Honor Play Announced With Unique GPU Turbo Technology & AI Dual Cameras

Huawei’s sub-brand Honor just launched a new high-end device that is focused on gaming and graphics, called the Honor Play.

The new phone will come with the company’s latest GPU Turbo technology, that promises stable framerates and 4D Gaming. Of course, it also gets a range of AR and AI features as well. The hardware is flagship-grade, but Honor says that it will give a much better gaming experience than other flagships in the market.

Design & Display

Honor Play Front back

Much like the trends, it has a screen cutout that houses various sensors, selfie camera, and the earpiece. Bezel size is fairly minimal, the fingerprint sensor is rear-mounted and a vertical array houses the dual cameras on the rear.

Unlike most notched, premium devices these days, the Honor Play has a metal back and U-shaped antenna lines. The display is an FHD+ (1080 x 2340) panel, that measures 6.3-inches diagonally.

Hardware & Storage

Beneath the covers, it runs Huawei’s popular Kirin 970 Chipset, that pairs with a Mali-G72 MP12 GPU. The base variant has 4 GB RAM, but a 6 GB RAM is also available.

It comes in two different storage combos, which are 4/64 GB and 6/64 GB. Additionally, the storage is expandable by up to 256 GB via microSD.

GPU Turbo

Aside from the basic stuff, Honor Play runs the company’s GPU Turbo technology, a hardware-level GPU turbocharger. Huawei says that it can optimize graphical performance on even single-threaded midrange devices and cause them to perform much better than other devices, including flagships with better hardware.

Official figures promise 60% GPU efficiency and 30% reduction in SoC power consumption – so the Honor Play is able to give a better graphical performance in both UI tasks and video games while maintaining battery life and efficient use of system resources.

The company specifically pointed out Xiaomi’s Mi 8 and said that the Honor Play can perform 2 times better than its rival in terms of graphical performance by reducing jitters, maintaining framerates (official figures promise constant 59.15 fps for most games), and delivering HDR graphics. Smartphone gaming is becoming the next big thing, even Asus launched its gaming-centric phone recently.

4D Gaming

Another unique feature is the phone’s 4D gaming experience, that also utilizes the GPU Turbo feature. Just like Huawei’s AI photography feature that detects scenes and adjusts settings accordingly, Honor Play’s 4D gaming feature detects things like particles, explosions, and quakes in games.


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It adjusts settings accordingly, and even manages to give a 3D sound experience that helps gamers clearly hear from where a particular sound is coming from. For instance, players will be able to tell where the gunshots and footsteps are coming from in an FPS game. Honor Play further improves gaming by consistently monitoring its network state, and is able to seamlessly shift between Wi-Fi and data without causing interruptions.

Camera & Software

Honor Play has a dual camera set up, housed in a vertical iPhone X-like array on the rear, that consists of a primary 16 MP f/2.2 camera and a 2 MP f/2.4 secondary depth sensor. The set up is pretty generic, the selfie camera can shoot 16 MP photos at a f/2.0 aperture. Surely, it also pairs with Kirin 970’s NPU for AI support and AR gestures.

It will run Huawei’s homemade EMUI 8.2, on top of Google’s Android 8.1. There’s no word on whether it will get an Android P update.

Battery, Price, & Availability

Battery size is quite decent, a 3750 mAh unit has been housed within the Honor Play. Color options are Nebula Purple, Aurora Blue, and Midnight Black.

The base 4/64 GB variant costs CNY 1999 (~Rs. 36,200) and the 6/64 GB variant has been priced at CNY 2399 (~Rs. 43,400). It also comes in another variant with a unique back design, called Honor Play Cool limited edition, it retails for CNY 2499 (~Rs. 45,250).

It will go on sale on 11th June, initially in China, while the Cool edition will be available for purchase in July.

Honor Play Specifications

  • Chipset: HiSilicon Kirin 970
  • OS: Android 8.1 Oreo, with EMUI 8.2
  • Networks: 2G, 3G, 4G LTE
  • Display: 6.3-inch, 19:9 aspect ratio, FHD+ (1080x2280px) resolution with notch
  • Memory:
    • RAM: 6 GB or 4 GB
    • Internal: 64 GB
    • Card slot: yes, up to 128GB
  • Camera:
    • Primary: Dual: 16 MP (f/2.2) + 2 MP (f/2.4), AI-powered
    • Secondary: 16 MP (f/2.0), autofocus, 1080p
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS
  • Fingerprint scanner (rear)
  • Battery: 3,750 mAh
  • Price: ~Rs. 32,500 (4/64 GB), ~Rs. 39,000 (6/64 GB), ~Rs. 41,000 (Cool limited edition)