Vivo X21 or Honor 10: What Should You Buy?


The Vivo X21 is finally here and Indian consumers can fully enjoy the experience of the first-ever smartphone with an in-screen fingerprint scanner. However, it is no secret that this phone offers strictly mid-ranged specs. This would have been fine if we weren’t currently in an era of phones with flagship-level internals that affordable rates. Can this smartphone truly justify its price and stand out of the crown enough to be a viable option? Today we shall compare the X21 with another recently launched smartphone, the Honor 10 to see how fierce of a competition it faces.

Vivo X21, Honor 10: Price in India

It was initially assumed that Vivo would launch multiple versions of the X21 in India. However, that was not the case, and only the version with the under-display fingerprint scanner ended up being released. The handset launched priced at Rs.35,999. This is for the variant with 6GB of RAM, 128GB of internal storage and is available only in Black.

Compared to its predecessor, the Honor 10 is priced slightly higher but still costs less than the Vivo X21. It costs Rs.32,999 for a similar storage and RAM configuration. There are two beautiful colour options for this device — Phantom Blue and Midnight Black.

Vivo X21, Honor 10: Design, Display

For its, price, the Vivo X21 does offer a premium feel when held with its glass slab-esque construction. To build the fingerprint scanner within the display, Vivo had to use an AMOLED panel which measures 6.28-inches with 19:9 aspect ratio. This has a Full HD+ resolution that boasts a 90.3% screen-to-body ratio. It also features Always-on Display mode similar to Samsung flagship smartphones. However, there is the controversial notch at the top which could get in the way of your experience.

The Honor 10 is easily the better-looking handset with its curved glass build and vibrant colours. The Phantom Blue superbly changes colours when light falls on it from different angles. When it comes to the screen, the Honor 10 has a relatively smaller 5.84-inch screen. This is FullView IPS LCD panel and even though it has the same 1080 x 2280 Full HD+ resolution with 19:9 aspect ratio, it cannot look as good as the X21’s AMOLED display. You get a notch on this phone as well, but you do get the option to disable it using a software toggle if it bothers you.

Vivo X21, Honor 10: Camera

This is a category where the competition gets interesting. The Vivo X21 offers a 12MP + 5MP dual camera setup at the back. The primary 12MP lens has an f/1.8 aperture while the secondary 5MP lens has an f/2.4 aperture. The Honor 10 also features a dual-camera setup for rear photography, with the primary lens measuring 16MP with f/1.8 aperture. The secondary lens, however, is a 24MP monochrome lens which claims to help with better details and low-light imaging. Both phones feature their own versions of AI enhancements and are capable of 4K video recording.

Then we have the selfie cameras. The X21 in this department opts for a 12MP shooter at the front, while the Honor gets a significantly superior 24MP sensor. We will have to reserve our final opinions until we get the chance to review these phones to test the imaging capabilities for ourselves. With that said, the Honor 10 seems to provide a better setup on paper.

Vivo X21, Honor 10: Performance, OS, Battery

This department does not require much debate as to which phone performs better. The Snapdragon 660 octa-core CPU on the Vivo X21 cannot keep up with the flagship Kirin 970 found on the Honor 10. While both phones come with Android 8.0 Oreo out-of-the-box, they both feature their own versions of custom UI’s on top. The EMUI 8.1 of the Honor is much cleaner and offers more customisations over the lacklustre FunTouch OS 4.0 from Vivo.

In terms of battery, the difference wasn’t as apparent since the Honor 10 comes with a 3,400mAh cell while the Vivo X21 has a 3,200mAh cell. Both also offer some form of fast charging and the real world performance is not expected to be significantly different.

Vivo X21, Honor 10: Verdict

There are some decent benefits the Vivo X21 has over the Honor 10. It has a better and larger AMOLED screen and the revolutionary in-screen fingerprint scanner. But unfortunately, the disappointing software and weak processor could not compete with that of the Honor 10. The latter is even priced a bit lower and comes with a better camera setup. Unless you absolutely want to use the X21’s in-screen fingerprint scanner with its AMOLED display, you would be better off with the Honor 10 as it provides a better overall package.