Vivo V21 5G review: Feature-rich camera phone

Vivo V21 5G review: Stylish phone with feature-rich camera

Vivo earlier in the year launched the new generation V21 series mid-range phone in India.

It is available in two configurations-- 8GB RAM + 128GB storage and 8GB RAM + 256GB storage-- Rs 29,990 and Rs 32,990, respectively. 

I used the Vivo V21 5G for quite some time and here are my thoughts on the V20 successor.

Design, display and build quality:
Vivo has carried forward the refined design language of the V20 series into the new model.

Our review unit is the Dusk Blue model. Though it looks very similar to the predecessor, I have no complaints. Why ditch the winning formula? The V21 looks gorgeous in the sunlight and offers a premium hand-feel experience. It is slim and easy for the fingers to hold on to the device firmly.

Also, the company is offering with transparent shell cover, which protects the device from accidental falls and also keeps the visual appeal of the phone untarnished.

Vivo also offers V21 5G in two other colours--Sunset Dazzle, and Arctic White. They are also good.

Vivo V21 5G sports a  6.44-inch full HD+ (2404 ×1080p) AMOLED screen with a pixel density of 409 ppi (pixels per inch) and offers up to peak brightness of 800 nits brightness,  90Hz refresh rate, and support HDR 10+. On top of, the company has pre-fitted a layer of screen guard to protect against scratches.

Vivo V21 5G. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

The screen is bright and I had no trouble reading news on the screen outdoors in broad daylight. While watching the multimedia content, it manages to produce vibrant colours and darker shades of black to a good extent, on par with rival brands in its class.

It also features an in-screen fingerprint sensor and hybrid dual-SIM slots (nano SIM-1 + nano SIM-1 or microSD card). The functional biometric sensor on the display near the base is a bit small compared to others.  Three out of seven times, it fails to recognise the impression and give a false negative. 

Inside, it houses a 7nm class MediaTek Dimensity 800U (MT6873V) octa-core (2 x 2.4 GHz Cortex-A76 +  6 x 2.0 GHz Cortex-A55) CPU backed by Mali-G57 MC3 graphics engine, 8GB LPDDR4x RAM, Android 11-based Funtouch OS 11.1, and 128GB / 256GB (UFS 2.2) storage (expandable up to 256GB). 

The phone works smoothly without much fuss in terms of day-to-day activities. Even while playing games such as Asphalt 9: Legends, it fares well. On Geekbench 5.0, it scored 602 and 1816 points on single-core and multi-core tests, respectively.

It ships with a 4,000mAh battery. It lasts a full day under normal usage that includes internet browsing, operating the camera and playing a session of a game or an hour of video binging.

Also, it is a good practice to download episodes of a TV series or a movie via Wi-Fi and watch them offline. This will help in reducing the battery consumption while watching from OTT apps. 

The phone comes with a 33W charger and it takes a little over one hour to fully charge the device from zero to 100 per cent. For 30 minutes of charging, it can go from zero to more than 60 per cent of the battery capacity.

With 5G support, Vivo V21 can offer peak download speed up to 2.7Gbps, but only when the advanced cellular network infrastructure gets ready in India.

It boasts a triple camera module-- 64MP (f/1.79, OIS: Optical Image Stabilisation) backed by an  8MP 119-degree ultra-wide-angle lens (f/2.2, also offer portrait mode) and a 2MP macro camera (f/2.4) with LED flash. 

Vivo V21 5G camera sample. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

The V21 takes fantastic photos in almost all aspects. In the natural sunlight, the photos come off really great with fine details and near-accurate colours.

Vivo V21 5G camera sample. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

I'm particularly impressed with Night mode pictures. The phone does an excellent job of capturing the natural colours of the subject even in the darkness. In this case, the street light on coconut tree leaves has been taken perfectly. The grey sky looks with clouds look great in the background.

Vivo V21 5G camera sample taken in the night with LED flash on. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

It can take high resolution 4K videos at 30fps (frames per second and also full HD 1080p at 30fps.

Vivo V21 5G camera sample with night mode on. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

On the front, it features 44MP (f/2.0) snapper, supports OIS, 4K video recording, and boasts a dedicated dual-LED flash. 

Vivo V21 5G camera sample. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

The interesting aspect of the V21 5G is the ingenious placement of two well-hidden LED flashlights one each on the right and left side on the top. It helps the camera get the best selfies at low-light and even in pitch darkness. This is by far best the best front camera on a phone in the Rs 40,000 segment.

Vivo V21 5G. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

Final thoughts
Vivo has done a fantastic job with the V21 5G series. It has crafted a gorgeous slim phone and incorporated stellar photography hardware that excels in almost all aspects. I am particularly impressed with the Night mode pictures, which are on par with premium phones costing more than Rs 50,000.

It works super smooth in terms of day-to-day tasks and even fares well when playing graphics-intense games too. Overall, it is a well-packaged mid-range phone. 

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