Huawei's sub-brand Honor has introduced the Honor Play into the Indian market, and made it available on Amazon India and thr HiHonor Store website. With a price tag starting at Rs. 19,999, the smartphone has been positioned in a competitive space, with the most notable challengers being the Xiaomi Mi A2, Vivo V9, and the Nokia 7 Plus. The Honor Play's big USPs are its 19.5:9 display, AI-based face unlock, and its dual rear camera setup. The smartphone also boasts of GPU Turbo technology, claimed to increase performance by up to 60 percent while reducing battery consumption by up to 30 percent.
We pit the Honor Play against the Xiaomi Mi A2, Vivo V9, and Nokia 7 Plus to see which one fares better on paper, and if the Huawei device can stand up to the stiff competition in the Indian market.
The Honor Play has been made available in 4GB RAM and 6GB RAM options, and the price for the two is Rs. 19,999 and Rs. 23,999 respectively. As mentioned, it is available on sale on Amazon India and HiHonor Store in Midnight Black and Navy Blue colour options. Amazon India has listed launch offers from Vodafone that offers 10GB of additional data per month for a year, and Amazon Prime subscription as well.
While the Xiaomi Mi A2 has been announced, the price in India will be revealed at the launch event scheduled for Wednesday, August 8. Gadgets 360 had learnt the base 4GB RAM and 32GB storage variant will not be launched in the country, and the 4GB RAM and 64GB storage option will serve as the base model. At the time, it had not yet been decided whether the top-end 6GB RAM and 128GB storage option will be unveiled in India. The smartphone will be exclusively available on Amazon India. The Mi A2 price for the 64GB storage option is EUR 279 (around Rs. 22,500) in Spain, while the 128GB storage option costs EUR 349 (about Rs. 28,000).
The Vivo V9, on the other hand, is priced in India at Rs. 22,990 for the 4GB RAM/ 64GB storage configuration. The smartphone is available across offline partners and is also available via online partners like Amazon India, Flipkart, Paytm, and Vivo's own e-store. The smartphone is available in three colour options - Champagne Gold, Pearl Black, and Sapphire Blue.
Lastly, the Nokia 7 Plus has been priced at Rs. 25,999 in India, and is available in Black/ Copper and White/ Copper colour variants. It is available in Amazon India, the Nokia Mobile Shop, and other offline outlets.
The Honor Play runs EMUI 8.2, based on Android 8.1 Oreo and sports a dual-SIM (Nano, hybrid) slot. It sports a 6.3-inch full-HD+ (1080x2340 pixels) display with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio and a display notch, and is powered by the top-end Huawei HiSilicon Kirin 970 SoC (four Cortex-A73 cores clocked at 2.36GHz and four Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.8GHz), that's coupled with 4GB or 6GB of RAM. The Honor Play comes with 64GB of inbuilt storage, expandable via microSD card (up to 256GB).
It sports a dual rear camera setup, with the primary 16-megapixel sensor sporting an f/2.2 aperture, and the secondary 2-megapixel sensor sporting an f/2.4 aperture, complete with support for phase detection autofocus (PDAF) and accompanied by a single-LED flash. On the front, the Honor Play features a 16-megapixel sensor with an f/2.0 aperture.
Connectivity options include 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac (dual-band, 2.4GHz and 5GHz), Bluetooth v4.2, USB Type-C (v2.0), GPS/ A-GPS, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. It bears a fingerprint sensor on the rear panel. The Honor Play weighs 176 grams, and measures in at 157.91x74.27x7.48mm. It is powered by a 3,750mAh battery. Sensors on board include an accelerometer, ambient light sensor, digital compass, gyroscope, and a proximity sensor.
The Xiaomi Mi A2, on the other hand, runs an optimised stock version of Android 8.1 Oreo, certified by Google's Android One programme, and sports a 5.99-inch full-HD+ (1080x2160 pixels) display with a 18:9 aspect ratio, 2.5D curved glass, and Gorilla Glass 5. The dual-SIM (Nano) device is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 SoC, paired with an Adreno 512 GPU. There is a 3,010mAh battery under the hood.
Mi A2 camera on the back a dual sensor, consisting of a 12-megapixel Sony IMX486 with f/1.75 aperture and 1.25-micron pixels, and a 20-megapixel secondary Sony IMX376 sensor with f/1.75 aperture and a 2-micron 4-in-1 Super Pixel size. The rear camera setup comes with dual-tone LED flash and PDAF. On the front, the handset gets a 20-megapixel Sony IMX376 selfie camera with f/1.75 aperture, fixed focal length, and a soft-LED flash.
In terms of connectivity, the smartphone includes 4G VoLTE, Bluetooth v5.0, dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Miracast, an IR emitter, and USB Type-C. There is no 3.5mm headphone jack on the Xiaomi Mi A2. Sensors on the handset include accelerometer, ambient light sensor, gyroscope, and proximity sensor.
The Vivo V9 runs Funtouch OS 4.0 based on Android 8.1 Oreo and supports dual-SIM slots. It sports a 6.3-inch full-HD+ (1080x2280 pixels) IPS 'FullView Display 2.0' panel with a 19:9 aspect ratio. The phone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 626 SoC, paired with 4GB of DDR3 RAM and 64GB inbuilt storage. Storage is expandable via dedicated microSD card (up to 256GB).
In terms of optics, the Vivo V9 has a dual rear camera setup with a 16-megapixel primary sensor and a 5-megapixel secondary sensor. On the front is a 24-megapixel selfie camera with features such as f/2.0 aperture, Face Beauty app, an Ultra-HDR mode, and Portrait Lighting capabilities.Sensors onboard the phone include an ambient light sensor, proximity sensor, and an accelerometer. It packs a 3,260mAh battery with connectivity options like 4G VoLTE, dual-band Wi-Fi, GPS/ A-GPS, a 3.5mm headphone jack, a Micro-USB port, and Bluetooth 4.2.
The dual-SIM Nokia 7 Plus runs Android 8.1 Oreo out-of-the-box and is an Android One smartphone - implying fast updates and an optimised stock Android experience. The handset sports a 6-inch full-HD+ (1080x2160) IPS LCD display with an 18:9 aspect ratio alongside Corning Gorilla Glass protection and a peak brightness rating of 500-nits. The smartphone is powered by the octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 processor, coupled with 4GB of RAM.
It sports a dual camera setup at the rear end capable of 2X optical zoom with a dual-tone LED flash and Zeiss optics. There is a primary 12-megapixel wide-angle sensor and a secondary 13-megapixel sensor at the back. The phone comes with a 16-megapixel fixed focus camera with an f/2.0 aperture, 1-micron pixels and Zeiss optics on the front.
The Nokia 7 Plus has 64GB of inbuilt storage that can be expanded via a microSD card (up to 256GB). It also comes with sensors like an accelerometer, ambient light sensor, digital compass, gyroscope, proximity sensor, and a rear-facing fingerprint sensor. It is powered by a 3,800mAh battery with fast charging. In terms of connectivity, it supports 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth v5.0, GPS/ A-GPS, NFC, USB Type-C (2.0), and a 3.5mm audio jack.
The Honor Play gives tough competition to the Xiaomi Mi A2, Vivo V9, and the Nokia 7 Plus on paper, but we reserve our full verdict till we review the smartphone. The Honor Play, on paper, shines in the display department with a large 6.3-inch screen, and even in the battery department with a 3,750mAh battery to keep the lights on. Up until now, we've reviewed the Nokia 7 Plus and the Vivo V9, and we rated the Nokia 7 Plus a little higher in the camera, battery performance, and value for money ratings.
|Overall NDTV Rating|
|Battery Life Rating|
|Value for Money Rating|
|Model||Play||Mi A2||V9||7 Plus|
|Release date||June 1, 2018||July 1, 2018||March 1, 2018||February 1, 2018|
|Launched in India||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Dimensions (mm)||157.91 x 74.27 x 7.48||158.70 x 75.40 x 7.30||154.80 x 75.00 x 7.90||158.38 x 75.64 x 7.99|
|Battery capacity (mAh)||3750||3000||3260||3800|
|Colours||Black, Blue, Violet||Black, Gold, Lake Blue, Rose Gold||Pearl Black, Gold||Black/Copper, White/Copper|
|Screen size (inches)||6.30||5.99||6.30||6.00|
|Resolution||1080x2340 pixels||1080x2160 pixels||1080x2280 pixels||1080x2160 pixels|
|Pixels per inch (PPI)||-||403||-||403|
|Protection type||-||-||-||Gorilla Glass|
|Processor||2.36GHz octa-core (4x2.36GHz + 4x1.8GHz)||octa-core (4x2.2GHz + 4x1.8GHz)||2.2GHz octa-core||octa-core (4x2.2GHz + 4x1.8GHz)|
|Processor make||HiSilicon Kirin 970||Qualcomm Snapdragon 660||Qualcomm Snapdragon 626||Qualcomm Snapdragon 660|
|Expandable storage type||microSD||microSD||microSD||microSD|
|Expandable storage up to (GB)||256||-||256||256|
|Rear camera||16-megapixel (f/2.2) + 2-megapixel (f/2.4)||12-megapixel (f/1.8, 1.25-micron) + 20-megapixel (f/1.8, 1.0-micron)||16-megapixel (f/2.0) + 5-megapixel||12-megapixel (f/1.8, 1.4-micron) + 13-megapixel (f/2.6, 1.0-micron)|
|Rear autofocus||Phase detection autofocus||Phase detection autofocus||Phase detection autofocus||Phase detection autofocus|
|Rear flash||LED||Dual LED||Dual LED||Yes|
|Front camera||16-megapixel (f/2.0)||20-megapixel (f/2.2, 1.0-micron)||24-megapixel (f/2.0)||16-megapixel (f/2.0, 1.0-micron)|
|Operating system||Android 8.1||Android 8.1 Oreo||Android 8.1||Android 8.0|
|Skin||EMUI 8.2||-||FunTouch OS 4.0||-|
|Wi-Fi standards supported||802.11 a/ac||802.11 a/b/g/n/ac||-||802.11 a/b/g/n/ac|
|Bluetooth||Yes, v 4.20||Yes, v 5.00||Yes, v 4.20||Yes, v 5.00|
|Number of SIMs||2||2||2||2|
|3D face recognition||Yes||-||-||-|
|Ambient light sensor||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|