The selfie camera often goes overlooked. Did you know that before this week there were only 5 phones with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) on their front-facing cameras? Some flagships don’t even have autofocus on front! So, even if you have the money to spend, a great front camera for photos and videos is not easy to find.
vivo V21 in Sunset Dazzle and Dusk Blue • vivo V21e in Diamond Flare and vivo V21e in Roman Black
vivo wants to be the selfie champion, especially for those only looking to spend mid-ranger money. The new vivo V21 trio comes equipped with 44MP front cameras and a number of fun photo and video modes to boost your selfie game.
The vivo V21 and V21 5G share most of their specs – all but the 5G connectivity
Two models – the vivo V21 and V21 5G – also add OIS and a dual LED flash to their selfie cameras. Well, they are basically the same phone and you will probably never see them side by side in a store.
The only difference between them is the 5G connectivity. Even the 4G model is powered by the Dimensity 800U chipset, it’s just that it is intended for markets without operational 5G networks.
The third model, the vivo V21e, also sticks to 4G, but switches the chipset to a Snapdragon 720G. This is the more affordable model as it cuts some features – notably the OIS and LED flash on the front camera. Even so, it can still record 4K videos at 30 fps, whereas many in this price class top out at 1080p.
The vivo V21e dials back its display and front camera features
Also, the screen on the e isn’t as nice. The V21 and V21 5G boast 6.44” AMOLED panels with 90 Hz refresh rate, 500 nits typical brightness and HDR10+. If you go for the e, you still get a 6.44” AMOLED, though it refreshes at 60 Hz, is rated at 430 nits typical brightness and it only has HDR10 support (no plus).
90 Hz refresh rate for the V21 and V21 5G • Standard 60 Hz for the V21e
Beyond that, all three are the same. They have the same 64MP main camera on the rear, with OIS on all three, an 8MP ultrawide and a 2MP macro. And they have the same 4,000mAh battery with 33W fast charging.
OIS and dual LED flash on V21 and V21 5G • Same triple rear camera on all three V21 phones
The vivo V21 and V21e are on pre-order in Malaysia and will be available from May 5. The V21 costs MYR 1,600 ($390/€325), while the V21e goes for MYR 1,300 ($315/€260).
That’s well below something like the Asus Zenfone 7, which does shoot selfie photos and videos with a high-quality OIS-enabled sensor, thanks to the flip up mechanism.
A Samsung Galaxy A52 has a 32 MP front camera, no OIS and no autofocus. It’s powered by the S720G chipset, it has a 6.5” 90 Hz AMOLED display and a 4,500 mAh battery with 25W charging. And it costs about the same as the V21 (MYR 1,500).
The Moto G60 also has a 32 MP fixed-focus front camera, but it packs a 108 MP sensor on the back for all those non-selfie photos. It has a 6.8” 120 Hz LCD, a Snapdragon 732G and a 6,000 mAh battery with 20W charging. The G60 is cheaper than the V-series phones.
A OnePlus Nord comes in with a dual front camera – 32 MP main and 8 MP ultra wide. It also has 5G connectivity (thanks to the S765G chip) and a 6.44” 90 Hz AMOLED. The 4,115 mAh battery charges at 30W and costs MYR 1,800 in Malaysia (note: it’s the 4G V21 that is MYR 1,600).
Samsung Galaxy A52 • Motorola Moto G60 • OnePlus Nord
There are other potential alternatives, though none can really match the vivo V21 series, especially if you want to do walk-and-talk style vlogs. Most handsets in this price class just don’t have the still or video resolution to match the V21 phones either.
So, what are your thoughts on the vivo V21, V21 5G and V21e? Assuming you’re in the market for a mid-range phone, of course.