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In-display fingerprint scanning has been in the works for quite some time with Synaptics and a few other companies showing off the automation at technology trade shows, but the phones are few and far till now. Vivo takes the crown to be the first company in the Indian market to launch X21 that boasts an in-display fingerprint sensor. We take an in-depth look to see if it’s worth the hype.
It may sound gimmicky with just a few weeks with the device but we’re convinced that if fingerprint scanning is here to stay then in-display fingerprint scanning is the future. Put it simply, the new fingerprint scanning technology does not have the conventional fingerprint sensor that companies used to integrate with the home button or at the back. Instead, the sensor is underneath the display and we’re happy to report it works like a charm on the X21. Now, we can’t place our fingers anywhere on the screen (not yet) to unlock the phone but X21 offers a visual cue, which is at the bottom. While accurate, the in-display fingerprint sensor comes with its share of drawbacks. The phone takes twice as long to unlock the phone compared to conventional fingerprint sensors. Admittedly, the difference is milliseconds but considering how fast fingerprint unlocking has become in today’s phones, it’s easy to notice the difference. Second, and more importantly, if you use a screen protector to protect the display, it may hinder the phone’s ability to accurately detect the fingerprint to unlock the phone.
As far as rest of the hardware goes, the X21 features a 6.28-inch Full HD+ Super AMOLED display that supports an aspect ratio of 19:9. The colours look vibrant with deep blacks due to the OLED panel but if you’re looking for some neutral tones, there’s no way to do it as the phone does not offer any option to adjust the colour temperature.
The Snapdragon 660 and 6GB handles most of the tasks fine, even the customised Funtouch OS 4.0 based on Android 8.1. The cameras at the back have a dual sensor setup with 12MP acting as the main camera and 5MP as the secondary one. The front features a 12MP sensor and both 12MP cameras support Dual Pixel technology that improves the overall image quality and low-light pictures. On the video front, the phone can record videos in up to 4K.
Vivo X21 has a lot of things to like in a phone but the one thing that is not going in favour of the phone is the price that competes with the OnePlus 6 and even the Honor 10. At `35,990, it is expensive than the entry variant of OnePlus 6 and while the in-display fingerprint scanning is innovative and unique, it still does not justify the high price tag. That too, with a mid-range performing processor.