The Vivo V3 Max was one of the best phones we’ve tested so far. Now its time to take a look at its smaller brother, the V3.

Design and Build Quality

The Vivo V3 is pretty much built like its bigger brother with its metal back and minimal curves. With a smaller form factor at 5 inches, I didn’t have any problems getting a good grip on it. It also feels very premium, solid and sturdy.

Up front is the 5-inch display with Gorilla Glass 3 protection, along with the usual suspects such as the 8 megapixel front facing camera, capacitive (non-illuminated) buttons and other sensors. They also added a slice of Vivo branding, which is a nice touch. At the back is a 13 megapixel camera with f/2.1 aperture with phase detection autofocus, the LED flash, and a fingerprint sensor. On the right, you’ll find the power button and volume rocker. On the left is the SIM tray, which holds one nano and one micro SIM. Up top is the 3.5 mm headphone jack, and the microSD card slot. And finally, at the bottom is the microUSB port together with the microphone and speaker.

The V3 has a 720p display as opposed to the 1080p of the V3 Max. Despite carrying less pixels, it still is nice to look at with just the right amount of contrast and color reproduction. Brightness is good and viewing angles are decent, so as visibility in direct sunlight.

Performance

The V3 has a Snapdragon 616 processor coupled with an Adreno 405 GPU, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage expandable via microSD card. You won’t have any problems with general use and even heavy games such as Asphalt 8 and Unkilled were all taken care of with no issues. The fingerprint sensor at the back also works pretty well. By my account, it responds just as fast as the one in the V3 Max.

Call quality is also excellent on this phone. The speaker is loud and the clarity is good, not as good as the V3 Max, but should still be ok for most users. The sound from the 3.5mm headphone jack is also good, especially when used with a good pair of headphones.

Camera

The 13-megapixel rear camera focuses swiftly and captures photos with a decent amount of detail in good to average lighting conditions, though you’ll notice a certain lack of sharpness in some cases. In the opposite, the camera struggles to keep up as photos come out with a lot of noise. At least, the LED flash does a fair job of compensating. The front 8 megapixel front facing camera takes decent selfies as well.

Software

The V3 runs on Funtouch OS on top of Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. And while it may take some time to get used to, I think it’s actually a pretty good take on Android. It also brings a good amount of options on the table to customize the device, to make it feel more personal.

Battery

The 2550mAh battery on the V3 may not look so good on paper, but it actually does a pretty good job. I managed to squeeze out about 10 hours of on-screen time on a single charge. That includes being on WiFi all day, general tasks, with some heavy gaming on the side. The V3 doesn’t support fast charging, but it does actually charge up in a decent amount of time. I managed to get from 7% to full charge in about 3 hours.

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Verdict

The V3 is a pretty good phone to have. Its built well, has excellent battery life and is a capable performer. The camera needs a little improvement, but still produces some decent shots for general use. The UI may take some getting used to, but should be easy enough for most users. And while its a good package, with pricing though, i would’ve preferred a better display as a lot of the competition have already moved up to Full HD displays.

Emman has been writing technical and feature articles since 2010. Prior to this, he became one of the instructors at Asia Pacific College in 2008, and eventually landed a job as Business Analyst and Technical Writer at Integrated Open Source Solutions for almost 3 years.