With the Honor 10 being pitched as a flagship smartphone, the company’s latest Honor Play is offered as an affordable option with high-end specifications. Sure, you will not find any headline-grabbing features here, but the Honor Play will appease to a lot of (male) users with its macho looks and fantastic performance. Honor Play will outclass the Nokia 7 Plus and Vivo V9 in the mid-end segment, a territory where there’s hardly any clear winner. We went hands-on with the Honor Play ahead of the launch in India, and here’s what we think about the smartphone.
Honor Play first impressions: Design, display
From the design perspective, Honor Play appears to be slightly different from the company’s lineup. Unlike the Honor 10 which has a glass back, the Honor Play sticks to a metal back with a matte finish. The phone closely resembles the Honor View 10, barring a few cosmetic changes. We got the Honor Play in Navy Blue, but the phone will be made available in Midnight Black as well. The fingerprint sensor is on the back, aside from a pair of dual cameras arranged vertically.
Honor Play is comfortable to hold in the hand and feels lightweight. I do feel that the Honor 10 looks way more premium than the Honor Play. But, keep in mind that you are paying more for the Honor 10, and the price does matter at the end of the day.
What I like about the Honor Play is the display and yes, it is massive in size. When most smartphones in this price segment are limited to 5.9-inches, Honor has upped the screen size to 6.3-inches. It’s a FHD+ display with a resolution of 1080 x 2340 and an aspect ratio of 19:9. Oh yes, you will also find a cut-out or a “notch” above the screen.
In my brief time spent with the Honor Play, I liked the display quality of the 6.3-inch panel. The screen is sharp, bright, and colourful. The display is apt for watching movies or playing games. I can already imagine myself playing PUBG for hours on the Honor Play.
Honor Play first impression: Performance, software, and battery
The Honor Play is the first smartphone in the mid-end segment to feature a Kirin 970 processor. So, expect the same level of performance you would otherwise get on a high-end smartphone. For comparison sake, both the Honor 10 and HuaweiP20 Pro are also powered a Kirin 970 processor.
I Honor Play review unit we have comes with 6GB RAM and 64GB of internal memory. A cheaper variant of the Honor Play is also available, featuring 4GB RAM and 36GB of internal memory. In case you are a pro user like myself or someone who likes to play games a lot, I would recommend you to pick up the top-end variant of Honor Play.
Gaming on the Honor Play is a great experience, making it one of the most powerful smartphones in mid-end segment. Graphically, games look fantastic with smooth gameplay in my brief testing.
Also, Honor Play takes advantage of GPU Turbo, a new technology that claims to increase performance by up to 60 per cent, while decreasing battery power drain by up to 30 per cent. Honor says GPU Turbo technology is limited to gaming at the moment.