Honor Play Hands-on [Images] – The budget gaming smartphone

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Honor’s new gaming smartphone Honor Play has finally arrived in India at an unbelievable price of Rs 19,999. ASUS and Xiaomi entered the gaming smartphone market with their ASUS ROG Phone and Xiaomi Black Shark and now we have Honor’s gaming beast focusing on gaming features, the Honor Play is truly made for mobile gamers. Powered by HUAWEI’s flagship chip Kirin 970 octa-core SoC and paired with 6 GB of RAM, this is probably the best budget gaming phone ever launched in India.

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Honor Play Specifications

  • Display: 6.3-inch IPS display, Full HD+ resolution (2340 x 1080 pixels, 409 ppi), 19.5:9 aspect ratio, 2.5D curved glass
  • Software: EMUI 8.2 based on Android 8.1 Oreo
  • Fingerprint Scanner: Yes, at the back
  • Face Unlock: Yes
  • CPU: Up to 2.36 GHz octa-core Cortex-A73 + Cortex A53 processor, Kirin 970 SoC, 10nm TSMC, AI backed
  • GPU: Mali-G72 MP12 (12 cores)
  • Memory: 4 GB OR 6 GB RAM, LPDDR4X
  • Storage: 64 GB internal, UFS 2.1, microSD support up to 256 GB (SIM2 slot)
  • Main Camera: Dual cameras 16 MP f/2.2 + 2 MP f/2.4, PDAF, EIS, AIS, AI Portrait Mode, AI Scene Detection, LED flash
  • Selfie Camera: 16 MP f/2.0, AI Portrait Selfie, 3D Portrait Lighting
  • Cellular: 4G LTE network, 2x nano SIM, dual-VoLTE enabled, microSD on SIM2
  • Connectivity: USB Type-C,3.5 mm headphone jack, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac,Bluetooth 4.2, GPS
  • Others: GPU Turbo, AI Gaming, 4D Gaming, 3D Gaming Sound Effect, Smart AI Gallery Management, Hi Touch for Shopping, Histen, Party Mode
  • Colors: Midnight Black, Navy Blue
  • Battery: 3,750 mAh with 18W Charging (9V, 2A)
  • Price: ₹19,999 (4 GB RAM), ₹23,999 (6 GB RAM)
  • Availability: From 6th August, Available exclusively on Amazon India

What’s enticing about the Honor Play is the beefy specs, the Kirin 970 is the same chip found on its flagship phone Honor 10 and the HUAWEI’s premium-grade P20 Pro that costs as much as Rs 64,999. It is packed with up to 6 GB RAM (4 GB RAM variant available too) and 64 GB of internal storage (UFS 2.1) and runs on 3,750 mAh battery that supports 18W fast charging (9V, 2A).

While the performance would be identical to these phones, the change here is the design and the cameras. The Honor Play boasts a unibody metallic design instead of a glass back, and surprisingly with a notch on the top. The design is highly premium, the construction is solid and the smooth edges offer a great comfort.

The notched design may be uncertain for some gamers, however, the display is huge. You will find a 6.3-inch IPS display with a Full HD+ resolution (2340 x 1080 pixels) and an aspect ratio of 19.5:9. Due to the large display, gamers going to love it.

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For imaging, there’s a dual-camera setup at the back with 16 MP + 2 MP cameras (f/2.2 + f/2.4) along with a 16 MP selfie camera both of them featuring the AI capabilities. The camera offers Portrait mode, 3D Portrait Lighting, AI Scene detection and a few others.

Moreover, the phone also comes with EMUI 8.2 interface on top of the Android 8.1 Oreo. EMUI 8.2 is all about AI, the Smart AI Gallery Management, AI Shopping, AI Gaming and more.

Similar to gaming consoles, the Honor Play comes with 4D Gaming that vibrates the phone in real-time when you are playing games. Since this is a gaming phone, the AI Gaming uses the real-time image and sound recognition to offer real-time vibration while playing games and it’s done using 4D Gaming. The AI detects different scenes in the games like explosions and shots.

Also added is the GPU Turbo, a graphics processing acceleration technology that improves the GPU performance by 60% while reducing power consumption by 30%. This ensures a smooth gameplay and better frame rates while playing games.

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No, there’s no dedicated microSD support, you have to compromise the SIM2 slot for a microSD, there are two nano SIM slots on the SIM tray on the left side. The right side offers volume and power keys. Fortunately, there is a USB type-C port at the bottom with a microphone, loudspeakers and a 3.5 mm headphones port.

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Hybrid SIM Slot

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USB Type-C

Are you a mobile gamer? Do you do think the Honor Play has what it takes to run most games? Let us know what do you think.

Also check out our unboxing of the Honor Play in Hindi.

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