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Vivo's X21 with underscreen fingerprint sensor gets global launch

China's iPhone X lookalike is headed to Singapore as well as Taiwan today.

vivox21-01

The new Vivo X21 looks awfully familiar. 

Aloysius Low/CNET

Loaded with a supercool underscreen fingerprint sensor tech, Vivo's X21 is finally making its way out of China, and it's landing in places like Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore.

The Chinese company's latest flagship in Singapore is set to go on sale on May 5 for a cool price of S$800, which converts to about $600, £440 or AU$800. There's no word yet on when it will launch in which other markets, but we'll update this page when we find out.

So is this iPhone X clone worth the cash? There are a few good things going for it. While it could be criticized for borrowing the iPhone X's notch, its bezels are noticeably slimmer and show off more of the screen.

Another thing to note is the underscreen fingerprint scanner, which other phones have yet to implement. It's not as fast as a normal fingerprint sensor as it needs to first shine a light on your finger through the screen. But it works remarkably well.

As good as it sounds, there are some drawbacks. The X21 runs Android 8.1, but overlaid on that is an iOS skin to aims to ape Apple's. It's not very well done: I didn't like the ugly control center overlay that you have to drag up from the bottom of the screen. There's a reason why Apple did away with that feature on the iPhone X, but Vivo hasn't quite got the memo yet.

The processor isn't the highest-end Snapdragon 845 either. But the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 should be speedy enough for almost everything you can throw at it.

Rounding things off are Vivo's standard features for its rear dual-cameras such as one that makes you look better while taking selfies and AI scene recognition. The phone will also have 6GB RAM and 128GB of onboard storage.

Quick specs

  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 660
  • Memory: 6GB RAM, 128GB onboard storage
  • Operating system: Android 8.1
  • Battery: 3,200 mAh
  • Display: 6.28-inch Super AMOLED full-HD+ (2,280x1,080 pixels)