A Kirin 970-powered smartphone for P15,990 — or roughly $302 when converted to U.S. dollars? Nah, in your dreams. Yet here we are, staring at the confirmation that Honor Philippines is indeed selling its gaming-focused phone, the Honor Play, for the same price as devices like the Samsung Galaxy J8 and the Huawei Nova 3i. Insane.
Kirin 970, in case you didn’t know, is the same AI processor that’s in the Honor 10 and the Huawei P20, P20 Pro, Mate 10, Mate 10 Pro, and Mate 10 Porsche Design — all flagship devices. The only other midrange handset that uses it is the recently announced Nova 3.
The Honor Play is the Huawei sub-brand’s first stab at a unit that takes the mobile-gaming conversation away from the design to zoom in on hardware-software integration. The much-talked-about GPU Turbo technology debuted on it. The feature promises to increase efficiency by up to 60 percent and lower energy consumption by up to 30 percent. It’s initially compatible with PUBG Mobile, Mobile Legends, and Asphalt 9: Legends.
The Play’s notched screen is made suitable for gaming as well; it spans 6.3 inches, with a full-HD resolution and a 19.5:9 aspect ratio. 4GB of RAM is matched with 64GB of expandable memory. There’s a version with 6GB of RAM and a fancy rear cover — the model is called Honor Play Cool — but Honor Philippines has not mentioned anything about bringing it here.
A dual-camera setup pairing 16- and 2-megapixel sensors sits on the back, while on the front, there is a 16-megapixel selfie camera. Inside is a 3,750mAh battery. And on top of Android 8.1 Oreo is the EMUI 8.1 version of Huawei’s own user interface.
Honor Play preorder information and availability in the Philippines
Wala na, finished na. On paper, the Honor Play may just be one of the best — if not the best — bang-for-the-buck midrange smartphone today. We’ve played with it for a bit, and it seems so. We still have to review it thoroughly to give you our final verdict.
Fortunately, you can buy the device from both online — Shopee Philippines and Lazada Philippines — and brick-and-mortar stores starting August 13. Offline, you can find the Honor Play at the following shops:
- SM City North Edsa – Mediabox
- SM Megamall – PCX Mobile
- SM Mall of Asia – PC Express
- Ayala Malls TriNoma – Sienna Mobile
- Market! Market! – PC Express
- Robinsons Place Manila – MegaOne
- SM City Clark – Gentext
- SM City Olongapo – Mobile Extras
- SM City Tarlac – Digital Tunnel
- SM City Calamba – Greentelcom
- SM City Lipa – Greentelcom
- SM City Lucena – Greentelcom
- SM City Batangas – Presnet
- Robinsons Place Lipa – Skywaves
- Waltermart Tanauan – Presnet
- SM City Cebu- Aerophone
- SM City Iloilo – Aerophone
- Robinsons Tacloban – Cellcom
It seems that only the black and blue color variants are coming here. Hopefully, the purple version will go on sale in the country, too. Perhaps in the coming weeks? In the meantime, you can go to Honor’s August 11 “Game with the Brave” event, aka Honor Play’s consumer launch, at SM Fairview if you want to check it out for yourself.
That is where you can preorder the phone. If you’re one of the early adopters, you get a free JBL Clip 2 Bluetooth speaker worth P3,099 ($58). Just make a down payment of P1,000 ($19), and you can claim your Honor Play — along with your freebie — at your preferred PC Express branch starting August 13. You’ll need to present your claim stub and receipt. So, see you on the 11th?
Honor Play specs
- 6.3-inch LCD display, 2,340 x 1,080 resolution (19.5:9)
- Octa-core Kirin 970 processor
- 4GB 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
Honor Philippines’ press release
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