vivo Y21T Review: Entry-Level Gaming Smartphone

vivo Y21T is the latest entry-level gaming smartphone from the company. It packs the shiny Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 and 5000 mAh battery. vivo is gearing this handset in the Php 10K segment, and we know that this is a very competitive price range.

vivo Y21T Review

vivo Y21T Review

There have been notable releases in the vivo Y series which mainly cater to the younger demographics. Will the vivo Y21T float in this fiercely contested segment? Let's find out in this review.

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Review Summary:


  • Long battery life
  • Trendy design
  • Powerful Snapdragon 680 processor


  • Display is still 720p
  • Portrait function in camera is a hit and miss

What's in the Box?

The vivo Y21T is packaged in a clean white box with silver and blue tones. This complements our review unit's colorway - the Pearl White. The phone's configurations are also stamped on the upper right - 4GB RAM and 128GB ROM - not to confuse with the 6GB RAM variant from other territories. The flip side of the box prints some of the most important features of the handset and the regulatory standards information.

vivo Y21T Quick Unboxing Video:

Opening the package, we have another box that houses the silicone case, documentations, and warranty card. Underneath is the unit in Pearl White. vivo also offers another color option for the Y21T which is the Midnight Blue. 

At the bottom of the box is a compartment containing the 18W power adaptor, USB-C cable, and the SIM eject tool.

Inside the Box Items:

  • vivo Y21T unit
  • screen protector (pre-installed)
  • 18W power adaptor
  • USB-C charging cable
  • SIM eject tool
  • Silicone case
  • User manual and warranty

As usual, there's no headphones included but that's pretty standard in most entry-level smartphones released these days.


The vivo Y21T features a 6.51-inch HD+ waterdrop LCD display. It comes with a glass front, and plastic material for the phone's frame and rear panel. The display has noticeable bezels on top and sides as well as a sizeable chin.

vivo Y21T Review: Entry-Level Gaming Smartphone

The phone's actual dimension is 164.3 x 76.1 x 8 mm. At 182 grams, the handset is not that heavy compared to other phones with 5000 mAh battery capacity.

Unfortunately, the front panel design has been stuck in 2018-ish era which is defined by sizeable bezels and waterdrop notch. But the overall ergonomics is still there especially if you're gearing this phone for gaming; I think the footprint feels just right for gaming.

vivo Y21T Review

The Pearl White colorway can be appreciated on the rear. We still have the similar camera placements that we've been accustomed to since the vivo V21 series. Though the backing is plastic, we still think that this is a pretty phone.

vivo Y21T Review

Rounding up the ports and buttons, the Y21T have them in no-nonsense placements. The volume rocker and power button, which also doubles as a fingerprint scanner, are located on the right side. On top of the handset, we have the SIM tray situated near the left corner; it comes with three slots for two Nano SIM cards and one microSD card.

Of course, we have the earpiece positioned in the center in line with the top bezel, and the front camera sensor housed inside the waterdrop notch. At the bottom, we have the 3.5mm headphone jack, microphone, USB-C port, and speaker grilles.

  • Top: SIM tray (3 slots for Nano SIM cards and microSD card)
  • Left: None
  • Right: Volume rocker and power button / fingerprint scanner
  • Bottom: 3.5mm jack, mic, USB-C charging port, and speaker

Just like other vivo handsets which tend to have wider footprint, it's a little bit of a struggle for me holding the device with just one hand. But I have no issue when it comes to the power button / fingerprint scanner and volume buttons placements in terms of one handed use.


The vivo Y21T frames a 6.51-inch HD+ IPS LCD display. For an HD panel, the screen is quite okay with ample brightness when used indoors. However, it's a different story when you use it under the sun.

vivo Y21T Review

Color saturation is quite good and color reproduction is accurate. If you're coming from another HD+ display, I think the panel is quite good and it's ideal for multimedia consumption due to the generous screen real estate. However, I think at this price vivo could have pushed it further to FHD+.

There are many features to take advantage of in terms of display - the blue-light filter, toggle for display's color temperature, and more. The viewing angles are also on point with no yellow tint on the edges.

Related: vivo Y76 5G Unboxing, First Impressions


The vivo Y21T is powered by the Snapdragon 680 that's manufactured using a 6-nanometer process technology. It runs on an octa-core processor with max speeds of up to 2.4GHz. These, combined with 4GB of RAM plus 1GB of Extended RAM (allocated from the phone's 128GB native storage), make the handset a serious entry-level gaming contender.

In addition, the handset is built with Multi-Turbo 5.0. This feature enhances the system processor speed, as well as network stability and speed to allow for a smooth gameplay.

vivo Y21T Review: Entry-Level Gaming Smartphone

The handset also features the Adreno 610 GPU which keeps everything smooth in the gaming department. Glitch and stuttering are also minimized making the gameplay even more enjoyable.

The vivo Y21T also packs the Snapdragon X11 LTE Modem which empowers your gaming activities even when on-the-go. This is very evident in some of the games that we have played - Mobile Legends: Bang Bang and Genshin Impact. The former runs smoothly without any issue of glitch or frame drop even when High Graphic settings is used; for what it's worth, the handset supports all the way up to Ultra Graphics. Genshin Impact is a graphic-intensive title but we could definitely tell that the Y21T can handle strenuous processes.

vivo Y21T Review

On top of its gaming capability, the smartphone also shoots rich audio. In loudspeaker, its audio quality is quite a head turner with just enough loudness and bass to keep up with my multimedia sessions. The Y21T also excels in multitasking capability; it remains smooth even when I opened 10 apps on the background. Also, the handset could tap the extended RAM when things get tougher.

The screen's refresh rate is only at a standard 60Hz, while there are other smartphones from other brands in the entry-level segment that already come with 90Hz refresh rate. It's worth-noting that having a higher refresh rate shows a noticeable difference in gameplay; however, the downside is that it will also significantly consume the phone's battery life.

Social media apps runs smoothly with this handset. Opening and reading documents are also great when using this phone. This means that it’s a good companion for homeschooling kids and working from home professionals. Likewise, Zoom and other conference apps run smoothly with this handset. Voice calls are also clear in both receiver and loudspeaker.

Overall, I could say that the vivo Y21T has a lot to offer in terms of performance.

If you’re keen on synthetic benchmarks, here are our results:

Antutu Score: 251461

vivo Y21T Review: Performance Benchmark Test

3DMark - Gamer's Benchmark Test

vivo Y21T Review: Gaming Benchmark Test
Wild Life Stress Test: A 20-minute test that shows the performance of a device under long periods of heavy load. It mimics mobile games that are based on longer, more immersive experiences.


The vivo Y21T packs a triple camera module - a 50MP main camera coupled with 2MP macro and 2MP depth sensors. There's no ultra-wide camera here. On the front, there's an 8MP selfie shooter. The camera app supports several modes such as Night, Portrait, Live Photo, Panorama, Pro, Slo-mo, Timelapse, and 50MP.

vivo Y21T Review

Photos from the main camera is capable with good details especially in a well-lit environment. The camera app offers 2x zoom which does the job but beyond 2x, it gets a little grainy.

vivo Y21T Review: Sample Photos

vivo Y21T Review: Sample Photos

vivo Y21T Review: Sample Photos

vivo Y21T Review: Sample Photos

The portrait mode is not consistent. There are times when we shoot on portrait and the camera fails to blur the background. But when it does, it delivers decent photos.

The vivo Y21T's camera is decent for everyday use. I also think it produces good quality selfies compared to its peers. There's a Beauty filter wherein you can use beautification tools of your liking. There's nothing special about the macro camera, but it gets the job done when you hit the right focus distance.

vivo Y21T Review: Sample Photos
Sample Photos: Selfie, Selfie Portrait

vivo Y21T Review: Sample Photos
Sample Photos: Macro

The handset also supports Night Mode. This allows the phone to overexpose dark areas. You need to hold the phone still for a number of seconds to get a good shot. However, you can still see occasional noise and some colors are muted. But overall, the Night mode is fun to have.

vivo Y21T Review: Sample Photos
Sample Photos: Night Mode


The Y21T boots with Funtouch OS 12 which is based on Android 11 mobile operating platform. The UI still has the key Android elements like the App Drawer, Notification Shade, and Google Card (when you swipe right from homescreen).

vivo Y21T also lets you choose between 3-button or gesture navigation. I would always choose the latter since it makes using your smartphone a lot easier. The icons are simple and rounded by default, although you can still customize them.

The Multi Turbo 5.0 feature can be accessed by swiping from the upper left in certain apps that supports this mode. This feature offers a lot of gaming tweaks and customizations. For one, it supports system acceleration. Plus, it gives you instant access in enabling esports mode and record your screen. Likewise, it allows you to filter your notifications while in game.

vivo Y21T Review: Entry-Level Gaming Smartphone

vivo Y21T Review: Entry-Level Gaming Smartphone


The vivo Y21T packs a 5000 mAh Li-Po battery which definitely gives gamers and productivity enthusiasts a longer mileage. We run the PCMark Work 3.0 battery life test which is based on everyday activities, and the handset scored a whooping 26 hours and 27 minutes, that's more than a day of power.

vivo Y21T Review: Entry-Level Gaming Smartphone

Charging the vivo Y21T using its 18W charger, from zero to 100%, took us 2 hours and 20 minutes, which is quite decent for a phone with bigger battery capacity.

vivo Y21T Review

Verdict: Should You Buy vivo Y21T?

The vivo Y21T is a capable smartphone in its own right. Is it a good entry-level smartphone? Definitely yes. Giving the highlight to "entry-level", it could keep up with non-graphic intensive games with almost zero noticeable frame drop. However, if you're looking for a well-rounded phone for a Php 10,999 price, the Y21T is not that easy to recommend as there is a handful of better options in the market.

The cameras are very capable for an entry-level phone. vivo has the reputation of having competitive selfie cameras in different classes; and I think the Y21T is not an exception. Likewise, the battery life is very impressive.

vivo Y21T Specs

  • 6.51-inch HD+ 720 x 1600 pixels IPS LCD display, 60Hz, 20:9 ratio, 269 ppi density
  • Snapdragon 680 (6 nm)
  • 2.4GHz octa-core CPU
  • Adreno 610 GPU
  • 4GB RAM + 128GB ROM
  • microSD support, with dedicated slot
  • Triple rear cameras: 50MP, f/1.8 main, PDAF + 2MP, f/2.4 macro + 2MP, f/2.4 depth
  • Front camera: 8MP, f/1.8
  • Videos:1080p@30fps (front/rear)
  • Loudspeaker
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • Dual SIM (Nano)
  • 4G / LTE
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
  • Bluetooth v5.0
  • FM radio
  • USB Type-C 2.0, USB OTG
  • Fingerprint (side-mounted)
  • Accelerometer, proximity, compass
  • Funtouch 12, based on Android 11
  • 164.3 x 76.1 x 8 mm, 182 grams
  • Li-Po 5000 mAh battery
  • 18W fast charging with reverse charging
  • Pearl White, Midnight Blue
  • Php 10,999 SRP
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