- Analysis by KJ David
An August 2018 release from Huawei that targets heavy mobile gamers, the Huawei Honor Play banks mostly on its hardware pros and cons. It also comes with an expansive 6.3-inch display whose 19.5:9 aspect ratio outstripped even those of some of the best phablets as of this on-paper review. That being said, we were a tad discouraged by the fact that it sticks to a 1080p FHD+ resolution only , instead of shooting for a truly-gaming-ready 2K-1440p display, and, consequently, misses the VR threshold by scoring a 409ppi pixel density -- most of the best phones for VR listed here at Phonerated safely pass the 500ppi threshold.
Another con is its 64GB-only internal memory , which sounds puny compared to the 128GB or 256GB native storage caps boasted by some of its gaming smartphone rivals. It does, however, come with a microSD card slot for up to 256GB of top-up memory.
Its list pros, on the other hand, is headlined by a Kirin 970 2.36GHz + 1.8GHz eight-core processor infused with an AI neural processing unit (NPU) and Huawei's proprietary GPU Turbo , the latter promising an up to 60 percent improvement in performance coupled with a 30 percent decrease in power consumption when triggered for gaming. Speaking of gaming, the Honor Play also features a 4D gaming experience similar to the vibrations on an actual gaming console through Smart Shock as well as 3D gaming sound effects for most popular mobile games .
Its CPU is accompanied by a large 6GB LPDDR4X RAM , although Huawei also ships a 4GB-only edition for not-so-demanding users. In charge of power supply is a 3750mAh battery with Honor Fast Charge, which, as far as gaming smartphones are concerned, is neither disappointing nor very impressive.
Although it does not focus that much on photography, the Honor Play lines up with some of the best selfie-driven smartphones on the market by rocking a 16-megapixel front-facing camera that claims to capture studio-level portraits with its AI Portrait Mode and 3D Portrait Lighting . Additionally, it touts a 16- plus 2-megapixel dual camera at the back , with 4K (2160p) video-recording, AI scene recognition, and phase-detection autofocus (PDAF) among its imaging pros and cons.
With the Android 8.1 Oreo OS skinned with Huawei's EMUI 8.2 tying its specs together, the 2018 Honor Play calls out to gamers looking for a wide-screen phone that puts an emphasis on performance.
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