Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition vs Vivo X21: Price, Specifications, Features Compared

Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition vs Vivo X21: Price, Specifications, Features Compared
  • The Vivo X21 was launched in China in March
  • Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition was introduced today
  • Both the smartphones come with onscreen fingerprint scanner

Xiaomi on Thursday launched the Mi 8 in three variants - the standard Xiaomi Mi 8 that comes with face unlock and fingerprint scanning, the smaller Xiaomi Mi 8 SE sibling, and the Mi 8 Explorer Edition that comes with exclusive features like the in-display fingerprint scanner, 3D face recognition, and a transparent back. The Mi 8 Explorer Edition will see direct competition from Vivo X21, a smartphone that was launched in China in March with in-display fingerprint scanning as well. The Vivo X21 was launched in India just a few days ago, for a price tag of Rs. 35,990. Let's pit the two smartphones together to see which one fares better on paper.

Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition vs Vivo X21: Price, availability

Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition comes with a price tag of CNY 3,699 (roughly Rs. 39,000). The Mi 8 Explorer Edition release date has not yet been announced. In China, the special under display fingerprint sensor-equipped 128GB variant - the Vivo X21 UD - has been priced at CNY 3,598 (roughly Rs. 37,100) and its already available to buy in the Chinese market. In India, the Chinese company decided to launch the X21 UD variant as the X21 itself. It is priced at Rs. 35,990 and is exclusive to Flipkart.

Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition vs Vivo X21 specifications

Both the smartphones sport 6.2-inch full HD+ displays. While the Mi 8 Explorer Edition has the latest Snapdragon 845 SoC, the Vivo X21 is powered by the Snapdragon 660 SoC. The Xiaomi variant sports of a mammoth 8GB RAM, while Vivo sticks with 6GB.

In terms of camera specifications, the X21 bears a vertical rear dual camera setup with a 12-megapixel primary sensor (f/1.8 aperture) and a 5-megapixel secondary sensor (f/2.4 aperture) with LED flash. The flagship Xiaomi handset sports a vertically stacked rear dual camera setup that gets two 12-megapixel sensors with 1.4-micron pixels, 4-axis OIS, dual pixel autofocus, AI portraits, AI scene detection, and video detection. The Vivo X21 has a 12-megapixel front camera, while the Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition boasts of a 20-megapixel sensor. Both the smartphones sport on board storage of 128GB.

Vivo X21 takes a slight lead with a 3200mAh battery, but the Xiaomi Mi 8 premium variant does not fall behind with its 3000mAh battery. It however weighs significantly more at 177 grams, while the Vivo X21 weighs only 156 grams. There's a transparent back on the Mi 8 Explorer Edition, while the Vivo X21 comes with Black and Gold colour options for Indian users.

The Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition has better specifications on paper than Vivo X21. In China, the price gap between the two smartphones isn't that much, and the Mi 8 Explorer Edition is an ideal buy. However, this comparison isn't based on prolonged usage of the two smartphones, so we cannot ascertain true sustainability of any of them. Also, the Xiaomi variant isn't available yet in China or in India, so if you're looking at a purchase right away, the Vivo X21 is your only option.

Check out the full Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition vs Vivo X21 specification comparison below.

Is Vivo X21 the future of smartphones or an overpriced gimmick? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

Mi 8 Explorer Edition vs Vivo X21 comparison
  Mi 8 Explorer Edition Vivo X21
Key Specs
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 845Qualcomm Snapdragon 660
Front Camera20-megapixel12-megapixel
Rear Camera12-megapixel12-megapixel + 5-megapixel
Battery Capacity3000mAh3200mAh
OSAndroid OreoAndroid 8.1
Resolution1080x2248 pixels1080x2280 pixels
See full Comparison »
  • Design
  • Display
  • Software
  • Performance
  • Battery Life
  • Camera
  • Value for Money
  • Good
  • Up-to-date software
  • Good battery life
  • Premium build quality
  • Bad
  • Slow fingerprint scanner
  • Micro-USB port
Display 6.28-inch
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 660
Front Camera 12-megapixel
Rear Camera 12-megapixel + 5-megapixel
Storage 128GB
Battery Capacity 3200mAh
OS Android 8.1
Resolution 1080x2280 pixels

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Further reading: Vivo, Xiaomi
Tasneem Akolawala is a Senior Reporter for Gadgets 360. Her reporting expertise encompasses smartphones, wearables, apps, social media, and the overall tech industry. She reports out of Mumbai, and also writes about the ups and downs in the Indian telecom sector. Tasneem can be reached on Twitter at @MuteRiot, and leads, tips, and releases can be sent to tasneema@ndtv.com. More
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