This year has been great for budget smartphones, where “Cheap phones are getting good. And good phones are getting cheap”. The gap between a premium flagship device and a budget mid-range device is shrinking. We had a perception that a mid-range device delivers average performance, above average cameras and cheap build quality; while high performance and great camera were limited to flagship devices from Samsung, Oneplus etc. When OnePlus 6 was announced everyone got crazy thinking it is the most value for money flagship smartphone, while in the budget segment The Redmi Note 5 Pro was considered a VFM smartphone. While the latter had already been dethroned by Honor 9N, now its time the conquer the flagship territory and that too at a budget price.

We all know how good is the new OnePlus 6 is and it is touted as one of the best phone ones can buy under INR 35,000 range. It has got the same flagship level hardware, and everything good we find in a $1000 devices from Samsung, LG etc. But the Oneplus 6 costs $600 and that too with a few corners cut and it was touted as the Flagship Killer. But would you believe, if we told you that a newcomer from Honor which costs almost half the price of OnePlus 6 is all packed with flagship specifications and is all set to dethrone the most value for money smartphone?

Lights Camera Action! Honor has finally managed to crack the secret formula with Honor Play for delivering a high on performance device (I mean flagship level specs i.e 50 FPS PUBG gameplay), super premium build and costs a dime. But the real question here is that has Honor cut some corners to deliver a device at such affordable price? Or has Honor finally cracked the innovation benchmark by maximizing the hardware potential coupled with software in delivering high gaming performance with the GPU Boost technology? Let’s find out

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Honor Play vs OnePlus 6: Spec WARS!

The OnePlus 6 is powered by Octa-core (4×2.8 GHz Kryo 385 Gold & 4×1.7 GHz Kryo 385 Silver) Qualcomm SDM845 Snapdragon 845 chipset while the Honor Play is powered by Octa-core (4×2.4 GHz Cortex-A73 & 4×1.8 GHz Cortex-A53) Hisilicon Kirin 970 chipset.

OnePlus 6 is supported by 6GB of RAM along with 64GB/128GB/256GB of onboard storage. On the other hand, Honor Play is also supported by 6GB of RAM and it also offers 64GB of inbuilt storage. The Honor Play comes with Mali-G72 MP12 with GPU Boost for enhanced gaming performance while the OnePlus 6 offers Adreno 630 GPU for gaming.

Talking about the display, Honor Play features a 6.3 inches IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen with 16M colors 83.0% screen-to-body ratio, 1080 x 2340 pixels resolution and 19.5:9 aspect ratio. While the OnePlus 6 comes with 6.28 inches 19:9 Optic AMOLED capacitive touchscreen with 16M colors.

On the camera section, OnePlus 6 features a dual camera setup of 16 MP primary sensor and a 20 MP secondary sensor. On the front, it offers a 16 MP sensor. The Honor Play is also equipped with dual camera setup of 16 MP primary sensor with f/2.2, PDAF and secondary depth sensor of 2 MP with f/2.4, LED flash and HDR. In terms of selfie camera on the Honor Play, we have a 16 MP with f/2.0 aperture and 2.0µm.

Here are some of the unedited, untouched camera Samples captured from the Honor Play:

In the software, OnePlus 6 comes with Oxygen OS 5.1.9 based on Android 8.1 Oero which can be further upgradable to Android P. While the Honor Play also offers Android 8.1 Oreo with EMUI 8.2 on top of it.

In the end, it comes to battery life and connectivity. The Honor Play is backed by 3750 mAh battery and supports Quick Charge 3.0. It also offers Hybrid Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by) with 4G VoLTE support. Other connectivity options here are Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, GPS, A-GPS, Bluetooth 4.2 and Type-C. On the other hand, OnePlus 6 supports 3300 mAh battery with Dash Charge. It also comes with Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by) but no expandable memory slot.

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Winner Winner Performance Dinner! ft. GPU Boost

In the end it all comes down to the performance, which chipset is better than the other and which has a better optimised software that delivers a better all round performance. We ran some benchmarks on both the devices, starting with Antutu the Honor Play scored a respectable 2,07,689 and on Geekbench 4 it scores 1895 on single core and 6591 in multi-core. But the benchmarks score on the OnePlus 6 is a bit higher than the Honor Play but the difference is not that significant with which OnePlus 6 can justify a 75% i.e INR 15000 extra cost just for a 10-20% extra points in the benchmarking apps which in return gets compensated with the GPU Boost technology.

During the launch of Honor Play smartphone the term “GPU Boost” was mentioned about 20 times, but what the F is a GPU Boost, is it just a software gimmick or does it actually work. Whats the fuss about this technology? We asked this question many times to ourselves before experiencing the GPU Boost in action. GPU Boost technology kicks in whenever there is any high intensive graphic task that needs to be performed, basically it is designed to improve high graphic intensive mobile games. The GPU boost technology somewhat boosts the GPU performance of the device whenever needed. Currently the GPU Boost is only optimised for two games as of now, namely PUBG and Mobile legends.

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Honestly, I didn’t expect anything much out of the Honor Play, but while playing PUBG on the Honor Play and the OnePlus6, I observed a similar FPS at similar graphics setting on both the device. Mostly the FPS was locked at around 40FPS which is exactly same as of the OnePlus 6. What’s happening here is that the Mali GPU is taking the help of the processor with GPU Turbo kicked in to perform at par with Adreno 630 found on the OnePlus 6. Another important thing to point out here is that the OnePlus 6 has 8GB of RAM and the Honor Play (that we have) is the 4GB RAM variant. Since, they both use LPDDR4x RAM with the OnePlus 6’s RAM clocked slightly higher but there isn’t much difference in performance.

Boosted Conclusion

The Honor Play is undoubtedly a great device that single handedly outperforms all devices in this price segment and it even gives a tough competition to the “Flagship Killer” the OnePlus 6 which is considered to be the best all round performer. The Honor Play is a great device with a perfect balance of price v/s performance with Top-Notch build quality and it just costs peanuts. And in our opinion, the Honor Play is the True Flagship killer as you can get a flagship-grade performing device at just 30% the cost of a flagship device from Samsung.

The Honor Play is priced at INR 19,999 for the 4GB RAM variant, and is Honor’s answer to the OnePlus 6. The Honor Play is a formidable entry into the mid-range segment and the pricing being just killer, which makes it hard for OnePlus 6 to justify its pricing. And you can buy the Honor Play from here.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post.