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Honor Play review

A brand new mid-range phone for Honor

Battery life

Inside the Honor Play there's a 3,750mAh cell, which considering it's powering a Full HD screen should be enough to get you through the whole day; we generally found the Honor Play would last a whole day from one charge with middling to intensive usage, and on only one day of our full week of testing did the Honor Play struggle to make it to 10PM.

That's likely as we were doing lots of gaming and watching lots of video with the screen at full brightness – we found that taking the screen down to below full brightness would save a worthwhile amount of juice.

Our normal battery test reflected this – we run a Full HD video at full brightness with connectivity features on, and the Honor Play didn't cover itself in glory. It had 80% left in the tank at the end of the test, which is below the average of what we'd expect from a phone in 2018.

How the battery performed during our test

How the battery performed during our test

There are no wireless charging features here, but the Play does come with fast charging, which will allow you to pump your phone up in the quickest time possible.

We found the Honor Play would charge particularly fast, and the phone didn't heat up any more than we've experienced with other current phones.

Camera

As for the camera, you'll find a dual-sensor shooter on the rear of the device, but this doesn't follow the normal Honor pattern.

Honor often includes one RGB (color) sensor with another black and white one, with the phone taking an image with both and combining them for a far clearer image. Instead of that, here Honor has included a 16MP sensor with an f/2.2 aperture, paired with a 2MP depth sensor.

That second sensor is just to allow you to take bokeh shots as well as enabling a few other smarts on the device's shooter. This isn't likely to give you photography that's as good as the Honor 10, but we found that it performed well in good lighting.

As you can see in the camera samples below the camera was able to capture plenty of light in the right conditions, and produce some vivid and sharp shots with its relatively lacking tech.

When it comes to low lighting, however, we found that the camera struggled, with images becoming noticeably grainy.

In short, you'll be able to capture some impressive shots during the day, but not so much indoors or in the dark.

There are plenty of settings and features to play around with, including the bokeh mode, which we found produced nice results, as well as 3D lighting which enables you to change how your subject appears to be lit post-capture.

The selfie camera is an impressive 16MP unit with an f/2.0 sensor, which should be able to take some good selfie shots for you to share.

Most of the aforementioned features are available here too, including the bokeh mode – although we found its results were less impressive that on the rear camera – as well as portrait features including 3D lighting.

Camera samples

Below you can find some shots we've taken with the Honor Play so far...

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James Peckham

James is Senior Phones Editor for TechRadar, and he has covered smartphones for the best part of a decade bringing you news on all the big announcements from top manufacturers making mobile phones. James is often testing out and reviewing the latest and greatest mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, virtual reality headsets, fitness trackers and more. He has also worked on other leading tech brands, such as T3 and Gizmodo UK, as well as appearing as an expert on TV and radio for the BBC and other publications. Be sure to follow him on Twitter for all the latest smartphone news.


James is currently most excited about the Samsung Galaxy S22, God of War: Ragnarok and the rumored foldable iPhone