vivo V3 Max Review – The Smartphone that got your back

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What you get out of the box?

  • vivo V3 Max (with tempered glass attached)
  • USB charging cable
  • Fast charging wall adapter
  • OTG Cable
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Warranty Card
  • Earphones
  • SIM Ejector Pin
  • Complimentary TPU transparent back case

Introduction

It has been two weeks that I have been playing with the vivo V3 Max, the recently launched smartphone from vivo Malaysia. I have been using it as my daily driver and as usual, my review is focused mainly on user’s point of view. I will share my experience and what are the things that I like and dislike about the v3 Max. Also, I have not tried most phones from vivo and this is something that I have been looking forward for a long time.

Display

The vivo V3 Max has a great display, it comes with a Full HD IPS display and sized at 5.5-inch. Since it uses IPS technology, the display is top notch and the images are clear and crisp. No doubt vivo has done a good job in this department. I did not face any issues with the display. Nowadays most phones are sized at 5.5-inch and I will place the V3 Max as one of the best displays in that category. As I have mentioned in plenty of my reviews, there’s no real need for 2k display technology at the moment. The Full HD is more than enough and it is sufficient to most users these days.

Processor & RAM

This smartphone is the first smartphone in Malaysia to come with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 652 Octa core processor. This is one of the latest processor and is claimed to perform almost as good as the flagship Snapdragon 820. So far I did not notice any lags at all and it is butter smooth as the 4GB of RAM could have played a huge role in sucking in the little bit of lags that could come up of a sudden. If you’re looking for a smartphone that does not lag at all despite plenty of apps running, this is the one for you. I did not perform any gaming test for the V3 Max, however there’s plenty of review out there saying this smartphone could handle hardcore graphics as well. 🙂

Camera & Storage

In terms of camera performance, the vivo V3 Max comes with a 13MP sensor and assisted with PDAF (Phase Detection Auto Focus) technology. The camera is very fast and the PDAF works flawlessly being able to focus and shift the focus very fast. This smartphone is accompanied with a single LED flash. The camera app is pretty straight forward. There’s HDR, Ultra HD, Panorama, Night, PPT, Motion Track, Professional, Slow and Fast preset modes available. The professional mode (manual mode) looks very identical to the one on Nokia 1020. Everything works fine and you can check our camera samples taken mostly with auto mode. The selfie camera comes at 8MP. Of course you have better performing selfie phones out there, however the 8MP does a good job in taking decent selfies. There’s no front facing flash to assist you though.

Camera Samples

Storage wise, there’s 32GB of internal storage given for you to abuse. You will barely face issues having lack of memory left unless you’re a heavy video/music lover. No worries about that as there’s an option to expand your storage with micro SD card slot up to 128GB. Despite this smartphone being a dual SIM smartphone, the SIM tray is the hybrid SIM type. SIM 1 being the micro SIM slot while the SIM 2 slot shares micro SD card and Nano SIM. I personally feel this is my preferred type as I barely use micro SD card and if there’s a need to use, that’s when I will remove my SIM 2 and hot swap it with my micro SD card.

Funtouch OS 2.5 and Sound

The Funtouch OS 2.5 is the Android Skin On technology used by vivo on top of the Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. This skin is inspired by the Apple iOS itself. Most of the UI looks exactly like your friends iPhone and if you can’t afford one, this could be your choice if you’re an iOS inspired soul. 😛

This is not the best Android Skin available out there, however I do feel that the Funtouch OS 2.5 has great potential and could be one of the best in the upcoming days. Simple and straightforward I will say, as there’s no app drawer and all the apps are on  the home screens itself.  There’s plenty of features to play from and you can customize it according to your preference.

In terms of sound coming out from the speaker, the sound is pretty loud and in fact it is louder than most recent phones that I have tried. Of course the placement could sometimes interrupt the volume as it could get covered by your hand while holding it. There’s also build in DAC which allows you to listen to songs with better quality. You can listen to 32-bit/192kHz audio via the earphone jack. There’s some settings that will be enabled only when you plug-in your earphones which allows you to tweak the audio presets. Almost forget, there’s FM Radio too despite some brands are actually dropping this idea of having an FM available on the smartphone that they produce.

Fingerprint sensor, Motions, Gestures and etc.

The vivo V3 Max comes with a rear placed fingerprint sensor. It is arguably one of the fastest fingerprint sensor that I have ever tried. It is really fast and could even read your fingerprint even if you’re using it right after your shower where your fingers are damp and rather having the worn out feel of being too long in the shower. There’s also double tap to wake and double tap to sleep which you can activate at the settings. There’s plenty of them which you can customize regardless of the motions and gestures made available.

Battery, Network & Design

The battery capacity on the vivo V3 Max is 3000mAh. Not the best but it is pretty decent as it does last the whole day with decent usage. With heavy usage, you definitely need to charge it after using it around 6-7 hours with around 4 hours of Screen On Time. Do take note that there’s also fast charging capability on the vivo V3 Max. It is known as dual engine fast charging ( Quick Charge 3.0) which allows you to charge from 0% to 50% within 30 minutes. It is not a gimmick and it really works, try it for yourself and witness the magic. 🙂

This smartphone supports 4G LTE on both SIM slots and the cellular data worked flawlessly on my Digi network SIM card. Last but not least, the build quality of this smartphone. The build is pretty solid despite being made of metal on the back with some minimum plastic usage noticed on the top and the back. However, the bezels are all metal and it feels really premium.

Conclusion

For RM1399 inclusive of GST in Malaysia, this smartphone is a value for money from vivo Malaysia. I am pretty sure none of you will regret buying this smartphone as it performs very well and has features that most of us might find handy on our daily routine. You can expect having a flagship-like experience with this smartphone without having to worry about the brand itself. Vivo did a good job this time and I have my full support for them. Within a short period of time, I have noticed few small updates which fixed most of the bugs that wasn’t even noticeable to me. On top of that, giving a tempered glass pre-installed, free back case and including the earphones is a real plus point which shows how much vivo understand the demand of customers. The OTG cable that came along is also handy when it comes to transferring files on-the-go.

vivo V3 Max
  • Design - 85
  • Camera - 85
  • Sound - 75
  • Software - 80
  • Battery - 85

Summary

Pros:-
- Good and fast camera
- Premium and classy design
- Considered cheap from hardware and software perspective
- Fast charging is one of the fastest I have tried
- Free casing and tempered glass is an added advantage

Cons:-
- Average sound quality
- No NFC

  • Cynnie Chiu

    I have just bought one, at RM1199, I am 100% satisfied with it, where can we buy a high spec phone which only cost us RM1199? But I am not sure if it is durable because VIVO is quite strange for me, will ‘wait and see’ first, hahaha