Honor Play

Flag­ship per­for­mance at an ag­gres­sive price

T3 India - - Tested - WORDS KU­NAL GAN­GAR

Honor has been con­sis­tently launch­ing some in­ter­est­ing de­vices that of­fer an ex­cel­lent price-per­for­mance ra­tio. The lat­est to join its port­fo­lio is Honor Play that guar­an­tees high-end hard­ware and soft­ware ex­pe­ri­ence for an af­ford­able price.

Honor’s re­cent spate of launches has been glass, so it’s re­fresh­ing to see Honor Play adopt­ing a metal de­sign. Avail­able in choices of black and blue, the metal fin­ish at the back and the glass front dom­i­nated by the dis­play and thin bezels give the phone a pre­mium look.

The dual cam­eras along with the flash and fin­ger­print sen­sor are placed at the back while a speaker, 3.5mm au­dio jack and USB-C port are placed at the bot­tom. The hy­brid SIM slot is on the left and the power and vol­ume but­tons are on the right.

Honor phones gen­er­ally come with their in-house de­vel­oped Kirin pro­ces­sors and Honor Play is no sur­prise. With 4GB RAM and flag­ship SoC on­board, the Honor Play is great to use with smooth and stut­ter-free per­for­mance.

Honor Play runs EMUI 8.2 (based on An­droid 8.1) and while it’s heav­ily cus­tomised, some of the fea­tures it brings are handy. For in­stance, it sup­ports face un­lock and keeps lock screen no­ti­fi­ca­tions hid­den un­til it is un­locked. Smart AI gallery clas­si­fies pic­tures and au­to­mat­i­cally seg­re­gates them de­pend­ing on time, lo­ca­tion, hol­i­day, or oc­ca­sions.

The in­ter­est­ing thing, how­ever, is the phone comes with GPU Turbo, which is Huawei/Honor’s so­lu­tion to im­prove graph­ics ef­fi­ciency while at the same time im­prove bat­tery life. Cur­rently, there are only a hand­ful of games sup­port­ing GPU Turbo and PUBG (Play­erUn­known’s Bat­tle­grounds) is one of them. We played PUBG on the de­vice and found the over­all per­for­mance to be good. The only draw­back right now with GPU Turbo is that Honor has to work with de­vel­op­ers to in­te­grate GPU Turbo and the game can­not take ad­van­tage of the fea­ture au­to­mat­i­cally. GPU Turbo will even­tu­ally be rolled out to other Honor de­vices in the com­ing months.

The phone has a 6.3-inch FHD+ (1080x2340) dis­play with an as­pect ra­tio of 19.5:9. The screen looks great with good colours and con­trast. Users can even change the colour tem­per­a­ture and the res­o­lu­tion to HD+ to save bat­tery life.

Honor Play has a 16MP+2MP setup at the back and takes ad­van­tage of AI to recog­nise dif­fer­ent ob­jects in real time and while it does a good job in recog­nis­ing them, the op­ti­mi­sa­tions AI im­ple­ments aren’t up to the mark. In most in­stances, we are bet­ter with­out AI. Pic­tures shot in day­light were good but the cam­era suf­fered in low-light sce­nar­ios. The cam­era qual­ity is just about okay.

The phone can cap­ture videos to up to 4K and sup­ports EIS. How­ever, it works only if you shoot at Full HD or be­low. Selfie-wise, the 16MP front-fac­ing cam­era cap­tures de­cent self­ies.

All said and done, Honor Play looks great and de­liv­ers flag­ship per­for­mance with good bat­tery life but needs some work on the cam­era front.

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