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The TANK 3 is a rugged smartphone designed for off-grid use, with a 23,800 mAh battery for days of continuous use, a rugged body, and special features including a 1200 lumen LED flashlight.

Now the Chinese company behind that phone have launched a new model called the TANK 3 Pro, which brings two significant changes. The first is that in addition to a super-bright flashlight function, the Pro model has a 100 lumen, 120 Hz DLP projector function. The second is that the new model is available with up to 18GB of RAM. The TANK 3 Pro is available for pre-order from AliExpress for $670 and up (although the price in cart is a bit lower thanks to a pre-order sale).

That second feature isn’t quite as big a deal as it sounds, because the starting price will get you a phone with 16GB of RAM (the same amount offered on the non-pro model), and honestly I doubt most folks are going to notice any significant performance difference between a phone with 16GB of RAM and one with 18GB.

But the projector? That’s something that you rarely find in a smartphone. It’s not unique to Tank 3 Pro. The previous-gen Tank 2 had one, and companies have been demonstrating that it’s possible to cram a projector into (chunky) smartphones for years… even if some of the products we saw demonstrated never made it to market.

Tanks 3 Pro maker 8849 says the projector can be used to deliver ” a presentation in a conference room” or for hosting “an outdoor movie night.” But given that the projector only supports up to 100 lumens, odds are that you’re only going to want to use this feature in dark environments.

That’s still an upgrade from the Tank 2’s projector though, which was a 1280 x 720 pixel laser projector that topped out at 40 lumens. 8849 hasn’t said anything about the resolution for the Tank 3 Pro’s projector, but I’d be surprised if it was higher than 720p.

Most of the phone’s other specs appear to be pretty similar to the non-Pro model. Both are BIG smartphones that weigh roughly a pound and a half (the Pro model is a little heavier), and feature rugged designs allowing the phones to take a beating on camping trips or other extreme conditions.

The product listing for the TANK 3 Pro also mentions a fan for active cooling, but I don’t see any mention of that for the standard model, so it seems like the company may have added that feature to help keep the projector from overheating.

TANK 3 ProTank 3
Display6.79 inches
2460 x 1080 pixels
IPS LCD
120 Hz
ProcessorMediaTek Dimensity 8200
RAM16GB or 18GB16GB
Storage512GB + microSD (up to 2TB)
Battery23,800 mAh
Charging120W fast charging (90% charge in 90 minutes)
Reverse charging supported (use as a power bank)
Cameras (rear)200MP primary (auto-focus)
50MP wide-angle
64MP night vision
Camera (front)50MP (fixed focus)
Special features100-lumen, 120 Hz DLP projector
LED outdoor light & Red/Blue light
40M laser range finder
LED outdoor light & Red/Blue light
WirelessWiFi 6
BT 5.3
GPS
5G NR
4G LTE
Dual SIM
Network bands2G GSM: 2/3/5/8
CDMA: BC0/BC1
WCDMA: 1/2/4/5/6/8/19
LTE-TDD: 34/38/39/40/41/42
LTE-FDD:1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/13/17/18/19/20/25/26/28AB/66
5G NR :N1/2/3/5/7/8/12/20/25/28/38/40/41/66/77/78
Ports1 x USB-C
1 x microSD card reader
SecurityFingerprint reader
IP RatingIP68
CoolingFan for active cooling (near projector & cameras)Passive (fanless?)
OSAndroid 13
Dimensions179 x 86 x 30mm
7″ x 3.4″ x 1.2″
179 x 86 x 31mm
7″ x 3.4″ x 1.2″
Weight696 grams
1.53 pounds
666 grams
1.47 pounds
Starting price (at time of publication)$670$539

press release (via NotebookCheck)

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  1. Nice been rocking a tank 2 love it projector handy in tent but need something to hold it up way to heavy for most phone holders

  2. Continued integration of various extra functions that Unihertz offers seems quite logical since extreme level of integration of functions is the path “smartphones” took anyway. Companies such as Unihertz might as well extend it to an extreme.

    What would be even more logical is to have a base unit which people could customize with various standardized extensions via secondary USB port just like GPD Pocket 3 has. On the other hand, ASUS Rog phones demonstrated that smartphones can have more than 1 USB port. And Fairphone demonstrated that modularity is viable.

    Some ideas about what the modular extensions we could have (both via USB and via other interfaces):

    laser projected keyboard (I would actually include this as a standard on most models)
    gyroscopic miniature mouse
    various custom cameras (infrared, thermal, telescopic periscope, etc.)
    Lora add-on similar to the one Pine64 offers for their phones
    maybe even 6.35 mm headphone jack
    something like Oculink in the near future

    And if anyone has any other ideas for modular extensions, I’d like to hear them 🙂

      1. Why do we expect a phone manufacturer to manufacture all this stuff rather than just plugging such a thing in? I already have an SDR that I can connect to my phone. The union isn’t an elegant box shape, but it’s got a large antenna connected to the SDR, so it was not going to be anyway.
        Also, I’m curious why you would expect an SDR to be an obvious choice? I know very few people who have an interest in it whatsoever, and that includes me; I only bought a cheap one and it’s infrequently used.

        1. “Why do we expect a phone manufacturer to manufacture all this stuff rather than just plugging such a thing in?”

          Most people used to have a tons of gadgets and now they have only one and that is called “technological convergence”.

          So, in our “smartphone” case, that would be a logical evolution of that particular paradigm where there is an increasing number of physical sensors, actuators and other devices with various functionalities integrated into virtually the same lightweight device.

          The example of having a retractable SDR antenna is given because smartphones are considered a communication device anyway so why would this particular aspect of smartphones be limited until the end of times? Or any other potential aspect they could provide for that matter?

          It almost seems like the logical evolution of smartphones in that sense got stuck for the past decade or so, with only a few exceptions such as periscope camera and satellite communication ability that were added relatively recently..

          1. I just thought of what could be a great add-on in a form of insertable gadget: a USB-A to USB-C adapter and data blocker that could be placed somewhere in the case, similar to the way wireless mice usually have a “pocket” somewhere in their body for the storage of their wireless dongle.

          2. “The example of having a retractable SDR antenna is given because smartphones are considered a communication device anyway so why would this particular aspect of smartphones be limited until the end of times?”
            Because almost nobody wants it and it adds difficulties for all of them. The type of antenna necessary to make SDRs useful adds a lot of bulk. The shielding for the components adds weight. Unless you do it on the cheap, it adds cost. If you do it on the cheap, using an RTLSDR for example, then some of the utility becomes unavailable, for instance not being able to access TV signals from countries that use ATSC because the bandwidth is too high. I know of few people who have any interest in what it can do at all. Meanwhile, anyone who does want that can just plug their separate SDR into the USB port and obtain the same goal.

  3. I can imagine people carrying a lot of baggage, wanna travel light, but a 3rd rate projector married with a phone is a stretch. They don’t go together, but somehow its an arranged marriage anyway, bride nor groom was never met, seen before they got together.

  4. Built-in TV Tuner and antenna. VCR function? OTA Radio with recording function? Where are those?

    Notches, no headphone port, zero physical buttons, behind the screen cameras (weirdos), non-removable replaceable batteries and now battery sucking projectors. These guys have taken all the fun out of these devices – taking and adding stuff randomly.

    18gbs on a 720p screen. SMH as I LOL. The simulation is coming apart.

    1. So you have your own set of random things you want in a device, but somehow this collection of random things is a problem? For example, I have no interest in a TV antenna or a projector, but you somehow think a TV antenna should be there but the projector is a problem. This device isn’t the one for me, but that doesn’t make it objectively bad, because the device you’re describing probably isn’t for me either. To me, devices like this are positive things, because at least they are trying something other than the almost identical phones produced by typical companies. The success of something unusual, such as a phone with a projector, makes it more likely that someone will try building the unusual thing you or I am looking for.
      Not to mention that you have several inaccuracies in there. For example, it’s not a 720p screen. The spec table in this article makes it pretty clear that it’s a 2460 x 1080 one. The spec list says it does have a 3.5 mm jack, although the table doesn’t list it so one of them is wrong.

      1. My only complaint is that it still can’t do a holographic image come on they done it back in the 70/80’s in star wars and I’m still waiting for it, I guess the upside is that if I get the model without the fan then I could use it as a coffee warmer 🤔 oh well I’m halfway there lol

        1. The closest we’re going to get to that, unless somebody accidentally discovers some new material that facilitates it, or the world reverses its regressive course, is augmented reality headsets.
          Which in my opinion are worse for society, because how do you know the image you’re seeing is the same as the one the guy next to you is seeing, when the headset software is made by companies who might have a vested interest in making you see different things?

        2. The fans were complaining about the removal of the projector in the Tank 3 so the Pro is probabaly the company’s response to it. My friend’s standalone projector from China already costs $200+ dollars and you seem to want a better one. I doubt they can provided it as it’s already a noche use case much like wired projection features like Samsung Dex/Moto Ready for.
          We were also promised flying cars but the best available at the moment is a Chinese one with four rotors like a toy drone.