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The Magic’s back at Honor, as brand returns with its Magic 3 series smartphones

Honor has announced the Magic 3 series, consisting of the Honor Magic 3, the Magic 3 Pro, and the Magic 3 Pro+. It’s the brand’s first flagship phone launch since becoming independent from Huawei, which has enabled it to strike up partnerships with a variety of companies including Qualcomm, Google, and Microsoft.

Honor CEO George Zhao holding the Honor Magic 3.
Honor CEO George Zhao holding the new Honor Magic 3 phones

The Magic 3 is the first smartphone to use Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 888 Plus 5G processor inside, plus the phone is the first to be labeled as IMAX Enhanced. All three phones have the Snapdragon 888 Plus and 5G connectivity, plus a 6.67-inch OLED screen with a 2772 x 1344 pixel resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate, along with a very steep 89-degree curve down either side. That’s not the only design quirk. Turn the phone over and you’re stared at by what Honor calls the Eye of Muse, or the camera module to you and me.

It’s the standout design point of the Honor Magic 3 series, and while its circular and reminiscent of the Huawei Mate 40 Pro on the Magic 3 and Magic 3 Pro, it grows even larger and takes on a slightly different shape on the Magic 3 Pro+. The cameras it contains help differentiate the different models.

The Magic 3 has a 50-megapixel Sony IMX766 main camera, a 13MP wide-angle camera, and a 64MP monochrome camera, a setup repeated on the Magic 3 Pro where a 64MP telephoto camera is added to the list. This shoots 3.5x optical zoom shots, 10x zoom hybrid photos, or up to100x zoom digital photos. The Honor Magic 3 Pro+ has a 50MP IMX700 main camera, 64MP wide-angle and monochrome cameras, and a 64MP periscope zoom camera. There’s also a multi-spectrum color temperature sensor, optical image stabilization, and phase detection autofocus on different models.

Honor Magic 3 and Magic 3 Pro+ smartphones.
Honor Magic 3 (left) and Honor Magic 3 Pro+ (right).

For video, Honor has created eight different cinematic Look Up Tables (LUTs) to alter the color of movies shot on the Magic 3 series. These are recommended via on-device Artificial Intelligence (A.I.), or can be manually applied. It’s not clear what the IMAX Enhanced feature does on the Magic 3 yet, but for home audio/visual equipment it’s a stamp of approval from the company, confirming hardware meets IMAX’s standards for viewing and listening, so it likely applies to the screen and audio, rather than content shot by the camera.

What else? All three phones have a 4,600mAh battery inside, 66W wired charging and 50W wireless charging, plus reverse charging on the Magic 3 Pro and Pro+. Security is handled by a 3D Time-of-Flight camera on the front for secure face recognition. The phone runs Android and one major OS update is promised, along with regular security updates. Finally, the Magic 3 and Magic 3 Pro come with a vegan leather-covered back, while the Magic 3 Pro+ is made from ceramic, and there’s a choice between an 8GB/256GB and 12GB/256GB model.

The Magic 3 starts at 899 euros or around $1,055, the Magic 3 Pro at 1,099 euros or about $1,290, and the Magic 3 Pro+ is 1499 euros which converts to about $1,760. The Magic 3 series will eventually be released globally after its debut in China, but exact launch dates are unknown at this time.

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