Vivo has officially launched its budget smartphone Vivo Y21 in Nigeria full months ago. The device is targeted at fans of the Y series range of devices from the company. Vivo has gone from being a mediocre company to one of the best midrange brands in the country. No wonder the company has done well in building some of the best mobile phones including Vivo Y33s, Vivo Y01, Vivo Y23 Pro, and many others. This is another proof that Vivo tends to mark itself as a strong competitor in the upper budget segment.
The Vivo Y21 inherits the company’s shiny and slim body with a peculiar camera module that looks like a typical Vivo phone. The phone comes in a single variant of 4GB RAM but with dual 64GB and 128GB internal storage. The waterdrop notch located in the top centre is somehow outdated as we’d have preferred something like a cornered hole for the selfie camera.
While the Vivo Y21 is one of the most affordable phones in the budget segment, does it have what it takes to stand out among other competitors? We find out in our honest review and verdict about the smartphone.
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Table of Contents
Vivo Y21 Key Specifications
- Display: 6.51-inch IPS LCD
- Resolution: 720 x 1600 pixels
- Processor: MediaTek Helio P35
- Front Camera: 8-megapixel
- Rear Camera: 13-megapixel 2-megapixel
- RAM: 4GB
- Storage: 64GB /128GB
- Battery Capacity: 5000mAh
- OS: Android 11, Funtouch 11.1
The Vivo Y21 inherits a unique textured design from the rest of the family members. It has two-colour variants of Metallic Blue and Diamond Glow. The former will bring out a curtain coating that makes the purple-blue surface stand out with a metallic shine that changes with the movement of angles and light. Meanwhile, the Diamond Glow version also has a unique texture on it, thereby making the phone’s two colour variants come out striking.
The rest of the phone has a pretty straightforward design with the button controls placed in their usual place. We found the buttons to be tactile and easy to reach. The USB-C port and headphone jack are positioned on the bottom. The side-mounted fingerprint reader integrated into the power button is preferable to a real-mounted one as it responds fast and gives the phone a flagship look.
If you’ve used a Vivo phone before, you should have been familiar with the position of the SIM tray on top instead of the usual left side. At 182g, the Y21 won’t be a burden to carry around despite packing a 5000mAh large battery into an 8.0mm thin body.
The Vivo Y21 has a 6.51-inch IPS display with 1600 × 720 pixels resolution. There’s no high refresh rate which is considered normal for a smartphone in this segment. However, we’re disappointed with an HD resolution when some smartphones in this price category like the Infinix Note 11 Pro have a 1080p resolution and 120Hz refresh rate.
However, we found the screen smooth to touch and enjoyed consuming multimedia control with its loudspeakers. The sound quality is loud enough to fill up a small room, but it lacks a bass effect and you can use a pair of good earphones to make up for it.
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The Vivo Y21 has the essential features a basic phone can offer you. Leading the camera department is a 13MP main shooter that’s accompanied by a 2MP macro sensor on the right side, and an 8MP sensor up front for the selfie camera.
The camera lacks the much needed Night mode and slow-motion but has a Pro mode, Portrait, Live Photo, Time-Lapse, Panorama, etc to make up for it.
The camera did reasonably well in scenarios with tons of light, especially the primary shooter. Photos captured with it have a good amount of details with excellent colour reproduction. Meanwhile, the macro lens does well in taking reasonably detailed shots but it’s not comparable to the one on Samsung Galaxy A13.
However, the phone struggles to take decent shots in lowlight environments and the lack of a dedicated Night mode makes it worst. Vivo needs to step up the photography department especially in the Night mode and ultra-wide sensor as rivals already offer more than that.
Moving over to the video quality, recording tops up to 1080p @30fps just as expected, but the results are not particularly great due to the lack of optical image stabilization (OIS).
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Performance and Software
The Vivo Y21 performance is based on its MediaTek Helio P35 chipset – an octa-core processor with a maximum frequency of 2.3GHz. It’s paired with 4GB RAM with a 1GB extension plus dual storage options of 64GB and 128GB.
Being a basic handset, the Y21 still provides snappy performance on light and medium tasks. However, the same can’t be said for gaming performance. High-end games have to be played at medium settings if you don’t want to experience a frequent frame drop. The overall performance of the Vivo Y21 is great for an average user, but don’t expect the best of performance if you’re a heavy gamer.
The Vivo Y21 runs on Android 11 with the company’s Funtouch OS 11.1 laid on top. The Vivo software provides a lot of customisable options with handy features that’ll please every user. The Funtouch OS 11.1 comes with exciting features like Dynamic effects to alter funny animations for charging and facial unlock, S-capture and Smart Split tools for taking screenshots and splitting the screens respectively, Ultra-game mode to enhance gaming performance, iManager, Security Scan, and many others.
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Battery Capacity and Charging
Vivo phones are known for their excellent battery life and the Y21 is no different. The phone ships with a 5000mAh battery that delivers and performs more than its siblings.
The Vivo Y21 has a VEG technology that helps to preserve the battery life and could last two days for regular users. Heavy gamers can get up to nine hours of continuous gaming time without connecting to a charger. Indeed this is among the best battery performance we’ve noticed on a 4G device.
Charging is quite speedy with an 18W charger out of the box. Although this is not the best in this category, but it does the job well in filling the battery from empty within two hours which is considered decent in this price category.
Vivo Y21: Price in Nigeria and Availability
The Vivo Y21 falls into a bustling price segment where many rivals are struggling to take the lead. Although the Y21 could be a decent offering, the Infinix Note 11 Pro is a better alternative but you’ve to slightly increase your budget.
As for price, the Vivo Y21 goes for ₦91,000 ($155) and it’s available in third party e-commerce stores and offline retail shops around Nigeria.
Vivo Y21 Full Specifications
- Brand: Vivo
- Model: Y21
- Release Date: April 20, 2021
- Weight: 182g
- Colours: Diamond Glow, Midnight Blue
- Touchscreen: YES
- Type: AMOLED
- Display Size: 6.51-inch
- Screen Resolution: 720 x 1600 pixels
- Facelock Support: YES
- In-display fingerprint scanner: No
- Sensors: Fingerprint (side-mounted)
- Dimensions: 164.3 x 76.1 x 8 mm (6.47 x 3.00 x 0.31 in)
- Operating System: Android 11, Funtouch 11.1
- Chipset: Mediatek MT6765 Helio P35 (12nm)
- CPU: Octa-core (4×2.35 GHz Cortex-A53 & 4×1.8 GHz Cortex-A53)
- GPU: PowerVR GE8320
- RAM: 4GB
- Inbuilt Storage: 64GB /128GB
- SD Card slot: Yes (dedicated slot)
- Rear Flash: LED Flashlight
- Rear Camera: 13-MP f/2.2 (wide), 2-MP f/2.4 (macro)
- Video: 1080p@30fps
- Front Camera: 8-MP f/2.0 (wide)
- Front Flash: —
- Wi-Fi: YES
- Bluetooth: 5.0
- USB: MicroUSB-C 2.0
- GPS: YES
- WLAN: YES
- SIM: Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
- Technology: GSM | HSPA | LTE
- 3G Support: Yes
- 4G/ LTE Support: Yes
- 5G Support: No
- Speed: HSPA 42.2/5.76 Mbps, LTE
- Capacity: Li-Po 5000mAh, non-removable
- Fast Charge: 18W
- Price in Nigeria: ₦91,000
- Price in the US: $155