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Honor Play Vs Xiaomi Mi A2: best smartphone under Rs. 20,000?

Honor India launched its latest flagship smartphone Honor Play this week and Xiaomi launched its Mi A2 Android One smartphone. The Honor Play is touted to be a gaming phone with several features like GPU Turbo tech, 4D gaming, notch display, and dual cameras. The Honor Play price in India starts at Rs. 19,999.

With this pricing, the latest phone from Honor will give a fight to the mid-range segment smartphones. Xiaomi, which is also the leader in under Rs. 20,000 segment in India, launched its Xiaomi MI A2 in the country at a starting price of Rs. 16,999.

Let’s find out, should you wait for the Mi A2 or buy the new Honor Play.

Honor Play Vs Mi A2 Specifications

Key Specifications Honor Play Xiaomi Mi A2
Display 6.3 inches IPS LCD 19.5:9 5.99 inches IPS LCD 18:9
Screen Resolution 1080 x 2340 pixels 1080 x 2160 pixels
Operating System Android Oreo 8.1 based EMUI 8.1 Android 8.1 Oreo with Android One
Processor Octa-core (4×2.4 GHz Cortex-A73 & 4×1.8 GHz Cortex-A53) Octa-core (4×2.2 GHz Kryo 260 & 4×1.8 GHz Kryo 260)
Chipset Kirin 970 Snapdragon 660
GPU Mali-G72 MP12 Adreno 512
Internal Storage 64GB 64GB/128GB
Expandable Storage Yes, up to 256GB No
Primary Camera 16MP f/2.2, PDAF, 2 MP, f/2.4, LED flash 12 MP f/1.75, 1.25µm

20 MP, f/1.75, 1.0µm, PDAF

Secondary Camera 16 MP, f/2.0, 2.0µm 20 MP, f/2.2, 1/2.8″, 1.0µm, LED Flash
Video Recording [email protected], [email protected] [email protected], [email protected]
Battery 3,750mAh 3,000mAh
4G VoLTE Yes Yes
Dimensions 157.9 x 74.3 x 7.5 mm 158.7 x 75.4 x 7.3 mm
Weight 176g 166g
Connectivity Hybrid Dual SIM Hybrid Dual SIM
Price 4GB+64GB- Rs. 19,999

6GB+64GB- Rs. 23,999

4GB+64GB- Rs. 17,499

Design: Metal unibody

If we talk about the design and build quality of the two smartphones, the Xiaomi Mi A2 comes with a metal unibody. Basically, the Mi A2 has the general old look, but there’s a noticeable change which is its 18:9 display and vertically stacked dual camera setup which is bumped up quite noticeably.

On the other hand, the Honor Play also sticks to a metal back with a matte finish. However, up front, it has a more trendy notched display. It also has a vertical dual rear camera and a fingerprint scanner at the back.

Overall in terms of design, Honor Play looks good because of its more rugged metallic body which also feels premium apart from making it sturdy.

Display: Notch Vs No Notch

The Mi A2 features a 5.99-inch 18:9 aspect ratio display with minimum bezels on each side. The display comes with an FHD+ (2160 x 1080 pixels) screen resolution. Notably, it doesn’t have a notch on top.

While Honor sports a slightly bigger 6.3-inch LCD display with an FHD+ screen resolution of 1080x 2340 pixels. Further, it comes with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio which means it has a full-screen display with a notch on top.

We found both the displays to be sharper, thanks to the FHD+ resolution. However, the notch trend gives an upper edge to Honor Play.

Cameras: Battle of Dual Camera

Xiaomi Mi A2 comes with a dual rear camera setup consisting a 12MP Sony IMX486 primary sensor with 1.25μm pixel size, f/1.75 aperture and a 20MP Sony IMX376 secondary sensor with 2.0μm pixels and f/1.75 aperture. Up front, it has a 20MP Sony IMX376 sensor with f/1.75 aperture.

The Honor Play also has a dual-camera setup with a 16MP primary sensor with a f/2.2 aperture lens, and a 2MP secondary camera with a f/2.4 aperture. Up front, Honor Play has a 16MP camera for selfies with f/2.0, and 2.0µm pixels.

When it comes to comparison, both the cameras are capable of clicking impressive pictures. The Mi A2 has adopted a new Sony IMX 486 sensor for its primary camera which makes it perform really well. While Honor Play, on the other hand, is banking on its AI tech.

Camera Samples

Auto Mode

Portrait Mode

Low Light


Hardware: Kirin 970 Vs Snapdragon 660

The Mi A2 comes powered by Qualcomm’s octa-core Snapdragon 660 processor with Adreno 512 GPU. The Snapdragon 660, which is manufactured on the 14nm process has custom Kryo 260 cores that have 4 Cortex A53 and 4 Cortex A73 cores. This gives a boost in terms of processing speeds.

The Honor Play, on the other hand, has its own flagship HiSilicon Kirin 970 chipset which is built on the efficient 10nm fabrication process. It also has four Cortex-A73 big cores and four Cortex-A53 cores. The Kirin 970 manages to push the Snapdragon 660 in terms of benchmark scores as well.


Coming to the gaming performance of both the smartphones, we played PUBG on both the phones. Both the phones run it smoothly, however, there was a slight frame drop in Mi A2. The Mi A2’s CPU temperature rose from 36 to 43-degree Celsius and its battery drain was from 83% to 78% in 15 minutes of gaming.

On the other hand, Honor Play ran the game without any such issue thanks to its GPU Turbo technology. The temperature rise in Honor Play was from 35 to 48-degree Celsius and battery drain was from 75% to 73% in 15 minutes. Huawei’s Turbo Tech offers better performance while lowering the power consumption.


The Xiaomi Mi A2 comes with at least 4GB LPDDR4 RAM and 64GB storage in India. The device doesn’t have storage expansion option and offers maximum 128GB storage which is EXT4 storage. Honor Play, on the other hand, has F2FS storage type which is developed by Samsung and it has LPDDR4X RAM.

The Mi A2’s EXT4 storage is slower than F2FS on Honor Play. Also, the LPDDR4X RAM in Honor Play is more power-efficient than LPDDR4 RAM in MI A2.

Software: EMUI Vs Stock Android

Software-wise, Xiaomi uses Google’s stock Android software Android 8.1 Oreo on the Mi A2. The Mi A2 also comes with a two-year update promise and it will get the Android P and Android Q updates.

Honor Play, on the other hand, has its own custom EMUI 8.1 which comes with a number of features. However, Xiaomi’s stock Android interface offers a breeze to users who don’t like custom UI. Although the choice of UI largely depends on the user preference.

Battery and Connectivity

The Mi A2 is powered by a 3,000mAh non-removable battery which is said to offer full-day juice, while the Honor Play is powered by a bigger 3,750 mAh battery which can provide more than one day of usage. The Mi A2 supports Quick Charge 4 while Honor Play supports its own fast charging tech.

When it comes to connectivity, Mi A2 supports dual Nano-SIM cards only and doesn’t come with a microSD slot. While Honor Play comes with a hybrid SIM card slot. Both the phones have the usual Wi-Fi, 4G VoLTE, Bluetooth, micro USB ports, but, Mi A2 doesn’t have a 3.5mm jack that Honor Play has.


Xiaomi is known for its aggressive pricing has once again offered the new phone with the affordable price tag. The Mi A2 with Android One, capable hardware and an impressive camera is definitely a good contender and it is also priced low compared to the Honor Play. However, Honor Play offers more premium looks with its notch display, has AI-powered cameras and slightly better hardware which makes it a good option too, if extra Rs. 3,000 are not an issue. You guys tell us in comments which phone would you like to prefer?


Satyendra Pal Singh

Satyendra explores the latest happenings in the tech world and writes stories about those. He likes to play around with the latest gadgets and shares his views through articles. In his free time, you can find him watching movies/TV shows and/or reading books.