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HONOR Play 3 announced: More of a Redmi Note 8 rival than gaming phone

The original HONOR Play offered flagship-level power in a cheap package, but the latest model takes a different route.

Published onSeptember 5, 2019

The HONOR Play 3.

The HONOR Play formed part of the first wave of modern gaming-focused phones, delivering a powerful chipset and a few solid features in a cost-effective package.

Huawei’s sub-brand isn’t stopping there though, as it just announced the HONOR Play 3 in China (h/t: GSMArena). Yeah, I don’t seem to recall the HONOR Play 2, either.

Unlike the original HONOR Play though, the HONOR Play 3 isn’t being positioned as a gaming-focused smartphone. Instead, the phone is a squarely budget device with some noteworthy features for the price.

The device comes equipped with a mid-range Kirin 710F chipset, 4GB to 6GB of RAM, and 64GB to 128GB of expandable storage. So those expecting the phone to offer a flagship-level chipset like the original device will be disappointed.

The HONOR Play 3 camera.

Other major details include a 6.39-inch LCD screen (HD+) with a punch-hole cutout, and a 4,000mAh battery with 10W charging.

Honor’s device is also equipped with a triple rear camera setup, featuring a 48MP primary sensor, an 8MP ultra-wide shooter, and a 2MP depth sensor. An 8MP camera in the punch-hole cutout handles selfies and video calls.

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The HONOR Play 3 brings GPU Turbo technology once again, which delivers performance improvements in specific games. The latest iteration of GPU Turbo on EMUI 9.1 reportedly supports over two dozen games, including Fortnite and Minecraft.

The new HONOR device launches in China this month at a starting price of just 999 yuan (~$140) for the 4GB/64GB model. Expect to pay 1,299 yuan (~$182) for the 6GB/64GB or 4GB/128GB models.

This price is identical to the Redmi Note 8, although the Xiaomi device offers faster charging, a higher resolution display, and an extra rear camera. Then again, you’re getting a punch-hole screen and IP5X splash resistance by opting for the HONOR device. Which one would you choose? Let us know in the comments!

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