Just like its BBK-owned sister brand OPPO, Vivo has two new “FullView” smartphones pretty much ready for primetime. All four devices are following a controversial design trend started by Apple around six months ago, which strongly suggests the next flagship from BBK’s third sub-brand will also embrace the notch.
One thing the Vivo X21 has going for it that the OnePlus 6 is unlikely to adopt is the under-display fingerprint recognition technology introduced at CES 2018 back in January. We’re not talking bonkers half-screen fingerprint scanning, but it’s still something no other smartphone vendor can pull off.
Unveiled mere hours after the OPPO R15, the Vivo X21 is going on sale in China on March 24 in 64 and 128GB variants sporting rear-mounted fingerprint sensors, and four days later with said sensor hidden under the OLED panel, as well as 128GB internal storage.
Pricing starts at CNY 2,898 ($457), while the model integrating a fingerprint reader into the 6.28-inch screen is set to cost the rough equivalent of $570 (3,598 Yuan). All three versions pack upper mid-range Snapdragon 660 processing power and a whopping 6GB RAM, strongly resembling the key specs of the OPPO R15.
With a 90.3 percent screen-to-body ratio that probably wouldn’t have been possible without the berated notch, an ultra-wide 19:9 aspect ratio and FHD+ resolution, the Vivo X21 doesn’t sound very special. Its cameras are not shared with the R15, though, combining 12 and 5MP rear sensors, with a single 12MP unit at the front.
Artificial intelligence and facial authentication are also unsurprisingly advertised as key selling points, although it seems like only the in-display fingerprint scanning version comes with “Face Wake” functionality. That’s a little odd, isn’t it?