Vivo X21 Debuts With In-Screen Fingerprint Reader, Android 8.1

Chinese phone maker Vivo on Monday announced its second smartphone equipped with an in-display fingerprint reader, having unveiled it as the more premium model of the new X21 lineup. The variant with a biometric solution that appears to be identical to that of the X20 Plus UD is advertised as the X21 Screen Fingerprint and is priced at the equivalent of $505, featuring 128GB of internal flash memory and 6GB of RAM. The base model costs approximately $460 and sports a traditional rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, as well as half the storage space of its more expensive counterpart, though its RAM configuration remains the same.

Both Vivo X21 models boast 6.28-inch FHD+ panels with a resolution of 2,280 by 1,080 pixels amounting to a tall aspect ratio of 19:9 which appears to be a direct result of a small display notch that houses their front-facing sensor array and loudspeaker. The handsets are powered by Qualcomm's mid-range Snapdragon 660 chip running at up to 2.2GHz and ship with a microSD card slot with support for up to 256GB of extra storage, whereas they sport four cameras in total, two on both sides. The rear system combines a 12-megapixel camera with a 5-megapixel unit and an LED flash, whereas the front one has two 12-megapixel sensors and support for Vivo's proprietary beautification technology. Android 8.1 Oreo-based FunTouch OS is also part of the package, the Chinese tech giant confirmed.

While only the X21 Screen Fingerprint ships with an in-display fingerprint reader, both phablets have access to facial recognition and come with a pre-installed artificial intelligence assistant called Jovi that's primarily meant to help users control and navigate their devices, thus being conceptually similar to Samsung's Bixby. The more premium model is only available in Black and Ruby Red, whereas the base one will also be offered in Aurora White. Vivo's next Android mid-rangers will officially go on sale in China on March 28 and aren't expected to become officially available for purchase in other parts of the world, even though resellers like GearBest are likely to start stocking them next month. Vivo's sister company OPPO also announced a new smartphone lineup earlier today, having unveiled it in the form of the R15 series which is visually similar to the X21 family, save for lacking an in-display fingerprint reader. The upcoming OnePlus 6 flagship is widely expected to feature a design reminiscent of both handsets.

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Dominik Bosnjak

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Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016 and is the Head Editor of the site today. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]