8.1/10
Informr score
The Huawei Honor Play currently has an Informr score of 8.1 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 31 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

The "1-Minute" Review

Verdict

While it can’t keep up with flagship gaming phones, the Huawei Honor Play packs a serious punch at an affordable price. Unless you need a top-of-the-line camera, its combination of performance and price make it an excellent value.

What's good

  • Snappy performance
  • Plenty of storage
  • microSD support
  • Colorful, bright display
  • All-day battery life

What's bad

  • Camera so-so
  • Fast charging not so fast
  • Heavily modified software
  • Display notch larger than most

Huawei’s Honor series has established a name for great performance and upscale designs at a mid-range price. With the Honor Play, they look to compete with the year’s latest gaming phones at an affordable price. 

The phone features an aluminum chassis and weighs 176g -- light enough for extended gaming sessions but enough heft to not feel cheap and flimsy. The back features a design that looks like a circuit board and an almost matte finish. While not as flashy as many of this year’s high-end releases, reviewers found the finish made for fewer fingerprints and no worries about slippery hands during intense gaming sessions.

Around front, you’re greeted by a 6.3-inch, 1080-by-2340 pixel IPS display with a notch at the top. Reviewers found the screen nice and bright with excellent viewing angles. They found the thinner, longer display ratio great for games as well with visuals filling the screen. Some reviewers found the notch a little large but, otherwise, reviewers loved the phone’s display.

Huawei chose an octa core, 2.4Ghz Kirin 970 processor with 4GB of RAM to power the phone. There is a 6GB variant available in some regions. Their GPU Turbo technology claims a reduction of up to 30% in battery use and boosts gaming performance by up to 60%. While reviewers found GPU Turbo works well, few games support it at the time of writing. Regardless, reviewers had no issue with performance -- whether they were playing the latest games, streaming video, or checking email.

There’s also plenty of room for your favorite games, apps, and media. You start with 64GB of internal storage and can add up to 256GB more using the microSD slot on the phone.

While the phone features high-end specs, it includes the older Android 8.1 operating system with Huawei’s EMUI 8.2. Reviews on the software are mixed. As with previous versions of EMUI, Huawei mashes features of Android and iOS together. Most found that this version is less heavy-handed than earlier attempts but if you’re looking for a stock Android experience, this isn’t the phone for you.

Reviews on the 16MP rear and front-facing cameras are also a mixed bag. The rear camera is a dual-lens arrangement using a 16MP and 2MP lens combination. The biggest complaint about the camera was that AI mode tends to over-saturate colors. Otherwise, it captures images with sharp details and well-balanced lighting -- though performance dips in low-light situations.

The front-facing lens received an odd complaint -- it captures too much detail. So if you’re not used to ultra-detailed selfies, lean on filters or beautification modes to polish your shots before sharing.

The 3750mAh battery used in the phone is good for a full day of standard use. If you’re looking to play games, you’ll get 3-4 hours of play at 50% brightness when connected to Wi-Fi. The only criticism found related to the included USB Type-C fast charging. Most reviewers felt the battery took too long to charge. Still, if you plug it in at night, it should be good to go the next morning.

Overall, the phone punches well above its price -- as long as you’re not focusing on camera performance. 

Tech Goondu says, “It may not be the best for photography, despite the promise of being a low-cost Huawei option. However, gamers who care more about game performance that the Kirin CPU offers than the camera might find this mid-range offering appealing.” 

The Next Web praises the phone’s power, saying, “The Honor Play performs pretty well for a mid-range phone, and it certainly can handle demanding games without breaking a sweat. So if you’re looking to get into multiplayer mobile gaming on the cheap -- or don’t care for things like RGB lighting and aggressive styling -- this is a good way to go.”


Operating system
Android
Processor
2.4 GHz
Screen Size
6.3"
Camera
16+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


Tech Advisor

At £279, it's very easy to recommend the Honor Play. The display is no match for the likes of the Razer Phone or Asus ROG, but the Play offers top notch performance at a far lower price than either of those, which might make it the ideal phone for gamers on a budget.

- Dominic Preston, Tech Advisor
AndroidPIT

With this Play, Honor returns to its first love by addressing a young and playful audience directly. The manufacturer offers an attractive terminal for gamers that is affordable and solid in terms of technical characteristics. The smartphone also has specific features, especially at the GPU level, t...

- Pierre Vitré, AndroidPIT
Android Headlines

This is a smartphone geared towards gaming, but that shouldn’t be the only reason why you pick up this smartphone. That is because this smartphone still has a great camera with plenty of AI features, as well as a large capacity battery that should last you all-day long, and a pretty low price tag –...

- Alexander Maxham, Android Headlines
Techgoondu

It may not be the best for photography, despite the promise of being a low-cost Huawei option. However, gamers who care more about game performance that the Kirin CPU offers than the camera might find this mid-range offering appealing.

- Wilson Wong, Techgoondu
Android Community

The Honor Play appears well-designed. It offers a nice look and feel and is enough for mobile gaming. It may not beat the Razer Phone 2 or the ASUS ROG Phone but the Huawei Mate 20’s display offers cool and brighter images.

- Rei Padla, Android Community


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Quick view

Screen Size
6.3"

The Huawei Honor Play's screen size is 6.3 inches with 1080 x 2340 pixels resolution.

Processor
2.4 GHz

There is a HiSilicon Kirin 970 Octa core 2.4 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the Android 8.1 Oreo operating system (OS).

Camera
16+ MP

You can take photos or capture video with the phone's onboard 16+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 16+ megapixels resolution.

Storage
64 GB

Internal memory is 64 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 256 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
3750mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol), 3750 mAh battery. Huawei's performance ratings are 1506 minutes, 820 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

Honor Play Specs

Overview
Release date August 7, 2018
Regions available United Kingdom
Mobile / Cellular Data
4G/LTE
Networks
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
CDMA:
800 MHz
UMTS:
850/900/2100 MHz
LTE:
1900/2100/850/900 /1800/2600/2300/2500 MHz
Data:
GPRS, EDGE, HSUPA, HSPA+, LTE
SIM card size
Nano-SIM
Dual SIM Yes
Operating System Android 8.1 Oreo

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor HiSilicon Kirin 970 Octa core 2.4 GHz
Internal Storage 64 GB
RAM 4 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Hearing Aid Compatible No
TTY/TDD No
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 1.10 W/kg
Languages English, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included USB Power Adapter, Manual, Data Cable
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol)
Battery Capacity 3750 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging Yes
Video Playback Time Up to: 689 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 820 minutes
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Up to: 1506 minutes
Standby Time Unknown
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Aluminium
Colors Black, Blue, Purple
Dimensions [H x W x D] 15.79 x 7.43 x 0.75 cm (6.2 x 2.9 x 0.3 in)
Weight 176 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof No
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (IPS)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1080 x 2340 pixels
Pixel density 409 pixels
Size 6.3 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Digital Compass
Graphics Yes
Themes No
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor Yes
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Yes
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Yes
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging SMS, MMS, IM
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB USB Type-C
USB OTG Support Yes
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.2
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HID, HFP, HSP, PAN
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC, aptX, aptX HD
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
WiFi Encryption WPA/WPA2
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 256 GB)
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support No
NFC Yes
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
ƒ/ 2.2
Resolution
16+ megapixels
Multi-camera
Yes
Zoom
Yes
Flash
Yes (LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Face detection, Geotagging, ISO, Multi-shot, Night mode, Panorama, Self-timer, White balance, Dual camera feature (2 MP 2nd camera, f/2.4), HDR
Video Recording Formats
MPEG-4
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 30 fps
Front Camera
Resolution
16+ megapixels
Zoom
Yes
Additional Front Camera Info
No
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, AMR, eAAC+, MIDI, MP3, MP4, M4A, WMA, WAV
Radio Yes (FM)
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, FLV, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List No
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable
Included Software / Apps
More
Additional comments
Related Links Manual (PDF)
Huawei Honor Play Reviews
Where to buy Huawei Honor Play
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