Vivo is a relatively unknown brand in these latitudes since it was only a year ago that they began their official landing in the Pakistan market.
Vivo comes with a truly different new proposal with which it focuses on selfie fans and TikTok regulars, betting on a front camera that promises to improve the quality of selfies. We analyze the Vivo V21 5G and give you our opinion.
However, its first models have been very well received, and the brand does not seem willing to loosen its strategy. The last to reach our hands has been the Vivo V21 5G, a mobile that stands out from its competitors by offering a stabilized selfie camera and a very careful design.
The proposal is not unreasonable because, according to various market studies, the majority of photos that are taken and shared daily are selfies. If we apply this to a 399-euro mobile, the result is a sweet treat for the youngest that allows them to take selfies and videos with a front camera that many would envy in its rear camera.
|Screen||AMOLED 6.44 inches (2,404 x 1,080 pixels) | 90 Hz | HDR10 +|
|Processor||MediaTek Dimensity 800U | Mali G57 MP3|
|RAM memory and storage||8 GB LPDDR4X | 128 GB | UFS 2.2 | micro SD|
|Rear cameras||Main: 64 Mpx f / 1.79 | Wide angle: 8 Mpx f / 2.2 | Macro: 2 Mpx f / 2.4|
|Frontal camera||44 Mpx | f / 2.0|
|Battery||4,000 mAh | fast charge 33 W|
|Android||Android 11 with Funtouch OS 11.1|
|Connectivity||5G | WiFi 5 (802.11 ac) | Bluetooth 5.1 | NFC | USB-C | Gps|
|Dimensions and weight||159.68 x 73.9 x 7.29 mm | 176 grams|
The brand’s name is present in the lower-left corner, while in the upper one there is a rectangular camera module that rises on two levels, maintaining the straight and minimalist lines of the rest of the terminal.
It is not a module that protrudes excessively and is protected when the transparent silicone case that is included with the smartphone is installed.
The buttons are located on the right side and almost blend in with the chassis due to their flat profile. We have a power button with a textured finish to differentiate it to the touch and, just above, the volume buttons located, in my opinion, a little high.
The rest of the outline is free of any element except a microphone at the top, while all the connectivity is concentrated at the bottom.
Here we find the only mono speaker of the terminal, the USB C connector, and the hybrid tray for two nanoSIM cards or a nanoSIM card and a microSD card.
As its name suggests, a 5G SIM can be installed and it has WiFi 5 connectivity, Bluetooth 5.1, NFC for mobile payments, and GPS. In short, more than complete equipment for day to day.
Its single speaker delivers just enough power to cover the record, with an almost total absence of bass and a somewhat low volume.
On the front, we find a flat-screen surrounded by frames that are no more than correct and grow slightly at the bottom with a somewhat wider chin. The drop-type notch located at the top that serves as a housing for the front camera stands out.
Perfectly camouflaged in the upper frame of the screen we find the call speaker, punctuated by two hidden flashes that will serve to improve the lighting of the selfies.
In short, the design is one of the keys in this Vivo V21 5G and it is reflected in a very good experience of use in hand and a rear does not catch the fingerprints.
AMOLED and 90 Hz that perform very well on a day-to-day basis
One of the phenomena that do not go unnoticed in the latest launches of the mid-range is that these mobiles come very well equipped as far as the screen is concerned.
In this case, we have a 6.44-inch AMOLED screen with a Full HD + resolution of 2,404 x 1,080 pixels and a refresh rate of 90 Hz.
On paper, it is a screen that is becoming common in many mid-range models for offering very good results. It has a more than correct color representation when configured with the Professional setting.
Regarding the screen refresh rate, the best choice is to adjust it with the Automatic change option , which changes between 60 Hz and 90 Hz depending on the content, balancing battery savings with a smoother user experience. .
The level of brightness seemed adequate to us outdoors, although the automatic brightness sensor has not always reacted with the intensity that it would have liked to be somewhat stingy with the brightness.
Our measurements confirm what our eyes intuited, an average brightness of 824.6 lux that provides good visibility outdoors.
This brightness above 800 lux allows the Vivo V21 5G to represent a more than decent HDR, being compatible with the dynamic metadata standard HDR10 +.
Density 800U performs very well, but something is not well optimized
If we look under the hood of this Vivo V21 5G we will find one of the new MediaTek Dimensity 800U processors that offers a good balance between good performance, content energy consumption and 5G connectivity.
The MediaTek processor has performed very well in terms of performance on a day-to-day basis, seamlessly solving the use of several apps simultaneously in multitasking and moving the interface fluently.
We have been able to play very demanding games with the processor without problems and the Density 800U has kept the kind of stoic form, although we have had to lower the graphical requirement a bit. Not everything has been lighted in our experience, we have also encountered important shadows.
In certain games like Asphalt 9 we have found a somewhat lazier behavior, showing some lag. Something similar has happened to us browsing with Chrome, where it was frozen when scrolling or opening new pages.
The fact of being a very punctual behavior and with very specific apps, tells us that it is not a lack of processor power , but that we are facing a problem of optimization of resources by the software.
|I live V21 5G||OnePlus Nord CE 5G||Oppo Find X3 Lite 5G|
|Processor||Density 800U||SD 750G||SD 765G||Density 800U|
|Geekbench 4 Single||2,837||2,864||2,813||–|
|Geekbench 4 Multi||6,907||6,754||7,225||–|
|Geekbench 5 Single||589||637||603||601|
|Geekbench 5 Multi||1,699||1,827||1708||1,794|
|3D Mark Wild Life||1,610 | 9.60 fps||1,114 | 6.70 fps||–||–|
This random power loss behavior is also found in the Vivo Y70 mounted on the Snapdragon 665, which confirms our theory of a lack of resource optimization by the software when running certain apps. Its operation the rest of the time is simply flawless.
In addition, it controls the temperature well and after a while squeezing the performance of its integrated Mali G57 MP3 GPU to the maximum with games like Genshin Impac t, the rear remained cool, although it is also true that this title runs with a low graphics setting.
The Vivo V21 5G that stars in this analysis has 8 GB of RAM and reserves an additional 3 GB in storage memory to create virtual RAM with which to expand the capacity of the terminal.
8GB is already a good base, so most users may never need that extra memory. In any case, welcome.
We have a storage capacity of 128 GB with UFS 2.2 technology and the possibility of expanding that capacity with a micro SD card. So storage shouldn’t be a problem on this terminal.
|I live V21 5G||OnePlus Nord CE 5G||Oppo Find X3 Lite||Redmi Note 9T|
|Sequential write||255, 85 MB / s||350.04 MB / s||317.89 MB / s||307.97 MB / s|
|Sequential reading||727.75 MB / s||468.26 MB / s||773 MB / s||692 MB / s|
|Random write||24.53 MB / s||4.50 MB / s||20.19 MB / s||17.73 MB / s|
|Random read||14.98 MB / s||16.77 MB / s||18.24 MB / s||16.74 MB / s|
|Memory copy speed||5.19 GB / s||5.56 GB / s||5.91 GB / s||5.29GB / s|
Except for specific performance problems, the truth is that the operating system has remained very fluid during the time that the test has lasted.
The Vivo V21 5G comes with FunTouch OS 11.1 based on Android 11. This layer of customization is very light, although we could not say that it maintains the line of stock Android ROMs because Vivo has applied a good dose of customization with its own settings and additions aimed at gesture control.
Highlight, for example, the customization options for system animations (fingerprint recognition, charging, USB connection, on or off, etc.). There is also an Ultra games mode that adjusts the behavior of the mobile when playing games.
It has two biometric security modes formed by an on-screen fingerprint sensor and a facial recognition system. Both work brilliantly, responding almost immediately to unlock the terminal.
By wearing the mask, so necessary in these times, the fingerprint takes on a leading role. Facial recognition is not far behind allowing the terminal to be unlocked even in complete darkness by intensifying the brightness of the screen.
Stabilized cameras that put the focus on selfies
The main claim of the Vivo V21 5G is to incorporate a stabilized selfie camera that promises to offer features that we would expect to find on the back of a smartphone, but never on the front.
It is a risky bet, but it also has nothing to lose because the cameras on the rear do not deviate too much from what we expect to find in a mid-range mobile.
The Vivo camera app stands out for its simplicity of use, although this can sometimes cause a certain confusion because some options are hidden behind icons that would not correspond to it anyway.
An example is found when activating the ultra-wide-angle camera. The main camera shows two icons at the bottom of the viewfinder that activate 1x and 2x zoom. Anyone would expect a third icon to activate the wide-angle in this place.
However, the Lens menu must be displayed to find it alongside the Bokeh options for background blur and Super Macro mode.
As usual, from this link, you can download the original files as they came from the smartphone of the samples that we show you below.
|Sensors||Opening and stabilization|
|Rear||64 Mpx | 1 / 1.72 ”sensor | 0.7 μm||f / 1.79 | OIS + EIS|
|Macro: 2 Mpx | 1/5 ”sensor | 1.75 μm||f / 2.4|
|Ultra wide angle: 8 Megapixels | 120 ° | 1.12 μm | 1 / 1.40 ”sensor||f / 2.2|
|Frontal||44 Mpx | Sensor 1 / 2.65 ”| 0.7 μm||f / 2.0 | OIS + EIS|
As expected, the best photographic results have been obtained with the stabilized 64 Mpx rear camera. Even so, the experience has not been without points to improve.
One of them is color processing, which even in bright sunlight finds it difficult to find an intermediate point between photos with skies and vegetation with too saturated colors in some shots, and very washed and flat colors in others. When you get it right, the dynamic range is widened, improving the end result.
We have also encountered some focusing problems , in which after pressing several times on the exact point where the focus should be set, in the end it went free and focused on the background, forcing the shot to be repeated several times.
HDR is applied subtly but efficiently. Instead of choosing to wash the images, he applies it in a timely manner when the dark areas reach a certain level to rescue detail.
Vivo applies the same color profile in the wide-angle camera as in the main one, creating a more homogeneous treatment of colors between them.
Although the lack of resolution of the sensor is accused by reducing the sharpness at the ends of the photo, the lens is well corrected and maintains straight lines in almost the entire scene, except in the corners where it pulls a little more of them, slightly deforming the image.
Having a 64 Mpx camera and combining it with an angle gives a lot of play when it comes to applying to crop and making a digital zoom.
In this case, the Vivo V21 5G offers a 2X digital zoom directly from the camera interface. On a quality level, this two-fold zoom keeps type well and image settings respect textures.
Going beyond that 2x digital zoom is already heading into a sharp decline in sharpness. Something similar happens with the Macro lens that, with only 2 Mpx, does not offer enough quality to be taken into account, and we recommend using the 2X zoom to get a little closer to the object.
One of the modes that have surprised us the most in this Vivo V21 5G has been the Night mode and the good balance obtained between eliminating noise and maintaining the original textures of the scene.
It also does an excellent job with white balance and highlight control (such as streetlights and bright spots), preventing areas of the image from being burned out and maintaining sharpness around it rather than underexposing the entire photo.
And we come to one of the key points in this model: the selfies. The truth is that the behavior of the front camera has been much better than what we can find in any other mobile on the market.
Sadly, don’t expect to find the same quality you’d get from taking a portrait with the rear camera. Again, the culprit is, to a large extent, image processing, which either applies tones that are too washed out to “soften” the skin, or directly burns the scene by not exposing it correctly.
When it is correct, the front camera manages to maintain the detail of the skins, but leaves a halo on the contour of the face that makes it less natural.
At night we get results as surprising as we saw in the rear camera.
With hardly any light, and armed with a good pulse, it is capable of offering selfies with amazing clarity and brightness. If we also help ourselves with the integrated lighting modes, formed by the lighting on the screen and the double front flash, the results are unprecedented even for high-end mobiles.
The front lighting system is active for both photos and video, achieving good results even in really dark environments.
Without leaving the video section, the Vivo V21 5G allows you to record video in 4K and 30 fps with good quality, but we must renounce the stabilizer that is reserved only for 1080p resolution at 30 fps.
4,000 mAh may fall short, but it’s well-optimized
At a time when it is normal for mobile phones in the price range of 400 euros to find batteries between 4,500 mAh and 5,000 mAh, finding a 4,000 mAh battery is shown as a sign of weakness.
In a way it is true. The Vivo V21 5G has a battery with less capacity than its rivals. However, that has not prevented it from obtaining a more than honorable 6 and a half hours of screen, which also does not distance it so much from its rivals.
These values were obtained by making intermediate use of messaging apps, mail, and social networks with some games in the dead times.
All this with automatic brightness, connected to a WiFi network most of the time and playing streaming music for a few hours from a Bluetooth headset.
With this profile of use we have managed to reach the end of the day without major problems and with some battery, although night charging is inevitable.
The load is also within the middle of its range. It includes a 33 W charger that allows you to recover 50% of its charge in 23 minutes and completes 100% of the cycle in just 65 minutes.
We think the Vivo V21 5G does very efficient battery management. It is true that it continues to be less capable than its rivals, but thanks to this it is able to maintain a slim silhouette and a very contained weight.
A balanced and affordable mobile for selfie lovers
We put an end to this analysis with the conclusions about the Vivo V21 5G and it is that this is a smartphone that does not leave indifferent.
It is a mobile with a very youthful spirit that exudes style with a very differential and careful design, focusing on the selfie.
The battery, although a priori somewhat scarce, has given good samples of optimization, equating itself to the rest of the mid-range with times close to those obtained by models with a higher capacity battery, but with the advantage of carrying less weight on top and with a slimmer design.
The that the Vivo V21 5G costs make its price somewhat high if we consider that it comes out for the same 59,999.00Rs of the OnePlus Nord 2 5G – analysis -, which offers superior equipment, or that the most complete version of the real me GT Master Edition – review – which is also on sale for 59,999.00 Rupees with a performance well above.