Vivo is considerably a new player in the Indian smartphone arena. Nevertheless, the China-based company has, at least started its venture in one of the largest smartphone using countries. Last year when the company announced its first entrant- X5Max in the Indian market, the company didn't do it with much fanfare.
But with the latest offering the company has been doing relatively more marketing. Anyway, the device that we are here to talk about today is the Vivo V1Max, which has been launched in India at the price of Rs. 21,980.
Perhaps, most of you might not be very convinced with the design and other aspects of the phone, but you might, for sure, like the one aspect of the device which is the audio quality. The company that is marketing this particular device with the series name titled "Hi-Fi", is nothing but to iterate the fact that it gives a punch and power to the audio aspects of the smartphone. Hence, the Vivo V1Max can be easily said to be a smartphone targeted to music lovers.
But the complimentary part doesn't end here as there are several other features that made us happy and well, not to forget the ones that disappointed us as well. GizBot used the device with much excitement and have come up with the review of the same. Reserving the comment for the end, let's head on with the review of the handset beginning with the design.
The moment you see the Vivo V1Max's back face, it supremely resemble spice M6112 smartphone or Obi Octopus S520. The silver-ish mid-panel with a white band running along the top and bottom somehow doesn't give a unique accent to the Vivo V1Max smartphone. However, the fact that the company has used a metal centerpiece - the silver-ish part (the white bands are made out of plastic) makes it better.
Design-wise, the device is not quite an impressive one but it sure feels pretty comfortable in the hands. The top and bottom white bands host one-each speaker grille and on the top left side, there is a camera module beside which, you can also see an LED flash. The Vivo branding has been stamped at the center of the pack panel.
Upon rotating the device, the Vivo V1Max has nothing different to offer. You will see the regular (or should I say the old styled soft keys- back, option and home below the display. Right above the display is where you will see the primary audio grille in between the sensor and the front facing shooter. You have the LED-indicator as well on the right corner right next to the camera.
Since the device doesn't come with a removable back-panel, you will see the eject-able SIM and micro-SD card tray at the left side of the phone while the right side is bestowed with volume rocker and power button. The bottom side features a micro-USB power and a primary microphone and the top edge hosts a 3.5mm headphone jack.
What gives and accent to the device is the steel rim that encases the device from the side. With an average design and measuring 154×77×6.79mm in dimension and weighing in at 169grams, the Vivo V1Max might just end up losing the quarrel against the mid-range killer devices like Moto G 3rd Gen and devices from its very own native competitors.
The Vivo V1Max features a massive 5.5-inch HD (720x1280-pixel) display, which most of the large display lovers would find attractive. But add to that a low resolution panel, and there is nothing but disappointment. At the price at which Vivo has launched the handset, they should have at least offered a full HD resolution.
Even if it was a device under 4.5-inch the HD resolution is enough, but with the larger display, you do need a better resolution. However, as far as the other aspects of the display are concerned, they are good enough. The color reproduction and brightness levels are excellent. You can probably call this device with the brightest display. The touch response is fast and the videos appeared colorful but not as clear as it should have appeared.
Power and Performance
Powered by the elite chipset maker Qualcomm's CPU- the Snapdragon 615, the device is pretty stable to be falling in an average performing device's category. Moving into the specifics, the SoC is a 1.4 GHz Octa-Core 64-bit one which comes paired with Adreno 405 GPU. Not the best in the market but quite popular these days. The CPU is also supported by a 2GB RAM which helps in smooth functioning of the apps.
As we used the device, the Vivo V1Max didn't appear to be the fastest device. Moreover, it did tend to hang while using multiple apps. While we played games, we faced some screen-freeze and frame rates were also quite average and not suitable for avid gamers. The device's speed and performance are not quite suitable for the price Vivo is selling the V1Max. Perhaps, it matches the performance of the device's that are priced around Rs. 15,000.
One of the things that has been an everlasting problem with the octa-core SoC is the overheating. The same is the problem with the Vivo V1Max. It tends to heat up really bad. And as the device starts heating, the Vivo V1Max starts slowing down.
For the people who believe in benchmarks, as we ran AnTuTu test on this particular device, it registered 36,525 points, which is not bad, but not the best either.
Generally, we don't make an audio section for reviews but since this device is precisely being marketed with a tagline that denotes best sound quality, we are obliged to put our focus in it.
First of all, the dual speaker is placed at the rear side, which means that if you are watching videos, it makes it quite undesirable. The phone is pretty loud but the sound quality is not of the highest grade. The speakers are not too bass-friendly but projects the Mid and Treble pretty efficiently. Anyway, if you are music lover, you will realize that the stereo sound setup work really well.
The Vivo V1Max runs on Vivo's FunTouch OS 2.1 user interface that is slapped over Google's Android 5.0 OS. This means that you will not only get the UI integrated features in the phone but all get the best of Android Lollipop features. The UI however, highly resembles the iOS looks. The camera UI, the swipe up notification panel and much more are adopted from iPhone OS.
The camera section of the Vivo V1Max is more than the average. The 13-megapixel rear camera is very similar to the one that we had seen in the company's previous phone - the Vivo X5Pro.
The camera struggles to focus fast on subjects. Therefore, it's not an idle camera for instant shooters. Not just that, despite the image quality of the Vivo V1Max is pretty authentic, you need to adjust the light, exposure, stabilize your hand and focus on the subject to get the best out of it.
Most of the images that I shot appeared to be grainy. The images lacked detail and sharpness. The camera struggles to deliver its best in the low-light condition. But surprisingly, color reproduction was good enough in most of the shots that we had taken.
As far as the camera UI is concerned, as said earlier, it resembles the iOS looks. The software-based features that you find in the camera section are HDR, PPT, Night Mode, Face Beauty, Panorama and more. As far as the video is concerned, fortunately, you will get the full HD video option, which is average and not as much impressive as you would expect.
The front facing camera which is 5MP in resolution does a pretty decent job to be suitable for video calls and taking average quality selfies.
Storage and Connectivity
The Vivo V1Max comes with 16GB of internal memory, which can be further expanded up to 128GB via microSD. This is probably one of the most impressive inclusion in the phone. But out of the 16GB native storage, users will only get to use about 8GB of it.
Connectivity options in the device include 4G LTE / 3G HSPA+, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS. This is a stock option these days and nothing new can be found in this one. The company should have at least offered a bit more features like the NFC or the IR blaster.
The Vivo V1Max is powered by 2720mAh battery, which is very less for a smartphone of this size. Since the display is something which consumes quite a lot of juice, the company should have better offered a better and larger cell to it. The device ran about 10 hours as we played video on the loop. But as we used the device (web browsing, youtube, listening music, games, calls), the smartphone stayed alive for about 9 hours, which came as a surprise.
By now you must have already figured out that Vivo V1Max is not the best standard phone but you can call the device a large mid-ranger. There is hardly anything new that can be seen in the smartphone. The design is already seen in the OBI mobile, the UI is from iOS and the hardware is something that you can see in almost all the smartphones that are priced around Rs. 15,000.
Definitely, an overpriced device, the Vivo V1Max might suffer badly in the Indian market which is rich with competitive devices from its very native land. However a couple of positive sides of the Vivo V1Max are the large display, Audio quality, 4G connectivity and 128GB external storage unit support.
Not quite a device for the gamers, the Vivo V1Max is highly suited for video lovers, who likes spending time on YouTube. Moreover, an enhanced audio quality also tilts towards positive side.