It may be unwise to ignore Vivo's V3 Max as another Chinese knock-off of the iPhone; the smartphone ticks most of the boxes including an amazing camera
Build and design (9/10): You can always expect Vivo smartphones to impress with their design, and this time too it has hit the bull's eye with a trendy metallic body in the V3 Max. Unlike previous designs (or the iPhone 6 that it greatly resembles), the sides aren't smooth, but protrude as if a separate sheet is layered on top of the back metal panel and the front glass sheet, holding them together. The edges, however, are polished and add a shiny finish to the body. The back camera is placed on the top right corner with the flash underneath. The back panel also has a fingerprint sensor at the centre, above the Vivo logo embossed on it. The volume and power rockers are placed on the right, and a hybrid slim slot on the left. There is a 3.5mm audio jack at the top and USB port at the bottom placed at the centre with a grill-like slot for speakers on the left.
Display (8/10): It has a 5.5-inch Full HD (1920 x1080) IPS touch display with a pixel density of nearly 480ppi. The screen has a Gorilla glass protective layer with a 2.5D curve around the edges. The touch is great, and even though the display gets a reflective surface, and is prone to smudges, its works fine even under bright sunlight.
Camera (9/10): Its biggest achievement, though, is its 13MP rear camera. Pictures are sharp and offer realsitic colour reproduction even during the night. We, however, don't like the placement of the camera as our fingers often end up blocking the view. The 8MP front camera also does a decent job. We are also happy to find manual controls in the camera app for features like focus, EV, shutter speed, ISO and white balance, something you will enjoy a lot. The app also comes with set of bonus live effects such as sketch and B&W expanding its usability.
OS and User ExpErience (7/10): The V3 Max runs a highly customised proprietary FunTouch OS built on Android Lollipop 5.1, offering an iPhone like experience, which is good if you have been aspiring for similar experience on Android. The OS is menu animations and built-in effects add to the charm. We, in particular, are fans of the iManager app, which allows you to control permissions for apps on your device. But if you like the native Android experience, you will be disappointed.
Connectivity (9/10): The device is a dual-SIM smartphone with support for 4G LTE on both cards at the same time. You don't see this even in some premium devices. It also gets Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and support for 2G and 3G cellular networks. The device also comes with support for OTG.
Battery (8/10): The 3,000 mAh battery lasted a full day on dual-SIM usage with 4G LTE active on both cards, and Wi-Fi on throughout the day. The device should take you through a day of regular usage, but it falls short if you wish to play games or watch videos. Better carry a portable power bank at all times.
Hardware and Performance (7/10): The V3Max runs on a Qualcomm S652 SoC with 64-bit 1.8GHz octa-core processor. The device has 4GB RAM and 32GB internal storage. It manages to pull through most of the tasks. Video rendition during game play, however, is not as fluid as we would have expected, but we didn't face any heating issues which is good. The device uses a hybrid sim slot, so, you can either use two sim cards or a single sim and an SD card at a time. The built-in audio chip is the same as in other Vivo devices, and manages to impress even now. The built-in speakers are also loud. The fingerprint sensor is very fast, and can store up to five fingers, adding up to the attraction.
Overall rating (8.1/10)
The guide verdict: The Vivo V3 Max is built to last and to gain attention. And it does so beautifully. However, some may find R23,980 a little too much for an iPhone knock-off, but you must remember that the V3 Max matches its looks with a knockout performance, along with an amazing camera, a fast finger print reader and
Hi-Fi music as a bonus.
Display: 5.5-inch 1920x1080, 480ppi
Processor: 1.8 GHz octa Core Qualcomm S652
Memory: 4GB RAM, 32GB internal
Camera: 8MP (front), 13MP with flash (rear)
Connectivity: GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 2G, 3G and 4G (hybrid sim)