Qualcomm’s chipsets have become really powerful this year. If you own any device powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset (Samsung Galaxy S7, LG G5, HTC 10, Xiaomi Mi 5, etc), you’ll notice unremakable smoothness and uninterruptible gameplay. Even mid range chipsets like Snapdragon 625 which is on the ASUS Zenfone 3. And then there’s Snapdragon 652 which is found on smartphones above 20k price range. But one phone has this powerful piece of tech inside, the Vivo V3 Max. And did you know that it is only P16,990? Just read on.
Vivo V3 Max:
- 1.8GHz octa core Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor
- Adreno 510 graphics
- 4GB RAM
- 32GB internal storage expandable via MicroSD up to 128GB
- 5.5-inch Full HD IPS LCD display (1920 x 1080 pixels)
- 2.5D curved Corning Gorilla Glass
- 13 megapixel rear facing camera with autofocus and LED flash
- 8 megapixel front facing camera
- Dual SIM, Dual Standby
- 4G/LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth, Fingerprint Scanner
- GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS
- 3,000 mAh battery
- Android 5.1 Lollipop with Funtouch OS 2.5
- Price: P16,990
- Status: Available at Vivo stores and retailers
HARDWARE AND DESIGN
The design is quite familiar from another Chinese brand (ehem, OPPO) but nonetheless, it is still a beautiful piece of hardware. Vivo opted to put the fingerprint scanner at the back to give it some sort of distinction from other competing brands (ehem, OPPO). 🙂 Overall look and feel is clean and sleek. Though the metal body is quite slippery, Vivo included a clear jelly case to give the phone a reassuring grip. Plus the fact that you don’t need to buy case too.
We rare include a separate portion on our review for audio but since Vivo is position itself for audiophiles, we need to take a closer look at its audio capabilities. It is still unclear if Vivo put an audio chip to the V3 Max but we just have to say that audio is sooooo good. Sound is very punchy, very loud when listening through its bottom firing speaker. We used our third earphones and a pair of Bluetooth earphones and audio is still superb. We never encountered any distortions even on high volumes.
The cooler tone of the 5.5-inch display is pleasing to our eyes as we prefer it compared to warmer tones of other smartphones. It is also on Full HD which means colors do pop and you will have an enjoyable experience with it. It has good color reproduction and it can withstand the harsh outdoor sun.
SOFTWARE AND PERFORMANCE
This is the meaty part of our review – the performance. Normally, mid range smartphones get decent cameras and performance. It is not flagship level but it is mostly smooth all around. But in the case of the Vivo V3 Max, it is just flawless, Playing Dead Trigger 2 or Pokemon Go is smooth with no delays. This proves that the use of Snapdragon 652 with 4GB RAM is a good choice.
Like any other Chinese brands, Vivo has a custom UI on top of Android called Funtouch OS. This is a very thick layer of skin in which you will never see any trace of stock vanilla Android here. For us, the UI might take getting used to. Multitasking and other settings are found when you swipe the screen upwards which is quite opposite to stock Android’s drop down menu. Navigating on the settings is a bit confusing too but only at first.
Though Vivo has not put much marketing efforts to its camera, we are pleased to report that photos taken from both sensors are really good. On good lighting, photos are very sharp and all the details are present. When lights go dim, we noticed some noise on photos but it is very acceptable.
All necessary connections are available – WiFi, LTE and Bluetooth. The fingerprint scanner at the back seems to work very well and we never encountered any problems unlocking the Vivo V3 Max no matter what position we put our fingers. LTE connection is also decent. Calls are clear with no issues.
We are also pleased on how the battery performs. On our moderate to heavy use – Spotify, Dead Trigger 2, Pokemon Go, social media, email, Viber calls and texts, Skype video call, You Tube and I Want TV we managed to get 11 hours (4 hours and 5 minutes screen on time) with 23% remaining juice. It seems like Funtouch OS is helping to optimize the battery.
The Vivo V3 Max is rare mix of HiFi audio, powerful chipset, decent battery life and good camera. Audiophiles will go “wink wink” with this device especially with its P16,990 price tag. There are other smartphones with this chipset namely the Samsung Galaxy A9 Pro, ASUS Zenfone 3 Ultra and Alcatel Idol 4s but these are at least 10k more than the Vivo V3 Max. We highly recommend the Vivo V3 Max as long as you don’t care about updates from Google.