As honor ramps up its Malaysia efforts – specifically, with the various segment flagships – it’s clear this upstart has big plans. Already, it is penetrating all device segments – from affordable entries and mid-rangers, to flagships, and even niche focuses. While still making waves with the top-end honor 10 and honor 7 mid-rangers, it’s now also dabbling with gaming. Indeed, the honor Play is set to take it up a few notches for gamers all over. Of course, there is still the goal of keeping the cost of entry low and make its flagships highly accessible to all. This is a promise that honor will continue to fulfill even with this all-new category focused device. After all, this is a critical aspect that is closely associated to the honor brand.
Even before the honor Play officially dropped, there have been rumours that honor wants to play in the gamer-centric space. In fact, most feel that the China upstart wants to do it in a big way. When the curtain raiser event for the honor Play took place, it surprised fans and the generally curious. This is mostly due to how the design is very much like the current honor flagships. While the user handling and specs is very similar, the overall experience is somewhat different. Indeed, it is fine-tuned for all gamers. If anything, it is fully optimised and ready to meet the heavy demands that mobile games now need. This includes near-instant load times, insane graphic processing, and rich audio processing.
What makes the honor Play different from the honor 10? While the specs are nearly identical, there is a brand-new feature that make it stand-out more – the GPU Turbo. honor claims this new function will be able to boost the GPU within by up to 60%. At the same time, it will also reduce energy consumption for single-frame processing within 30% and cut down overall power use by 20%. It will also reduce jitter and introduce better heat management when under heavy loads. Throughout the review, unfortunately, both PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang have not been loaded up. This is due to how, yours truly, has no experience with either games. Even so, similar comparative tests are carried out.
To ensure the GPU Turbo function is engaged throughout the review, games that have heavy data loads are used. This includes Fate Grand/Order, Asphalt 9, Honkai Impact 3, and Street Fighter IV. While these games don’t have direct optimisation with GPU Turbo, the improvements are still obvious. Load times are quicker and it doesn’t heat up as badly as its immediate rivals. Further enhancements include the 4D Gaming Experience and 3D Gaming Sound Effect. 4D is sensory and that is what something that cara. Thanks to the artificial intelligence (AI) present in the HiSilicon Kirin 970 AI mobile processor, the force-feedback is more than intuitive as it only engages when specific sounds are aired. As for sound, it uses the backpanel to amplify the sound stage.
The 6.3” FullView front façade sports a 16MP camera that is parked on top. The main snapper array at the rear features a 16MP + 2MP dual-lens system. In brightly lit areas, shots turn out very nice with colours and hues balancing out nicely. Oddly, while the AI feature does its job well, it over-compensates in certain shots. It works well for food photography and pets, delivering good visual results. Even so, the bokeh overlay for portraiture and low-light photography has mixed results. Sometimes, the AI goes too far to make pictures look awesome. This is also applicable to the selfie cam, making images look fake. Personally, it’s best to turn off ‘Beautify’ and go with the lighting modes that honor Play offers, like Soft, Butterfly, and Stage.
The honor Play, for all intents and purposes, is a flagship that can hold its own against the still-new honor 10. However, unlike the mainstay headliner, this new entry is very much focused on the gamer. As the GPU Turbo promises better power and heat management, along with super smooth gameplay, it is definitely one for the gamers. Even if it is not on par in terms of looks with upcoming smartphones that are made purely for gaming, it’s able to keep up due to the top-end specs alone. While there are no accessories to add-on, honor’s push to make premium devices affordable still stands. Thusly, the honor Play, even if it may be in the wrong competitive category, is more than ready to take on the world.
(Text by: Morgan Davion)
The honor Play is one of those entries that stand apart from premium entries as it plays up the affordability aspect