During the first 7 months of 2017, there were sold up to 266 million smartphones in China. This may sound impressive, but this number is down by 5.8% in comparison to the past year. As you can guess, Huawei is leading the top ten list of the most selling smartphones list in the country. Such a great performance the company could provide due to Honor line handsets that count for almost the half of all shipped Huawei phones. It can be compared with Samsung’s Galaxy, Sony’s Xperia, or Xiaomi’s Mi lines. By the way, Huawei could outrun Xiaomi in the first half of 2017 especially due to this family. This sounds a bit suspicious, as the Chinese Apple has been always known for its lowest price offers if taking into account the hardware. But Huawei has been the absolute leader in the domestic market for the last few years. So its price policy is flexible enough. A few days back, on September 17 the Chinese smartphone leader announced a new phone designed for the entry-level market. More specifically, such handsets are designed for customers with low incomes. Today we are going to dive into the key features of the Huawei Honor V9 Play, which is considered as the cheapest Honor line smartphone nowadays.
Though blue is the color of Meizu, Huawei decided to kill two birds with one stone. It targets the Xiaomi cheap models as well as Meizu’s Blue Charm line devices. Actually, there are five color options including black, gold, rose gold, red, and aurora blue. As you guess, we are dealing with the latter.
It comes in a box with the same color as the phone. The original Huawei Honor V9 is a great phone with a list of decent features. That’s why everything in it looks and acts perfectly. The V9 Play is the lightened variant of the aforementioned phone. So it’s logical, most of its specs are humble. This statement is true for the packaging as well. It’s a regular box with the model name printed on the front.
The box content includes the phone itself, a charger, a USB cable, and a couple of documentation such as the user manual.
The Huawei Honor V9 Play looks like other Huawei phones. We can even say it has too many commonalities with other low-end smartphones. The front panel carries a 5.2-inch screen with a resolution of 720p and pixel density of 282ppi. However, the screen ratio is not big unlike trendy high-end and mid-range models. The display occupies only 69% of the front side. This simply means there are too large areas around the screen.
Especially this refers to the upper and lower parts. But if the upper area carries a few important features such as the speaker, front camera, and the proximity sensor, the lower part comes with only the Huawei logo. There are no physical buttons – all three capacitive Android buttons are located on the screen. Many think such a design makes owners use less part of the screen. But it can be true only for smartphones with small screens. So the Huawei Honor V9 Play’s 5.2-inch display won’t be affected.
As you can notice, the front panel is covered with a 2.5D arc glass. It’s rare for a thousand-yuan machine.
As for the back panel, it uses a three-stage design like many other products from the same niche. The back body is made of metal. It’s matte. So no fingerprint will be left. But the upper and lower parts are made of plastic. So antenna signal will transmit without a problem. No need for additional antenna ribbons. On the back, we can find only the main camera paired with a single flashlight and a fingerprint scanner.
The power button along with the volume rocker is placed on the right side.
The SIM card slot is on the left-hand side. The slot supports two nano-SIM cards.
There are a headphone jack as well as a noise reduction microphone on the top.
Finally, two speakers and a micro USB port in the middle are placed on the bottom.
Its founding father, the original Honor V9 that is packed with a Kirin 960. This allowed the phone to compete with the best smartphones in the market. Say, it was compared with the OnePlus 3T. But the Honor V9 Play is equipped with a weaker processor coming our way from MediaTek. It’s an octa-core processor clocked at 1.5GHz. The MT6750 features 8 A53 cores and run on a 28nm process node. This chip is paired with a 3/4GB of RAM and 32GB of internal memory. As for the model we are reviewing, it is the 3+32GB variant. (The 4+32GB model costs 1199 yuan ($182).)
To understand what points it scores at benchmark we tested it via AnTuTu, GFXBench, PCMark, Androbench, and played King of Glory to explore its gaming capabilities. Finally, we compared its results with the newly launched Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A, because both models are from the same niche.
As you know, this benchmark showcases the total performance of the machine, 3D performance of GPU, UX performance of daily use, CPU performance in terms of power consumption and multi-core mode, and RAM performance in terms of system optimization.
If comparing with the Redmi Note 5A, the Huawei Honor V9 Play yields its rival. The only feature it performs better is the UX performance.
This test is used to measure the single-core performance as well as multi-core performance. We have to state both models show identical results. Thus the MediaTek MT6750 provides an identical performance to the Snapdragon 435.
This is one of the best benchmarks to test the 3D performance. Multiple test scenarios can fully examine the OpenGL ES graphics performance of the device as well as the battery life.
We have to state it yields the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A a lot.
Thanks to it we can test the overall performance of the software. It uses various scenarios such as web browsing, video editing, document writing, picture editing, etc. So when the power consumption and the overall performance is more balanced, the score is higher.
This test measure 4K random performance of Android devices including internal or external storages. It shows 200MB/s reading speed.
When we were playing the King of Glory on this device, it provided smooth operation at 28fps mostly. Although this feature fell to 23fps, rarely.
The Huawei Honor V9 Play is packed with a 13MP main camera at an aperture of f/2.2, a pixel size of 1.12um, PDA, and 5-element lens. This is a regular camera found on many devices from the same category. So nothing to praise for. You’d better check out the sample photos below.
As for the front camera, it uses an 8MP sensor with an aperture of f/2.2. While you can think it’s not enough, remember the Xiaomi Mi MIX 2 comes with a 5MP sensor. It supports beautifying effect as well.
Though the Huawei Honor V9 Play comes with a 3000mAh battery, the endurance is still acceptable. Most likely, it’s related with the low-res screen and optimized UX.
PCMark life test
It lasts for 7 hours and 48 minutes, which is identical to the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4X’s battery lifetime. As you remember, the Redmi Note 4X sports a 4100mAh capacity battery.
When 95% of power was remaining we started the video test and played an online video for 1 hour. The power was at 80%. Thus 60 minutes of a video playback will drainage 15% of the power. The Huawei Honor V9 Play is capable of playing online video more than 6.5 hours.
As usual, we tested it by King of Glory. The test began when there was remaining 23% of power. After 30 minutes of playing the game, it showed 13%. Thus 30 minutes of playing games will consume 10% of power. This also means you can play such games for more than 5 hours.
The phone comes with a regular 5V1A charging head. Starting from 5% it got full in 160 minutes. Not satisfactory!
The Huawei Honor V9 Play continues the gorgeous look of its predecessor, the Huawei Honor V9. Moreover, it comes in the same blue and red color options the original model became popular a lot. Externally the phone looks amazing and hints at the manufacturer’s ambitions. Internally, the Honor V9 Play has not many features to boast of. But when it comes to actual performance, it surprises. How many low-end smartphones you know that allow us to play King of Glory without problems? Or how many 3000mAh-battery smartphones are there providing lifetime similar to 4100mAh batteries? All these features claim we are dealing with a top brand that knows how to make good smartphones. 999 yuan ($152) and 1199 yuan ($182) are great pricing options for such handsets. So we have to write down Huawei’s Honor line is truly amazing.