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