“The X21 is the world’s first smartphone to feature an under-display fingerprint scanner”

While the rest of the world was busy speculating whether Samsung or Apple will debut an under-display fingerprint scanner, Vivo went ahead and showcased a prototype with the said technology at CES 2018. The brand’s feat hasn’t gone unnoticed, but the even more interesting fact is that it hasn’t sat on its laurels. But before we discuss that, you must be wondering what are the benefits of having the biometric reader hidden beneath the screen. 

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Well, there are many. For starters, having the fingerprint scanner below the display means you no longer have to leave a wide bottom bezel to fit in a fingerprint scanner. And in 2018, when bezels are becoming ever so smaller, this is a big deal. On the other hand, a front fingerprint scanner ensures you can unlock your smartphone even when it is lying flat on a table… a problem the rear placement of the sensor can’t overcome. Additionally, the new implementation also results in a larger area to scan your finger, making the overall process fairly simpler.

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And if Vivo showcasing the technology so early was a surprise, what would you make of the fact that the X21 (review) is already here? The new smartphone features the under-display fingerprint scanner technology dubbed Clear ID from Synaptics, and brings it to a wider audience. And as expected, you can also use the biometric reader to lock apps, make payments, or authorize Google Play transactions. Not to mention the option of facial recognition, which uses an in-built infrared light sensor for better results in low-light.

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The hardware in itself is also something to boast about. The Vivo X21 plays host to a 6.28-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED display with a notch up top and an aspect ratio of 19:9. Under the hood, the phone utilises a Snapdragon 660 SoC with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of expandable storage. This combination of a bezel-less design and powerful internals should translate to an immersive gaming and media experience.

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Talking about gaming, the phone also comes with an all-new AI Game mode. The Vivo X21 can intelligently tell when you are playing games, and then take actions to eliminate any sort of distraction. These include features like background calls, accidental touch prevention, as well as filtered notifications. Moreover, the smartphone also makes use of a Hi-Fi audio chip to make sure you stay on top of your audio game.

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Moving on, if there’s one thing you expect from a Vivo smartphone, it has to be good cameras with tons of features packed inside. The rear cameras on the smartphone comprise a 12MP + 5MP setup, with the 12MP primary shooter offering dual-pixel technology and boasting a large pixel size of 1.28μm. Larger pixels gather more light, and effectively result in better photos in low light. Interestingly, the 12MP front camera also comes with the same large-sized pixels.

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That said, the Chemical X in the X21’s cameras is AI. The brand has included an AI HDR mode which automatically detects ambient light intensity to apply HDR effects. On top of that, AI has also been brought to the Face Beauty Mode in order to recognize unique facial features and capture the perfect selfie. The folks at Vivo have also included a feature called Selfie Lighting, which lets you add photo studio-style light effects to your photos. Then there’s the addition of features like Palm Capture, AR stickers… and the list goes on and on.

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That’s not all… the Vivo X21 also comes with an Always-On display, letting you see the date, time and missed notifications. Overall, Vivo has surely delivered a class product in the form of the X21… and this is just the beginning.

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At MWC this year, the brand unveiled the Vivo Apex Full View concept smartphone. The device comes with a bezel-less design with no notch whatsoever. This is beyond what any major brand has achieved so far. That said, the Apex concept is still a concept (and its mass-market version in the form of the NEX is yet to launch in India). Until then, the X21 seems to be a top-notch offering from Vivo.

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