Take a look at this brand new phone from Vivo. It’s the company’s latest mid-range smartphone to be available here in Malaysia and let’s use the 6 points of a smartphone to assess this smartphone.
The Vivo V21 is a shiny phone but covered in a matte finish. Not gonna lie, this catches attention like a magnet. I mean, its shiny reflective finish with pastel color gradient is surely a looker.
However, the overall shape is not that far off the Vivo X60 Pro or the Vivo X50 Pro that we reviewed previously. In fact, the Vivo V21 is actually quite boxy and wide horizontally, making it rather uncomfortable to hold. We can use the included case to make it more rounded of course, but that adds bulk.
And this phone is not small too. It comes with a 6.55-inch AMOLED screen with up to 1080p pixels in resolution at 90Hz. I have no complaints about it as it looks bright and beautiful with vivid colors and also has a film screen protector pre-applied for you.
The cameras on the Vivo V21 though, I’d say they’re pretty okay. It comes with a total of 3 cameras and the main camera here manages to take some good-looking shots with decent dynamic range but sometimes the scene detection isn’t that good.
To have a look at the pictures and videos taken by the Vivo V21, watch the video at the top of this review.
The mixed bag of resolution and frame rate for its video is mostly caused by the MediaTek Dimensity 800U chipset. Yes, this phone is powered by a MediaTek chipset and in terms of performance – it obviously handles day-to-day usage without any issues at all.
When it comes to gaming – which I did test for a while – runs pretty okay. At the lowest graphical settings, Genshin Impact is playable albeit stuttery.
By the way, if 8GB of RAM isn’t enough for you – Vivo is also continuing the trend of implementing RAM disk in their phones. This Vivo V21 has allocated 3GB of its internal memory as RAM disk.
The battery in this Vivo V21 is 4,000mAh which is relatively small for a phone of this size, honestly. At 90Hz refresh rate, we got about 12 hours in our test – which means it can last you throughout a single day with quite a lot of battery of spare.
As for the charging time though, Vivo included a 33W charger in the box, and can get it up from 15% to 100% in about an hour. Nothing out of the ordinary here, though.
As for the software side of things, while I have praised Vivo’s FunTouch OS on the Vivo X60 Pro for being clean, the same cannot be said for the Vivo V21. There are a lot of pre-installed apps and bloatware built into the firmware.
Hot Games? Hot Apps? No, I don’t want any of them. Also, both the pre-installed Browser and V-Appstore are very intrusive and sent me ads through notifications. And yet these two apps cannot be removed.
Should you buy the Vivo V21?
Finally, the price. At RM1,599, I think the Vivo V21 is an okay phone. If you want a mid-range phone that looks flashy, takes good pictures, and has a decent battery life – then the Vivo V21 should be on your list.