Vivo V3 Review

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Vivo launched two smartphones for Indian Market i.e Vivo V3 and Vivo V3 Max. While Vivo V3 Max can be considered as a high-end in the mid range segment, Vivo V3 comes with decent mid range specifications targeted at customers looking for mid range smartphone with premium looks. We are using Vivo V3 as our primary smartphone and this review is based on the experience with the device during our one week of usage.

Vivo V3 - Vivo V3 Review

Vivo V3 is priced at Rs. 17,980 which puts it into direct competition with smartphones such as Lenovo Vibe X3, OnePlus One, OnePlus X, Motorola Moto G4 Plus and few more. In this review, we check out if Vivo V3 is worth the money or not.

Vivo V3 Specifications

  • Display : 5 inch HD with 1280 x 720 pixel resolution
  • CPU : Octa Core Snapdragon 616
  • GPU : Adreno 405
  • RAM: 3 GB
  • Storage : 32 GB internal + expandable up to 128 GB with Microsd card
  • SIM : Dual SIM (nano + nano), with a dedicated Microsd slot
  • OS : Funtouch OS 2.5 based on Android 5.1 Lollipop
  • Camera : 13 MP rear, with LED Flash, PDAF + 8 MP front-shooter
  • Misc : Fingerprint sensor
  • Connectivity : 4G LTE / 3G, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1
  • Battery : 2550 mAh (embedded)

Design and Build Quality

In terms of design & build quality, Vivo V3 makes a good impression the moment you look at it and take it into your hand. The design looks premium and the entire body is metal with great shiny metal finish at the back. Due to 5 inch display, it feels compact to hold and can be used with one hand easily.

At the back, Vivo logo can be seen in the middle and Camera along with LED flash at top left corner. The fingerprint sensor is located just above the Vivo logo which is perfect position.The volume rockers and power buttons are at one side with the Dual SIM slot at the other side of the phone. The top side of phone holds the dedicated microsd slot and the 3.5 mm audio jack. At the bottom we have, Micro USB port in the middle along with speakers grill at one side and mic at the other side.

The physical navigation capacitive buttons are located below the display, but are not back-lit. The 5 MP front camera is located at the top of the display with proximity sensor and the speakers. It comes with 2550 mAh embedded battery which can’t be removed.

Check out the smartphone shots below to understand better. Click on the images for full resolution images.

Display, Performance, Gaming and Benchmarks

The phone sports a 5 inch HD display with 1280 x 720 pixel resolution with a pixel density of 294 ppi. There is no Gorilla glass protection.  The display appears great under normal lighting conditions with decent color reproduction and brightness but under severe direct sunlight, display is unable to adjust properly. It comes with great viewing angles, letting you view the screen even at steep angles.

Vivo V3 is powered by a Octa-Core Snapdragon 616 processor with Adreno 405 GPU with 3 GB of RAM. Combination of Snapdragon 616 with 3 GB RAM is able to produce good performance on the device under normal day-to-day conditions. Everything that we threw at it, ran smoothly without any issues except few hiccups when we played some heavy graphics intensive games such as Asphalt 8 under default conditions, simultaneously with many apps / games open in background as we experience few random frame drops. But that was not noticeable unless you are concentrating on it to find if there is any random frame drops.

It comes with 32 GB of internal storage and a dedicated Microsd card slot for expandable storage. It also supports USB OTG, but is disabled by default. You need to enable USB OTG from settings every time you want to use it as the option is disabled automatically if you are not using it.

Gaming performance decent with good color reproduction and few random frame drops or lag. It heated a bit more than we expected and once during testing the temperatures on the back reached ~48 degree. But we could not reproduce that again. In our testing later on, the temperatures manged to keep under 45 degrees after we played heavy graphics intensive games for 30 minutes. It appears that the metal body is unable to dissipate the heat generated quite effectively.

Check out our YouTube Gaming Review below for more details.

The call quality during voice calls was pretty clear without any issues. The dialer app also gives you an option to record calls without installing any additional app or rooting the device. Usually, in most devices, you need to root your device first and then install an additional paid app to record calls.

The earphones provided with the smartphone produces some crystal clear sound that we are yet to hear in any other mid range smartphone. Also, sound from speakers are crystal clear but not loud.

The AnTuTu benchmark score for Vivo V3 comes out to be about 38,000+ which is low for a device priced ~Rs. 18,000 and it reflects in performance of the smartphone in various conditions especially during gaming.

Camera

The phone comes with a 13 MP rear camera with LED flash & PDAF and a 8 MP front shooter for selfies. We tested both of these cameras under different lighting conditions.

The camera produced some great images under normal lighting conditions, but it wasn’t so good in low light conditions. Noise starts to creep in the moment we start shooting in low light. The camera app comes with some great modes such as beauty mode and even a professional mode which can produce some great shots if you know what to do with professional settings like exposure, white balance and much more. The camera app comes with some great filters inbuilt similar to Instagram. Other modes that camera features are Night Mode, Panaorma mode, Motion tracking mode, Fast mode, HDR mode, PPT mode and Slow Motion mode. It offers more features such as touch capture, Voice shutter, gender detection and much more.

The 8 MP front shooter  produce some good selfies under normal lighting conditions. The face beauty mode does some good job for selfies if used properly.

 

Camera samples

Checkout the images below taken under different light conditions and different modes. Click on the images for full resolution images on Flickr.

Fingerprint Sensor

Fingerprint is one of the selling points of this smartphone. The fingerprint sensor at the back works great and unlocks device pretty fast every time irrespective of how you put your finger on the sensor.  You can add up to five fingers which can be used to unlock the phone and to unlock private files that can be locked.

But we want more customization for fingerprints such as, it is possible that each finger can be used for different functions such as opening an App or dialing a contact or any other custom function. Coolpad Note 3 lite fingerprint sensor comes with these features which makes fingerprints much more useful than for just unlocking your phone..

Battery

The battery performance of Vivo V3 came out to be average with the smartphone barely lasting the full day on an above average moderate use. During our review, we used dual SIMs with a 4G Airtel SIM for data and another SIM for voice calls. For these conditions with 4G data always on, we needed to charge it around 5-6 PM. Our average use includes some Voice calls, browsing Twitter, Facebook, messaging apps such as Whatsapp, Telegram & other social sites and a bit of music streaming apps.average battery performance. Vivo packed just 2550 mAh battery which could have been a bit bigger, but perhaps to keep the slim design the company did a compromise on battery.

But with average usage, the battery lasted full day and we put it for charging during the night. The battery took almost 3 hours to full charge i.e. from 0 to 100%.

Operating System and UI

Vivo uses a pretty different kind of UI for its smartphones. Vivo V3 runs on  Funtouch OS 2.5 which is based on Android 5.1 Lollipop operating system. Even though it’s Android, yet you will feel as if it’s very much similar to iOS. Funtouch comes with totally different kind of settings and if you are an Android user, you will find it difficult to access many conventional settings found on Any Android phone.

It does not come with an app drawer and uses a launcher similar to iOS. Similarly, swiping from the bottom of the screen gives you access to toggles for different features just like iOS. For users who prefer simplicity, this is a good UI but for users like us these modifications in Android make it difficult.  You can get access to widgets on-screen using the left button which usually is the recent key in other smartphones.

But once you get used to the UI, you wont feel odd using it. Yet, we found many settings / UI changes too odd for us in terms of user experience. Perhaps, its our bias towards stock Android and many users may prefer this kind of UI. The smartphone doesn’t come with bloatware.

Conclusion

Vivo V3 is excellent when it comes to build quality and design. Even though it performs great in day-to-day usage, it fails when it comes to heavy gaming thanks to heating issues. Finger print sensor works great and unlocks device pretty fast every time. The camera is decent which can produce some good shots under normal lighting. The pricing probably is what the basic problem here as a price of ~Rs. 18,000 puts it into direct competition with some popular smartphones that we mentioned at start. Vivo should have priced it a bit lower and we would have a winner.

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