Vivo X21’s Under Display Fingerprint Scanner Review: A Great Start!

After much teasing, the Vivo X21 (₹35,990) is finally here. While the smartphone boasts of many tricks up its sleeve, the biggest highlight has got to be the under display fingerprint scanner. The new technology is the solution to finally having bezel-less displays while still having a fingerprint sensor in the front. That being said, a lot of people around the world have plenty of queries regarding the performance of this new technology. Well, I’ve been using the Vivo X21 for quite some time now, and I decided it was time to put this new technology to the test. Well, if you’re someone who is interested in buying the Vivo X21 or simply wants to see how well the under display fingerprint scanner fares, read on, as we do an in-depth review of the under display fingerprint scanner on the Vivo X21:

Registration Time

To be very honest, registering your fingerprint on the Vivo X21 UD is a tedious task. It might be that I’m accustomed to using capacitive fingerprint scanners that feel soft and are easy to interact with, which is why I didn’t really fancy the registration process on the under display fingerprint scanner on this device.

Vivo X21 Under-Screen Fingerprint Scanner Review 1

The Vivo X21 UD literally asks you to press your finger hard on the screen to actually register a scan, and it takes an awfully long time to completely register your finger. It took me an astonishing 22 seconds to register part of the fingerprint only. The complete registration, including the edge input, took me about 35 seconds in all, which is just absurd.

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Unlock Speed

Figuratively, the Vivo X21 UD takes about a second to completely unlock, which includes the cumbersome animations as well. While this is quite slow when pit up against the current crop of smartphones with fast fingerprint scanners, I believe it won’t matter that much to the end-user. Truth be told, the device is still snappy, and in real life usage, the almost one second spent on unlocking the device is negligible.

Vivo X21’s Under Display Fingerprint Scanner Review: A Great Start!

Accuracy and Consistency

Truth be told, the under display fingerprint sensor on this device is sort of inconsistent, which was something I expected from the get-go. The Vivo X21 UD managed to recognize my fingerprint just 6 out of 10 times. Considering this is still a newer technology, this was something one would have anticipated. Also, it is worth noting that the major issue with this inconsistency is the fact that you have to actually press quite hard on the screen, as opposed to the simple touching of your finger on the capacitive fingerprint scanners that are found on the current range of smartphones.

Vivo X21’s Under Display Fingerprint Scanner Review: A Great Start!

Screen Protector

A question that many of you have wondered is that considering that the Vivo X21 UD houses its fingerprint scanner underneath its display, would the technology work with screen protectors applied on the screen? Well, the Vivo X21 UD comes with a screen protector applied on top of it, straight out-of-the-box. And guess what? The fingerprint scanner works great!

But since this is a proper review of the fingerprint scanner, I decided to take things up a notch. While there aren’t any native screen protectors available for the Vivo smartphone just yet in the market, I decided to try out some from other smartphones, and see whether the under-display fingerprint scanner works or not. Considering that this is an optical fingerprint scanner, after all, I did expect it to work. And thankfully, I wasn’t let down. I tried using tempered glass protectors as well as the usual film protectors on the display, and the fingerprint scanner worked just as well. So, no worries here!

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Oil, Water and Dust

Now, there are cases when your fingers can be a bit, well, dirty, right? You’re eating food or doing something and suddenly you need to use your phone with your fingers, but alas, it’s locked. Sure, there’s always Face ID, but wouldn’t it be great if your fingerprint scanner would be able to work its way through all of it? Well, I decided to try it out on the Vivo X21, and my results were, kind of positive only, I’d say.

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First up, I tried using the phone with oily fingers after having my lunch. The Vivo X21 was able to recognize my fingerprint without any issues, which is great. Now, I’m the kind of guy who’s always hungry and snacks a lot. So after finishing almost 2 packets of chips myself, my hands were pretty dirty. I figured this was another great opportunity to try out the fingerprint scanner. And luckily, the Vivo X21 UD was able to recognize my biometrics and unlock the device just fine.

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That being said, it was time to wash my hands. Now, with moist fingers, I tried to unlock my device. Sadly, the Vivo X21 failed this time around. I was lucky once, but then again, I wouldn’t really count that, since I tried using the smartphone with moisture on top of the display multiple times, but I wasn’t able to replicate that success.

Vivo X21’s Under Display Fingerprint Scanner Review: A Great Start!

SEE ALSO: 15 Best Vivo X21 Features and Tricks

Vivo X21 Under Display Fingerprint Scanner Review: Small Steps to a Bright Future

Well, that was my thorough review of the under display fingerprint scanner in the Vivo X21 UD. Now, judging by the results, there are two things worth pointing out. One is that the Vivo X21 while being a decent performer, is not nearly as fast as the current crop of fast fingerprint scanners found on devices such as the OnePlus 6, Samsung Galaxy S9, or the iPhone 8 Plus. It is not as fast nor that consistent. That being said, considering this is still a relatively new technology, the performance is still quite decent. Moreover, truth be told, the end-user might not even notice all the differences that I’ve highlighted above, and thanks to the efficient use of space, might end up liking the under display fingerprint sensors.

From what I make of it, the Vivo X21 UD is indeed a great start for the revolution of under display fingerprint scanners, and will probably change the way we look at bezel-less display smartphones in the coming months.

Pros and Cons
Final Verdict
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