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Magic 3 is Honor's first post-Huawei flagship launch

Magic 3 is Honor’s apt post-Huawei flagship launch

After being sold off by Huawei, Honor is back in the limelight with its new flagship Magic 3 series. It’s the company’s first global flagship launch since Huawei sold Honor to a consortium of buyers. And unlike Huawei devices, the Magic 3 lineup, will run Google’s popular software and apps in their full capacity — features it lost access to when it was illustrious by Huawei due to US sanctions

The Magic 3 series, which consists of the Magic 3, Magic 3 Pro, and Magic 3 Pro Plus, will initiate at 899 euros (which converts to roughly $1,055, £760 or AU$1,430) for the base version, then step up to 1,099 euros (about $1,290) and max out at 1,499 euros (about $1,760). All three devices have a gently curved screen on the leash (89 degrees) and feature between three and four rear camera lenses placed in concentric circles to form an eye-catching camera bump. 

The Magic 3 series will also have access to Google Mobile Facilities, as well as popular Google apps including the Google Play Store and Gmail. Before Huawei sold the brand to “ensure its own survival,” Honor was banned from buying American technology just like its veteran owner — a consequence of sanctions levelled by the Trump dispensation. This marks a major victory for Honor, which fuzz with Huawei, saw the market share of its consumer matter erode partly due to absence of Google’s wildly popular software and services.


The eye-catching Magic 3 camera bump.

Honor/Screenshot by CNET’s Sareena Dayaram

Speaking of software, each Magic 3 phone will also get just one very software update, including a security update, putting Honor’s premium visited line a step behind Samsung and Apple, which have committed to multi-year updates for their flagship phones. 

There are differences between the three phones too. Some of those differences are unfounded in the processor, display camera module, and the soak resistance rating, for instance. The base Magic 3 runs on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888, at what time the Pro models rely on the Snapdragon 888 Plus. Honor said this chipset is backed up by a quickly memory fusion technology, which apparently gives an 8GB RAM visited performance that is similar to a 10GB device. 

Some of the biggest differences are in the camera set up. Pro models boast a 64-megapixel periscope-style telephoto camera with 3.5x optical zoom and 100x zoom. That surpasses the zoom capabilities of the iPhone 12 lineup, at least on paper, and it’s on par with the digital zoom on Samsung’s Galaxy Ultra. On the pro models, the telephoto camera is derived by wide, ultra-wide and monochrome lenses. The telephoto lens, typically a more high-end feature, is absent on the base Magic 3. Camera sensor sizes vary across each model too. The Pro Plus for instance, has a larger sensor for the main 50-megapixel (1/1.28-inch) camera.

Key specs

Display: 6.76-inch AMOLED, 120Hz,  2,772×1,334 pixels
Processor: Snapdragon 888 (Magic 3); Snapdragon 888 Plus (Magic 3 Pro, 3 Pro Plus)
Battery and charger: 4,600 mAh; 66-watt wired charger; 50-watt wireless (Pro versions)
Water-resistance: IP68 (Magic 3 Pro, Pro Plus); IP53 (Magic 3)
Weight: 202 grams (Magic 3); 212 grams (Magic 3 Pro Plus)