At an event in China today, Honor has announced a slew of products and the major highlight of the launch is Honor Play. With the new smartphone, Honor is looking to compete against gaming phones including the new Asus ROG Phone, Xiaomi’s Black Shark and Nubia Red Magic.
Honor Play is following the notch trend and features a 6.3-inch FullHD+ display with an aspect ratio of 19:9. Honor said that the display occupies 89% of the area on the front, making the smartphone only as tall as a 5.5-inch smartphone.
The Honor Play is equipped with a Kirin 970 SoC with a dedicated NPU for AI capabilities, which also power Huawei’s flagships including the Mate 10 Series and P20 Pro as well as Honor 10. With the high-end processor, Honor Play comes in 4GB and 6GB RAM variants with 64GB RAM.
Honor has also boasted about what it calls the GPU Turbo technology which not only improves performance, but runs games twice as stable as the experience on the recently-launched Mi 8. Of course, one must always take such claims with a pinch of salt and we can’t vouch for any performance boost on this phone.
Honor says GPU Turbo brings in improved graphics quality, even if the game does not support HDR visuals. It should also result in a more stable experience as the traditional graphics processing framework is run at a lower layer system.Graphics processing efficiency is improved by up to 60 percent, and SoC energy consumption reduced by up to 30 percent in this setup, which can also support AR and VR in the future.
The smartphone features a 16MP+2MP dual camera setup at the back which supports AI recognition to suit the lighting and color of the photographs based on the scene or object in the frame. The 16MP front camera also comes with other supposedly AI-driven features such as portrait lighting just like the iPhone X and Huawei P20 Pro.
The Honor Play gets a 3,750mAh battery and Honor is making intriguing claims like the battery will last for 1.5 days even on heavy usage. Apart from the GPU Turbo technology, the gaming smartphone supports 3D sound effects for games as well as 7.1-channel Histen sound.
It is the first smartphone to sport the EMUI 8.2, which is the latest version of Huawei’s custom Android UI.
The Honor Play is priced starting at 1,999 yuan (~Rs. 21,000) for the 4GB variant while the 6GB variant costs 2,399 yuan (~Rs. 25,000). Honor has also introduced a special edition with textured back and two color options but with the same specifications. This will cost 2,499 yuan (~Rs. 26,000).
The Honor Play is currently available for pre-booking in China for 99 yuan and will be available starting June 11. Along with the smartphone, Honor introduced Honor 9i smartphone (different from the one already available in India), a pair of wireless earphones with heart-rate monitoring, and a refreshed MagicBook laptop.