Vivo launched two new smartphones in India, called the Vivo V3 and Vivo V3 Max. Priced at Rs 17,980 and Rs 23,980 respectively, both smartphones are entering a very competitive segment. The Chinese company claims that its new smartphones’ highlights include high-end specs at a relatively low price tag. Like Vivo though, this segment also includes companies like Lenovo, Xiaomi, and OnePlus among others that are in this business with a similar mantra. We spent some time with the two new smartphones at the launch event in Mumbai, and here are our first impressions. Also Read - Vivo V20 Pro could launch on December 2, report suggestsAlso Read - Vivo V20 Pro 5G price in India leaked ahead of launch
Apart from the different screen sizes, both smartphones look near identical. The front is dominated by the display, protected by 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass and capacitive buttons at the bottom. Both devices feature aluminum metal bodies, which the company says, are treated with zircon sand coating and anodized to create the smooth finish. Also Read - Vivo introduces all-new 'OriginOS' Android skin to replace FuntouchOS
The edges are curved, and with the rose gold finish, we must admit it looks a bit like the Apple iPhone 6s. At the back there is the primary camera at the top-left corner and the fingerprint scanner towards the middle. The curved edges make it easy for one to hold the device in one hand, and despite the metal bodies, are relatively light to hold as well.
The Vivo V3 flaunts a 5-inch HD (1280×720 pixels) display, while the V3 Max flaunts a 5.5-inch full HD (1920×1080 pixels) display. At a time when even smartphones priced under Rs 10,000 feature a full HD display, it is disappointing to see the V3 with just a 720p display when it is priced at almost Rs 18,000! Both displays performed well indoors with good color reproduction and viewing angles as well. As you can see in the photos though, both screens are very reflective and visibility under direct sunlight is a bit affected (Note: The brightness was at maximum when clicking these photos).
Under the hood, the V3 includes Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 616 octa-core processor paired with 3GB of RAM, while the V3 Max includes Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 652 octa-core processor paired with 4GB of RAM. In the little time we spent with the devices, we didn’t come across any stutters or lags despite having multiple apps open in the background. Switching between apps was smooth as well.
On the software front, the two smartphones run on Android Lollipop-based Funtouch OS 2.5. It’s the usual affair that you expect from Chinese OEMS with colorful icons and no app drawer. It too comes with the split-screen mode, which as the name suggests, lets you use two apps simultaneously side-by-side. We tried out the feature, and it seemed to work smoothly. We will have a closer look at this feature and try out more apps when we review the smartphones. On the storage front, both devices come with 32GB internal memory, which can be expanded up to 128GB using a microSD card.
At the back of the devices is the fingerprint scanner, placed below the camera. The scanner is fast enough to unlock the device in 0.5 seconds if the screen is off, or 0.2 seconds when you are on the lock screen. Registering a fingerprint is simple enough, and the scanner was quick to recognize our fingerprint as well.
Coming to the photography front, and both smartphones feature a combination of 13-megapixel rear camera and 8-megapixel selfie camera. Vivo says that one can fire up the camera and click a photo in less than a second. The inclusion of PDAF also helps in focusing on the subject in just 0.2 seconds. The fingerprint scanner can also be used to quickly click a photo (primary and selfie).
The V3 Max also includes a feature called Ultra HD mode, which enhances the quality of the photo. In the little time we used the cameras, the results were good enough, but we will reserve our judgment till we have reviewed the devices.
The V3 comes with a 2,550mAh battery, while the V3 Max comes with 3,000mAh battery. Vivo says that both the batteries are capable of lasting an entire day. The smartphones also support Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 2.0, which will give you up to two hours of music playback on charging for only five minutes.
Vivo has again focused on the audio bit, and both devices boast a high-quality AK4375 audio chip. Vivo says that the smartphones’ speakers offer a signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of 105dB and a distortion rate of -97dB. During our test we found the speakers to be quite loud, even in a fairly loud open environment. The smartphones also come with the usual bevy of connectivity options like dual-SIM card slots, 4G LTE support on both SIMs, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS.
Purely on the basis of specifications and features, Vivo’s new smartphones look highly overpriced. The V3, for instance, has hardware that we would typically see in smartphones priced around Rs 12,000. The V3 Max would compete with the likes of the Xiaomi Mi 5 and even Lenovo Vibe X3, both of which would offer better value for money.