The Huawei Honor Play is a surprisingly low-cost smartphone made with gaming in mind. It features a 6.3-inch display with a notch and a relatively small chin, and it runs a unique sort of Android (with Honor’s EMUI on top). The Honor Play is aimed at the newest wave of mobile gamers, bringing a bit of external aesthetic flavor to the mix as it packs in a decent bit of power under the hood.
The Honor Play comes with a 6.3-inch screen Full HD+ display, 2340 x 1080 resolution, and a pixel density of 409ppi. Users have the option to manually lower it to HD+ (1560 x 720) or enable Smart resolution to let the device automatically lower the screen resolution to help save power. Other screen features include the ability to hide the notch and adjust color modes and temperature.
The large notch at the top of the screen containing the selfie camera, sensors and earpiece speaker gets in the way more than I would like. With Bluetooth headphones connected, the phone set to vibrate and connected to wifi there is no room in the status bar for any notification icons.
At 7.5mm thick and 176g in weight, the Play matches up well to all its top-end competition. There are a headphone socket and USB-C port in the bottom, a small dual-camera lump and an excellent fingerprint scanner on the back.
The main feature of the Honor Play is the Kirin 970 chipset which is the same chip that is powering Huawei and Honor’s flagship devices namely the Honor P20 series, Huawei Mate 10 series, and the Honor 10. So it’s impressive to see this chip in a device priced under Php16K. Other specs include a Mali-G72 MP12 GPU, and 4GB RAM, which should be enough for heavy users including mobile gamers. when it comes to storage, the Honor Play has 64GB which is a good starting point for mid-range devices like this. There’s 51.84GB of usable space which can be further expanded the microSD card slot. Although you’re going to lose dual-SIM functionality due to its hybrid setup.
The Honor Play is equipped with 16MP + 2MP rear cameras, and a 16MP front camera. It’s loaded with features like Night mode, HDR, 3D Panorama, 3D Creator, Slow-mo, Light painting, Pro mode, Panorama, and Time-Lapse, to name a few. So far, quality is good, especially in bright light. It can handle dim conditions but expect to see some noise and lack of details.
The Honor Play comes with your usual connectivity features like 4G LTE, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2, and GPS. It’s also nice to see a 3.5mm audio port and USB Type-C for a phone with this kind of asking price. So far, the features work well as advertised as calls are loud and clear, mobile data is fast, while location-based apps are accurate and responsive.
Providing juice to the Huawei Honor Play is a 3,750mAh battery which is the same as the Huawei Nova 3 but larger than the 3,400mAh found on the Huawei P20 and Honor 10. The package comes with a 9V/2A charger and capable of replenishing the battery in under 3 hours.