Honor Magic 3 smartphones launch with Qualcomm chips and Google apps

The new Honor Magic 3 phones embrace the company’s new independent status and it has some serious camera arsenal

Honor Magic 3
(Image credit: Honor)

In a week that has seen big new models from Samsung Galaxy, Xiaomi and a tease from OnePlus, Honor has also pulled out the stops with a new smartphone. The Honor Magic 3 is the company’s first big global release since the company officially split from Huawei.

Huawei’s selling of Honor to a consortium led by the Shenzhen local government has allowed Honor to secure new deals with a range of chip manufacturers, including Qualcomm, Sony and Samsung – as well as bringing back the Google Play Store. It also paves the way for the phone to have a full global release, including in the US, where Huawei has been noticeably absent.

Despite the new start, the new Honor phones do look oddly familiar. The curved-edged screen, circular camera bump and impressive camera array all look and sound a lot like recent Huawei models. Perhaps more due to the fact that the Honor designers were until recently working for Huawei than any recent collaboration.

Honor Magic 3

The Magic 3 Pro

(Image credit: Honor)

The launch included three variations of the Magic series: a standard model, pro and pro plus. All feature an always-on 6.67-inch screen with a 120Hz refresh rate and HDR 10+ support, twin front cameras and a prominent circular camera bump on the rear. All three also feature 66W wired and 50W wireless charging to charge the phone in under an hour.

The Magic 3 features the SnapDragon 888 processor while both the Pro and Pro+ use the flagship SnapDragon 888 Plus. Weatherproofing is to IP68 (submersion to 1.5m for 30mins) on the Pro and Pro+ but only to IP54 on the Magic 3 (splashes only). The camera array also varies on the different models. While all three feature a 50MP main camera and a 64MP monochrome camera that sits in the centre, the Magic 3 and Magic 3 Pro feature a 13MP ultra-wide camera, while the Pro+ has a 64MP version.

The Pro and Pro+ also include a 64MP telephoto lens with 3.5x optical zoom or 100x digital zoom and use a digital Time-of-Flight sensor rather than the laser autofocus system on the Magic 3. The Pro+ also adds a multi-spectrum color temperature sensor to increase color accuracy.

Honor Magic 3

The Magic 3 in all four colors

(Image credit: Honor)

For pro video shooters, the Magic 3 series features a new Magic Log video format that is designed to be professionally graded. There’s also a range of post-process filter effects for more casual shooters. There’s also a focus on the phone’s sound recording capabilities, with a three-microphone setup designed to pin point and better record directional sound at a distance.

The Magic 3, which comes in a choice of four colors (black, white gold and blue) will cost 899 Euro (£760/$1060/AU$1430). The Magic 3 Pro is available in just three colors (black white and gold) and will be priced 1,090 Euro (£930/$1290/AU$1750). The Magic Pro+, which comes in black or white, is priced 1499 Euro (£1270/$1760/AU$2390). The exact release dates and country availability is yet to be confirmed.

Mat Gallagher
Mat Gallagher

As T3's Managing Editor in the US, Mat is a true lover of gadgets, but especially anything that involves cameras, cars, music or travel. Originally from the UK, he has written about technology since 2003 and is now based in Chicago.