Ever since the beginning of 2017, the smartphone market has been shaken up even more than usual. Besides the usual fight for supremacy in shipments, or leadership across segments, the consumer has never had it so good. And one of the firms that have gone really all out to make things happen, rather than wait for the market to move. Starting from the mid-segment phones around Rs 15,000, where they really shook up things by bringing innovations like dual cameras to ever lower segments, the brand today straddles every segment in the smartphone segment. True to form, their offering in the Rs 20,000 segment, the Honor Play has also been disruptive, helping change the category for good. So, just what are the features Honor Play is counting on to win? Let’s check them out.
Right up front is the screen size. In the 20K segment, the buyer is finally willing to pay for performance over functionality. And with those requirements, a certain screen size is a must. So, no more of those 5 to 5.5-inch screens will do anymore. We believe the new benchmark has been set at 6 inches. This is where the Honor Play makes a strong play with its 6.3-inch FHD+ Notch display screen, as compared to Xiaomi’s range which peaks out at 6.0 inches, except for the Xiaomi Poco F1, which is closer to 6.2 inches. Phones like the Nokia 6.1 plus, despite being cheaper, just don’t cut it at a screen size of 5.8 inches, we believe. Aligned with screen size is the aspect ratio, where there is a serious push underway to exceed the old benchmark of 18:9. Thus the Honor Play with its 19.5:9 ratio pushes the envelope further here too.
AI powered Camera
The Honor Play is equipped with the 16MP+2MP Dual rear camera powered by AI technology to convert mundane photographs into professional-looking photography. It has been achieved using “Smart technology” that can auto-identify scene types and adjust the camera settings accordingly. In a real-time basis this technology can recognize 22 objects and 500+ scenarios, and that’s not all. AI motion detection, EIS and the AI Image Stabilization also come in handy to click blur-free pictures.
Once photographs have been clicked and you need to check them out in the gallery, you don’t need to check them on Google Photos anymore. Just relax as Play has an enhanced smart gallery which intelligently identifies the characters and scenes in your photos and creates a tag for each group so that you don’t have to scroll up and down to find your favourite pictures. Interestingly, one can also search for photos using keywords. Photos in the smart gallery can be grouped and generated into music videos with pre-installed music, and you can even add AR gestures, make-up and backgrounds to your photos from a range of applications.
With such a large display and specs, power consumption is an issue, and smartphones are making ever-increasing efforts to pack in larger batteries. Thus, while Xiaomi has gone as high as 4000 mAH on some models like the Redmi Note 5 Pro, the Honor Play has a 3750 mAH battery to power it, and to deliver real value, added in fast charging capabilities. Its new addition, the GPU turbo which was primarily meant to enhance gaming experience, in fact, claims to improve performance by 60% and reduce power consumption by 30%! That could be the difference when it matters really.
AI powered Gaming Experience
And now consider the feature where the Honor Play has pulled out all stops. If it’s gaming you are looking for, the conventional wisdom always said only premium phones over 30K could handle and deliver a cool gaming experience, thanks to the power and speed required. Phones in the 20K segment can do that very well now, thank you courtesy the Honor Play. It comes with the flagship Kirin 970 AI processor of its top end line, which has a 'Neural Processing Unit' (NPU) that specializes in the acceleration of Machine Learning (ML) algorithms to perform AI tasks. In the Ram department, consumers have the option to choose from either 4GB or 6GB of the new LPDDR4x RAM as well as 64GB of UFS2.1 storage, which is best in class.
The GPU turbo does more than making it more efficient energy wise thanks to AMD’sMali-G72 MP12. It reduces the jitter rate by maintaining the optimum FPS of the mobile device for a smoother, more comfortable performance.
On popular games like PUBG Mobile, this can be a wild experience, especially with 4D gaming experience where AI enabled real-time image and audio recognition is active for 30 different scenario 10 different vibrations, according to the direction of approaching enemies or gunfire, and users will even feel the kickback when the trigger is pulled.
And that is not all! To pump up the audio experience, the Honor Play comes loaded with Histen 3D audio technology that offers an ultra-wide 3D sound field for users. This virtual surround sound offers a cinematic experience with four modes: near, front, wide and grand. This is supported by both wire earphones and headphones with 3D stereo effect.
Shopping made easy using AI
If you love online shopping. Honor has something for you as well as Huawei India has made online shopping more convenient with the use of AI assistance. Users can simply point the camera towards an object of their desire, and then tap the Hi-Touch icon on the camera window, which will help them find the same item on Amazon.in ensuring a fast and a hassle-free shopping experience.
Smart Face Unlock powered by AI
The front camera of Honor Play is equipped with intelligent machine learning algorithms to tighten the security of your device which is used when face unlock is activated. AI lets the face unlock adapt to various lighting conditions and small changes of your face to unlock it more accurately. Moreover, the AI algorithms also take extreme care of your content security. The AI secures your notifications and doesn't reveal them on the locked screen if anyone else bypasses the face unlock. Honor Play has not stopped at just providing the AI capabilities but also made it even faster with a 360-degree ultra-fast face unlock functionality using which one can unlock the device in landscape, portrait or at any other angle.
Android Oreo-based EMUI 8.1
Honor Play runs on Android 8.1 based EMUI 8.2 UI. It is feature rich and comes loaded with a number of useful features which are not gimmicky. One can choose between the app drawer or a simple user interface where every application is placed on home screens. As per need one make use of features like One-key Split Screen function to offers faster multi-management experience and App Twin that allows you to login to two different accounts for the same app at the same time.
Face it, that’s something you will struggle to find in much more pricey phones. So, there we have it, a cutoff screen size, an immersive gaming experience, a battery that can outlast most, and a minimum 6 GB /64GB combination of RAM and memory with the latest Android Oreo system and AI capabilities.
With festive season discounts and offers galore, going for an Honor Play could be the best gift you give yourself, or that special someone, to make it a memorable celebration. At this year’s Amazon Great India Sale, the performance beast Honor Play(4+64GB) available at an attractive price of INR 17999 and Honor Play (6+64GB) available at an exchange offer of INR 3000. The new kid on the block from Honor, Honor 8X (4+64GB) available at INR 14,999 with 10% instant discount on HDFC bank and 10% cashback offer on Amazon Pay. Honor 8X (6+64GB) edition now available at INR 16999 with 10% instant discount on HDFC bank and 10% cashback offer on Amazon Pay on 2nd November.