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VIVO Z3 Review: Flagship of Thousand Yuan Niche

If you think of the most impressive smartphones in the second half of this year, we believe that the VIVO Z1 must be on the list. But this handset has had serious problems with the promotion. Actually, it is an amazing device, but no one is familiar with it. But those who follow what this brand does, knew the Z1 is outstanding. As a result, there were sold over 100,000 units within 3 days of the launch. Moreover, the Z1 won 12 sales champions within 3 months. The number of positive reviews exceeded 400,000. Now the sales of the VIVO Z1 have exceeded 1 million units. This handset was among the firsts that came with a drop screen design. At the same time, it was great in terms of price-over-performance ratio. The Z1’s hardware is not the best, but what’s inside, is quite sufficient to provide a smooth and stable performance, never making you shy. Say, it comes with a Snapdragon 660 AIE chip, 4+64GB memory combination, and a full-screen with an ultra-high-screen ratio of 90%. The price was 1598 yuan ($229).

VIVO Z3

 On October 17, the manufacturer unleashed the successor of this phone, namely the VIVO Z3. It comes with improved features, including a Snapdragon 710 AIE chip, VIVO’s Dual-Turbo acceleration engine, 22.5W dual-engine flashing, 6.3-inch drop screen, and the same starting price of 1598 yuan.

VIVO has begun launching great smartphones one after another. So we just have to understand whether it’s a marketing gimmick like Samsung or there are real enhancements. If the latter is true, then VIVO is one of those smartphone brands that updates its products list frequently but keeps the prices unchanged.

VIVO Z3 Appearance

The VIVO Z3’s box has a minimalist white design. There is only one logo of the company as well as the phone’s name on the front.

VIVO Z3

As we said, the VIVO Z3 uses the much-popular drop screen design. Actually, this style is very popular in the second half of this year. So VIVO, which always follows the trends, has had to come in with something identical. The bangs are extremely narrow, leaving only one front camera on the forehead, which makes the VIVO Z3 get more than 90% super high screen ratio. It is very rare at the price of 1,000 yuan.

VIVO Z3

On the front of VIVO Z3, we can see that the upper frame is very narrow, almost the same width as the side frame. The earpiece is also retracted into the upper frame. The bangs area only carries the front camera, which makes the front of the VIVO Z3 look very simple.

On the bottom, the chin has been narrowed a lot.

VIVO Z3

The top of the fuselage is blank.

VIVO Z3

At the bottom of the fuselage, we can find the speaker, Micro-USB interface, microphone, and 3.5mm headphone jack. Although the Micro-USB interface is somewhat regrettable, it is worthy of praise to keep the 3.5mm headphone jack.

VIVO Z3

On the left side, we can find the power button and the volume rocker.

VIVO Z3

The SIM card slot is placed on the left side.

VIVO Z3

It is a three-in-one card slot for dual Nano-SIM + memory cards. This relatively rare card slot design allows users to use memory card expansion while inserting two SIM cards. As you know, most of the smartphones on the market are using the 2-in-1 or card slots or only two Nano-SIM card slots.

VIVO Z3

On the back, VIVO Z3 continues the design of the VIVO family. The rear uses a 3D curved surface design. The curved backplate brings a very good grip, and the narrowed design on both sides also greatly reduces the visual thickness.

VIVO Z3

VIVO uses a mirror-like gradient design on the Z3. The aurora blue variant gradually changes from the black at the top to the blue. Compared with the monochrome design, it is more profound and rich in colors.

VIVO Z3

The dual-camera is placed on the upper left corner of the back panel. The fingerprint identification reader is centered. It is worth mentioning that both the camera and the fingerprint module have been CNC chamfered and painted in gold.

VIVO Z3

Inside the box, we can also find the VIVO Z3’s dual-engine fast charging head, supporting up to 10V2.25A = 22.5W fast charging.

VIVO Z3

VIVO Z3

VIVO Z3 Experience

Face recognition

In front of the VIVO Z3, there is only one front camera. But this doesn’t prevent the shooter from supporting the face recognition function. How does VIVO do it?

VIVO Z3

Of course, the face recognition here is not a rough front camera recognition, but the industry’s exclusive super broad-spectrum camera, which supports the dual-pass infrared light. The infrared LED lamp is placed between the top of the screen and the frame. It solves the problem of unlocking the face in the dark and low light environment.

The face recognition of the VIVO Z3 is also the fastest way to unlock the phone. When the power button is pressed, you enter the home screen immediately. You should be suspicious that there is no lock screen at all. Everything is performed in milliseconds.

At last, this is also very impressive that VIVO has realized an infrared face unlocking in a drop screen phone.

VIVO Dual-Turbo

VIVO also launched the Dual-Turbo acceleration engine in line with the market trend. The VIVO Dual-Turbo is composed of VIVO System-Turbo and VIVO Game-Turbo engines.

VIVO Z3

The VIVO System-Turbo is a two-year research and development of the company, which has modified the underlying Linux layer of Android by nearly 20%, making the system run more stable and smoother, and redefining a smarter allocation strategy.

The VIVO Game-Turbo is the company’s game acceleration engine jointly developed by VIVO and Unreal Engine and game developers. It is a system-level optimization solution for improving the performance of mobile games.

VIVO Z3

When testing this feature, we choose Honor of Kings and PUBG.

For the former, we opened the highest quality, high frame rate mode and multi-thread optimization.

During the game, the VIVO Z3 did not lose even a frame, and the whole process is kept at 60 frames.

VIVO Z3

As for the PUBG performance, it provided identical results.

VIVO Z3 Performance

The VIVO Z3 is equipped with Qualcomm Snapdragon 670/710 AIE processor, 4GB/6GB optional memory, and 64GB/128GB storage. We are reviewing the Snapdragon 710+6+128GB version.

VIVO Z3

The Snapdragon 710 is built on a 10nm process and is equipped with Kryo 300 series CPUs and Adreno 600 series GPUs. In addition, there are multiple IPs including Spectra 250 ISP, Hexagon 685 DPS, and X15 LTE baseband. These designs are derived from the 800 series flagship processors.

It is worth noting that the Snapdragon 710 is equipped with the Kryo 360 core with the same architecture as the 845. The two Kryo 360 cores of the 710 are up to 2.2GHz, and the six Kryo 360 small cores can save more power for daily use.

The Snapdragon 710 also uses the new Adreno 616 graphics processor, which is the second 6-series Adreno GPU after the Adreno 630 of the Snapdragon 845. Compared with the 660, the Snapdragon 710 GPU graphics rendering speed is increased by 35%. The power consumption is reduced by 20%.

Therefore, the Snapdragon 710 is obviously able to hang the 6 series high, inheriting the high-end position of many 8 series, and can be called the flagship processor.

AnTuTu | GeekBench | GFXBench

The VIVO Z3 is capable of scoring up to 171,039 points on AnTuTu. This score not only surpassed the Snapdragon 660 by 30,000 but also reached the running level of the previous generation flagship processor, the Kirin 960.

VIVO Z3

PCMark

The PCMark running points of the VIVO Z3 reach 6956 points. It is roughly equivalent to the Kirin 970 performance.

VIVO Z3

Androbench

The continuous reading speed is around 280MB/s, which is a standard eMMC performance.

VIVO Z3

VIVO Z3 Battery

The VIVO Z3 is equipped with a 3315mAh battery.

Online video testing

During the test, we set the volume at 40%, the brightness at 50%, and began playing the video for 60 minutes, when the remaining power was 93%.

After 60 minutes, the power dropped to 80%.

Game testing

We once again used PUBG to test how the phone performs when playing heavy games. After 30 minutes, the power was dropped from 80% to 71%.

In other words, the VIVO Z3 can provide up to 8 hours of video playback or 5 hours of playing games.

This is quite satisfactory if taking into account the 3315mAh battery.

VIVO Z3 Camera

The VIVO Z3 is equipped with a rear 16MP + 2MP AI smart dual-camera, which comes with may attractive modes such as AR shoot, AI portrait composition, AI scene recognition, and other camera functions.

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Conclusion

No need to mention once again that the VIVO Z3 is a cost-effective model with a thousand-yuan positioning, but with the Snapdragon 710 AIE quasi-flagship processor, visible infrared 2-in-1 super-spectrum front camera, and the VIVO Dual-Turbo twin-turbo acceleration engine. The 6.3-inch screen accounts for 90.3% of the front panel. It supports 22.5W dual-engine fast charge technology. Not in vain, the VIVO Z3 is called the flagship of the thousand yuan niche.

VIVO Z3

For the Snapdragon 710 models on the market, even if the pricing is similar, there are always some features that cannot keep up with the pace of the VIVO Z3. Say, some of them are better in terms of face recognition, some provide a faster charging, some have a higher screen ratio, etc. But in total, none of them can compete with the VIVO Z3.

Of course, the VIVO Z3 comes with a few shortcomings. As we said, the lowest variant is packed with a Snapdragon 670 AIE processor instead of the Snapdragon 710 AIE. The camera performance is not also at the highest level. The battery capacity is also slightly small. But when we recall its pricing, all these shortcomings are forgotten immediately.

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Argam Artashyan

Back in 2010, he was dismissed from his position as a lecturer at the university. This made him get another job at his friend’s digital marketing company as a blog writer. After a few years, when he was thinking the article writing is his mission, Google pushed the Panda update and affected the company and websites he was working at. (Un)fortunately and surprisingly, he got an offer to head a large knitting factory. In 2016, he got his Ph.D. and resumed teaching at the University … and writing tech-related articles following his passion.

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