Honor Play First Impressions: Honor 10 With a Metal Body?
Honor Play, the gaming phone from the Huawei sub-brand has a lot of people talking about the GPU turbo feature it uses for a better frame rate.
Honor Play, the gaming phone from the Huawei sub-brand has a lot of people talking about the GPU turbo feature it uses for a better frame rate.(Photo: The Quint)

Honor Play First Impressions: Honor 10 With a Metal Body?

Honor Play, the gaming phone from the Huawei sub-brand has a lot of people talking about the GPU Turbo feature it uses for a better frame rate and smooth gaming experience. However, it’s not much different from the Honor flagship, the Honor 10.

The Honor Play has been launched starting at Rs 19,999 for the 4GB RAM/ 64GB storage variant and Rs 23,999 for the 6GB/64GB variant. We got our hands on the phone and here is our first impressions:

Design

The metal body is a refreshing change in a sea of reflective glass back panels.
The metal body is a refreshing change in a sea of reflective glass back panels.
(Photo: The Quint)

One of the most distinct design features of the Honor Play is its full metal body, which is refreshing change among the slew of reflective glass backs on Honor and Huawei phones.

Another design bit that makes the Honor Play stand out is the packaging. The phone is slimmer than other top-end Honor phones. It has a tall design and is quite narrow on the sides, making it much easier to hold.

It was launched in two colours, a blue and a black variant – both colours look good and the metallic finish gives the phone a more premium feel.

Also Read : Honor 10 First Impressions: Making the Camera Experience ‘Smarter’

The Honor Play’s notch has helped the company fit a 6.3-inch display within the slim phone.
The Honor Play’s notch has helped the company fit a 6.3-inch display within the slim phone.
(Photo: The Quint)

At the front, the phone’s 19.9:9 aspect ratio gives it maximum screen area, with thin bezels and a notch. On the back, this again looks like any other Honor phone with vertically placed dual cameras. The antenna lines are quite prominent. The Honor and AI branding is placed horizontally on the back.

Display

The Honor Play sports a 6.3-inch notched display with a 19.9:9 aspect ratio with a 409ppi pixel density.
The Honor Play sports a 6.3-inch notched display with a 19.9:9 aspect ratio with a 409ppi pixel density.
(Photo: The Quint)

The Honor Play uses an IPS LCD display with a 1080x2340 resolution. The display is fairly bright for use in bright sunlight. However, an IPS panel is only bright to an extent (compared to AMOLED), but the 409 ppi pixel density makes things pleasant.

Performance and Hardware

The phone uses the tried-and-tested Kirin 970 processor.
The phone uses the tried-and-tested Kirin 970 processor.
(Photo: The Quint)

Honor has claimed flagship-level performance on the Honor Play. The phone comes powered by the tried-and-tested Kirin 970 processor, which is also seen on the Huawei flagship Nova 3 and the Honor 10. The one on the Honor Play is paired with 6GB RAM, though the phone comes in a 4GB variant as well.

Although the setup is something we are familiar with, the Honor Play stands out with its GPU Turbo feature that makes the graphics perform better and more efficiently.

Honor has also claimed a better battery life out of the 3,750 mAh battery. However, that will be subject to testing.

The phone is powered by Android Oreo 8.1, complimented with Huawei’s EMUI 8.2.

The Honor Play uses a USB type-C charger that supports fast charging. It also supports face recognition and has a fingerprint sensor. The face unlock works quite well in low light as well.

Camera

The Honor Play houses one 16-megapixel and one 2-megapixel dual camera setup.
The Honor Play houses one 16-megapixel and one 2-megapixel dual camera setup.
(Photo: The Quint)

The phone uses a dual-camera setup at the back, with a 16-megapixel with an f/2.2 aperture and a 2-megapixel f/2.4 aperture. The rear camera is also paired with AI integration, that identifies things you click and adjusts lighting while taking pictures, along with other features that are yet to be tested.

At the front, the Honor Play uses a 16-megapixel camera with f/2.0 aperture, which actually is similar on paper to the rear camera.

Initial Verdict

The Honor Play seems like a very capable phone and does feel premium in almost all aspects. The design is sleek and the slim dimensions actually make it quite handy to use. The metal body is also a breath of fresh air from the reflective glass backs that we are used to seeing on Huawei and Honor phones.

(Photo: The Quint)

The phone is by and large similar to the Honor 10, with a few more features and a downgraded camera. Since Honor is marketing the Play as a gaming phone, it does have a decent frame rate and the initial gaming experience is smooth. However, extensive testing will give us a clearer picture.

At a price tag of Rs 19,999 to Rs 23,9999, Honor has a very good ‘Play’ maker in this price segment which can be a potent threat against the likes of Galaxy J8, Moto X4 and the Nokia 7 Plus. 

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