Vivo V3Max and V3 Review

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Vivo had kept a bit quite till a few months back, but lately it seems to be back — with its products as well as branding push. The company launched its V3 and V3Max, at different price points, both in highly competitive segments . Let’s see if the V3Max is worth your Rs. 24K or if the V3 is worth your 17k or not.


The Vivo V3Max follows a metallic design with glass on top. The phone is quite light but a little slippery with no curves around the back. The 5.5-inch IPS panel has sensors, ear-speaker grille and an 8 MP camera and notification LED above it; while three capacitive touch keys (they don’t lit up) — Back, Home, and Menu (from right to left) below it. The Gold colour meets the White on the edges, which locates the Power/ lock key and volume rockers on the right side. Only the SIM card + microSd card slot tray is on the left side. The 3.5mm headset jack is placed on the top; and louspeaker, microUSB port and primary mic at the bottom. The glass on the display isn’t placed till the edges, which means quite often when scrolling from left to right or vice versa from either sides, you keep hitting the glass edge, which means hitting the glass. The back shows the Vivo logo in the middle, and the 13 MP camera and LED flash followed by the fingerprint scanner near the top. The V3 is considerably smaller, and though Vivo has done a really good job of making the phones feel comfortable, no sharp edges, the V3 is more grippy and compact to carry around and also weighs less for obvious reasons.

Vivo V3Max and V3

The V3Max features a full HD IPS LCD with 2.5D glass on top. The display has great contrasts levels, is usable under direct sunlight and handles full HD content with decent sharpness. Colour reproduction can be slightly better, though, but it is indeed a pretty good quality screen from Vivo. The V3 has a 5-inch display with pretty much same pros and cons, just that it’s slightly better in terms of outdoor visibility.

On the back, there is a 13 MP (PDAF) camera. The camera app is quite quick to capture shots in most cases and it has a lot of modes to choose from. It takes detailed and relatively sharp images, but tends to lose focus in low-light conditions, gives grainy images when used to capture a moving object. Otherwise, ti can handle most conditions well, and can be said to be a decent performer. Here are a few sample images:

I didn’t find much of a problem with WiFi, GPS or Bluetooth, but there was certainly some issue with the phone’s network reception. A few times it refused to connect to some contact numbers even when another phone, on the same network, called the same contact numbers just fine. There’s probably a bit of a tweaking required for better cell network reception when outdoors. You have hybrid SIM card slot, either have two SIM cards (GSM + GSM) or have one SIM card and a microSD card insterted. Audio quality of both the devices ranks high. Audio has usually been Vivo’s strength and the V3Max and V3 show it; whether it’s the in-ear earphones for music, or loudspeaker at the bottom, which is on par with many high-end smartphones available today, or the Vivo music player, the phones shine in this department.

The phone is equipped with a 3,000 mAh battery unit, and it lasted me a whole day more frequently than not. Using a single SIM card, I found the phone’s battery life to be its biggest selling point. Plus, Vivo’s bundled higher capacity charger meant charging the from 0 to full in less than 2 hours (and 0 to 50% within 40 minutes). On the other hand, the V3 sports a 2,550 mAh battery and I find it to be just an average performer in terms of battery life. More often than not, with a bit of games and music, along with data connectivity, you would have to charge the V3 within 15-16 hours.

The V3Max runs on Android 5.1.1 with FunTouch OS 2.6 on top, while the V3 has FunTouch 1.8. There’s Snapdragon 652 chipset along with 4 GB of RAM inside the V3Max, and Snapdragon 616 chipset with 3 GB of RAM for the V3. The look and feel of FunTouch remains on White and Blue side of things. A lot of light colour pallets are in use, which some people may like. You can now have two apps open at once with multi-window feature for when you receive a notification from, say, WhatsApp while watching a video, you get a bubble on top of the main screen from where you can have both apps open taking half the screen each, but at this time not many apps support this. Icons and notification shade look nice and quite mature than FunTouch’s earlier versions. Scrolling and switching between apps is also better, though still not as smooth as I would like it to be, especially for this price point. You still get toggle buttons and recent apps list from the bottom of the screen, which you can triggle by either swiping up from the bottom of the screen or pressing the Menu/Options key once. Other notable features include longer super screenshot (present in earlier Vivo phones, too), Vivo’s own widgets for its pre-loaded apps, and VivoCloud for contacts, SMS, and notes backup and restore. But one thing that’s probably a deal breaker is that the phone heat up and it really heats up while playing a game for 10-15 minutes or even just putting the phone on charge with the default charger.

All in all, the Vivo V3MAx performs well with its screen and battery life, but struggles with issues like network reception and excessive heating. It could be a decent option provided these issues could be fixed, but otherwise, you may look somewhere else for now.

Student. I also write a bit about phones, apps, and stuff here and there. Almost nobody.

1 Comment

  1. Dipti

    August 14, 2016 at 4:46 am

    Great review! I tested V3 when I was in a mobile shop, found it quite nice. 🙂

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