There are two main types of smartphones in the world: those who sell in really big numbers, the work horses or “aurea mediocritas” i.e. mid-ranged devices and flagships who get all the glory. The Vivo V3Max falls in the former category, being the follow-up of the 2015 X series and a brave successor truth be told, a mid-ranged droid at an affordable price, produced by a quasi-obscure Chinese company.
The respective company has a history of taking the best stuff from their direct competitors and assembling it into their own product, with a twist. The same story goes for the Vivo V3Max, a smartphone that comes very well equipped, even if it doesn’t run the latest Android version and it’s available in just one color, gold that is, and having a limited availability, in certain geographical locations. Other than that, the Vivo V3Max comes with a reasonably capable Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 system on chip, an Adreno 405 graphical processing unit, a 5.5 inches wide IPS display with a respectable 401 pixels per inch density, a solid build and a unique premium feel (it’s made from anodized aluminum, metal and similar high end stuff).
And the best thing about the Vivo V3Max is that it will not require you a second mortgage on your house, being more thab decently priced and falling into the “best bang for the buck” category.
Now, let’s take a closer look, shall we?
Measuring 153.9 x 77.1 x 7.6 millimeters and weighing 168 grams, the Vivo V3Max offers a really manageable size and weight for a 5.5 incher, but it will not win awards in terms of thinness or stuff like that (like the previous gen), being comparable with a Galaxy Note 5 i.e. nothing to write home about.
However, the VivoV3 Max is a real looker and it doesn’t go over the eight millimeters threshold, being pocketable enough for my taste. In regard to built quality and design, the Vivo V3Max follows the company’s history of inspiring its devices from Apple’s iPhone and since copying is the highest form of flattery, the Vivo V3Max really comes with an iPhone vibe in terms of feel and looks. This smartphone features a metallic unibody design, with a back panel made using anodized aluminum while the front panel is protected by a curved 2.5 D specially treated/tempered glass. The back panel of the Vivo V3Max also harbors a fingerprint sensor and it’s quite slippery, so consider yourselves warned.
In the screen department, the Vivo V3Max doesn’t shine but the 5.5 inches wide IPS display is pretty good, featuring a respectable 401 pixels per inch density, nice colors and excellent contrast and sharpness. Also, Vivo V3Max’s display is impressively bright for an IPS variety, being comparable in this regard to more expensive smartphones, such as the Xiaomi Mi 5 or Moto X Play.
The Vivo V3Max is powered by a 3000 mAh battery which comes with a decent 70 hours of endurance rating. The smartphone is capable of ten and a half hours of web browsing, almost 29 hours of talk time or 10 hours of video playback.
In terms of connectivity, the Vivo V3Max offers dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n with DLNA, Bluetooth v4.1, 2G/3G/4G, GPS with GLONASS and A-GPS, a micro USB port together with an FM radio on-board, i.e. more than enough for the average Joe Droid.
The user interface is what you’d expect from Android 5.1 flavored with the company’s proprietary Funtouch OS on top: a slick interface with lots of features and apps, making for a pretty cool droid skin.
Performance wise, the Vivo V3Max is powered by an octa-core (Cortex A-72 CPUs plus Cortex A-53 CPUs) system on chip, courtesy of Qualcomm, a Snapdragon 652 variety which works in tandem with an Adreno 405 GPU for offering excellent performances and a great Android experience (the phone has a generous 4 GB of RAM!), taking into account the fact that the Vivo V3Max doesn’t run the latest Android version, but an older one which is lighter on the resources/hardware. Even if the hardware is not exactly a super-hero in terms of speed, the overall experience is very pleasant, everything runs smooth and fluid, with no hick-ups.
The camera on the Vivo V3Max has a resolution of 13 megapixels and features a f/2.0 lens, but OIS and other high-end features are missing in action, as expected; however the image quality is excellent, given the price tag of the device. The video capabilities of the Vivo V3Max are not impressive, as the smartphone is capable of recording full HD videos with slo-mo/high speed effects but the quality is mediocre.
Bottom line, the Vivo V3Max can be described as a competent droid, playing in the best bang for the buck racket, offering premium feel in terms of design/built quality and average performance for a very low price.