vivo has launched its latest addition to its Y-series lineup, the Y21T. It sports a 6.51-inch LCD screen, powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 chipset and it has a massive 5,000mAh battery, in-line with that, vivo claims it as a budget gaming phone, so now let’s see how this device performs and find out if this will be your next gaming smartphone.
Table of Contents
Design and Construction
The vivo Y21T is a slim device with an attractive trendy back cover that can definitely capture your attention. Its body is made out of a glossy polycarbonate material that changes colors when moved towards different angles. Our unit comes in Pearl White, but it is also available in a Midnight Blue colorway if you’re interested.
You’ll also find its protruding triple camera setup at the top-left corner, as well as some vivo branding below.
On the front, it has a slightly broad chin, but the other bezels surrounding the screen are quite slim. There’s a notch at the top of the screen where the front camera resides and above it, is the call speaker.
For buttons and ports, on the right side, we’ll find the volume rockers and a power button that also acts as a fingerprint scanner. They’re well-positioned even with the phone’s size and you won’t have trouble reaching them.
Nothing can be found on the left, while up top there’s a triple card tray for 2 nano-SIM cards and a microSD card that’s expandable up to 1TB storage.
Heading over to the bottom, we get the USB Type-C port, 3.5mm headphone jack, speaker grille, and the primary microphone.
The Y21T feels comfortable to hold thanks to its flat edges. Overall, the vivo Y21T design looks premium and fun, however since it’s glossy, it’s prone to fingerprint smudges, so we recommend using the free jelly case included in the box.
Display and Multimedia
The vivo Y21T sports a 6.51-inch IPS LCD display. It has a maximum resolution of 720p, and the display is good and would suffice for casual use. Thanks to its sizable display it makes it great for video-watching. As for color reproduction, they come out vivid and accurate. In the settings, users have the option to adjust the color temperature of the display to cool, default, or warm.
Audio quality is one where the phone screams budget as you only get a single downward firing speaker which is only good for voice calls and music can easily get distorted at maximum volume. We recommend using your favorite pair of headphones or external speakers if you demand better quality.
Now for cameras, we have a triple-camera setup consisting of 50MP main, 2MP macro, and 2MP depth. Meanwhile, for selfies, we have an 8MP front shooter.
Images produced from the vivo Y21T are not perfect but getting good lighting they look pretty good. Daytime shots produce vibrant colors and details are present. The portrait mode on the other hand, honestly, can be quite a hit and miss in separating the subject to the background.
When it comes to low light shots, it isn’t the best as details come out muddy, but still usable for ordinary social media posts.
As for selfies, the images produced by the Y21T look decent enough for social media posting. There’s a dedicated AI beauty mode and switching the beauty mode to the maximum will make selfies look too processed, so we recommend the standard AI setting, as it makes the skin smooth for more natural-looking.
Video-wise, the Y21T can shoot up to 1080p at 30fps. Stabilization needs more improvement here, and the quality is just good enough for casual use.
OS, UI, and Apps
Running the Y21T is FunTouch OS 12, based on Android 11. There’s an app drawer option in the settings and you have the option to use navigation keys or gestures. Also, expect it to be highly customizable with a lot of features you can play around with.
There is some bloatware and very few pre-installed apps, including Google apps, GCash, Lazada, Shopee, TikTok, Twitter, and Facebook. As for features, the Y21T has a Jovi Home, Ultra Game Mode wherein you can enhance your gaming experience, there’s an Esports Mode, Game picture-in-picture, 4D Game Vibration and Accidental touch prevention.
Out of the 128GB of storage that we get, we were left with a usable space of 110GB out of the box.
When it comes to biometrics, the Y21T has a side-mounted fingerprint scanner and face recognition. They’re both pretty fast and accurate.
Performance and Benchmarks
Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 chipset powers the Y21T, which contains the octa-core CPU, Adreno 610 GPU, 4GB of RAM with 2GB memory extension, and 128GB of internal storage. The device is excellent to use in basic tasks, such as browsing the internet, heavy social media use, and video-watching, although you might notice some lags when switching apps.
When it comes to gaming, playing light games is all good; heavier games like Asphalt 9 can perform relatively smoothly with minimal stutters, thanks to the lower screen resolution. Don’t expect to have a buttery smooth experience as the frame rate seems to be on the low side, and some details in the graphics are a bit more grainy than usual.
If you’re interested in the numbers, take a look at the benchmark scores we got:
• AnTuTu v9.3.1 – 241,029
• AnTuTu Storage Test v9.3.1 – 35,236, 963.3 MB/s (Seq. Read), 463.3 MB/s (Seq. Write)
• PCMark – 6,638 (Work 2.0)
• 3D Mark – 445 (Wild Life), 95 (WildLife Extreme)
• Geekbench 5 – 374 (Single-core), 1,302 (Multi-core), 432 (OpenCL)
Connectivity and Battery
The Y21T has modern connectivity features, including WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0, and GPS. For the battery, we get a massive 5,000mAh battery with 18W fast charging support. Using the device lasts us a day or two on moderate usage.
In the PCMark battery test, the device yielded 12 hours and 1 minute. Our standard video loop test (1080p movie on loop, 50% brightness, 50% volume with earphones, airplane mode on) got us 20 hours and 10 minutes worth of playback. The Y21T’s battery life is enough for all-day usage. With an 18W fast charger though, it took us around an hour and 30 minutes for the device to be fully charged.
To be fair, the vivo Y21T has a good set of cameras, impressive battery life, trendy design, and a sizable screen. Performance is what you would expect for an entry-level phone, however, for its price of PHP 10,999, it’s a challenging pick considering that there are other devices that offer more for a lower asking price. But if budget is not an issue, and you like the advantages mentioned, the Y21T is a solid daily driver.
vivo Y21T specs:
6.51-inch HD+ (1600 x 720) LCD
Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 processor
Adreno 610 GPU
4GB LPPDR4X RAM (+2GB extended)
128GB UFS 2.1
Expandable up to 1TB via microSD
Triple rear cameras:
• 50MP (main)
• 2MP (bokeh)
• 2MP (macro)
8MP front camera
GPS, BEIDOU, GLONASS, GALILEO, QZSS
3.5mm audio jack
Funtouch OS 12 (Android 11)
5,000mAh battery w/ 18W fast charging
164.26 x 76.08 x 8mm
Midnight Blue, Pearl White