TechAndroidReview: Is the Honor Play the Ultimate device for...

Review: Is the Honor Play the Ultimate device for gamers? (Updated)


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Honor is now breaking out in the mobile gaming market with the Honor Play, the phone has FHD+ 6.3-inch IPS LCD display with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio and resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels. The phone has dimensions of 157.9 x 74.3 x 7.5 mm which is nearly the same as that of the Honor 10.
The phone is being marketed as a performance device for gamers and as such it has the top-of-the-line chipset, Kirin 970.

The Honor Play also has 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of UFS 2.0 hi-speed internal storage. In its price range, you will not find the UFS 2.0 storage in any smartphone, which is quite impressive. The phone also has a new feature called as GPU Turbo which boosts gaming performance and saves battery at the same time. We shall talk about it later on. The storage of the phone can be expanded using a micro-SD card of up to 256 GB storage. The phone pricing will be announced next week on the 30th August at IFA in Berlin, I will update this review after the price has been announced.

(Updated 30th August 2018)

With a pricing of £279 /329 Euros also Honor announced at IFA in Berlin that it has 120 million users and fans globally, the special player edition is 349 Euros.

The Honor Play will be available at £279.99 for purchase at Carphone Warehouse, Argos, Amazon, John Lewis, Very, AO, HiHonor from August 30

yes it does have a headphone jack
sim card and micro SD card
USB type C cable, charger and a clear phone case


DESIGN 6.3 inches fullview screen with 19.5:9 screen-to-body ratio 2.5D curved glass display Unibody metal design
SOFTWARE EMUI 8.2.0 (based on Android 8.1)
Huawei Kirin 970 10nm, octa-core, 4 x Cortex A73 2.36 GHz + 4 x Cortex A53 1.8 GHz ROM: 64GB RAM: 4GB

COLOURS Ultra Violet, Navy Blue, Midnight Black, (Player Edition Red/Black x Audi)

The two Player Edition models designed in partnership with Audi Sport, with an etched back design and coloured accents around the camera lens.

(Exclusively via HiHonor)

GAMING FEATURES GPU Turbo 4D gaming experience with smart shock 3D surround audio
BATTERY 3,750mAh (typical) battery: 1.5 days for heavy users 3G call: Up to 23 hours Standby time: up to 16 days
CAMERA 16MP + 2MP rear camera ▪ F/2.2 aperture + F/2.4 aperture ▪ 500+ scenarios in 22 categories multi-scene recognition ▪ 3D portrait lighting 16MP front-facing camera ▪ F/2.0 aperture ▪ AI portrait mode ▪ 3D portrait lighting
AI gallery Highlight 2.0 Gesture and voice control

157.9 mm (H) x 74.3 mm (W) x 7.5 mm (D) Approximately 176 g (including battery)
INTERFACES Audio Connector 3.5mm USB Type-C Nano-SIM or microSD cards slot
SENSORS Fingerprint sensor Digital compass Ambient light sensor Gravity sensor Gyroscope Proximity sensor
CONNECTIVITY Wi-Fi 2.4GHz: 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi 5GHz: 802.11 a/n/ac Bluetooth BT4.2 USB 2.0 GPS/AGPS/Glonass


In the camera department, that the phone has a 16 MP + 2 MP rear cameras which are apparently AI-powered.

The primary sensor has EIS and a f/2.2 aperture while the secondary sensor is only there for depth sensing and has a f/2.4 aperture.

On the front, we see that the phone has a 16 MP sensor along with a f/2.0 aperture.

Video Settings on the Honor Play

Photos settings on the Honor Play

Comes with the party mode feature for those who are interested in that kind of stuff. Basically, it allows you to connect multiple Honor Play devices to play the same song.
Apart from that, the phone has a 3,750 mAh battery with fast charging capabilities. In terms of connectivity options, we get a hybrid SIM slot with 4G VoLTE capabilities, Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot, FM Radio, a 3.5 mm headphone jack and a USB 2.0 type-C reversible port.

The Honor Play has a vibrant, colourful and pleasing display. The 6.3-inch screen has an LCD panel, but I find that it still keeps up with an OLED panel on say the OnePlus 6. The big screen also means that the viewing experience on the device is quite appealing. The text on the phone was sharp and crisp. I viewed video content on the phone using different angles and there seemed to be no noticeable colour shift. The phone can also get sufficiently bright in sunny conditions and also pretty dim at night time.

The phone also comes with an eye-comfort mode which filters out blue light to lower visual fatigue. I found this feature quite useful while reading at night. The screen also intelligently follows your face in a feature called as smart rotate. Basically, if you are watching landscape content while sleeping, the screen will not rotate to portrait mode. A pretty nifty feature if you ask me.
Thankfully, the notch on the top does not get in the way in most of the cases as all major apps have been optimised for its usage. You can hide the notch using Honor’s software-based solution, but in my opinion, you won’t be needing it unless you absolutely detest the notch. In any case, since the phone has an LCD screen, the top area on both sides of the notch will continue to be lit up.

Camera Samples

Software and OS

To my immense relief, I found that Honor’s software issues have been put to bed. Huawei’s custom EMUI 8.2 skin is overlaid upon Android 8.1 Oreo.

Greeted by a streamlined app section with smooth animations and several customisation options for the app drawer. The settings menu also looks to have been changed with more colourful icons. Also, Honor has bundled in the SwiftKey keyboard with the Honor Play.

Battery: 9/10

The Honor Play has a 3,750 mAh Li-Po battery. A good battery is something that a gaming-centric phone most certainly needs to have and I have to say that I’m quite satisfied with the battery life on the Honor Play.

I played PUBG for about 35-40 minutes on the highest graphics possible and saw only an 18 per cent decline in the battery. There are several factors involved, for instance, I was playing on Wi-Fi and not on mobile data and also the screen was above 55 per cent brightness levels.

Even so, only a 20 per cent decrease after nearly 40 minutes of high graphics gaming seems quite impressive to me.

I also played Asphalt 9 for a very long time, I really like this games you can play a quick game, Honor worked with PUBG and Asphalt 9 companies to make sure it worked flawlessly on the Honor Play.

The GPU Turbo is not just a gimmick and helps in giving a bump to the phone’s battery life.

In general usage, the phone happened to last me for about one and a half days. Plenty of battery was left over even after a lot of video streaming on a 4G connection while the screen was at 75 per cent brightness. Thank you, Honor, for putting in a great and durable battery.

It has a phenomenal battery life, a great display, surround sound for immersive gaming and of course a top of the line chipset, all for under £280.

Chris Hare
Chris Hare
A True Tech Geek at Heart, I Started my life of being a Tech Geek at the age of 5 with the BBC Micro. Went on through most of Nintendo stuff and now a Xbox and PlayStation fan. I also leaked the information about the leaked Hotmail passwords story from October 2009 that went World Wide. I Started writing tech articles at the beginning of 2011, most of my articles are about Android phones and Xbox One and PlayStation 4 and other gaming news. When Chris has free time its with the family.

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