Honor Play Review

All brand Honor of handset manufacturer Huawei has launched its Honor Play smartphone in India. Honor Play has a Haisilicon Kirin 970 chipset and is a phone with dual camera setup. The 4 GB RAM variant of Honor Play is priced at Rs 19,999 and the 6 GB RAM variant will be sold for Rs 23,999. Honor Play is the first smartphone in India to use GPU Turbo technology. Let us know that this technology is special for mobile gaming. Metal Unibody, Vertical Dual Rear Camera, 19.5: 9 Display, Honor Play equipped with the company’s flagship processor offers a very strong claim on paper. Huawei’s mid-range flagship handset will give a tough challenge to the Nokia 7 Plus, Vivo V9 Oppo F7 and Xiaomi Mi A2 (Review) in the Honor Play market. Is buying Honor Play a profitable deal or not? Let’s know.

Honor Play Design

The most important feature of Honor Play is its metal unibody, which is like the Honor View 10 launched last year. If seen, the company has used glass back panel in Honor 10, Huawei P20 Lite and Huawei P20 Pro. But in the latest phone, something has been tried. Glass body cannot compete with metal if it is talked about on the basis of stability and strength. The Honor Play is definitely less smooth than the Honor 10, but it doesn’t look as premium. Due to the large display and thin body, the smartphone does not fit easily in the hands.

When you see Honor Play, you will feel that there is an impression of Honor 10 in the design, there are very thin borders on the edge of the screen. The notch of Honor Play is slightly larger. The bottom of the phone is quite small, but the Honor logo has got a place. It is a bit difficult to easily hold Honor Play, but despite having a 6.3-inch display, the phone is very compact. Honor Play will be available in Navy Blue and Midnight Black color in India.

Due to the extremely thin bezel and edge-to-edge design, fingerprint sensor is given on the back panel in Honor Play. Because of this the phone is quite long, there may be some problem in reaching your fingerprint sensor. If the user holds the phone correctly in his hand, then he will be able to use the fingerprint sensor easily. On the right side of the phone, there will be a power button to raise and lower the voice. The same, hybrid dual-SIM tray is provided on the left side of the phone. If you want, you can install two nano sim or one nano sim and one microSD card. Honor Play has 64 GB of inbuilt storage, which you can increase up to 256 GB with the help of a card.


A 3.5mm headphone jack will come with a USB-Type C port at the bottom of the phone. Apart from this you will get a loudspeaker which may disappoint you a bit. We tested the speaker while playing audio files, YouTube videos and games and found that there is poor sound at full volume. The thickness of the phone is 7.5 millimeters and its weight is 176 grams. The build quality of Honor Play is average.

Honor Play Specification and Display

Honor Play is equipped with the company’s own flagship processor Hyacilicon Kirin 970. Explain that this chipset has also been used in Honor 10, Honor View 10 and Huawei P20 Pro. The company is expected to introduce the Kirin 980 processor at IFA 2018. The Kirin 970 chipset is coupled to the Neural Processing Unit (NPU) for artificial intelligence processing. This improves camera performance, battery life, and app optimization. GPU Turbo is present in Honor Play for gaming optimization. It is claimed that it gives 60 percent better performance and 30 percent better battery life when playing games. Honor Play will be available in two RAM variants – 4 GB and 6 GB. A 3750 mAh battery is provided for power backup. Honor Play has 64 GB UFS 2.1 storage. In terms of connectivity, the phone has 4G VoLTE, dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11 AC, Bluetooth version 4.2 LE, GPS / A-GPS, GLONASS and USB Type-C support. Accelerometer, ambient light sensor, gyroscope and proximity sensor are part of the phone. Dual SIM Honor Play supports 4G network.

The smartphone has a 6.3-inch full HD + IPS LCD display. Its resolution is 1080×2340 pixels, whose aspect ratio is 19.5: 9. The phone works in the octa-core Huawei Haisilicon Kirin 970 chipset, which is supported by the Mali-G72 GPU. You can set full HD + and HD + resolution in Honor Play to control battery consumption. For this, you have to set the screen resolution by going to the battery section of the settings The viewing angles of Honor Play’s display are excellent. While reviewing the phone, after setting Honor Play to full HD + resolution, we had no problem. The screen looked extremely reflective when Honor Play was used outside in sunlight. Some third party apps are not optimized for Display Notch. When playing video apps such as YouTube, the display zooms out and a black bar appears.


Honor Play performance, software and battery life

The performance of the Kirin 970 processor is no doubt a great chipset. While playing multitasking PUBG, Asphalt 8, 4G connectivity and social media, the 6 GB RAM variant of Honor Play is not slow or at all stuck. Honor has given a new antenna design in this smartphone which claims to give better call quality. Calling experience was excellent even in poor connectivity. While reviewing Honor Play, we did not have any complaints regarding the earpiece. In the benchmark test, Honor Play went far ahead of smartphones like Nokia 7 Plus, Oppo F7 and Vivo V9 in this price range.

Gaming Experience is its biggest feature in Honor Play. In China, the company has marketed its handset as a gaming phone. We have tested the GPU Turbo technology of the phone by playing PUBG and Mobile Legends. After playing some online matches of PUBG, we saw that the performance of the phone was quite right. GPU Turbo was on while playing the game, so it is difficult to say what one would have experienced without this technology. After 25-30 minutes of continuous game play, the phone is slightly warm. Battery consumption was fast while playing the game, although there is nothing surprising in view of the need of the game.

We also played the latest Asphalt 9: Legends game in Honor Play and the result was quite good. The company told us that in the upcoming OTA update, ‘4D Gaming’ will be added to Honor Play. Honor Play will run on EMUI 8.2, which is based on Android 8.1. We believe that EMUI has improved a lot in the last few years, now it is ready to compete with Xiaomi’s MIUI. It also has some handy features such as one-hand mode, navigation gestures, theme catalog and WiFi + (it is capable of easily switching between WiFi and mobile networks).

Many unwanted apps are still available. In Honor Play you will find pre-installed games like Asphalt Nitro and Sonic Master. Apps like Mirror, Compass, Phone Clone, Translator and Quick are also present in the phone. We found some of these apps to be of no use. There have been some changes in the UI, such as the Android Messaging default messaging app and Google Chrome default browser in Honor Play. Honor Play supports face recognition with a 16-megapixel selfie camera. We found that the Face Unlock feature was quite accurate. However, it does not work in low light. By increasing the brightness of the display at night, it easily detects the face. We did not face any problem while using the fingerprint sensor.

Honor Play has a battery of 3,750 mAh. The battery lasts a day on 30 minutes of gaming, all day calling, quick email checks and social media browsing. In HD video battery test, we found that the battery gives a backup of 10 hours 45 minutes. The phone has fast charging support, the charger that accompanies the phone takes about 2 hours to charge from 0 to 100 percent.

Honor Play Camera

Vertical dual rear camera setup will be available in Honor Play. There is a 16-megapixel primary sensor, whose incarnation is F / 2.2 and 2-megapixel secondary sensor, whose incarnation is F / 2.4. The rear camera comes with LED flash. The front camera is 16 megapixels, which comes with F / 2.0 aperture. The company needs to work on both of its cameras to compete with Asus and Xiaomi smartphone cameras at this price.


Like Honor 10, Honor Play comes with Artificial Intelligence Capture Mode. This technique works well sometimes. A good color balance was found in the picture taken in low light, while the light was in sufficient quantity, the picture taken was more exposed. It is good in Honor smartphone that you can leave Artificial Intelligence enhancement even after taking a photo. This gives you the freedom to choose from two versions of each shot. The Neural Processing Unit (NPU) automatically activates the portrait mode when the phone’s camera is placed in someone’s direction. Apart from this, we did not see any use of artificial intelligence processing in the camera app. In the camera app, you will find manual archer, portrait mode, photo, video and AR lens features. Apart from this, you will also get slow-motion recording, night mode, time lapse mode, 3D panorama and many other features.

Front and rear camera sensors support real-time Bokeh effect. The portrait mode in the front camera works randomly. While taking the photo inside the house, it could not detect the face correctly. When we moved the phone towards the light, it started working correctly. A selfie shot in daylight is quite sharp but a photo taken in low-light may disappoint you. Rear dual camera setup is capable of recording 4K and front camera full HD + (2280×1080) video. Honor Play supports electronic image stabilization. Still the video quality is not very good.

Our decision

Honor Play is an affordable smartphone that comes with Kirin 970 chipset, in a way it is a handset worth the money. The design of Honor Play is quite sleek and it looks very good. However, some people will not want to buy this handset due to the size and average camera quality. Honor Play has launched with GPU Turbo.

Honor Play comes with GPU Turbo. It is expected that Honor 9 Lite, Honor 7X, Honor 10 and Honor View 10 smartphones will also be equipped with GPU Turbo through OTA update in the coming time.

In terms of performance, Honor Play has been positioned below Honor 10. The breathtaking price goes in favor of this phone. It seems to be a strong contender in the budget of Rs 20,000-25,000. Sadly, it is not available in the open sale as promised by the company.

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