Mobile

Honor Play unveiled with Kirin 970 and a low price, Honor 9i is also gamer-friendly


Gaming phones are hot right now, but all of them aim at the segment market. Huawei’s Honor brand is perfectly positioned for an affordable gaming handset – meet the Honor Play, which just launched in China.

Honor Play

It’s important to start with the price – CNY 2,000, equivalent to $310/€265. We mention it up front because at that price level you don’t expect a Kirin 970 chipset. Huawei has engineered GPU Turbo, which will offer a boost in performance.

The graphics will be rendered to a 6.3” screen with a 19:9 aspect ratio and 1,080 x 2,280 px resolution. The company’s Histen audio tech is used to provide 3D game sounds and 7.1 channel virtualization.

Honor Play unveiled with Kirin 970 and a low price

The base price is for a model with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB storage, Huawei is also offering a CNY 2,400 model ($375/€320) with 6 GB of RAM (we would have liked to see more storage on this one).

The Honor Play packs a 3,750 mAh battery, large by normal standards and about the size of the nubia Red Magic battery. This is the first Honor to ship with Android 8.1 Oreo and EMUI 8.2 out of the box, so it comes with the latest optimizations.


Honor Play in: Magic Night Black
Honor Play in: Aurora Blue
Honor Play in: Nebula Violet

Honor Play in Magic Night Black, Aurora Blue and Nebula Violet

The phone has a 16 MP + 2 MP dual camera on the back with recognition for over 500 scenes, powered by the NPU, Kirin’s AI core. The 16 MP selfie camera does 3D portrait lighting, similar to the iPhone.

You can pre-order an Honor Play today, sales start on June 11. Available color options are Black and Violet, plus Black and Red special edition.

Honor 9i

The Honor 9i has a smaller 5.84” screen with the same aspect ratio and resolution (19:9, 1,080 x 2,280 px). It is powered by a Kirin 659 chipset, which also features GPU Turbo tech, making it suitable for gamers on a smaller budget.

Specifically, CNY 1,400 ($220/€185) for the 4 GB / 64 GB model, but there’s one with 128 GB storage (same amount of RAM) for CNY 1,700 ($265/€225). Sales in China start tomorrow with Charm Blue, Dream Purple, Jasper and Magic Night Black color options.


Honor 9i in: Magic Night Black
Honor 9i in: Charm Blue
Honor 9i in: Dream Purple
Honor 9i in: Jasper

Honor 9i in: Magic Night, Charm Blue, Dream Purple and Jasper

The Honor 9i has a 13 MP + 2 MP dual camera on its back with Portrait mode and a 16 MP front camera with AI-powered selfie enhancements and face unlock.

The 9i will launch with the older Android 8.0 Oreo and EMUI 8.0 out of the box. It has a 3,000 mAh battery.

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