Honor Play Unboxing, Quick Review: Turbocharged Budget Flagship

Honor Play Unboxing, Quick Review: Turbocharged Budget Flagship

Check out Honor’s metal-clad budget flagship

Impressed at the budget, gaming-centric Honor Play that the company announced a few weeks ago? Well, we have good news: the new phone sporting GPU Turbo Tech is arriving in Philippine shores this weekend. We’ve managed to grab a retail box of the promising budget flagship from the Huawei sub-brand, and today we’re going to unbox it for you guys.

What’s in the box?

Honor keeps things simple with the Honor Play’s packaging. You get a white box with the Honor Play branding in electric blue on the front.

Inside the box, you get the phone itself (our review unit is in Black), a SIM ejector pin, a TPU case, a USB-C cable, and a Quick Charge charger. Expect the retail package to come with documentation.


How’s the build?

In a sea of glass-backed phones, the Honor Play’s aluminum unibody design is a refreshing change. While we like seeing beautiful, multicolor glass-backed smartphones, aluminum-clad devices are simply tougher and more scratch resistant.

Aside from being tougher, other perks of an aluminum-clad back include a slimmer overall profile, better ergonomics with its gentle curves, and better resistance to fingerprint smudges. While the Honor Play may look more like a mid-range phone from 2017, a number of people would still go for durability over looks. Unless you opt for a transparent case to showcase that back or care a lot about wireless charging and water resistance, an aluminum-clad phone is a more practical choice for the everyday phone user.

Going to the ports and layouts, you have your power button volume controls on the right side. 

On the left, you have your hybrid SIM tray. You’ll have to choose either two SIM cards or one SIM card and a MicroSD card.

There’s nothing to see on the top. On the bottom, you have your speaker grille, a USB-C port, and a headphone jack. For a phone that looks like a 2017 mid-range offering, having a USB-C port is a much-welcome feature since a number of 2018 mid-range offerings are stuck with using a MicroUSB port.

In addition, having a headphone jack complete the Honor Play’s reputation of being an entertainment-centric, gaming-centric phone: no need to fumble over dongles if you want to use your pair of cans. The said port is also essential for users to appreciate the Honor Play’s Histen sound enhancement tech.

Up front, you have a 6.3-inch Full HD+ IPS LCD display. While it has a notch, you can hide it via the settings. Display quality is great, and its auto brightness sensor is sensitive enough to adapt to different lighting situations.

The notch houses a metal-clad earpiece, an ambient sensor, and a 16-megapixel f/2.0 camera with 3D portrait lighting and portrait mode for those bokehlicious selfies.

On the back, you have a 16-megapixel f/2.2 and 2-megapixel rear cameras with AI tricks. The Honor Play can record in 4K and comes with EIS. However, EIS is limited to Full HD footage at 30FPS.

Speaking of internals, you get a Kirin 970 processor paired with 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage. We are very much familiar with the Kirin 970’s performance, and we expect it to perform well—or even better since it comes with GPU Turbo out of the box.

The Honor Play comes with a 3750mAh battery and Android 8.1 with EMUI 8.2.

How much is it?

The Honor Play retails for Php 15,990. While it has to undergo our usual tests for the full review, the Honor Play is a promising and strong contender for the budget flagship segment. You can pre-order the Honor Play on August 11 at the at the ‘Game with the Brave’ event at SM City Fairview.

Honor Play Specs

  • HiSilicon Kirin 970 octa-core processor
  • 4GB RAM
  • 6.3-inch Full HD+ display, 2160×1080 resolution
  • 64GB of expandable storage (up to 128GB)
  • 16-megapixel f/2.2 and 2-megapixel rear cameras with PDAF, Dual Tone LED flash, and AI Camera
  • 16-megapixel f/2.0 front camera with 3D Portrait Lighting
  • Dual SIM (Hybrid Tray)
  • 4G, LTE, VoLTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC
  • Fingerprint sensor, GPU Turbo, Histen audio
  • USB Type-C
  • 3750mAh battery




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