Honor Play

It may be built for gaming, but the big screen, sleek de­sign and piles of speed should ap­peal to any­one want­ing a bar­gain phone

Australian T3 - - TESTED -

$439 hi­honor.com

So far, the T3 hive­mind isn’t re­ally sold on the need for gaming-fo­cused phones. The Razer Phone is a great hand­set, but not be­cause its 120Hz screen and Dolby At­mos speak­ers are good for games. They’re just nice fea­tures gen­er­ally. It’s the same story with the Honor Play: its huge 6.3-inch screen and high-end pro­ces­sor might be pitched with gaming in mind, but a fast phone with a gor­geous screen is some­thing we can all ap­pre­ci­ate. Es­pe­cially at this price.

Game on

The Honor Play does have other gaming fea­tures be­yond those: the GPU Turbo tech aims to keep in­ten­sive games run­ning silky smooth by boost­ing graph­ics power while play­ing, while Game Suite mode makes it easy to record what you’re play­ing and to lock keys from ac­ci­den­tal presses. Both work well, but aren’t ex­actly push­ing our Start but­ton.

No, let’s go back to the ba­sics. The phone’s dis­play res­o­lu­tion of 1080x2340 looks lovely and sharp, and the screen is im­pres­sively bright. The ra­tio of screen to body is in­sanely high here, and cou­pled with great build qual­ity and fun colours, the Play is a bit of a looker.

The Kirin 970 pro­ces­sor is flag­ship level, match­ing the likes of the Sam­sung S9 for speed, yet it’s in a phone un­der $450. Ev­ery­thing we did on the phone was su­per quick – there’s no sign of it hav­ing been wa­tered down. 64GB of stor­age is okay (a higher-tier op­tion would have been welcome) but there’s a mi­croSD slot.

The fin­ger­print sen­sor can be found dead cen­tre on the back of the phone, and worked per­fectly for us. Above it, you’ll find the 16MP+2MP dual-cam­era sys­tem, which uses Honor’s AI tech to recog­nise what you’re shoot­ing and ad­just set­tings ac­cord­ingly. For ex­am­ple, switch­ing to bokeh-tas­tic Por­trait mode when you’re snapping a per­son. You’ve also got a front 16MP cam­era, which has im­pres­sively fast fa­cial recog­ni­tion (though it’s not as se­cure as Ap­ple’s Face ID sys­tem).

Add strong bat­tery life on top of that, and you get a phone that’s just a fan­tas­tic pack­age. Yes, the ad­di­tion of GPU Turbo and Game Suite are nice for those play­ing Fort­nite on the go, but to fo­cus on this phone be­ing for gamers wouldn’t do it jus­tice: it looks, feels and runs like a qual­ity An­droid phone, with high-end power for around half the price. We love it.

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