Vivo is among the smartphone brands gaining popularity in India. The company is now the title sponsor for Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket tournament, and according to the latest IDC numbers among the top five smartphone vendors in the world.
The company, which has started its manufacturing plant in India, has stuck to its image of a premium Chinese smartphone brand in the country and differentiates itself on the basis of premium design and overall appeal.
In the words of IPL secretary Rajeev Shula, “Vivo did everything possible to get IPL title sponsorship.” In fact, the Vivo V3 and V3Max launch events were less of a device unveiling and more of a IPL gala event. It just shows how much ‘Vivo’ is banking on IPL for its brand reach.
Let’s get back to the device itself. With the Vivo V3 and V3Max, the company is targeting those consumers who prefer the likes of Apple and Samsung’s Galaxy series. When the onus on a device is so big it better be good, right? But I am not so impressed with the device. Read on to find out why.
Specs: 5.5-inch Full HD display | 1.8GHz octa-core Snapdragon 652 processor | 4GB RAM | 32GB storage space (expandable to 128GB) | 13MP rear camera, 8MP front camera | 3000mAh battery | Android 5.1 Lollipop | Vivo V3Max full specs
Price: Rs 23,980
What is good?
I associate Vivo smartphones with great design. Even at a time when most phones look the same, Vivo makes sure that its phones stand out with best in-class design. Vivo V3Max also retains design as its USP, even though it is similar to the company’s flagship Xplay5 (yet to launch in India) with angular edges and seamless curves.
It is tall, rectangular and extremely easy to hold, thanks to that 7.6 mm frame and 70 percent screen to body ratio. Vivo V3Max’s back panel is gold in colour, and it blends nicely with the front white panel. There’s no doubt that the V3Max is a stunning looking device.
Vivo V3Max has a 5.5-inch display with Full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. I have no doubt calling this one of the best LCD displays on a smartphone. It is bright, and has deep color saturation. It looks vivid while watching videos, and the full HD video playback makes for a great user experience.
One of the newest introductions to Vivo V series smartphone is the fingerprint sensor. The fingerprint scanner is rectangular in design and placed at the back. It has very quick response time and unlocks the device immediately. The same can also be used as shutter button while in the camera app. The fingerprint sensor also works in 360 degree direction, which is a good utility option.
In our past reviews of Vivo devices, we have observed how good their cameras are and the trend continues with the Vivo V3Max. The autofocus is incredibly quick, and gets the colours right.
However, what amazed me about this camera is its macro mode. Vivo V3Max has one of the best macro smartphone cameras right now. If you like getting into the minute details of a flower, this one will definitely excite you. The pictures shot with V3Max offer nice details, and decent dynamic range. Only thing that could have been better is the low-light capability, but I think that is still meant for the high-end devices.
The 8MP selfie camera won’t leave anyone disappointed. It’s not as good as Oppo F1 or F1 Plus, but surely matches others in the price range.
Vivo V3Max comes with a 3000mAh battery and supports Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 2.0 technology. The smartphone charges very fast and offers two hours of music playback from just five minutes of charging.
On the audio front, Vivo V3Max supports Hi-fi audio which is the standard music streaming format these days. The audio quality is exceptionally well tuned, and sounds fantastic while playing back FLAC audio.
What is not that good?
Vivo V3Max easily manages to score over 72000 in Antutu and easily topples Samsung Galaxy S6 in the single core score on Geekbench. That may sound great but in reality, Vivo V3Max suffers from lot of performance issues.
Every time an incoming message drops in, the messages app crashes. The camera is great, but it just freezes at times. Try playing Asphalt 8: Airborne on this, and you will realise the actual meaning of performance slowdown.
I believe the issue is related to matching 4GB RAM with Snapdragon 652 series processor. A few updates in the last few days have fixed some of these issues, but the problems are far from over.
Another issue is that the phone is prone to overheating while playing graphic heavy games and you can’t hold it in your hands.
Vivo V3Max’s battery also gave me mixed results. During the testing period, it lasted one full day only once, even though it scored well in the battery rundown test. For my usage it usually lasted around 14 hours with moderate usage.
Vivo V3Max runs Funtouch OS 2.5 based on Android 5.1 Lollipop. At a time when Android N launch is just around the corner, Lollipop on a new phone in unacceptable. Plus, the features that Vivo has added aren’t that great either. There are duplicate apps for the browser, music player etc and company’s smart split mode works only with handful apps.
Should you buy?
Vivo V3Max is not a bad phone, but does suffer with some optimisation issues which the company can fix with software updates. Considering the smartphone is priced at Rs 23,980, I’d say these issues shouldn’t exist in the first place.
If you are buying this phone then be prepared to appreciate the camera and design, but don’t expect blazing performance.