Honor Play In-Depth Review – Mobile Gaming FTW!

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Gaming Performance, Our Verdict + Award, Price + Availability

Gaming Performance – 3DMark

We tested the Honor Play’s gaming performance using 3DMark, using the Ice Storm Unlimited test.

Honor Play 3DMark results

Ice Storm Unlimited Samsung Galaxy S9 Honor Play Honor 10 ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1
Gaming Score 39588 31622 30560 19752
Graphics 45577 37351 34801 20707
Physics 27116 20576 21423 17008
Graphics Test 1 267.9 fps 208.9 fps 206.2 fps 113.5 fps
Graphics Test 2 157.2 fps 132.8 fps 119.5 fps 74.6 fps
Physics Test 86.1 fps 65.3 fps 68.0 fps 54.0 fps
Price Check
Price Check
Price Check

As expected, the 12-core ARM Mali-G72 used in the Honor Play (and Honor 10) is fast, flagship-class GPU. The faster Samsung Galaxy S9 (Price Check) actually uses the same GPU, just with 18 cores.


Our Verdict

As Huawei’s sister company, Honor has a reputation of offering similar models with better features at an even more affordable price point. The Honor Play (US Price Check | MY Price Check) is yet another example of the incredible value for money that Honor always offers.

The Honor Play is really an improved version of the HUAWEI nova 3i smartphone. They both have the same 6.3-inch FullView display with a notch, and the same 16 MP + 2 MP depth-sensing dual-lens main camera.

Honor Play Sneak Peek - Mobile Gaming FTW?

Where they differ though are mainly in five aspects.

  • The HUAWEI nova 3i has a 24 MP + 2 MP depth-sensing dual-lens front camera, while the Honor Play only has a 16 MP front camera.
  • The Honor Play features a flagship-class HiSilicon Kirin 970 SoC, while the nova 3i only uses a mid-range Kirin 710 SoC.
  • The HUAWEI nova 3i comes with 128 GB of internal storage, while the Honor Play only comes with 64 GB of storage.
  • The Honor Play comes with a larger 3,750 mAh battery, while the nova 3i only has a 3,340 mAh battery.

This is why Honor is far from being Huawei’s little brother. They are a key driver of Huawei’s phenomenal growth. By offering devices with even better features at a lower price point, Honor always has a price-performance advantage over its bigger brother.

We earlier reviewed the smaller Honor 10 (Price Check), which is a great smartphone in its own right. It too is great for gaming and comes with a gorgeous Aurora Glass back panel. The Honor Play is, in a way, a larger version of the Honor 10.

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Powered by the same flagship-class Kirin 970 SoC, which features a Neural Processing Unit (NPU), it offers a much larger display for greater enjoyment of movies and games. It also comes with a larger battery that gives you longer battery life.

The Honor Play (US Price Check | MY Price Check) also comes with GPU Turbo and “AI Game 4D Experience” with Smart Shock built-in. While both features currently have very limited reach, so don’t expect much from them just yet. However, they are steps in the right direction towards a more immersive gaming experience.

Overall, the Honor Play (US Price Check | MY Price Check) offers a great combination of a large high-resolution display with flagship-class performance and a large battery, in a svelte metal-glass chassis. In fact, when compared to the HUAWEI nova 3i, the Honor Play is obviously the better choice.

This is why we believe the Honor Play deserves our Reviewer’s Choice Award. Congratulations, Honor!

Tech ARP Reviewer's Choice Award


Honor Play Price + Availability

The Honor Play launched in China in June at RMB 1,999, which is about US$ 293 / MYR 1,189. Honor started rolling it out globally in August, with the following countries being first :

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  • Malaysia : RM 1,249 (10 August 2018)
  • Singapore : SGD 429 (8 August 2018)
  • Philippines : PHP 15,990 (13 August 2018)

You can now purchase the Honor Play at these online stores :

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