Of course, if you really can't wait to unlock and use the X21, then you're better off with the face unlock feature to instantly gain access to the X21; but note that like most face unlock tools on Android, this is convenient but not secure enough for mobile payments.
In dim-lighting conditions, the X21 has an infrared light to scan your face. When you unlock the phone though, you'll get frustrated with the phone's poorly made iOS-inspired Android 8.1 skin called FunTouch. The control panel is now a swipe up from the bottom, but because the home button is in the way, you may accidentally hit that instead.
There's also no search feature on the settings page, which I hated, as it made scrolling through to turn stuff on or off a pain. If you put aside these bugbears, you'll find the rest of the skin pretty usable, especially if you're switching from an Apple phone.
On the camera front, the dual rear 12-megapixel and 5-megapixel cameras take pretty decent shots as seen below, though selfies can feel terribly fake due to an aggressive beauty mode that smooths and whitens your skin (a popular feature in Asia). Portrait mode shots also create terribly unrealistic depth of field, which overly blurs the background, and at times, doesn't quite blur the right area.
Battery life was a bright spot, though, lasting 15 hours and 40 minutes in our video loop tests, while performance from its midrange Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 chip held up to most of what I threw at it, including some Asphalt 8 gaming. Check below for the benchmark tests.
Hardware specs comparison
||Oppo R15 Pro||Vivo X21||OnePlus 6||Huawei P20|
|Display size, resolution||6.28-inch; 1,080x2,280 pixels (AMOLED)||6.28-inch; 1,080x2,280 pixels (AMOLED)||6.28-inch OLED; 2,280x1,080 pixels||5.8-inch; 2,244x1,080 pixels (LCD)|
|Pixel density||401ppi||402 ppi||402ppi||428ppi|
|Dimensions (Inches)||6.16 x 2.96 x 0.31 in||6.08 x 2.94 x 0.29 in||6.13x2.97x0.31 in||5.9x2.8x0.3 in|
|Dimensions (Millimeters)||156.5 x 75.2 x 8 mm||154.5 x 74.8 x 7.4 mm||155.7x75.4x7.75 mm||149.1x70.8x7.65mm|
|Weight (Ounces, Grams)||6.35 oz; 180g||5.50 oz; 156g||6.2 oz; 177 g||5.8 oz; 165g|
||Android 8.1 Oreo||Android 8.1 Oreo||Android 8.1 Oreo|
|Camera||16-megapixel, 20-megapixel monochrome||Dual 12-megapixel, 5-megapixel||16-megapixel standard, 20-megapixel telephoto||12-megapixel RGB, 20-megapixel monochrome|
|Front-facing camera||20-megapixel||12-megapixel||16-megapixel||24-megapixel camera|
|Processor||2.3GHz octa-core Kirin 970||2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 660||2.8GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 845||2.3GHz octa-core Kirin 970|
|Storage||128GB||64GB, 128GB||64GB, 128GB, 256GB||128GB|
|Expandable storage||up to 256GB||up to 256GB||None||None|
|Fingerprint sensor||Back||Underscreen||Back of phone||Below screen|
|Special features||Super slow-mo video, dual-sim, splash-resistant (IP57)||Dual-SIM||Portrait mode, notifications toggle, dual-SIM, Dash Charging||Super slow mo video (960fps), splash-resistant (IP57)|
|Price off-contract (USD)||Converts to $515||Converts to $600||$529 (64GB), $579 (128GB), $629 (256GB)||Converts to $839|
|Price (GBP)||Converts to £385||Converts to £440||£469 (64GB), £519 (128GB), £569 (256GB)||£599|
|Price (AUD)||AU$689||Converts to AU$800||AU$702 (64GB), AU$769 (128GB), AU$835 (256GB)||Converts to AU$1,095|