Ever since MediaTek announced their Dimensity Chipsets I’ve always wanted to try a phone with the chip. Today I have with me the Vivo V21 and it’s powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 800U. In this Vivo V21 review, I’m going to tell you all you need to know about this phone and also answer the question, who is it made for.
The Vivo V21 comes in at a selling price of 388 dollars equivalent to 159,000 nairas. but is the price tag justifiable? Especially given that other phones like the Redmi Note 10 Pro and Tecno Camon 17 pro are also available in the market. Well, we are going to go in-depth and compare this phone to other phones that it’s competing to give you a clear understanding of where you might want to spend your money.
The phone has a 64-megapixel primary camera and a 44-megapixel front-facing camera that does quite well. We have a 4000mAh battery here and it can last a whole day. The high refresh rate makes scrolling on the display enjoyable. What are the flaws of this phone? Well, read along if you want to find out. The competition in the midrange segment is getting tougher but does the Vivo V21 stand a chance to compete. check out our Redmi Note 10 review
Here we are breaking down every aspect of the Vivo V21 for you to easily understand what the phone is all about. The Vivo V21 camera is surely one of the most important features here and we will share picture samples in this review. Without wasting time let’s get straight into the review of the Vivo v21.
Vivo V21 Review – What You Need to Know
Apart from the infinix Note 10 Pro that I have seen, I don’t think there is any other phone that comes close when we talk about the Vivo V21 design. The Vivo V21 has a stellar color combination regardless of the color variant you go for. I have the sunset dazzle and it has a rainbow effect that shines depending on how the light reflects on it. The Vivo V21 has a plastic build and boy this thing is a fingerprint magnet. There is a TPU case inside the box and you can use it to reduce fingerprint stains.
The phone has an optical display fingerprint scanner that is a bit fast. It’s definitely not the fastest even against the Oppo Reno 5. We have a waterdrop notch display and it feels dated. The competing brands are giving you a punch-hole camera cut out that is trendy. We have a sizeable chin and bezel but we can’t complain especially because we have a waterdrop notch display. This phone doesn’t have a headphone port, but Vivo added an adapter that can be used to connect a headphone.
We have the USB type C port, speaker, and sim tray at the bottom, the speaker is quite loud and okay. The volume rocker and unlock key are on the right side. The phone supports dual sim cards, but if you want to use an SD card then you have to sacrifice the second sim slot. There is a second microphone at the top and another speaker for calls. The phone has a boxy feel and some people might not find it comfortable.
I personally prefer phones that have a slight curve at the back. they provide me with a better grip. We have a triple camera cut out at the back and it compliments the overall aesthetic of the phone.
Display – Vivo V21 Review
The phone has an AMOLED display and it is very bright. We have a 90Hz refresh rate here and but you can choose to use the standard 60Hz to save battery. There is an option to switch between 60 and 90Hz refresh rates as well. For less the Redmi Note 10 Pro is offering you a 120Hz refresh rate. We have a 6.44-inch display here and I find it comfortable to use with one hand.
The resolution 1080p but now you can stream higher than 1080p on YouTube. I find the display contrast and bright when watching content or playing games. Talking about games I always make sure the high refresh rate is on to get better animations when I am playing. The display is bright outdoors and you can set it to auto-brightness if you like. It can get to as high as 700 nits outdoor with auto-brightness on. You can play with the color of the display in the settings and set it how you want.
You can also change the font size and style in the display settings. I have a tips and tricks video in the description you can check that after watching this video. The dark mode here will help you save the battery since it’s an AMOLED display. The display here is AMOLED so it’s up to standard with what other midrange phones out there are offering. It is responsive and fast and scrolling through social media and playing games very okay on the display.
Software Vivo V21 Review
This brings me to one of the most exciting parts of this smartphone and that’s the software. The phone is running on android 11 and fun touch OS 11.1. So far this has to be one of the best software skins I have ever used on android. the skin looks a lot like stock android but not as optimized as stock android. I haven’t seen any advert on the phone or whatsoever. The apps that came pre-installed are not too much like we have on other android custom skins.
If there is one major thing that keeps this phone ahead of its competition then it’s the software skin. You don’t have those intrusive or overloaded bloats and ads like we have on the MIUI or HiOS. Launching apps on the Vivo V21 is fast and I didn’t even notice any lags. You can set up a multiple-user interface on this phone and have your main part and maybe another part for guests. There are a lot of customizations and tweaks you can do and it’s normal with every android phone.
If you are into live wallpapers then you can download and use them on the phone. It has an always-on display and a ton of lock screen wallpapers that you can use. There is an ultra-gaming mode here and you can use it to set various gaming options. Let’s say you don’t want any call while playing games you can activate that in the gaming mode.
The Dimensity 800 is a decent chipset that handles gaming and other basic tasks superbly. We have 8 gigs of ram and it can be increased to 11 gigs, by using some free storage space on the Vivo v21. I played games like COD mobile and several other games and the device was just fine. For those that are interested in benchmark scores here is what it looks like.
The oppo reno 5 offers you a similar performance within the same price range. I also have a comparison review of both phones coming so make sure you stay tuned. The storage space here is 128 Gigs. It gets warm during excessive usage and with the high refresh rate the battery significantly drains faster.
Camera – Vivo V21 Review
We have a 64MP main camera at the back, a 2MP macro camera, and an 8MP ultrawide lens. The rear cameras are good enough when the lighting conditions are good but you might struggle with consistency. The 64-megapixel main camera takes some decent shots that are very okay. Portrait mode pictures are just fine with humans and objects.
I love the ultrawide camera here and I have used it a lot to take pictures. It is clear but you get some fish eye pictures as expected with most ultrawide cameras on a smartphone. The night mode shoots some decent pictures and you get additional options in the camera menu. You can shoot 4K at 60 frames per second with the rear camera but no OIS. When you switch to 1080p you get optical image stabilization. Here are more pictures of the rear camera.
Now the main highlight of this phone is the 44MP selfie shooter and I don’t see any other brand competing in this aspect. You are going to get okay pictures here and I feel the device was targeted at people who use their front-facing cameras a lot. I took a ton of selfies and they turned out good. There is a flashlight on top of the display in case you in environments that are not well lit. the phone has a dual view and you can use the front and rear camera at the same time. If you are a TikTok or Instagram reels creator you will find the selfie camera useful.
We have a 4000 milliampere battery on this phone and I wished it was up to 5000mAh. Using the device with a 90hz high refresh rate makes the battery drain easily. Charging is fast and it gets to over fifty percent in thirty minutes. There is a 33W fast charger added inside the box of the Vivo V21. You can get up to 8hrs of screen on time when the high refresh rate is turned off.
Who is the Vivo V21 made for?
Now, this is very important and most reviewers don’t tell you who a particular phone is made for. Of course, not every phone is made for everyone. Each brand tends to target a particular set of customers with every release. Moving forward I will answer this particular question in my review articles. The Vivo v21 is simply for people who make use of their selfie camera most of the time.
I feel Vivo targeted a specific niche with this phone and it has one of the best selfie cameras in the midrange segment. Performance is not super great when compared to other phones even though it has a lot of RAM. If you are someone that loves crispy displays then this one is very okay but you can spend less for similar or even better displays.
The Vivo V21 tries to set itself apart from the competition with the front-facing camera. but the price tag is hard to justify especially because you can get most of its stand-out features minus selfie camera on the cheaper Redmi Note 10s and even the Samsung Galaxy A52.
The performance you will get on other cheaper phones will be on par, but if you create a lot of selfie videos then I can recommend the Vivo V21 to you. if this Vivo v21 review was helpful then make sure you drop a comment about your thoughts on the device. if you have any other questions you can ask in the comments below.