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vivo Y21T Review - Sleek-looking budget phone!

OPPO
Huawei
After using the vivo Y21T for a month as a daily driver, here are our thoughts and experiences.
vivo Y21T

Launched in early 2022, the new vivo Y21T features a large 6.51 HD+ LCD display. Inside is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 octa-core processor, Adreno 610 GPU, 4GB, 128GB of storage, and 5,000mAh battery with 18W fast charging.

It has a 50MP triple-rear camera and an 8MP selfie camera.

In the Philippines, the vivo Y21T is priced at PHP 10,999.

How does it perform in real life? Read our review here.

Let's find out!


Multimedia Experience

The notch on the LCD display
The notch on the LCD display

In front of the vivo Y33s is the large 6.51-inch 2.5D curved LCD screen with 1600 x 720 resolution. The panel has a surprisingly vibrant color with good sharpness and detail. It is bright enough for indoor use but it will struggle in daylight. The contrast isn't strong as well.

Most similarly priced phones have punch-hole screens with 1080p+ resolutions...

The slim side and top bezel are great but the chin bezel is noticeably thicker. Above the display, you will see a slim earpiece and a notch that houses the selfie camera.
Top and bottom
Top and bottom

The earpiece works as an earpiece only. While the bottom-firing speaker produces decently high volume that can fill a small room. It will struggle in noisy environments though. At maximum volume, there is some tingy-ness and distortion. We recommend setting the volume at 70 percent for the best sound quality.

It has a 3.5mm audio jack for earphones which will provide a better audio quality as long as you have decent quality buds.

The microphones can pick up audio from under a meter away. The noise cancellation is decent enough that our callers never complained about voice quality. There is only one visible microphone port at the bottom.

Cameras

Rear triple cameras
Rear triple cameras

At the back is a triple camera setup made up of a 50MP f/1.8 main camera, 2MP f/2.4 macro, and 2MP f/2.4 depth sensor with an LED flash.

Affordable 50MP cam!

The stock camera app includes the following modes: Photo, Video, Portrait, Night, 50MP, Pano, Live Photo, Slo-Mo, Time-lapse, Pro, and Document.

The Pro mode allows for controls of ISO (50-3200), Shutter speed (1/12000s to 32 seconds), White Balance, EV (+-3), and for controls to switch between the 1x camera and 2x camera. The 2x is just a crop of the 50MP.

Rear Camera Samples

Daylight 1x
Daylight 2x
Daylight 2x

The vivo Y21T's camera app allows users to crop into 2x from the 1x. So essentially, the 2x is just the 1x cropped in.

In daylight, the images have good color, contrast, and dynamic range. The sharpness is just okay. We've seen sharper and more detailed images from similarly priced phones.
Close-up
Close-up

When shooting images close-up, the images are the same with daylight. Sharpness and detail are okay while the color, contrast, and dynamic range are good.
Indoors 1x
Indoors 1x
Indoors 2x
Indoors 2x

Indoors, the photos produce images with the same quality as the daylight images. It has good color, and contrast. The sharpness and detail are there but when cropping in at 2x, it struggles with bright areas like light sources.
Low light 1x
Low light 1x
Low light 2x
Low light 2x

In low light, the camera produces decent images. There is noise but it doesn't ruin the color and the contrast. The image however is soft. 
Night mode 1x
Night mode 1x
Night mode 2x
Night mode 2x

The Night Mode is able to reduce the noise but the sharpness and detail barely improved from the low light images. Color and contrast are just okay.
Front-facing camera
Front-facing camera

While on the notch is the 8MP f/1.8 selfie shooter. The selfie includes the following modes: Photo, Portrait, Night, and video.

Selfie Camera Samples

Daylight selfie
Daylight selfie

In daylight, the selfie camera produces sharp and detailed selfies with good color and good contrast. It is not the sharpest selfie we've seen at the price range but it will do.
Indoor selfie
Indoor selfie

Indoors, there is an increase in noise and grain which slightly reduced the detail and sharpness of the image. Otherwise, the colors are still good and the contrast improves.
Portrait selfie
Portrait selfie

The portrait selfie is able to blur most of the background but it did struggle with individual hair fibers and the areas around the right ear.
Selfie low light
Selfie low light

In low light, the phone struggled with increased noise but it managed to maintain enough sharpness, color, and contrast to make it okay. However, the color is not as accurate as in daylight and indoors.
Night Selfie
Night Selfie

The Night mode improved sharpness, detail, and colors by a low margin but it is noticeably better than on auto. If the subject is not moving, please use Night mode.

The rear and front cameras can capture up to 1080p. There is no option to select a preferred frame rate. The resulting video captured has okay sharpness but it struggles in several ways. The footage is shaky and the software is transitioning between ISOs a lot during a video session. This results in footage with images that goes darker and goes brighter throughout the video.

The exposure is not stable. We hope vivo can fix this thru firmware.

It only records up to 1080p at the back and in front.

Note: We will upload our video samples here. Stay tuned!

Performance

AnTuTu and GeekBench
AnTuTu and GeekBench

Inside the phone is the 6nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 octa-core processor, Adreno 610 GPU, 4GB RAM, and 128GB UFS 2.1 storage. If you have a microSD card, you can even expand it up to 1TB.

It managed to score 238,064 in AnTuTu and scored 384 in Single-core and 1051 in Multi-core test in GeekBench. This means that it has good Single-Core performance and decent Multi-Core performance.
3DMark and CPDT
3DMark and CPDT

While in 3DMark Wild Life, the phone managed to score 441 overall and got a 2.6 fps average. These scores are okay though there are faster phones in the same bracket.

While in the internal storage benchmark CPDT, it scored over 299.47 MB/s in sequential write speeds and 583.93 in sequential rear speeds. These are very impressive read speeds for the price range.
Call of Duty: Mobile

In the latest version of Call of Duty: Mobile, the phone managed to unlock the Very High graphics settings and the High frame rate setting. However, to use the High and Very High Graphics settings, the Frame rate is locked at Low. We suggest setting the graphics to Low and High frame rates for the smoothest experience. The phone warms up quickly but even after a longer play session, it never became uncomfortably hot.

The side-mounted fingerprint scanner is easy to set up and it detects and scans the fingerprint quickly. Because it is a dedicated sensor, it scans our fingerprints and unlocks the phone instantaneously.

While the Face Unlock with the selfie camera is also easy to set up and works fast. It detects our faces and unlocks the phone instantaneously in both well-lit and poorly lit environments. The screen brightens up when in a darker environment too.

The phone works with OTG when the feature is enabled manually. The WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0, and LTE connections are fast, stable, and reliable. The GPS acquires our location immediately and accurately. It does not have 5G.
PCMark Battery Benchmark
PCMark Battery Benchmark

Inside the phone is a large 5,000mAh battery with 18W fast charging thru USB-C. In our usual PCMark battery test, the phone managed to endure over 12 hours and 52 minutes.

While in our real-world use where we use the phone as our daily driver, it managed to last for an average of 6 hours of on-screen time after a loaded 8-hour workday. This is expected given that there is still 20 percent battery left even though we were connected to LTE and WiFi the whole day.

These results are okay for most, but it is a little underwhelming for a smartphone with a less power-hungry HD+ screen and a supposedly power-efficient 6nm processor.

Maybe, a software update could improve its battery life.

It takes the phone under 90 minutes to charge from 0 to 100 percent with the 18W charger. This is a reasonably fast charging for its price range. jkiop0000000000It is not the fastest but we have more than enough battery before bedtime to always just charge the phone before we go to bed at night.
FunTouch OS
FunTouch OS

For software, it is running on the latest Android 11-based FunTouch OS 12. Like the rest of the previous vivo series, the FunTouch OS is one of the prettier skins. What we love about it is the visual design. What we think could be improved is the removal of the bloatware. Some of this bloatware cannot be removed which takes up storage space.

Performance-wise, navigating thru the UI and launching apps is decently fast. We have no complaints about the overall performance phone. We just hope we get the ability to uninstall bloatware.

Pros - Eye-catching design, solid and lightweight build materials, 50MP cam on a budget
Cons - HD+ screen only, cameras could be improved, no ultra-wide cam, bloatware

vivo Y21T Specs

Display: 6.51-inch 2.5D curved LCD screen w/ HD+ 1600 x 720 resolution at 270 ppi
CPU: 2.4GHz 6nm Snapdragon 680 octa-core processor
GPU: Adreno 610
RAM: 4GB
ROM: 128GB UFS 2.1 expandable via microSD card slot up to 1TB
Back Camera: 50MP f/1.8 w/ PDAF + 2MP f/2.4 macro + 2MP f/2.4 depth + LED flash
Selfie Camera: 8MP f/1.8
Battery: 5,000mAh w/ 18W fast charging
OS: Android 11 w/ Funtouch OS 12
Connectivity: WiFi (2.4GHz/5GHz), 4G LTE, Bluetooth 5.0 (SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX Adaptive), OTG, FM Radio, GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, BeiDou, QZSS, dual SIM
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic
Others: Side-mounted fingerprint sensor, face unlock, dual-mic, USB-C, Colors: Midnight Blue, Pearl White
Dimensions: 164.26 x 76.08 x 8.0 mm
Weight: 182 g
Price: PHP 10,999

Verdict

GIZGUIDEPH
Our website

The vivo Y21T has a lightweight body made of solid build materials with an eye-catching design.

The camera, battery, and display performance are alright but may struggle when compared to the competition. Its use of the new Snapdragon 680 chip also gave it a decent overall performance which won't lag in most social media apps and lightweight games.

Overall, the vivo Y21T is a good pick if you want a good-looking phone with a lightweight body and prefer FunTouch OS.

Otherwise, there are other devices with stronger specs, nicer cameras, and better overall performance at the same price point.

What do you guys think?

Build/Design - 4
Multimedia Experience - 4
Cameras - 3.75
Performance - 4
Average - 3.9/5
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