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Vivo V3 Max Review

Vivo Mobile entered the Philippine market back in March. A month later, it launched its flagship, the V3 Max, in India and then arrived in the country early this month. With commendable specs and mid-range price, can the Vivo V3 Max capture the hearts and pockets of Filipino buyers?

• Vivo V3 • Vivo V3 Max Review

Table of Contents

Design and Construction

Out of the box, the V3 Max exhibits the aesthetics of a premium smartphone – cold metal body, gold color, thin dimensions, and a glass front the slightly curves at the edges. At 5.5-inch at Full HD resolution, it sports the display size and resolution common in most smartphones.

• Vivo V3 • Vivo V3 Max Review

Situated above the display, are the Vivo logo, 8MP front camera, earpiece, light sensor, and hidden at the upper right corner is the notifications light. Down below are three unlit capacitive buttons for navigation – something that is common in most mid-range devices.

• Vivo V3 • Vivo V3 Max Review

On the left is the tray for the SIM card. It’s hybrid meaning it can either accommodate two SIM cards or one SIM card and a microSD card. On the right are the volume rocker and power/lock button.

• Vivo V3 • Vivo V3 Max Review

At the top is the headphone jack, while down at the bottom are the loudspeaker, microUSB port, and microphone.

• Vivo V3 • Vivo V3 Max Review

Looking at the back, we have the 13MP main shooter, LED flash, the fingerprint scanner, and the Vivo badge.

• Vivo V3 • Vivo V3 Max Review

Design-wise, the V3 Max doesn’t offer anything new. It actually reminds us of the OPPO F1. The sides are curved with chamfered edges which makes it easy to grip while the back part has a matte finish that is effective in repelling fingerprints.

• Vivo V3 • Vivo V3 Max Review

As for it’s build, it very well-made and nice to hold. At 7.6 mm thin, it’s sleek and has a comfortable heft to it at 168 g.

See also  Specs Comparison: Samsung Galaxy C5 vs Vivo V3 Max

Display and Multimedia

At 5.5-inches and Full HD resolution, the V3 Max sits comfortably at a pixel packed 401ppi. It may not be as high as Quad HD flagships but it still has one of the most vibrant displays around. Images are crisp while colors are well-saturated. It’s also capable of churning enough brightness when used outdoors.

• Vivo V3 • Vivo V3 Max Review

The down-firing speakers may not look like much but it is loud and produces good audio quality. It’s not Bluetooth-speaker good but it sounds better than other smartphones in its price range. It may even sound as good as smartphones twice its price. That said, the V3 Max is a good multimedia device.


The V3 Max doesn’t boast a fancy camera like its expensive counterparts and simply advertises a 13MP shooter with Phase-Detect AutoFocus. Don’t get it wrong though as the camera is capable of producing photos with good quality especially in bright conditions.

• Vivo V3 Max Camera Sample • Vivo V3 Max Review

In low-light, it can still hold its own and is quick to focus. Noise in images produced are obvious but has good colors. As for the front camera, quality is okay but struggles in low-light and often produces blurred and noisy images. Take a look at the sample images below.

Realme Philippines

As for videos, it can shoot 1080p clips at 30fps in MP4 format. Watch the sample below.

OS, UI, and Apps

Running the software department is Vivo’s FunTouch OS 2.5 based on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. It uses the same layout as other Chinese smartphone brands – no app drawer. All of the apps installed are accessible via the home screen pages.

See also  Vivo V3 and V3 Max launched in India

• Vivo V3 Max Ui 1 • Vivo V3 Max Review

Some aspects of the UI are a bit different compared to other smartphones – swiping down will only reveal notifications. But if you need to access the shortcut keys you will need to swipe up from the bottom. Screen capture is also a bit cumbersome as the Volume Down + Power Button combination doesn’t work. You will need to pull up the shortcut keys from the bottom and press S-capture.

• Vivo V3 Max Ui 2 • Vivo V3 Max Review

The V3 Max is loaded with some useful baked-in features as well. There’s Smart Motion which are basically gesture-based ways of launching apps, Air Operation which is similar to O+ USA’s Air Shuffle, Smart Multi-screen, One-handed operation, and Smart Click which allows you to assign an app which you can activate while the screen is off via the volume key.

• Vivo V3 Max Ui 3 • Vivo V3 Max Review

As for the apps, pre-installed ones are kept to a minimum and only features Facebook, WeChat and WPS Office, which can be uninstalled. Other than that there’s the usual Google goodies. All in all that leaves the user 23.51GB of usable space out of the 32GB.

Performance and Benchmarks

Powering the device is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 652 octa-core CPU clocked at 1.8GHz, Adreno 510 GPU, and 4GB RAM. That said, you can expect the V3 Max to run smoothly even if you have multiple apps running in the background. It’s fast which is good for menial tasks as well as for gaming.

• Vivo V3 Max Ui 5 • Vivo V3 Max Review

As for the benchmark, it won’t reach six-digit scores but it’s still one of the best for its class. Take a look at the results below:

* AnTuTu – 69,046
* Quadrant Standard – 21,302
* Vellamo – 2,987 (Multicore), 2,545 (Metal), 4,916 (Chrome)
* 3D Mark – 883 (Sling Shot using ES 3.1)

Connectivity and Call Quality

As for connectivity, the V3 Max packs the basics – WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, and Dual-SIM with LTE. If you’re looking for NFC, sad to say it doesn’t have one but it’s not a big deal either. Call quality is good as the earpiece and microphone can provide good audio.

See also  Vivo Y17 coming to the Philippines

Battery Life

Providing juice for the whole device is a non-removable 3,000mAh battery. Battery life is decent and can last us up to 9 to 10 hours when mostly connected via WiFi with heavy social media browsing, taking photos and shooting videos.

• Vivo V3 Max Ui 4 • Vivo V3 Max Review

Using PC Mark’s battery bench, it was rated at 8 hours and 47 minutes which is not bad.


Vivo Mobile is off to a good start in the Philippines with the Vivo V3 Max. It’s well-made with premium characteristics, very capable internal specs, and not-so-demanding price tag. For Php16,990, you’ll get a smartphone with a 5.5-inch Full HD display, capable Snapdragon 652 octa-core CPU, large 4GB RAM, a starting storage of 32GB which is also expandable via microSD, 4G LTE, and fingerprint scanner. What’s left to do now is for Vivo to upgrade it to Marshmallow. Other than that, it’s all good.

• Vivo V3 • Vivo V3 Max Review

Vivo V3 Max specs:
5.5-inch IPS Full HD display, 401ppi
1.8GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 octa-core CPU
Adreno 510 GPU
32GB internal storage
WiFi 802.11n/ac
Bluetooth 4.1
GPS with aGPS support, GLONASS
AK4375 HiFi Chip
13-megapixel rear camera, PDAF, LED flash
8-megapixel front-facing camera
3,000mAh Li-Ion battery
Fingerprint Sensor
FunTouch OS 2.5 (Android 5.1.1 Lollipop)
153.9 x 77.1 x 7.6 mm
168 g

What we liked about it:
* Premium build
* Pleasing design
* Good performance
* Capable rear camera
* Fingerprint scanner
* Decent battery life
* Reasonable price

What we didn’t like
* Not so unique design
* No Marshmallow out of the box

Avatar Of Louie Diangson

This article was written by Louie Diangson, Managing Editor of YugaTech. You can follow him at @John_Louie.

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5 years ago

I like this phone but when they say it was a non removable battery and hybrid sim i doubt to buy this vivo v3 max.

Can someone suggest me a phone that have this traits

1 can run hd game like nba 2k17 smooth and have a sensor of gyroscope
2. at least 3000mah removable battery
3. A decent camera
4.at least android marshmallow or can update to new one.
5.Price range about 8-12k


Reply to  quicksilver
5 years ago

Try mo Redmi Note 4. I’m planning to buy one, but when I looked at some reviews common downside nila is average lang daw yung Camera sa phone. Pero ayos na ayos daw yung games.

6 years ago

support ba niya ung latest LTE frequencies ng globe at smart?

6 years ago

With huawei GR5 and asus laser 5.5s having similar specs.. I can’t see how they came up with the price

Reply to  Wynn
5 years ago

higher chipset, clock speed, gpu, ram and front cam. plus a hi-fi chipset for better sound quality, fingerprint sensor, quick charge

6 years ago

don’t forget the DAC/AMP when reviewing these kinds of phones. its what makes them special.

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