The Honor Play has been launched in India by means of Huawei sub-brand Honor. It gives specs similar to a HiSilicon Kirin 970 SoC and a twin digital camera setup at a worth of Rs. 19,999 for the 4GB RAM variant and Rs. 23,999 for the 6GB RAM configuration. The Honor Play could also be the primary smartphone in India to characteristic GPU Turbo, a era that Huawei is touting to be the following giant revolution in cell gaming.
With a steel unibody, vertically aligned twin rear cameras, a 19.Five:nine show, and Huawei’s present flagship SoC, the Honor Play seems to be promising on paper. Sporting a aggressive beginning price ticket, the smartphone has been situated as a mid-range flagship that takes at the likes of the Nokia 7 Plus (Review), Vivo V9 (Review), Oppo F7 (Review), in addition to the Xiaomi Mi A2 (Review). Is the Honor Play price your cash? Read on to determine.
Honor Play design
One of the most important highlights of the Honor Play is its steel unibody, which is paying homage to final 12 months’s Honor View 10 (Review). It is a departure from Huawei and Honor’s contemporary fascination with glass backs, which we’ve noticed a large number of with contemporary top rate choices together with the Honor 10 (Review), Huawei P20 Lite (Review), and Huawei P20 Pro (Review). While providing a trendy and stylish glance, glass can not compete with steel in relation to sturdiness and durability. The Honor Play feels considerably much less slippery than, say, the Honor 10, however for sure does not glance as top rate. The tall show and skinny frame additionally make the telephone really feel a bit of too huge to carry very easily in smaller fingers.
The Honor Play borrows maximum of its design language from the Honor 10, with minimum borders to the edges of the display. The notch on best is way larger this time. The chin at the backside is smaller, however nonetheless has an Honor emblem. The Honor Play isn’t precisely relaxed to carry, despite the fact that it’s compact for a smartphone with a 6.Three-inch show. In truth, this giant display suits into the shape issue of a Five.Five-inch telephone such because the iPhone 7 Plus.
This smartphone is to be had in Navy Blue and Midnight Black in India. We reviewed the previous, even though we discovered each the color choices to be understated. They don’t seem flashy, and a few may imagine them quite uninteresting. This is an try by means of the Huawei-owned model to provide its consumers plenty of design choices to make a choice from.
Thanks to the minimum bezel and edge-to-edge design, the fingerprint sensor is at the again of the telephone. The tall shape issue, as soon as once more, makes the fingerprint sensor onerous to achieve. Users must hang the telephone a definite manner as a way to naturally achieve it.
The quantity buttons and the ability key are situated at the proper of the instrument; we’d have favored a bit of extra commute or intensity within the buttons. On the left is a hybrid dual-SIM tray that may accommodate two Nano-SIMs or one Nano-SIM and a microSD card to amplify the telephone’s 64GB of built in garage by means of as much as 256GB.
There is a USB Type-C port at the backside, along a three.5mm headphone jack, the main microphone, and a disappointing loudspeaker. We examined the speaker with audio information, YouTube movies and video games, and located the sound to be shrill and distorted at most quantity. The telephone has a thickness of about 7.5mm and weighs 176g.
Build high quality is common and the Honor Play picked up a few nicks when it used to be by accident dropped all over our checking out duration.
Honor Play specs and show
The Honor Play is powered by means of the corporate’s personal flagship HiSilicon Kirin 970 processor, which has prior to now been utilized in a number of fashions together with the Honor 10, Honor View 10, and Huawei P20 Pro. A refresh – referred to as the Kirin 980 – is expected as soon as IFA 2018. As detailed prior to now, the Kirin 970 has a customized NPU (Neural Processing Unit) for AI processing, which is alleged to toughen digital camera efficiency, battery existence, and app optimisation. Huawei has claimed that AI computations occur in the community at the instrument, with out sending any knowledge to the cloud.
An thrilling new characteristic of this processor is GPU Turbo, a cell gaming-focused optimisation that says to provide 60 % higher efficiency and 30 % higher battery existence all over gaming classes at the smartphone. More in this within the efficiency segment of our evaluate.
There are two variants of the telephone, with 4GB and 6GB of LPDDR4X RAM, of which we examined the latter. It additionally has a non-removable Three,750mAh battery and 64GB of onboard UFS 2.1 garage. In phrases of connectivity, the Honor Play options 4G VoLTE, dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth v4.2 LE, GPS/ A-GPS, GLONASS, a USB Type-C port, and a three.5mm audio jack. Sensors come with an accelerometer, an ambient gentle sensor, an digital compass, a gyroscope, and a proximity sensor. This telephone helps twin SIMs (Nano) and each can latch onto 4G networks concurrently.
The 6.Three-inch full-HD+ IPS LCD panel has a solution of 1080×2340 pixels and a 19.Five:nine facet ratio. To lend a hand preserve battery existence, the Honor Play gives the facility to toggle the display solution between FHD+ and HD+. This is to be had below Screen Resolution within the Battery segment of the Settings app.
The show at the Honor Play has nice viewing angles and delivers excellent color replica. We had no issues of the solution set to full-HD+. Outdoor legibility used to be common, for the reason that display will get too reflective below direct daylight.
Some third-party apps don’t seem to be optimised for the show notch. This makes uniformity a subject around the UI. Also, in video apps similar to YouTube, the show simply zooms out to create a black bar incorporating the notch. There is a toggle to masks the notch, even though notifications and standing icons are nonetheless proven inside of this house.
Honor Play efficiency, device, and battery existence
There’s definitely that the Kirin 970 works nice in real-world efficiency. Whether it is heavy video games similar to PUBG and Asphalt eight, in depth paintings classes the usage of 4G connectivity, or social media multitasking, the Honor Play’s 6GB RAM variant that we examined didn’t stutter in any respect. Honor boasts of a brand new antenna design that says to toughen name high quality. Indeed, calls had been superlative even in spaces with deficient connectivity. We had completely no problems with the earpiece, and it used to be reasonably loud and crisp.
Benchmarks had been one space through which the Honor Play utterly destroyed the contest in its value fluctuate, specifically the Nokia 7 Plus, Oppo F7, and Vivo V9. It scored an excellent 206,126 in AnTuTu 7. In Geekbench four, the smartphone were given a single-core rating of one,898 and a multi-core rating of 6,556. Some benchmarks such because the GFXBench T-Rex take a look at maxed out at 60fps. The browser-based Octane and Basemark Web Three exams gave us rankings of 10,790 and 203.77 respectively.
Gaming is touted to be probably the most highlights of the Honor Play. The smartphone is being advertised in its house nation of China as a gaming telephone, however that is not the case for India the place it comes as a top rate mid-range providing. That stated, we put the telephone’s GPU Turbo era to check with one in all two video games that experience up to now been optimised for it – PUBG (PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds) and Mobile Legends.
After taking part in a couple of on-line PUBG fits, we noticed that efficiency used to be clean, and there used to be a slight trace of body drops. GPU Turbo can’t be became off, so it is onerous to mention what the enjoy would’ve been with out it. However, we famous that the battery stage dropped by means of a sizeable quantity, which isn’t completely a wonder given the hard nature of the recreation. The telephone additionally heated up moderately after about 25-30 mins of continuing gaming.
We even examined out the most recent Asphalt nine: Legends, which presented nice effects at the Honor Play. Do notice that the this new cell recreation isn’t but at the checklist of GPU Turbo optimised video games. Honor India knowledgeable Gadgets 360 force-feedback vibration characteristic referred to as ‘4D Gaming’ can be added to the Honor Play with a long term OTA replace.
The Honor Play runs Huawei’s customized EMUI eight.2 pores and skin on best of Android eight.1 Oreo. We imagine that Emotion UI (EMUI) has matured so much over the last couple of years and is just about able to compete with different customized skins similar to Xiaomi’s MIUI. There are a couple of helpful options similar to one-handed mode (to hand with this way issue), navigation gestures, a Themes catalogue, and Wi-Fi+, which makes switching between Wi-Fi and cell networks more straightforward.
That stated, bloatware nonetheless stays a subject with a number of preloaded video games and apps. The telephone has seven preloaded video games, together with Asphalt Nitro and Sonic Master. It additionally has sure productiveness apps similar to Mirror, Compass, Phone Clone, Translator, and Quik, a few of which did not appear in particular helpful to us. The Settings app is cluttered and is in dire want of simplification.
An fascinating amendment to the UI is that the Honor Play makes use of Android Messages because the default messaging app and Google Chrome because the default browser. This is a welcome departure from the previous the place Honor had used its personal apps. Certain preloaded apps similar to Facebook and Truecaller were got rid of as smartly.
As discussed previous, the NPU below the hood is meant to lend a hand EMUI make efficiency optimisations in accordance with consumer personal tastes. While a few weeks with the smartphone didn’t appear to be sufficient to note those adjustments, the device used to be fluid and presented a stutter-free enjoy right through our checking out duration.
The Honor Play options face popularity, supported during the telephone’s 16-megapixel selfie digital camera. We discovered face unlocking to be correct and operable at a large number of other angles. However, with the loss of infrared, Face Unlock may not paintings low gentle prerequisites. Instead, the Honor Play turns up the show’s brightness at evening as a way to effectively hit upon your face. Registering your face within the Settings app is a breeze. We additionally had no court cases when the usage of the fingerprint sensor, which is snappy and correct.
While it has an above-average sized Three,750mAh unit, our real-world enjoy painted a unique image and battery existence at the Honor Play used to be with reference to applicable. With about 30 mins of gaming, a few dozen calls during the day, fast e-mail exams, and informal social media surfing, we had been with reference to ready to final an afternoon. In our HD video loop battery take a look at, the Honor Play controlled to final about 10 hours, 45 mins.
The telephone helps Huawei’s personal speedy charging usual, however it’s not on par with the likes of OnePlus’ Dash Charge or Oppo’s VOOC. The bundled charger took round 2 hours to price the telephone from 0 to 100 %.
Honor Play cameras
At the rear, the Honor Play sports activities a vertically stacked pair of cameras. There is a 16-megapixel number one sensor with an f/2.2 aperture, and a 2-megapixel intensity sensor with an f/2.four aperture, coupled with an LED flash. As has been our complaint with prior to now reviewed Honor smartphones, each cameras want severe paintings to be ranked at par with equivalently priced choices from Asus or even Xiaomi.
Much just like the Honor 10, the Honor Play has an AI shooting mode, and it’s nonetheless hit-or-miss in maximum instances. While probably the most low-light pictures we took ended up with best possible color steadiness, different pictures taken in excellent lights became out overexposed. It’s a excellent factor that Honor allows you to undo the AI improvements even after the shot has been taken, letting you choose from two variations of each and every shot. The Neural Processing Unit which is a part of the telephone’s processor, well detects when the telephone is pointed against an individual to mechanically turn on Portrait mode. Other than that, we did not see any use of AI processing within the digital camera app.
The digital camera app does no longer have probably the most intuitive consumer interface however will get the paintings accomplished. The app options modes similar to Manual Aperture, Portrait, Photo, Video, and AR Lens. There’s additionally slow-motion recording, an evening mode, a time-lapse mode, 3-D panoramas, and extra.
Daylight pictures got here out having a look common at absolute best with deficient dynamic fluctuate; we discovered that non-AI pictures if truth be told appeared higher in relation to color replica. While each the entrance and rear digital camera sensors make stronger real-time bokeh results to an extent, the portrait mode at the entrance digital camera works inconsistently. In maximum indoor scenarios, the mode could not hit upon faces correctly, and we needed to transfer to the place gentle used to be higher to make it paintings. Selfie pictures got here out having a look sharp in sunlight, however had been expectedly disappointing in low gentle. But, bearing in mind the cost of this telephone, we are not complaining an excessive amount of.
The rear twin digital camera setup is able to 4K video recording, whilst the entrance digital camera’s video recording features max out at full-HD+ (2280×1080). Electronic symbol stabilisation is supported, however the effects nonetheless glance moderately shaky, and video high quality total is not all that excellent both.
The Honor Play is probably the most inexpensive smartphone from Huawei to rock the Kirin 970 SoC, which makes for excellent total worth. It has a graceful and stylish design with a colourful show. However, its bodily dimension and common cameras could be dealbreakers for some.
GPU Turbo has been introduced with the Honor Play however is anticipated to be made to be had on different Honor telephones together with the Honor 9 Lite (Review), Honor 7X (Review), Honor 10 (Review), and Honor View 10 (Review) by means of long term OTA updates.
While this telephone is situated less than the Honor 10 in relation to total efficiency, the nice pricing makes it a tempting purchase within the quite uncrowded Rs. 20,000-Rs. 25,000 value phase. It gives stellar worth for cash even though does not rather appear to be following the open sale type that Honor had advised at release.