Our Opinion

The Huawei Honor Play (6GB RAM) is a slightly better phone than the Huawei Nova 3i, and is also significantly better value for money. What should you buy? Go for the Huawei Honor Play (6GB RAM)!

Huawei Honor Play (6GB RAM)  Huawei Nova 3i 
Huawei Honor Play Huawei Nova 3i
Buy Now Buy Buy
Excellence Score
57.0
52.0
Value for Money Score
81.9
70.0
Price ₹ 19,999 onwards ₹ 20,990 onwards
Launch Date (India) Aug, 2018 Aug, 2018
Expected Launch Date N/A N/A
Smartphone OS Android 8.1 OreoExpected update to next Android version Android 8.1 OreoExpected update to next Android version
Touchscreen Yes (Capacitive) Yes (Capacitive)
Screen Size 6.3 inches 6.3 inches
Screen Resolution 1080x2340 pixels (~ 409 pixels per inch) 1080x2340 pixels (~ 409 pixels per inch)
Tall Aspect Ratio / Minimal Bezels Yes Yes
Scratch Resistant Display Yes Yes
Display Features IPS LCD, 2.5D Curved Glass, FullView Display IPS LCD, FullView Display
Full Physical QWERTY Keypad
Processor 2.4 GHz 2.2 GHz
Processor Type Octa Core Octa Core
Processor Name HiSilicon Kirin 970, i7 Co-processorRanked #6 in Mobile Processor Benchmarks Hisilicon Kirin 710Ranked #18 in Mobile Processor Benchmarks
GPU Mali-G72 MP12, GPU Turbo Mali-G51 MP4, GPU Turbo
RAM 6 GB 4 GB
3G Yes Yes
4G Yes Yes
VoLTE Yes Yes
WiFi Yes Yes
GPS Yes Yes
Bluetooth Yes Yes
Connecting Port USB-C USB
Primary Camera 16MP + 2MP 16MP + 2MP
Camera Auto-Focus Yes Yes
Camera Flash Yes Yes
HD Video Recording Yes (4K) Yes (Full HD)
Other Camera Features 16MP: F/2.2 Aperture; PDAF; Continuous Autofocus, 2MP: F/2.4 Aperture, HDR, Panorama 16MP: F/2.2 Aperture, PDAF, Geo-tagging, Touch Focus, Face detection, HDR, Panorama
Secondary Camera 16.0MP 24MP + 2MP
Secondary Camera Features F/2.0 Aperture N/A
Internal Memory 64 GB 128 GB
Expandable Memory Slot up to 256 GB up to 256 GB
Contacts Storage Unlimited Unlimited
SMS Storage Unlimited Unlimited
Music Player Yes Yes
FM Radio Yes
Dual SIM GSM+GSM (Hybrid SIM slot) GSM+GSM (Hybrid SIM slot)
Thickness 7.84 mm 7.6 mm
Weight 176 gm 169 gm
Audio Output 3.5mm jack 3.5mm jack
Water Resistant
Battery Capacity 3750 mAh 3340 mAh
Battery Standby N/A N/A
Battery Standby (3G) N/A N/A
Battery Talktime N/A N/A
Battery Talktime (3G) N/A N/A
Fast Charging Yes
Other Battery Parameters N/A N/A
Fingerprint sensor Yes Yes
Other Features NFC; Noise Filtration; 7.1-channel Histen Audio; Party Mode Noise Filtration
2-minute Review [Positives]
  • Well built, unibody metal design - the Honor Play is sturdy, solid, and reassuring
  • Slim & sleek at just 7.5mm thick, which is quite an achievement especially as it packs a large 3750mAh battery
  • Nice, immersive, modern 19.5:9 'notch' display - colour accuracy and viewing angles are both good - and playing games or watching videos is an immersive experience
  • Power packed performance with Huawei's flagship SoC, and super fast UFS 2.1 storage - the benchmark numbers put it not that much behind the performance monster, OnePlus 6 (and at a significantly lower price point!) - gaming performance is top-notch too
  • Also special is support for 'GPU Turbo' which reduces battery drain when playing supported games (technically it is a core level change to how the GPU handles the rendering of visuals) - Honor also is working on implementing GPU Turbo for EMUI visuals which should improve battery performance of the phone even during general use
  • Decent rear dual camera setup - takes good images in good light, and clicks decent bokeh shots too
  • Good selfie camera, especially in daylight conditions - selfies are rather pleasant and the colours, contrast and dynamic range are all within an acceptable range
  • Very good battery life - it will easily last a day and a half or more on moderate to heavy usage - and if Honor does truly end up implementing GPU Turbo for EMUI’s interface like they plan to, you can expect even better battery life over the course of time
  • Supports fast charging
  • Also enabled later via an OTA would be a feature called AI 4D Smart Shock to bring a new level of immersion for gamers - the feature will provide haptic feedback that is unique and customised to the games you play and the actions you execute within that game
  • On the whole, the Honor Play looks like a good choice at this price point - if you’re looking for a phone that’s all about great battery life, really good performance and great visuals, the Honor Play will suit your needs beautifully, as long as you don’t particularly care about having the very best imaging device as well
  • Exquisite design - looks pretty much similar to the flagship Huawei Nova 3 from every angle, sticking to the premium design recipe which consists of using a combination of metal and glass - the Nova 3i features a metal frame, which is essentially sandwiched between the glass coating at the front and the back - they also blend very well around edges, accentuating the seamless design
  • For security, there is both a fingerprint sensor and face unlock
  • The fingerprint sensor is easy to setup and works pretty fast as well - besides security, the fingerprint sensor can be further used as a capacitive button for taking pictures, scroll down the notifications drawer, scroll through pictures in the gallery, pick up calls and even turn off alarms
  • Face Unlock work reasonably well too
  • Good, modern, tall 6.3 inch display with a notch - overall, the screen looks sharp and can also get pretty bright - it also holds up pretty well with viewing angles
  • Huawei's EMUI interface is fairly decent, and allows a lot of customization and features like one-handed operation, and motion control (it does have plenty of bloat though in the form of both Huawei and third-party apps and games, only some of which can be uninstalled)
  • Additionally, the security settings also include App lock, where you can lock an app and get access through fingerprint authentication or face ID
  • Good, mid-range performance backed by the capable Kirin 710, which is similar in performance to the Snapdragon 636 - day-to-day tasks are handled with ease, and games mostly run fine too, except the most demanding ones
  • Also supports the much-hyped GPU Turbo technology, which should improve battery consumption while gaming, for supported games
  • The biggest USP of the phone is the set of very good cameras - 2 in the rear and 2 in the front - arguably among the best in this price bracket - they are able to take good shots and portraits in most lighting conditions, with some additional help from Huawei's AI engine which works behind the scene to optimize the pictures
  • Good battery life, backed by a 3340mAh battery - will comfortably last the work day and then some
  • On the whole, Huawei hasn’t sacrificed a lot with the Nova 3i, when compared to its flagship the Nova 3 - the only significant downgrade is in terms of performance - and unless you are into heavy gaming, its not a difference that you will notice - all in all, for most users, the Nova 3i will be a very good choice in this price bracket, and will compete well with best of the competition, with the very good cameras being its main trump card - if you do want to prioritise the performance over the camera however, then its similar prized sibling Honor Play is worth looking at - and if you want the best of all worlds (camera + performance + battery), then the new champion in this price segment, the Poco F1 is definitely worth considering, as long as you can grab one in the flash sales
2-minute Review [Negatives]
  • EMUI is not the most simple Android UI and can be cluttered at places
  • GPU Turbo is also not an exclusive feature - it will roll it out to existing phones like the Honor 10, Honor View 10, Honor 9 Lite and Honor 7X via a software update - so if you can afford the Honor View 10, it might be a better choice, since the Honor Play is basically a toned down version of the Honor View 10 (the View 10 especially has an edge with its cameras)
  • GPU Turbo support is currently limited to very few games
  • The rear dual camera setup does decently well in good light, but the low-light performance could have been significantly better - at the same time, the video recording quality is also strictly average - there are better-overall-camera phones around in this price bracket, including the likes of the Mi A2, the Redmi Note 5 Pro, and the Zenfone 5Z
  • No fast charging support - takes a little over two hours to charge completely
  • Supports the old microUSB standard instead of the modern USB-C standard
Expert Reviews
  1. The Honor Play has one of the best bang-for-the-buck ratios, probably bested only by the Pocophone F1 by Xiaomi
    gsmarena.com in-depth Read Review »
  2. If you play a lot of PUBG and are short on cash, the Play will keep you happy...For the regular user, though, there are better options out there
    phonearena.com in-depth Read Review »
  3. A power packed smartphone for gamers and non-gamers alike
    beebom.com in-depth Read Review »
  4. Offers stellar value for money
    gadgets.ndtv.com in-depth Read Review »
  5. If you’re looking for a phone that’s all about great battery life, really good performance and great visuals, the Honor Play will suit your needs beautifully, as long as you don’t particularly care about having the very best imaging device as well
    digit.in in-depth Read Review »
  6. A formidable mid-range smartphone at a great value
    androidauthority.com in-depth Read Review »
  7. An excellent smartphone that comes very close to matching a premium, flagship smartphone
    indianexpress.com in-depth Read Review »
  8. A gaming phone for the masses
    indiatoday.in in-depth Read Review »
  9. techradar.com in-depth Read Review »
  10. forbes.com in-depth Read Review »
  11. digitaltrends.com in-depth Read Review »
  12. expertreviews.co.uk in-depth Read Review »
  13. stuff.tv in-depth Read Review »
  14. slashgear.com in-depth Read Review »
  15. themobileindian.com in-depth Read Review »
  16. t3.com in-depth Read Review »
  17. business-standard.com in-depth Read Review »
  18. fonearena.com hands-on Read Review »
  19. bgr.in hands-on Read Review »
  20. tomsguide.com hands-on Read Review »
  21. thequint.com hands-on Read Review »
  22. firstpost.com hands-on Read Review »
  1. If you want a device that offers a great balance between everything on your device, along with a major focus on the cameras, the Nova 3i is one of your best bets
    beebom.com in-depth Read Review »
  2. Xiaomi has priced the Poco F1 quite aggressively, making the Nova 3i and all other phones at this price look less appealing
    gadgets.ndtv.com in-depth Read Review »
  3. Almost a flagship smartphone
    bgr.in in-depth Read Review »
  4. A premium-looking budget smartphone with little to no complaints
    ibtimes.co.in in-depth Read Review »
  5. techradar.com in-depth Read Review »
  6. fonearena.com in-depth Read Review »
  7. economictimes.indiatimes.com in-depth Read Review »
  8. gadgetsnow.com in-depth Read Review »
  9. deccanchronicle.com in-depth Read Review »
  10. themobileindian.com hands-on Read Review »
  11. indiatoday.in hands-on Read Review »
User Reviews
  1. Flipkart4.6 16+ reviews »
  2. Amazon4.4 3,404+ reviews »
  1. Amazon4.1 2,297+ reviews »
Official Website Official Website » Official Website »
Unofficial specs? N/A N/A
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