The Honor Play has been launched in India by Huawei sub-brand Honor. It gives specs corresponding to a HiSilicon Kirin 970 SoC and a twin digital camera setup at a value of Rs. 19,999 for the 4GB RAM variant and Rs. 23,999 for the 6GB RAM configuration. The Honor Play can also be the primary smartphone in India to function GPU Turbo, a know-how that Huawei is touting to be the subsequent massive revolution in cell gaming.
With a steel unibody, vertically aligned twin rear cameras, a 19.5:9 show, and Huawei’s present flagship SoC, the Honor Play seems promising on paper. Sporting a aggressive beginning price ticket, the smartphone has been positioned as a mid-range flagship that takes on 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 search out out.
Honor Play design
One of the largest 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 current fascination with glass backs, which we have now seen loads of with current premium choices together with the Honor 10 (Review), Huawei P20 Lite (Review), and Huawei P20 Pro (Review). While providing a cultured and chic look, glass can’t compete with steel by way of sturdiness and sturdiness. The Honor Play feels considerably much less slippery than, say, the Honor 10, however undoubtedly does not look as premium. The tall show and skinny physique additionally make the telephone really feel a bit too giant to carry comfortably in smaller arms.
The Honor Play borrows most of its design language from the Honor 10, with minimal borders to the perimeters of the display screen. The notch on high is way greater this time. The chin on the underside is smaller, however nonetheless has an Honor brand. The Honor Play is just not precisely comfy to carry, though it’s compact for a smartphone with a 6.Three-inch show. In truth, this massive display screen suits into the shape issue of a 5.5-inch telephone such because the iPhone 7 Plus.
This smartphone is accessible in Navy Blue and Midnight Black in India. We reviewed the previous, although we discovered each the color choices to be understated. They don’t seem flashy, and a few may take into account them comparatively uninteresting. This is an try by the Huawei-owned model to supply its prospects a wide range of design choices to select from.
Thanks to the minimal bezel and edge-to-edge design, the fingerprint sensor is on the again of the telephone. The tall type issue, as soon as once more, makes the fingerprint sensor arduous to achieve. Users should maintain the telephone a sure means with the intention to naturally attain it.
The quantity buttons and the ability key are situated on the fitting of the gadget; we might have appreciated a bit extra journey or depth 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 increase the telephone’s 64GB of inbuilt storage by as much as 256GB.
There is a USB Type-C port on the underside, alongside a Three.5mm headphone jack, the first microphone, and a disappointing loudspeaker. We examined the speaker with audio recordsdata, 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 was by chance dropped throughout our testing interval.
Honor Play specs and show
The Honor Play is powered by the corporate’s personal flagship HiSilicon Kirin 970 processor, which has beforehand been utilized in a number of fashions together with the Honor 10, Honor View 10, and Huawei P20 Pro. A refresh – known as the Kirin 980 – is expected as soon as IFA 2018. As detailed beforehand, the Kirin 970 has a customized NPU (Neural Processing Unit) for AI processing, which is alleged to enhance digital camera efficiency, battery life, and app optimisation. Huawei has claimed that AI computations occur regionally on the gadget, with out sending any information to the cloud.
An thrilling new function of this processor is GPU Turbo, a cell gaming-focused optimisation that claims to supply 60 % higher efficiency and 30 % higher battery life throughout gaming classes on the smartphone. More on this within the efficiency part of our assessment.
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 storage. 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 embody an accelerometer, an ambient mild 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 decision of 1080×2340 pixels and a 19.5:9 side ratio. To assist preserve battery life, the Honor Play gives the flexibility to toggle the display screen decision between FHD+ and HD+. This is accessible beneath Screen Resolution within the Battery part of the Settings app.
The show on the Honor Play has nice viewing angles and delivers good color replica. We had no issues with the decision set to full-HD+. Outdoor legibility was common, as a result of the display screen will get too reflective beneath direct daylight.
Some third-party apps usually are not optimised for the show notch. This makes uniformity a problem throughout the UI. Also, in video apps corresponding to YouTube, the show simply zooms out to create a black bar incorporating the notch. There is a toggle to masks the notch, although notifications and standing icons are nonetheless proven inside this house.
Honor Play efficiency, software program, and battery life
There’s little doubt that the Kirin 970 works nice in real-world efficiency. Whether it is heavy video games corresponding to PUBG and Asphalt eight, intensive work classes utilizing 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 claims to enhance name high quality. Indeed, calls have been superlative even in areas with poor connectivity. We had completely no points with the earpiece, and it was pretty loud and crisp.
Benchmarks have been one space through which the Honor Play fully destroyed the competitors in its value vary, specifically the Nokia 7 Plus, Oppo F7, and Vivo V9. It scored a powerful 206,126 in AnTuTu 7. In Geekbench four, the smartphone acquired a single-core rating of 1,898 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 assessments gave us scores of 10,790 and 203.77 respectively.
Gaming is touted to be one of many highlights of the Honor Play. The smartphone is being marketed in its house nation of China as a gaming telephone, however that is not the case for India the place it comes as a premium mid-range providing. That mentioned, we put the telephone’s GPU Turbo know-how to check with one in all two video games which have to this point been optimised for it – PUBG (PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds) and Mobile Legends.
After taking part in just a few on-line PUBG matches, we noticed that efficiency was easy, and there was a slight trace of body drops. GPU Turbo can’t be turned off, so it is arduous to say what the expertise would’ve been with out it. However, we famous that the battery stage dropped by a sizeable quantity, which isn’t completely a shock given the demanding nature of the recreation. The telephone additionally heated up barely after about 25-30 minutes of steady gaming.
We even examined out the newest Asphalt 9: Legends, which supplied nice outcomes on the Honor Play. Do word that the this new cell recreation is just not but on the checklist of GPU Turbo optimised video games. Honor India knowledgeable Gadgets 360 force-feedback vibration function known as ‘4D Gaming’ can be added to the Honor Play with a future OTA replace.
The Honor Play runs Huawei’s customized EMUI eight.2 pores and skin on high of Android eight.1 Oreo. We consider that Emotion UI (EMUI) has matured rather a lot over the previous couple of years and is almost able to compete with different customized skins corresponding to Xiaomi’s MIUI. There are just a few helpful options corresponding to one-handed mode (useful with this way issue), navigation gestures, a Themes catalogue, and Wi-Fi+, which makes switching between Wi-Fi and cell networks simpler.
That mentioned, bloatware nonetheless stays a problem 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 corresponding to Mirror, Compass, Phone Clone, Translator, and Quik, a few of which did not appear significantly helpful to us. The Settings app is cluttered and is in dire want of simplification.
An fascinating modification 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 corresponding to Facebook and Truecaller have been eliminated as nicely.
As talked about earlier, the NPU beneath the hood is meant to assist EMUI make efficiency optimisations primarily based on person preferences. While a few weeks with the smartphone didn’t appear to be sufficient to note these modifications, the software program was fluid and supplied a stutter-free expertise all through our testing interval.
The Honor Play options face recognition, supported by the telephone’s 16-megapixel selfie digital camera. We discovered face unlocking to be correct and operable at loads of totally different angles. However, with the shortage of infrared, Face Unlock will not work low mild situations. Instead, the Honor Play turns up the show’s brightness at evening with the intention to efficiently detect your face. Registering your face within the Settings app is a breeze. We additionally had no complaints when utilizing the fingerprint sensor, which is snappy and correct.
While it has an above-average sized Three,750mAh unit, our real-world expertise painted a distinct image and battery life on the Honor Play was nearly acceptable. With about 30 minutes of gaming, a couple of dozen calls by the day, fast e mail checks, and informal social media searching, we have been nearly in a position to final a day. In our HD video loop battery take a look at, the Honor Play managed to final about 10 hours, 45 minutes.
The telephone helps Huawei’s personal quick charging normal, 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 cost the telephone from zero to 100 %.
Honor Play cameras
At the rear, the Honor Play sports activities a vertically stacked pair of cameras. There is a 16-megapixel major sensor with an f/2.2 aperture, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor with an f/2.four aperture, coupled with an LED flash. As has been our grievance with beforehand reviewed Honor smartphones, each cameras want critical work to be ranked at par with equivalently priced choices from Asus and even Xiaomi.
Much just like the Honor 10, the Honor Play has an AI capturing mode, and it’s nonetheless hit-or-miss in most circumstances. While a few of the low-light photographs we took ended up with excellent color stability, different photographs taken in good lighting turned out overexposed. It’s a superb factor that Honor allows you to undo the AI enhancements even after the shot has been taken, letting you select between two variations of every shot. The Neural Processing Unit which is a part of the telephone’s processor, neatly detects when the telephone is pointed in the direction of an individual to robotically activate Portrait mode. Other than that, we did not see any use of AI processing within the digital camera app.
The digital camera app doesn’t have essentially the most intuitive person interface however will get the work executed. The app options modes corresponding to Manual Aperture, Portrait, Photo, Video, and AR Lens. There’s additionally slow-motion recording, an evening mode, a time-lapse mode, 3D panoramas, and extra.
Daylight photographs got here out wanting common at finest with poor dynamic vary; we discovered that non-AI photographs really seemed higher by way of color replica. While each the entrance and rear digital camera sensors help real-time bokeh results to an extent, the portrait mode on the entrance digital camera works erratically. In most indoor conditions, the mode could not detect faces correctly, and we needed to transfer to the place mild was higher to make it work. Selfie photographs got here out wanting sharp in daylight, however have been expectedly disappointing in low mild. But, contemplating the value of this telephone, we aren’t complaining an excessive amount of.
The rear twin digital camera setup is able to 4K video recording, whereas the entrance digital camera’s video recording capabilities max out at full-HD+ (2280×1080). Electronic picture stabilisation is supported, however the outcomes nonetheless look barely shaky, and video high quality general is not all that good both.
The Honor Play is essentially the most reasonably priced smartphone from Huawei to rock the Kirin 970 SoC, which makes for good general worth. It has a glossy and chic design with a vibrant show. However, its bodily measurement and common cameras could be dealbreakers for some.
GPU Turbo has been launched with the Honor Play however is predicted to be made out there on different Honor telephones together with the Honor 9 Lite (Review), Honor 7X (Review), Honor 10 (Review), and Honor View 10 (Review) through future OTA updates.
While this telephone is positioned decrease than the Honor 10 by way of general efficiency, the nice pricing makes it a tempting purchase within the comparatively uncrowded Rs. 20,000-Rs. 25,000 value section. It gives stellar worth for cash although does not fairly appear to be following the open sale mannequin that Honor had urged at launch.
Adapted From: Gadgets360