Vivo smartphones in the global market are very competently divided into three classes, bottom-up: Y, V, and X. Not the most intuitive marking, but it does not detract from the merits. Today, for example, two fresh middle-class representatives: the Vivo V21 and the lightweight version in the face of Vivo V21e. New products are in many ways similar in appearance and content, but differences in details abound, and I suggest concentrating on them.
|Model||Vivo V21e||Vivo V21|
|Screen||6.44 inches, AMOLED, 2400×1080, 409 PPI, 60 Hz||6.44 inches, AMOLED, 2400×1080, 409 PPI, 90 Hz|
|Operating system||Android 11, Funtouch OS|
|Chipset||Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G||MediaTek Dimensity 800U|
|CPU||Cortex-A76 (2 × 2.3 GHz) – Cortex-A55 (6 × 1.8 GHz)||Cortex-A76 (2 × 2.4 GHz) – Cortex-A55 (6 × 2 GHz)|
|GPU||Adreno 618, 750 MHz||Mali-G57 MC3, 850 MHz|
|Ram||8GB 3GB (swap file), LPDDR4x, 1866 MHz||8GB q 3GB (swap file), LPDDR4x, 2133 MHz|
|Built-in memory||128GB, UFS 2.1||256GB, UFS 2.2|
|Main camera||64Mp (f/1.89, autofocus) q 8MP (wide-angle, f/2.2) q 2MP (macro, f/2.4)||64MP (f/1.79, autofocus, optical stabilisation) q 8MP (wide-angle, f/2.2) q 2MP (macro, f/2.4)|
|Front-facing camera||44MP (f/2.0, autofocus, optical stabilisation)||44MP (f/2.0, autofocus, optical stabilisation) – dual LED lighting|
|Accumulator||4000 mAh⋅h, charging FlashCharge 2.0 33 W|
|Dimensions||161.24 × 74.37 × 7.29 mm||159.68 × 73.9 × 7.29 mm|
|Mass||171 grams||176 grams|
|Slots||2 nanoSIM q microSD, triple tray||2 nanoSIM q microSD, hybrid tray|
|Connection||4G FDD-LTE (B1/B3/B5/B7/B8/ B18/B19/B20/B26), 4G TDD-LTE (B38/B40/B41), VoLTE, VoWiFi, Bluetooth 5.1, dual-range Wi-Fi, GPS (A-GPS), GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo, NFC, FM radio, USB OTG.||5G (N1/N3/N7/N8/N28/ N40/N77/N78), 4G FDD-LTE (B1/B2/B3/B4/B5/B7/ B8/B12/B17/B18/B19/B20/ B26/B28/B32/B66), 4G TDD-LTE (B38/B39/B40/B41F), VoLTE, VoWiFi, Bluetooth 5.1, двухдиапазонный Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac/ax, GPS (A-GPS), ГЛОНАСС, Beidou, Galileo, NFC, FM-радио, USB OTG.|
|Sensors||Illumination, Approximation, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Electronic Compass, Fingerprint in the screen, Facial recognition|
Both the V21 and the V21e are thin and light smartphones that fit perfectly in your hand. Differences in dimensions are minimal and almost imperceptible when compared. The design is very different – this is how in the first place, you can distinguish the novelties among themselves.
The back cover and flat ends of the Vivo V21 in the “Shining Sunset” version are inherited from this year’s flagship in the face of the Vivo X60. It uses a similar combination of iridescent neon colors hidden under frosted glass. The second option – “Twilight blue” – looks a little more strict, but the general concept of overflows is preserved.
The younger Vivo V21e is the complete opposite: under the same frosted glass hides a static geometric pattern, and glossy ends are usually rounded. The color of “Diamond Mosaic” is a little brighter but also dispenses with overflows.
To reduce weight, the framing is made of plastic, and unfortunately, the chrome coating is quickly covered with small scratches. Therefore, I strongly recommend using a regular transparent case. Among other things, the display is made of a box. It should also be stored to protect against unwanted damage to the glass.
Display and Security
On the device’s front side are identical: rounded corners of the display and inscribed in a droplet camera. However, there is an important difference – the thickness of the lower frame: the more expensive V21 is a millimeter thinner and looks proportional to the rest of the parties.
The 6.44-inch AMOLED is used in both cases, hidden under the Glass Schott Xensation UP with an oleophobic coating. The upgrade frequency differs: the older V21 has increased to 90 Hz, while the younger model is content with the standard 60 Hz. There is a difference in smoothness, but it is noticeable only when directly compared. In the rest, there are no complaints: the maximum brightness in both cases is at 530 kd/m2, and the minimum – 2 kd/m2.
The settings are common: three color profiles with temperature adjustment, eye protection mode, dark theme, and font style settings. Android-standard scale options have been abolished – this is a feature of the Vivo shell.
And the set of Always-On themes is radically different. The younger model has 6 fixed skins without customization, while the V21 can boast a much greater variety and fine-tuning of color, location, and background. This is another small thing, breeding our heroes by segments.
Note, the default Always-On is ignited for a few seconds after taking the smartphone in hand. You can activate the time on schedule or throughout the day in the settings.
An optical fingerprint scanner is integrated into both screens. Vivo has this technology perfectly honed – recognition is fast and unmistakable. Despite this, you have to use a fingerprint infrequently, thanks to instant facial recognition with a front-facing camera.
The main cameras protrude beyond the hull. The salvation is a regular silicone case. The layout and resolution are the same: the main module at 64 MEGAPIXEL is supplemented with a wide-angle 8MP wide-angle and a 2MP macro camera. Optics are different: the main Vivo V21 module is equipped with an f/1.79 lens with optical stabilization, and the Vivo V21e is content with f/1.89 without a stab. The remaining “eyes” are identical.
In favorable conditions, the main cameras show themselves equally chic – the picture is saturated and sharp across the entire frame. The direct comparison reveals a slight difference in colors, apparently due to image processing features on different platforms. Vivo V21 gives a sharper and guaranteed unsubstaged picture in difficult conditions due to optical stabilization and slightly lighter optics. The photos from the wide-angle module are identical. This is certainly a good level: to quibble with the lack of autofocus is pointless, as the fixed value is more than well-chosen. A nice feature is that the night mode, which glues the image from several frames, is available for the main and wide-angle modules.
There are a lot of photos you can’t do without separate galleries.
The high resolution of the main module allows you to double the picture without losing quality. For this, there is a special button. Reverse zoom to switch to a wide-angle is not available. Vivo traditionally uses a separate switch. The solution is completely not intuitive, even inconvenient.
The same menu has Boke mode. The focus point and degree of blur are adjusted from the gallery at any point after the shooting.
The front-facing camera modules are no different – 44 MEGAPIXEL with f/2.0 optics, autofocus, and optical stabilization. This set of features is not always found in the main chambers, and Vivo equipped such frontals of their middlings. Automatic HDR is among the software gadgets.
Optical stabilization allows you to shoot smooth rollers on the go. And the quality of the picture is not inferior to action cameras. In other words, the Vivo V21e and V21 are versatile weapons for video bloggers.
The distinctive feature of the front-facing camera Vivo V21 was two LEDs on the front panel, ignited with the help of the display illumination. The soft glow is well scattered on the face, gives a natural tone to the skin. As a result, equally good selfies in any condition. LEDs do not catch the eye when looking at the front panel – a successful disguise. Among other things, Vivo V21 has more options. For example, the effects of lighting when taking a selfie.
One of Vivo’s trademark features is the FuntouchOS shell based on Android 11. In its current form, the system’s design gravitates to Material Design and is supplemented with pleasant stylistic improvements. As a result, more than a discreet look, good performance, and many additional options. The entire package of Russian apps and Facebook, TikTok, Netflix, and Booking are pre-installed from the box. Everything on the side is removed by regular means.
The second point is related to the proposal to install a dozen more applications in the process of initial customization and individual icons Hot Apps and Hot Games with a selection of programs. Fortunately, you can refuse the installation, and the extra icons hide in the settings of the brand store V-Appstore.
The convenience and stability of FuntouchOS are unquestionable. Separately, I note the extended customization, which fits perfectly into the style of the system. There are support for those fine-tuning lock screen, a variety of gestures and visuals.
Processor and Communication
The hardware stuffing of our heroes is very different and is based on the long-standing confrontation between the two of them. Therefore, the story should be divided into two parts. Let’s start with the younger Vivo V21e. It is based on the mid-segment Snapdragon 720G from the mid-segment paired with 8GB of RAM and a 3GB swap file. Its advantage is in the powerful processor part of the 2 Cores Cortex-A76 at 2.3 GHz and 6 Cores Cortex-55 at 1.8 GHz. Graphics – Adreno 618 with two computational blocks at 750 MHz.
The older Vivo V21 is based on the MediaTek Dimensity 800U, which uses the same layout, but each component is slightly nimble. In particular, the two Cortex-A76 cores are 2.4 GHz, 6 Cortex-A55 cores are 2 GHz, and the Mali-G57 MC3 contains three computational units at 850 MHz. However, the test results were not affected. The indicators are, on average comparable. The RAM is also 8GB with a 3GB swap file.
The trotting lets down the older model. After an hour under a load of Dimensity 800U, performance is reduced to 78% of the original. The Vivo V21e, powered by the Snapdragon 720G, has complete order.
Another significant difference is the built-in drive: the Vivo V21 has 256GB of high-speed UFS 2.2, and the V21e is content with 128GB of twice the slow memory of UFS 2.1. The difference in speed is uncritical and invisible in everyday life.
The undisputed argument for the Vivo V21e is the analog audio jack on the bottom face, while the older model is content only with USB-C and headphone adapter in the kit. And this is provided by the availability of a complete headset with a 3.5-millimeter plug. The multimedia speaker is both there, and they’re used one on the lower face.
The second advantage of the younger model is the triple tray, which allows you to install two nanoSIM and a microSD memory card at the same time. And the older model is content with a hybrid tray, which gives a choice between the second nanoSIM or microSD. But the older version supports 5G for the future. The rest of the set of wireless interfaces is comparable, most importantly, available NFC for contactless payment with support of transport cards “Troika.”
Autonomy and Charging
In terms of battery capacity, our heroes have parity of 4000 mAh⋅h. But the time of work, all things being equal, is slightly different due to different hardware platforms. The senior Vivo V21, based on MediaTek, with a fixed screen update rate of 60 Hz, lasted almost an hour longer – 14 hours and 38 minutes. And the younger model Vivo V21e completed the test in 13 hours and 46 minutes.
The brand aggressively promotes its own standard of fast charging FlashCharge 2.0 on 33 W, incompatible with Qualcomm quick charge and Power Delivery. Both the V21 and the V21e are equally short, with exactly 1 hour and 10 minutes. The first 60 percent are recruited in 35 minutes, which will be enough for a day’s work. However, to achieve this speed, you need to use a regular power supply. The cable will suit any quality.
Recall after two weeks of use
The middle segment performed by Vivo pleased the balance of characteristics even me, a very sophisticated user. Any of the new products can replace my main smartphone, thanks to the successful ergonomics, AMOLED display, chic camera, and sufficient autonomy. The appearance of the V21e and V21 can only be used for plastic framing, but it will be an unfair quibble – metal is currently only available in the major leagues.
The younger Vivo V21e, for its 26,000, gives everything you need in a strict guise – it’s a strong representative of the middle segment. Add here is nothing: when looking for a smartphone in this budget, our hero must be on the shortlist.
With apparent similarities, the older model V21 has several great differences, which gravitate to the flagships. This is a more colorful design, flat ends, and the camera with optical stabilization, and the rejection of the audio jack. To embarrass MediaTek Dimensity 800U exactly should not, on the consumer properties of the chip is not inferior to the Snapdragon. Vivo firmware developers have to refine the CPU frequency control algorithms to not suffer from trotting.