Review and first impressions of Honor Play: great gaming phone with GPU Turbo feature. Honor has finally getting success and emerged as a brand since it has been rising quite dramatically in the Asian market. A few years back it was Samsung, Apple and to a certain Xiaomi and Huawei who had dominated the mobile sector. However, now Honor has also entered to race by offering great devices at highly competitive prices.

Particularly, in the segment of budget and mid-range Honor offered some classy phones such as the Honor 9 Lite, Honor 9N, Honor 7X, Honor 7A and more. On the other hand, at the high-end sector, there is the Honor 10 which competes with the OnePlus 6.

Now come to the Honor Play, which has been titled as a gaming phone owing to the big eSports industry In China. However, the phone is going to being introduced as a “performance device” in India and Pakistan.

The phone will be launch on 6 August in India and later on Pakistan. But we got our hands on the Honor Play a bit earlier and here is the first impression of the device and its specs.

Build and Design

To be honest, the Honor Play is a very sturdy looking device just like any other Honor phone. It’s easy to hold and less slippery due to its curved bottom along with the unibody aluminum design. Moreover, it is also one of the first Honor phones to have a total metal back.

At the front side, we witnessed the notched display along with a small chin at the foot wherein you can view the Honor branding. On the bottom, we see that the phone luckily features a 3.5 mm headphone jack along with type-C port and speaker grill. Well, there is a bit disappointing news for some users as it doesn’t has dual-speakers.

We spotted a dual-camera system along with a fingerprint sensor (which looks a bit higher than users wanted) at the back of the device. Honor logo is written vertically instead of horizontally on the backside. Well, the good news is phone is quite light and handy.

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The phone features a 6.3-inch FulHD+ IPS LCD screen with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio. Following the current market trend, we spot a notch at the top.

Moreover, the Honor Play has a soothing display with vibrant and forceful colors.  You will definitely going to enjoy playing a lot of games on it.

The little issue which we have observed that even at full brightness the screen was not quite as visible as it should be.


 Just like the Honor V10, Honor 10, Mate 10 Pro, Huawei P20 Pro, P20, and Mate 10 Honor Play also comes with the Kirin 970 chipset. Well, this should be stop, this makes us wonder how many phones will Huawei and Honor launched with the Kirin 970 chipset and still calls it a flagship. In our opinion, this is getting too repetitive and now company needs to try something new.

However, Honor Play features an additional technology which is called as GPU Turbo out-of-the-box which will offer better and amazing gaming performance while conserving battery. GPU Turbo is a software-based feature and soon we can expect it to other Honor and Huawei devices with the Kirin 970.

Our initial impressions while playing PUBG game on the phone was that it does really run quite smoothly.  It seems that GPU Turbo works pretty well.

RAM and Storage

There is 6 GB of RAM and 64 GB of hi-speed UFS 2.0 storage. However, there is the option to increase the storage of the device using a microSD card to 256 GB.


It features dual camera setup on the back (16 MP + 2 MP) which captures great photos. There is a 16 MP front camera which also takes pretty good selfies. But, some of the portrait lighting features looked pointless. And it features some AI features but AI functionality seems to be more gimmicky than practical.


It features a non-removable Li-Po 3400 mAh battery which works well and offers good battery time.


The Honor Play has been launched in China for CNY 1,999 that works out to around Rs 36000/- here. We will come to know the actual price of the Honor Play after its launch in Pakistan on 6 August.


The Honor Play is almost the same as the Honor 10 if we do a comparison on paper (except for the cameras) it is the price tag of the Honor Play which could be its main USP (Unique Selling Point).

However, Honor Play could be more economical than the Honor 10 with a package of some amazing specs.

While our first impressions of this device have been good but we will do full review featuring an in-depth section about the phone’s gaming attributes soon. In order to see if the phone is all that Honor claims it is, you have to wait a little more. For more updates, stay tuned with NetMag.


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