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Honor Play Hands on: Best Gaming Smartphone?

Huawei’s sub-brand, Honor has launched a new smartphone today in India which shares the same spec sheet as the Huawei’s Nova 3 except for the front dual camera setup and back glass panel. Honor is releasing this smartphone as a gaming smartphone in India which comes with their own “GPU Turbo.”

Honor claims that the Honor Play smartphone provides 60 percent more performance and at the same time decreases the power consumption by 30 percent. Honor also introduced a new “4D Gaming Mode” which suppose to add another dimension to the gaming by adaptive vibration feedback during the gameplay. The smartphone retails for Rs 19,999 for the 4GB RAM variant and Rs 23,999 for the 6GB RAM model.

We got the 6GB variant of the Honor Play here, and we tested it for quite a time. And here are our thoughts about the smartphone; what’s right and what’s terrible.

Design and Build

Honor Play comes with a beautiful and slim metal unibody encasing which feels excellent in hands and looks cool too. The Honor’s signature Blue color looks really cool on the smartphone with round edges. It lacks the glass back which is kind of a necessary design in today’s smartphones, but that doesn’t bother me because I like the metal finish on Honor Play.

Other than that, the Honor Play is built really solid, and the form factor is slim and tall so it won’t feel bulky in hands. The fingerprint sensor is placed at the back, which is also perfect to reach with one hand. The camera module at the rear has a little bump which feels a bit because the back of the phone is completely flat. Overall the smartphone looks excellent, but if you are looking for the glass back, you have to look even further.


Honor Play comes with a 6.3 inches full HD+ display which is an IPS LCD panel and has a notch on the top side. The screen comes with an aspect ratio of 19.5:9 and 409 PPI pixel density. The display has a little chin at the bottom side, but still, the smartphone feels premium with the notch display.

The display on Honor Play is one of the best IPS LCD I have ever seen on any smartphone before. Well, it cannot beat the Super LCD+ from HTC, but this display is super crisp and bright. Everything looks fantastic on this display even it is a game or a movie you are watching. The brightness is also excellent which makes the screen content visible in outdoor conditions.


The Honor Play comes with an octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 970 processor which is the top chipset from the brand itself. The 6GB RAM completes the execution of the smartphone; there is a 4GB RAM variant available. The 64GB storage is expandable via the microSD card slot provided in the hybrid SIM card tray.

Coming to the actual performance, we are not going to bound this device with numbers but with the real-time performance. Being a gamer, I have installed some of the high-end games which are available for the smartphones right now like the Asphalt 9 and the PUBG Mobile. The games ran seamlessly on this smartphone, even better than I expect from an Honor smartphone.

Even though the user interface Huawei smartphones comes with; EMUI is the least optimized I have ever seen on an Android smartphone, the game performed smoothly and loaded quickly. The performance is almost similar to a high-end flagship smartphone available in the market with Snapdragon 845. The RAM management is also fantastic, I ran both Asphalt 9 and PUBG Mobile at the same time on the smartphone, and still, there was 4GB RAM remaining for more multitasking.


The rear camera on Honor Play is a dual camera sensor including a 16MP main sensor and a 2MP depth sensor which provides portrait pictures with perfect Bokeh effect. The smartphone is equipped with a 16MP sensor on the front with f/2.0 aperture size and AI capabilities on both the cameras.

The smartphone comes with AI features which can detect more than 500 scenarios and optimize the camera performance accordingly. The pictures come out amazing with the AI feature, the edging in the Portrait pictures are also amazing. Overall the camera is fantastic, and the AI camera feature is just icing on the cake.

Battery and more features

The Honor Play comes with a 3750 mAh battery which runs for a whole day with one full charge. It supports fast charging, but you still have to wait for some time to get this phone charged to total 100 percent. Other than this the smartphone performed well in every test, the calling, and the loudspeaker is crisp and clear.


The Honor Play is a fantastic smartphone for someone like me who plays a lot of games on the smartphone and needs clutter free gaming. The smartphone handled everything in its way with ease and didn’t even stutter at anything you throw at it. If you are not into that shimmering glass back panel smartphones then this smartphone worths every single penny you spend on it.


Abhishek Bhatnagar

Abhishek Bhatnagar, a known technology blogger & YouTuber from India. A Software Engineer by qualification, now he works as the editor-In-Chief, Webmaster, & Managing Director at Gadgets To Use. He runs a number of other technology websites as well.