Gaming smartphones are taking the industry to new frontiers, and it seems every phone maker not named Apple is trying to get in on the action. Recently, Honor, the Huawei sub-brand whose devices are already available in the Philippines, has thrown its hat in the ring, launching the new Honor Play in its home market of China.
(Update, August 7: The Honor Play has been priced in the Philippines! See At P15,990 ($302), Honor Play with Kirin 970 is midrange king?)
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It takes a different approach to gaming-focused mobile devices, taking the conversation to hardware-software integration, while refusing to look more gaming laptop than phone like its contemporaries, which include the ASUS ROG Phone and Xiaomi-backed Black Shark.
In particular, the Honor Play uses the OEM’s proprietary GPU Turbo technology to deliver enhanced gaming experiences by improving how the phone’s GPU or graphics processing unit handles pixel-pushing duties.
The Honor Play takes a different approach to gaming devices, taking the conversation to hardware-software integration, while refusing to look more gaming laptop than phone. In particular, it uses the OEM’s proprietary GPU Turbo technology.
According the Honor, the end result is faster and more efficient graphics performance without draining the battery quickly. Data provided by the company claims it can increase efficiency by up to 60 percent and lower energy consumption by 30 percent, at most. The same technology drives the phone’s ambiguous 4D-gaming function, which we assume will result in more haptic feedback when playing action games.
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Honor is so proud of its new creation that GPU Turbo has been green-lit for other Honor devices, namely the Honor 10, Honor View 10, Honor 9 Lite, and Honor 7X, through a future software update.
The Honor Play has additionally been engineered for 3D sound and 7.1 surround emulation that will allow users to identify where audio is coming from. It can prove useful for when you’re playing an online shooter like PUBG Mobile.
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As for the other stuff, the Honor Play will ship with a 6.3-inch, 2,340 x 1,080 screen with a notch for the 16-megapixel selfie camera; 16- and 2-megapixel rear cameras; Huawei’s HiSilicon Kirin 970 with 4GB or 6GB of RAM and 64GB of expandable memory; a 3,750mAh battery; and Android 8.1 Oreo-based EMUI 8.2 with all the latest features and optimizations from Huawei.
Honor Play/Honor Play Cool price and availability
The Honor Play has been priced lower than the Honor 10, despite using the same Kirin 970 silicon. It starts at ¥1,999 (around P16,429 or $312) for the 4GB RAM and 6GB storage model, whereas the 6GB RAM and 64GB variant is priced at ¥2,399 (P19,717 or $375).
The limited-edition Honor Play Cool with a fancy rear cover, seen in this article’s feature image, costs ¥2,499 (P20,539 or $390).
The regular versions go on sale from June 11 in China, while the Cool edition will begin shipping sometime in July.
Honor Play/Honor Play Cool specs
- 6.3-inch LCD display, 2,340 x 1,080 resolution (19.5:9)
- Octa-core Qualcomm Kirin 970 processor
- 4GB/6GB RAM
- 64GB expandable storage
- Dual 16- and 2-megapixel rear cameras with LED flash
- 16-megapixel front camera
- Fingerprint reader (rear-mounted)
- 3,750mAh battery
- Android 8.1 Oreo
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