Vivo V3 Max First Impressions - Powerful And Properly Priced

Vivo is the latest exciting mobile brand to reach the Philippine shores. They're one of the top and high-end smartphone manufacturer in China that has a solid expertise in design, performance, camera and probably the only smartphone brand who emphasize audio quality. Earlier, they launched the Vivo V3 Max, a midrange handset with premium looks, feel and performance.
Vivo V3 Max first impressions
Vivo V3 Max first impressions

It's a given fact that this smartphone loads most of the modern specs and features for the price, but were they able to initially impress us? Check it out now.

Vivo V3 Max Specs

Display: 5.5 Inch FHD 1920 x 1080 resolution w/ 2.5D curved arc screen and Gorilla Glass protection at 401 ppi
CPU: 1.8 GHz 64 Bit Snapdragon 652 octa core processor
GPU: Adreno 510
RAM: 4 GB
ROM: 32 GB ROM expandable to via micro SD card slot up 256 GB
Back Camera: 13 MP w/ PDAF and LED flash
Selfie Camera: 8 MP
Battery: 3,000 mAh w/ Quick Charge 3.0
OS: Android 5.1 Lollipop w/ Funtouch OS 2.5
Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 n/ac, 3G, Bluetooth, LTE Cat. 7, GPS, A GPS
Sensors: Accelerometer, proximity, compass, gyroscope
Others: Fingerprint sensor, AK4375 HiFi chip
Dimensions: 153.9 x 77.1 x 7.58 mm
Weight: 168 g
Price: 16,990 Pesos (PHP 13,990 sale price)

Build Quality / Design

The 13 MP camera and fingerprint sensor at the back
The 13 MP camera and fingerprint sensor at the back

The mold V3 Max very well reminds me of a combined iPhone and Oppo handsets which is a clear testament that this phone is exquisite and well crafted. It's made from a solid combination of svelte chamfered metal metal frame w/ semi curved back, Gorilla Glass protection on top and plastic underneath the glass. It's an impressively made made handset that looks solid as a whole.
3.5 mm jack on top
3.5 mm jack on top
Speaker grills, micro USB port and mic below
Speaker grills, micro USB port and mic below
Sim slot located at the left side
Sim slot located at the left side
Power button and volume rocker at the right

Upon checking the design, it reminds me of my Oppo F1 Plus without the fingerprint scanner on top. Instead it's located in a better and more ergonomic position behind. It's pretty slim and doesn't have large annoying bezels which makes it pleasing to the eyes.

Ergonomically, this device is nice to hold and has well machined good smooth rounded corners aside from its slightly arching back that makes it better to hold as a whole. I also never had a problem with its ports and button placements.

Specs and features analysis

The very good full HD 2.5D screen of the V3 Max
The very good full HD 2.5D screen of the V3 Max

In the our local market today, this phone probably has the best configuration you'll find on paper for the price. It's one of the first to use the powerful Snapdragon 652 octa core processor paired with Adreno 510 of graphics and that large 4 GB RAM for seamless multitasking. That setup makes this a beast in performance as everything feels silky smooth and fast on our first try. We also assume that even when you play the heavy games around, there will be little to zero lag and hiccups. Apart from that, you'll also get an expandable 32 GB of ROM using its hybrid slot for your micro SD card.

Another highlight of this handset is its 13 MP camera that takes super fast photos with 0.7 seconds of speed. The reason behind that speed is it has a dedicated RAM for the camera app to make the operation faster. There's also an 8 MP front facing camera w/ beautify and screen flash for your selfies and video calls.

If you're familiar with Oppo's Color OS, using Vivo's Fun Touch OS 2.5 will be a piece of cake. It's similar looking and has most of the features we love.

Apart from the super fast unlock speed of the V3 Max that's even faster than the Huawei G8, one of the main selling points of this phone is it dedicated AK4375 32 bit HiFi capable chip that should make audiophiles on the go happy.

From my first try using the ADV.Sound M4 and RHA S500i earphones we noticed that its highly detailed and fairly analytical. It also has a well balanced sound that has tons of energy. The lows are pretty evident and not overly done. The mids are forward sounding with good amount of clarity and the highs extends nicely but has some harshness, sharp peaks and hissing.

What we like here is how well the instruments are separated, its pretty wide soundstage and has decently loud driving power.

I was able to test my 192 KHz / 24 Bit FLAC files with over 100 MB person which played smoothly and properly. However, my AIFF files with over 400 MB file size per song didn't play. Maybe a download of FoorBar 2000 music app will make it work.

Related: Vivo V3 Max Review - Beauty With The Beast

Note: There's no word about its Marshmallow update yet

As of the moment

We think that Vivo was able to properly position themselves with by pricing this device correctly. At just 16,990 Pesos, it's poised to be one of the best well rounded phone that you can get for the price.

Hope to do a full review soon, this is a very promising phone.
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