Vivo V3 Review: A Compact Phone That Holds Its Ground Well

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With time, smartphone manufacturers have almost completely neglected the niche audience that prefers compact phones. Even though several new smartphones launch almost every week, phablets have become modern day norm. To the extent that a 5-inch display handset feels ‘Compact’. This is precisely why the Vivo V3, which is a scaled down variant of V3 Max (full review) feels like a refreshing change of pace.

Also read: LeEco Le Max2 Review: A Value For Money Flagship

Is it a perfect compact phone with a worthy usage experience? Let’s find out in detailed Vivo V3 review.

Vivo V3 Max (9)

Vivo V3 Specifications and Features

Model Vivo V3
Display 5-inch HD IPS Display (720 x 1280 pixel)
Processor Octa-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 (Quad-core 1.5-GHz Cortex-A53 + quad-core 1-GHz Cortex-A53)
Internal Storage 32GB, up to 128GB 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 143.6 x 71 x 7.5 mm and 138g
Battery 2550 mAh, non-removable
Others 4G LTE, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n/ac, DLNA, Bluetooth, Fingerprint sensor
Price Rs. 15,949 (Buy)


  • Tempting design
  • Good display
  • Decent audio experience
  • Fast and accurate fingerprint sensor


  • Confusing UI
  • Average camera

Design: Premium and Handy

The Biggest asset of Vivo V3 is its well-groomed aesthetics. Both Vivo V3 Max and V3 are identical to each other in terms of design but the later is compact (and uses a lot less metal). The Vivo V3 features what looks like a metallic shell with minutely curved edges. On a quick glance from the sides, you will find 4 layers stacked on one another, the base one being metal.

Vivo V3 (3)

At the front, the display of the phone is layered with a 2.5D curved glass that not only shields it from scratches but also adds to the elegance of the phone. A plastic scratch guard comes pre-installed. Right above the display, there is earpiece flanked between selfie camera and proximity sensor, and Vivo branding.

The rear facet is dominated by metal and has a matte finish. The camera module along with a dedicated flash is placed on the top left corner. Fingerprint sensor stamps its authority at the center and Vivo branding is embossed below it.

Vivo V3 (1)

The left edge has a dual SIM slot while the right edge features power button and volume rocker. On top, there is 3.5mm audio port, a microSD slot, and noise cancellation mic. There is a USB charging port, mono loudspeaker and primary microphone placed at the bottom.

If you are looking for a beautiful design smartphone in the budget range of 15-18k, then the Vivo V3 won’t disappoint you. It is lightweight, feels good in hands and is easily manageable.

Also read: LeEco Le 2 Review: Punches Above Its Price Tag

Display: Better than Vivo V3 Max

The Vivo V3 ships with a 5-inch 720P HD display which has a pixel density of 294ppi. On paper, the “Max” variant has a better display but our real life findings point to the contrary. Despite having a full HD on the Vivo V3 Max, images and text appear much better on V3, because of its better color tones and temperature.

Vivo V3 (2)

The V3 display is sharp and offers excellent viewing angles. Color calibration on the Vivo V3 is much more close to natural, and unlike the Vivo V3 Max, there are no blue tints and thus your eyes will feel a lot more relaxed. Under the sun too the Vivo V3 display shines. There is hardly any legibility issue. On the downside, due to the pre-installed plastic screen protector, there is no oleophobic coating to brave out fingerprint smudges. Therefore you end up wiping finger grease multiple times during the day.

Performances: Well Without Any Hiccups

A smartphone performance depends on many factors and chipset is one of them. For the V3, Vivo has trusted on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 616 octa-core to do all the heavy lifting. It gets the backing of Adreno 405 GPU and 3gigs of RAM. There is no performance issue here, it handles most task perfectly.

Vivo v3 India

We tried multitasking by running multiple apps in the backdrop and the V3 came out on top with flying colors. Maneuvering between apps was smooth and without any visible lag.  To further test its stamina, we downloaded a few heavy graphic intensive games such as Mortal Kombat X and Over Kill 3 on the Vivo V3. It did manage to scratch past with one or two instances of minor lag and frame drops. It does get hot with gaming, but the temperature does not soar to alarming levels.

Also Read: Nexus 5X Full Review

Software: UI Lacks the Spark

Vivo smartphone runs on FunTouch OS which is basically based on Google’s Android Lollipop. The V3 too runs on FunTouch UI, which like most compatriots is influenced by Apple’s iOS. Like Xiaomi, LeEco and Honor, Vivo also doesn’t really believe in an app drawer and just like EUI, MIUI, and EmotionUI, here also all the apps are stacked on the home screen.

To access quick setting, just swipe the screen up. The emerging pane includes necessary toggles along with recent apps. Initially, it takes some getting used to. But once you become accustomed to it, you will find multitasking rather convenient.

Vivo Funtouch OS has a number of tricks up its sleeves. There are features likes Smart wake, Air Unlock, Double Tap to Wake, Smart Call, Smart Multi-screen, Super Click and many others that make it fun to play with.

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What really impressive about Vivo’s FunTouch OS is its update cycle. So far, we have received 2 OTA updates on our review device which gives us an impression that Vivo is committed towards a hassle-free software experience. Overall, it’s feature rich, smooth, has minimal bloatware, and is easy on resources.


The Vivo V3 is studded with a 13-megapixel primary camera with PDAF and LED flash. Up front, it features an 8-megapixel front-facing selfie camera. Vivo has managed to deliver a decent rear camera in the V3. Even though it won’t sweep you off your feet, it gets the job done. The image quality of the Vivo V3 rear camera is quite decent compared to other phones in this budget.

It manages to capture good shots in ideal conditions. Performance under gloomy conditions is at par with what most of its competitors are offering (barring Moto G4). Under artificial lighting, it manages to snap decent clicks. The color tones on most captures appear to be close to natural. HDR mode also performs well on this handset.

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However, at times to compensate shadows in low light, it blows up highlights and this sometimes makes images unusable. The front camera also captures selfies which are good enough to be shared with pals on social media.

Fingerprint, Audio and  Call Quality

The Vivo V3 comes with a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor which is responsive and accurate. It is one of the zippiest scanners available in this price range. Apart from its primary function, it can also be used as a shutter button for the camera. Call quality on the Vivo V3 is excellent in our area.

Vivo V3 (4)

Vivo has a Hi-Fi audio chip onboard which amplifies audio signals for loud and clear output. The Mono speaker at the bottom is loud and doesn’t fumble at all. Just put on the headphone and crank up the volume to appreciate nuances of HiFi audio technology.

To store media it comes with 32GB of onboard storage out of which 22GB is available at the user end. It also supports microSD cards up to 128GB.


The Vivo V3 is a reasonably good performer which ticks the right boxes. What goes in its favor includes a good design, sturdy build quality, well-calibrated display, and fingerprint sensor. In spite of all these positives the Vivo has priced it a bit on the higher side which should work adversely in online realms. Currently, there are quite a few options available online in the same price-range with better specifications. But in offline market, Vivo V3 will surely shine.

Deepak RajawatDeepak Rajawat
Experienced technology journalist with over 7-years of experience. Before embracing online journalism, he has worked with several legacy publications including print editions at Hindustan Times and The Statesman. He also has a keen interest in Sports, which he used to cover with equal enthusiasm in his early career.

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1 Comment
Sumiit Bhatia
7 years ago

Hello Deepak, Happy to have someone reviewing offline products via web medium. I like the detailing given to all aspects, but, there is one thing where I need clarity since you have reviewed this product. Does it come with Active Noise Cancellation Mic ?

Deepak Rajawat
7 years ago

Thanks Sumit. Yes, active noise cancellation Mic is present.