Vivo V3 Max; best phone under Rs. 22,000

Vivo V3 Max is one of the first phones in India to offer Snapdragon 652 octa-core processor. The chipset is rapidly gaining popularity as the next-in-line to Snapdragon 820 in Qualcomm’s arsenal. It’s this raw processing grunt which should be at the top of your mind if you are considering Vivo V3 Max as your next smartphone. We have been using it as our primary device for over 2 weeks now and here is a short review to help you make up your mind.

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Vivo V3 Max Specifications and Features

Model Vivo V3Max
Display 5.5-inch Full HD IPS Display
Processor Octa-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 (Quad-core 1.8 GHz Cortex-A72 + quad-core 1.4 GHz Cortex-A53)
Internal Storage 32GB, up to 256GB MicroSD card
Software Android 5.1 Lollipop based Funtouch OS
Primary Camera 13MP, PDAF, LED flash
Secondary Camera 8MP Front-Facing Camera
Dimensions and weight 153.9 x 77.1 x 7.6 mm and 168g
Battery 3000 mAh, non-removable, Fast charging supported
Others 4G LTE, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n/ac, DLNA, Bluetooth, Fingerprint sensor
Price Rs. 21,895 (Buy)

Also Read: Everything You Need To Know About LeEco Le Max2


  • Great performance
  • Attractive design
  • Good Battery backup
  • Good Audio quality


  • Unrefined software experience
  • Camera could have been better

Design and Display

As the Max moniker implies, the V3 Max is a phablet-esque handset. It has got a large 5.5-inch Full HD display (which isn’t all that ‘Max’ by 2016 standards) and relies on the tried and trusted glass – metal construction.

Vivo V3 Max metal body

Vivo brings together conventional design elements like metal on the back and on sides, chamfered side edges and a 2.5D glass on the front. Conventional but still palatable. And comfortable to wield.

The fingerprint sensor on the rear is fast and accurate. The loud speaker at the bottom is fairly loud as well. The retail units come with a scratch guard preinstalled and with a good quality case bundled in the box. So, you are well protected against scratches.Vivo V3 Max vs vivo v3

The display is sharp and crisp, but excesses on blue light. The cold, blue tones are a bit harsh on our eyes. Minimum and Maximum brightness levels, and sunlight visibility are adequate. The viewing angles are pretty wide too. Apart from cold whites, other colors and contrast feel pretty natural. Personally, we like the warmer display on Vivo V3 better, but if you aren’t picky about your phone displays you might not notice the difference.

Also Read: Tracing Ultrasonic Fingerprint Sensors And How They Really Work

Vivo V3 Max Photo Gallery

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The Vivo V3 Max comes loaded with a 13MP rear camera, with PDAF and single tone LED flash. The camera won’t blow your socks off, but it’s an above average shooter compared to others in this price range. In good lighting, even if you are indoors, you can capture workable shots. In lowlighting, motion blur is prominent if the subject is not steady. In direct sun, the camera manages to capture good details, but we could see some metering issues in a few random captures. Shadows and sky felt accurate in outdoor shots. The HDR mode works well too.

Vivo V3 Max camera

In poor lighting excessive noise creeps in, and quality deteriorates dramatically. The camera app is quite simple, the way it should be, and also includes a pro mode that’s easy and fun to use. If you are passionate about smartphone photography, this will be an added bonus.

You can record decent quality videos at 1080p and can also record slow motion videos at 60fps. Selfie camera performance is about average too.

Vivo V3 Max Camera Samples

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Vivo V3 Max comes with Funtouch OS based on Android Lollipop. We have already got 2 updates since we have had it with us, and that’s a good thing.

Vivo V3 Max front camera

As far as system apps go, we could always find what we were looking for without scratching our head. Navigating through settings, on the other hand, involves a learning curve. Common settings and options are clubbed under unconventional labels and that makes precisely locating what you need a bit difficult. At least until you are well acquainted with the software.

The Quick settings menu has to be dragged up from the bottom and that too takes some getting used to. Vivo is still sticking to the list menu key in the navigation bar (keys aren’t backlit), which makes no sense in 2016. Performance-wise, it has been smooth sailing after the latest update (we did encounter a few UI crashes before). The UI didn’t feel harsh on resources or too aggressive with battery or RAM management either.

There is no dearth of features in FuntouchOS. If regularly experimenting with your phone is your thing, you might like the software more than we do.

Performance-wise, it has been smooth sailing after the latest update (we did encounter a few UI crashes before). The UI didn’t feel harsh on resources or too aggressive with battery or RAM management either.

Also Read: Le 2 and Le Max2 First Impression 

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The UI design, however, feels primitive. The lack of cards in notification shade is reminiscent of Android KitKat and isn’t very appealing. Funtouch OS a heavy skin with a ton of customization options and extensive on-screen/off-screen gesture support, but more material design or a better aesthetics would have made it more appealing.

This shouldn’t be much of a deal breaker though as you can always use a third party launcher and customize the look and feel without any performance penalty. There is no word on Android Marshmallow update as of now.

Vivo V3 Max Display in Sunlight

Performance, storage, battery backup and call quality

Performance is perhaps the best part of Vivo V3 Max. Day to day usage and even heavy gaming shouldn’t be a problem.

By default, V3 Max operates in ‘Normal’ performance mode, but an ‘Extreme performance’ mode is also present if you need more power (at the expense of more battery consumption, of course). The Battery itself can comfortably last for a day of heavy usage. Fast charging is turned on by default and works like a charm.

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The phone has around 25GB free storage and you can also avail MicroSD or OTG storage expansion (You have to enable OTG from settings first). Apps can also be transferred to SD card on Vivo V3 Max. Read and write speed on internal storage is very good.

Call quality is pretty good too. We didn’t face any issue in this regards. Music quality from loudspeakers and through headphones feels awesome. The rear fingerprint sensor is at par with the bests that we have come across.

Performance is perhaps the primary highlight of Vivo V3 Max, and it’s well suited to handle all your gaming needs.

Also Read: Decoding chipsets – A Beginner’s Guide For Understanding Smartphone Processors

Vivo V3 Max (2)

Vivo V3 Max Benchmark Scores

Benchmark Standard Score
Antutu 71, 490
Quadrant 5205
Nenamark 2 60.1 fps
Geekbench 3 single core, Multi-core 1477, 4100
Vellamo Browser, Metal, Multicore 5151, 2566, 2138


The Vivo V3 Max is a great all-rounder with performance being its strong suit. The design, audio output and battery backup are other areas where it shines. The camera quality isn’t outright impressive but shouldn’t be a deal breaker if all you have to do is share images on social media. On the other hand, the Funtouch OS failed to impress us. Vivo V3 Max seems to be an option worth considering for offline buyers, but in online realms, it feels a tad expensive at 22,000 INR approx.


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