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Honor Play Gaming Review: Does the GPU Turbo make a difference?

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Honor might have just single-handedly revolutionized the midrange smartphone market. Their latest release, the Honor Play, broke some boundaries, making it one of the most interesting handsets in its price category.

There are a lot of things to like about the Honor Play. It has a large 6.3-inch FHD+ screen, a 16-megapixel front and rear cameras, with an extra 2-megapixel depth-sensing sensor on the back.

Under the hood, the Honor Play is powered by a HiSilicon Kirin 970 chipset together with Mali-G72 MP2 GPU and 4GB of RAM. It also runs on Android 8.1 Oreo with EMUI 8.2 operating underneath.

Honor also equipped it with a huge 3,750mAh battery and fast-charging capability, so consumers can play games and do other stuff without needing to recharge every couple of hours.

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In addition, the build and design of the Honor Play feel sturdy especially with its minimalistic look — making the Honor Play a complete package for everyone.

Without a doubt, the Honor Play’s most interesting feature is its flagship-caliber system on a chip (SoC). And it goes without saying that we’re really impressed that it was able to make it on a device at this price point. The Honor Play is also the first ever Honor phone to get the GPU Turbo technology out of the box, so it’s quite formidable when it comes to gaming.

What is GPU Turbo technology?

I’m pretty sure you’ve heard about the “GPU Turbo technology” a hundred times now. But what does it actually mean? Let us explain.

In the most basic sense, this technology will accelerate the device’s GPU (graphics processing unit) performance, so games will run better. GPU Turbo provides an improvement in the software level and hardware integration. This means that, in theory, it should work on any existing Honor with supported hardware as it arrives through a software update.

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This technology was developed by Honor and Huawei. They claim that it can provide up to 60% increase in the graphics performance, plus power usage reduction of up to 30%.

But as of the moment, GPU Turbo only works on select devices and games. One of those devices is the Honor Play, while supported games are limited to PUBG Mobile and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang.

So, with its powerful processor and GPU Turbo technology, how does this device really perform in gaming? Check out our Honor Play gaming analysis and review to learn more about it.

PUBG Mobile on Honor Play

The major success that PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds had on the PC space has been brought to the mobile platform. Clearly, PUBG Mobile is one of the hottest games in the mobile space today which is probably the reason why Honor was really eager in bringing GPU Turbo support right off the bat.

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Based on my tests, the GPU Turbo does deliver a performance bump on this game. With the graphics settings set to Ultra and HDR on, the game run with an average of 38 frames per second (fps). That’s a respectable frame rate considering that the graphics quality is set to the maximum quality available.

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If you want smoother frame rates, you can play with the settings a bit and find what configuration suits you best. Also, I noticed that the temperature increased a little bit as I was gaming. But that’s actually expected considering all of the heavy lifting its chipset is doing.

Mobile Legends: Bang Bang on Honor Play

But if you’re not into battle royale games, you might be into Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) titles just like Mobile Legends: Bang Bang. Thankfully, the Honor Play’s GPU Turbo feature also supports it.

Just like what I did on the PUBG Mobile, I tried to max out the graphics settings on this game to see how far we can take it.

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With that, the game had a median FPS score of 59fps — a really impressive feat considering that everything is maxed out. So if you play Mobile Legends on this device, you should expect well-detailed graphics at smooth frame rates.

Asphalt 9

Other than the GPU Turbo-supported games, we also wanted to test the chipset’s raw performance without the help of any hardware acceleration.

And by the looks of it, the Honor Play can still deliver since it has a flagship-level hardware, after all.

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The Asphalt 9 was playable at 30fps. Definitely not the smoothest of all, but it’s surely the best experience that you can get from a midrange device.

NBA 2k18

NBA 2k18 is also one of the biggest sports games in the Google Play Store. Just like the Asphalt 9, it doesn’t support Honor’s GPU Turbo technology. But judging by the tests I’ve run, it seems like it doesn’t need its help at all.

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The game already runs steadily at 60fps, with a stability of rating of 96%. Unlike the previous games that we have tested, the NBA 2k18 isn’t the most graphics-intensive of all, hence the good score.

Verdict

There’s no denying that the Honor Play is one of the best midrange smartphones that you can get in the market today. And with these gaming tests that we just did, it proves that it is indeed the budget gaming smartphone for the growing community of mobile gamers out there.

For its price of only Php15,990, you can never go wrong with the Honor Play.

If you’re still undecided, check out its full specs and our Honor Play hands-on review.

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  1. Yes this is a good phone for the price, that was until Xiaomi unveiled their Poco F1, this got destroyed immediately. Still better than getting crap from oppo and vivo though.

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