The original Honor Play released last year features a mix of excellent specs and bargain pricing. It launched at a price of P15,990 or around $308 in the Philippines and was, at the time, considered one of the best-value smartphones on the market.
How the times have changed. The newly announced Honor Play 3 — yes, Honor skipped a number! — features a more attractive design with a symmetrical triangular pattern and IP5X rating for dust resistance.
But it’s also a lot less powerful than the handset that came before, opting for a Kirin 710F chipset with 4GB or 6GB RAM, not to mention it steps down to a microUSB port, as opposed to the original’s USB-C, and has comparatively slower charging at 10 watts.
The Honor Play 3 also omits a fingerprint sensor on the back, which will, no doubt, make unlocking less convenient. The 6.39-inch LCD with a punch-hole camera, despite dropping the notch design, gets fewer pixels as well and runs at 1,560 x 720 resolution.
Here’s how the Honor Play 3 compares with its predecessor.
Concessions aside, the Honor Play 3 should deliver longer battery life courtesy of a bigger 4,000mAh cell. It also boasts a triple-camera setup around the back, making this one of the cheapest, if not the cheapest, smartphones out there with three lenses. The main camera packs 48 megapixels — a lot for a budget offering — while the secondary shooter has an 8-megapixel sensor and an ultra-wide lens. The third camera on the Honor Play 3 is a depth sensor for portrait shots.
The Honor Play 3 will start at ¥999 (P7,259 or $140) in China. This gives you 4GB of RAM and 64GB of expandable storage. Upgrading to the 4GB/128GB and 6GB/64GB options will cost you the same — ¥1,299 (P9,439 or $182). Preorders begin September 10, with shipping scheduled for September 17.
All things considered, the Honor Play 3 is still an interesting phone even though it doesn’t have the same then-flagship processor of the first Play. It’s certainly something to think about if you’re after a midrange-grade camera phone but your budget doesn’t stretch to an actual midranger.
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