

The quality of the photos was comparable with many of the other bigger brands in the market. The photos looked good when shot in the day. Sure there were issues of over-exposure and over-saturation. However, the same goes for other smartphones in the market. We need to come to terms with the fact that smartphone cameras are not going to replace DSLR anytime soon.

Speaking of DSLR, the Vivo X21 has a Professional Mode for its camera too if you want to adjust the ISO, shutter speed, etc.

The noise was visible on the photos shot at night but it still managed to retain most of its details, which was pleasing to note.

Now let’s talk about the selfie. I loved it. Really. It’s AI-beautiful. You can do your portrait mode to add the blur to the background or beautify yourself with the AI Face Beauty selfie. I like the fact that I can use the beauty mode and adjust the intensity of the flawless skin effect and a sharper jawline for my shots. Don’t judge.

3. AI Game Mode

Distractions get on my nerves especially when I play games on my smartphone. Yes. I don’t always game, but I do dabble here and there, which the review encouraged me to do so. The AI Game Mode stopped incoming calls, message or notifications from popping up on my screen while I enjoy a little gaming time.

The AI Game Mode also has a function called Background Calls, which allowed me to talk to my friend without having to stop the game. However, it’s still a distraction. So drop me a text or an email next time.

4. Battery Life

The Vivo X21 has a 3,200 mAh battery, which I was sceptical at first about how long it can last my usage. After spending my time gaming, emailing, WhatsApping and talking on the phone, I had 20 per cent of juice left by 9 p.m. My day started at 8 a.m. by the way.

5. Audio Quality

Thanks to the AK4376A Hi-Fi audio chip, the sound quality of the music played on the Vivo X21 sounded terrific. It could also be because there’s a 3.5mm HEADPHONE JACK that’s tucked nicely into the 7.37mm thin body.

I don’t usually use earpieces for my entertainment purposes because I don’t want to be tied down by wires and have something stuck in my ears while I consume video content at home. So I was using the mono speaker located below the Vivo X21, which I think is average but it could go pretty loud. Here’s a demo.


All in all, I believe Vivo is on the right track building their smartphones, and it’s amazing to get the first-hand experience to try out the In-Display Fingerprint Scanner though there were some minor annoyances of not working. But when it did work, it felt extra-satisfying.

The cameras were great as expected from a flagship smartphone. Selfie-lovers will thoroughly enjoy the camera that can beautify your face without having to waste storage space for other beauty apps.

AI Game Mode was helpful, battery life deserved a thumbs-up, and the audio quality was satisfying.

I feel that at the price tag of S$799.00, the Vivo X21 is worth paying some attention to and it’s not exorbitant for the specifications and AI technology embedded in it. One thing I have to highlight is that instead of a USB-C, it’s using a USB 2.0. It’s not a deal-breaker for me but it would have been nice to have something more prepared for the future.

Key Specifications

Vivo X21 specs

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