Vivo’s 2018 flagship, the X21, aims to deliver flagship experience at a relatively mid-range price. As you must know, the primary highlight of the handset is its in-display fingerprint sensor, but that’s not all there is to cherish. The handset looks elegant, has a quality AMOLED screen, a good set of cameras, and offers excellent battery backup.

As for the software, the Funtouch OS 4.0 running on X21 is based on Android 8.1 Oreo and is quite rich in terms of features. If you have already bought the phone, here are the things you should try on the Vivo X21 to make the most of it.

Also Read: Vivo X21 Review With Pros and Cons

1. Turn Always-On for the fingerprint sensor

The Vivo V9 gives you the option to set-up fingerprint sensor during initial setup. Once you are done with that, you can also optimize the fingerprint sensor to be always on in order to make the most of it.

Go to Settings>>Fingerprint sensor>> and turn on “show fingerprint sensor when the screen is off” option as shown in the image above. Since the X21 has an AMOLED panel, keeping the sensor lit on the lock screen won’t incur any significant battery penalty.

You can also customize Fingerprint sensor unlock animations and choose between three options.

2. Customize Always-on display

This is perhaps the first Vivo phone in India to offer an Always On display. That’s primarily because the X21 has an AMOLED screen and the lighting a few individual pixels isn’t excessively harsh on battery.


Anyways, the Always on display on the Vivo X21 is quite elaborate. You can customize the clock background, clock widget style, and even play with colors. You can also choose between apps for which you wish to see notification icons on the screen.

To customize Always-on display, go to Settings>> lock screen, home screen, and wallpapers>> and choose Always On display.

3. Hide the notch on Vivo X21

If the notch isn’t your thing, you can also turn it off. There is no option in the UI to turn the Notch off, but you can still do that using the Nacho Notch App.

The App adds a quick-settings tile that you can use to toggle the notch on/off. We have detailed the process in a separate article as well.

4. Navigation Gestures

To make full use of the immersive full-screen display, you can replace the navigation bar on the Vivo X21 with gestures. You can also decide the order of navigation gesture and can also eliminate gesture guiding lines at the bottom.

The good thing is that you can still drag up the control center from the bottom and a simple swipe on the navigation bar (or the bottom of the screen) can take you back and forth between recent apps.

5. Customize Volume Down Shortcut To Access Apps

Using ‘Smart Click’ you can customize Volume Down button to directly open the camera, Facebook, WhatsApp, or any other app directly from the lock screen.

Combined with Vivo X21’s fast Face Unlock, this is a fast way of accessing any frequently used apps. Of course, you may use the gesture to turn on flashlight too.

You will find ‘Smart Click’ in the Settings menu. Just scroll down to the bottom.

5. Manage Home Screen and Lock screen on Vivo X21

One of the first things you need to do on the Vivo X21 is to customize its home screen and lock screen. Here is what you can do:

  • Add App drawer: To add an app drawer, just use a third party launcher. A good third party launcher, like Nova Launcher, can give X21 a much-needed facelift.

  • Automatic Wallpaper Update: Go to Settings>> ‘Lock screen, Home screen, and Wallpapers’ and select ‘Lockscreen Poster’. Here you can add feeds from which your phone will automatically pick and refresh your lock-screen wallpaper.

  • Home Screen: For home screen options, you can change the wallpaper, transition animations, and turn on Dynamic Icons (or animated icons) from the same menu.


6. Add battery percentage to the status bar in Vivo X21

The Vivo X21 has a notch up top and that restricts room for status bar icons. You can still add battery percentage next to the battery icon, though. This is important because to know the precise amount of juice remaining in the tank is important to battle battery anxiety.

To turn on percentage, just go to Settings>> Status Bar and Notifications, and turn on the toggle next to battery percentage.

7. Make use of extensive gesture support on Vivo X21

Vivo X21 has quite a few smart screen gestures clubbed under “Smart Motion”. There are loads of options here including double tap to wake, swipe up to unlock, smart answer, and more.

The names given to these gestures aren’t self-explanatory, though. Just tap on the option and a brief explanation will pop up.

8. Add Recycle Bin backup to Gallery for Deleted Images

It’s quite common to accidentally delete valuable images you need along with the clutter. In order to avoid losing precious memories, you can always add a recycle bin to Vivo X21.

You can also decide the duration for which you wish to retain these deleted files on your phone (1-day to 30-days). To access the option, go to Settings>> Albums.

9. Turn on flashlight alerts for calls and notifications

If you often have your phone on silent mode, and often end up missing important calls and notifications. You can turn on Flashlight notifications on Vivo X21 from Settings>> Additional settings>> Flashlight Notifications.

Flashlight alerts also help when your phone is placed upside down on your table.

10. Auto Call Recording

You can also turn on Auto Call recording on Vivo X21. To do so, go to Settings>> Phone>>Recond Settings.

You can also choose to record calls for specific contacts or numbers by choosing Custom call recording.

11. Vivo X21 Camera Tricks – Portrait Mode, Live Images, AR stickers

Vivo X21 has a pretty good camera for its price. The camera software also makes the experience more engaging.

Use Portrait mode on Vivo X21: Just tap the portrait mode icon as shown in the images above to shoot images with blurred background. You can also vary the intensity of blur by adjusting the F-stop slider. Just remember that the quality of the bokeh is better in clicked images compared to the stimulation you see on the viewfinder before shooting.

Have Fun with AR stickers: Just swipe left to access AR stickers. You can now add fun effects real time to images before pressing the shutter.

Shoot Live images: With Live images, you can shoot animated short clips instead of still photos. This adds context and life to images.

12. Use Beautify for Video calls in WhatsApp and FB Messenger

If Beautify is your thing, you can use live beautification to lessen skin blemishes in video calls placed through WhatsApp, Facebook messenger and other apps on Vivo X21.

To turn on the feature, go to Settings>> More Settings>> Face Beauty for Video calls.

13. Keep Dual Apps on Vivo X21

On Vivo X21, you can keep two of messaging apps and log-in using separate accounts.

Just go to settings>> App clone. Now, toggle on the option for the required app.

14. Blur recent apps for privacy

The recent apps menu shows thumbnails of your recent activity across all open apps. This could be a risk to your privacy and the Vivo X21 addresses this concern.

From Settings>> More Settings>> Recent, you can turn on the option to blur particular apps in recent apps pane.

15. Turn on Easy Touch Floating Menu

With the phones going big, it isn’t often easy to reach the extreme top and bottom ends of the screen. That’s where the floating buttons come in handy.

Vivo calls it Easy Touch. You can turn on Easy Touch from quick setting tiles, but to customize it, you will need to visit Settings>>More Settings>> Easy Touch.

16. Setup Face Unlock on Vivo X21

The Vivo X21 also has an extremely fast Face Unlock mechanism. We don’t often use it since we are used to unlocking our phone with the in-display fingerprint sensor for now, but if you are using gestures and shortcuts to directly launch apps from lock screen, the Face Unlock can smoothen the process by unlocking your phone in a jiffy.


We’d recommend that you set it up. To do so, go to Settings>> Fingerprint sensor and Face Unlock. You can also turn on Screen Fill Light to improve performance in low light.

17. Native Truecaller Alternative on Vivo X21

The True Caller app is best at what it does, but it’s also over intrusive. If you want to avoid using it for privacy or other concerns, Vivo has a native solution.

Go to Settings>> phone and then select ‘Online Recognize unknown numbers’. Once turned on, a database of incoming numbers is maintained and downloaded to phone for offline use.

18. Split Screen Multitasking on Vivo X21

Vivo X21 has a slightly unconventional approach to split-screen multitasking. And the feature works only for a select few apps. You can check the list of supported apps in the screenshots below.

Message screen-split: When you are busy in Apps like YouTube, Gmail, Chrome, etc. and a message pops up, you can tap on the messaging app icon to split screen and reply to it in a separate window.

Manual split screen: Just swipe down with three fingers which using one app. For supported apps, this will split the screen in two.

19. Directly turn down Media Volume

On Vivo V9, when you turn the volume up or down from home screen, only the ringtone volume is altered.

If you wish to turn Media Volume Up or Down even when you are not in an app playing media, you can do so by using the Volume slider in the action center.

Turning media volume is useful when you can’t risk your phone blasting of suddenly, say when a video pops up in your browser or when you are navigating through your phone in the quiet of the night.

20. Lock Apps using another password on Vivo X21

You can lock apps on Vivo X21 using passwords other than your unlock pattern. To do so, go to Settings>> Fingerprints, Face, and Password, and select Privacy and app encryption.

You can now set a new password and select the apps you wish to secure with the same.

20 Best Vivo X21 Tips and Tricks

These are some of the software features that most of us could use on Vivo X21. Of course, the Funtouch OS 4.0 is fully loaded with features and there are many more like long screenshots, customizing Global search, etc. that we haven’t covered here. If you are looking for something particular and didn’t find it above, ask us in the comment section below.

Also Read: Vivo X21 Vs OnePlus 6 – Which one is better?


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