OPPO sort of started this trend of releasing seductive red versions of existing smartphones. We don’t mind, though, considering how lovely this limited edition F3 happens to look.
For an unboxing like this, there’s no better way of introducing the video than simply telling you to watch it.
Go, go, go:
We can assure the red OPPO F3 is even better looking in person!
Honor Play Review: The budget flagship
Setting up a new category among smartphones
When Honor started, it was introduced to be just another Huawei phone or a sub-brand of one of the most popular phone makers in the world. Honor worked its way up and since they offer similar-performing products compared to Huawei at a cheaper price, they gained a following.
When the Honor 10 was introduced to the global market three months ago, it was already a bang for one’s buck. The phone offers flagship specifications for around US$ 450 and has a premium design with gradient colors.
Nothing is stopping Honor from challenging the market and the Honor Play is their latest weapon of choice to attract power users that don’t want to spend much on a phone. Starting at just US$ 300, the Honor Play is a flagship smartphone priced within the midrange segment.
It’s got a large 6.3-inch display with a wide notch
The notch contains a 16MP selfie camera and a few sensors
The small chin at the bottom proudly says it’s an Honor phone
It has a hybrid card slot for nano-SIM and microSD cards
To its right are physical buttons for power and volume
The top is virtually empty…
While the bottom is quite busy
The back is mostly identical to a flagship phone from Huawei
Common yet premium design
If you’ve been reading about Huawei phones lately, you’d immediately notice that the Honor Play looks a lot like the Huawei P20 and its variants. To make theirs a bit different, Honor did make some changes. Instead of a glass back, the Honor Play has an aluminum unibody. This makes the phone cold in hand (when unused) and feel solidly built.
Like any unibody phone, the Honor Play has antenna lines to let radio signals pass through. The antenna lines blend with the overall color of the phone, akin to the iPhone 7’s style.
Thanks to the display’s tall 19.5:9 aspect ratio, the phone is easy to use with one hand. While we’re talking about the display, I’ll point out that the cutout or the infamous notch is pretty wide. It’s not as slim as the P20’s and is definitely not as small as Essential Phone’s, but it’s got an advantage: it appears to have an extra sensor (probably infrared) to aid in facial recognition in the dark.
The fingerprint sensor on the back is always present when you don’t wish to use facial recognition as your phone’s security measure. It’s indeed quicker to unlock the phone using fingerprints since the reader is already one of the fastest.
Overall, there’s nothing to complain about the Honor Play’s design and construction. It’s got the premium design of more expensive devices, has quicker facial recognition than the competition, and it definitely doesn’t feel like anything in its range. There’s quality to the phone’s body and that alone is a huge advantage.
But, of course, there’s more to know about the Honor Play. Let’s now talk about its specifications.
Flagship performance has never been so affordable
The Honor Play is rocking a Kirin 970 processor with up to 6GB of memory. It’s essentially the cheapest Huawei P20 alternative performance-wise. I kinda feel bad for Huawei P20 users, to be honest, because Honor is offering similar performance in a cheaper package. Even Huawei offers P20-like performance with the Nova 3. The Honor 10 and Huawei Nova 3 are already affordable alternatives, but the Honor Play is the cheapest.
What does the Kirin 970 have? It’s currently Huawei’s most powerful chipset available, but the successor is just around the corner which kind of explains why it’s now cheaper to produce. You’ll have flagship phone performance with the Honor Play thanks to its processor.
The phone I have for review has 4GB of memory, but there’s a 6GB variant available in select markets. Even with 4GB of memory, I didn’t encounter any lag during my time with the phone. The phone runs EMUI 8.2 on top of Android 8.1 Oreo, which is not exactly the most visually pleasing (or maybe for me), but the extra features are handy for everyday use.
The phone will not be called “Play” if it’s not for gaming. The Honor Play comes with GPU Turbo out of the box, but it only benefits two games as of writing: Mobile Legends: Bang Bang and PUBG: Mobile. With its already-capable processor and Mali-G72 MP12 GPU, the Honor Play can easily handle these games on high settings without stuttering. Other graphics-intensive titles like Asphalt 9: Legends and Darkness Rises are also highly playable.
There’s not much to like about its cameras
There may be two cameras at the back of the Honor Play, but the secondary shooter is purely for depth sensing. The main camera has a 16-megapixel sensor with an f/2.2 aperture while the second one is a 2-megapixel depth sensor. Of course, there’s AI on board and like we’ve seen with the Honor 10, it’s a hit or miss.
Basically, when you have AI turned on, it automatically processes the image based on what the camera sees. But, for most of the time, it looks like it’s just driving up the saturation and contrast. Good thing you can always turn this off to get a more natural-looking image. Also, the f/2.2 aperture doesn’t help take a brighter image in low-light environments.
Check out these samples shot with AI:
When it comes to selfies, the Honor Play doesn’t disappoint but it has the same over-processed look like with the rear. There’s a 16-megapixel sensor hiding in the display notch which can take decent selfies with extra effects that Honor claims to be part of the phone’s AI. There’s beauty mode, as expected, but it’s not as aggressive as OPPO’s or Vivo’s which is great.
A phone with competitive pricing has to cut corners somewhere, and the Honor Play sacrificed great cameras. Although, if you come to think about it, most phone users usually just post images on social media. Both the rear and front cameras are more than enough to gather likes and compliments online.
No compromise battery life
Inside the Honor Play’s aluminum body is a sizeable 3750mAh battery. That means it can last long on a single charge. Kirin processors have been power-efficient on Huawei phones, and the Honor Play inherits that as well. Also, the USB-C port supports fast charging up to 18W.
I’ve used the phone as my daily driver for quite a while. With my usage, I was always able to get more than 24 hours of battery life on a single charge. I consider my usage to be moderate which includes constant mobile data and Wi-Fi connectivity, social media, Spotify playback, and reliance on Chrome to check websites and do some editorial work on the go. On average, the screen-on time is almost five hours.
Is this your GadgetMatch?
If you’re looking for a phone that focuses on performance, then the Honor Play is your GadgetMatch. Most of our readers and viewers are fond of the Honor Play because it’s indeed cheap compared to other premium phones, but it’s not perfect. Yet, the price tag of the Honor Play gives it a good excuse.
Like with the Honor 10 or Huawei Nova 3i, the Honor Play’s AI-enabled camera takes a hit. It’s not a bad smartphone camera per se, but it’s something not worth noting. The premium build, quality display, and long battery life are already great features to have in a flagship-grade smartphone this cheap.
The Honor Play retails for PhP 15,990 (4GB/64GB) in the Philippines, and INR 19,999 (4GB/64GB) and INR 23,999 (6GB/64GB) in India.
10 good photography apps for your iPhone
Always get great shots
Most photos we post and look at today are shot through the lenses of a handset. Gone are the days of big, bulky cameras and smartphones have replaced most shooters.
The great thing about shooting with your iPhone is that the creative process for your photo taking doesn’t end when you tap the shutter. There are so many things you can do with your photos; all you need is a good app.
Here are ten photography apps that you should check out.
Easily one of the most popular editing apps out there, VSCO is pretty easy to learn and simple to use. It allows you to edit photos, add presets, and even share your work to the VSCO community.
Think Adobe Lightroom on your computer but in mobile form. And yes, you get all the different tools and presets. If you upgrade to premium, you’ll be able to edit images across all your devices.
Another crowd favorite, Snapseed is an in-depth photo editing app. It can do all your basic editing on your iPhone, easy.
Polarr Photo Editor
Polarr boasts being an app that both photography pros and newbies can use. It has everything you’ll ever need for top-notch shots.
Another great app, Darkroom will level up your editing skills on mobile and give you tools to make sure your photos are always 👌🏽
Price: US$ 2.99
This app offers basic editing, overlays, stylized filters, and even artwork text! It also provides free updates and new content monthly after that one time fee.
Price: US$ 1.99
Make photo editing easier with Mexture’s layered workflow. Add more texture to your photos and even edit existing formulas and presets with this app.
Price: US$ 1.99
This app removes unwanted objects in your photos, easy peasy. Just trace the offending shape and you’re done! Definitely editing magic that you need.
Portrait by img.ly
Your portraits will never be the same again. Choose from different portrait styles, make selfie collages, and more!
Not your basic editing app, Enlight not only gives you basic tools, it also allows for effects like double exposures, graphic elements, and even unique special effects.
Samsung Galaxy Note 9 gets a luxury treatment with 1kg pure gold plate
Turn your phone into jewelry
The Galaxy Note 9 is not a cheap smartphone, especially the 512GB variant that will set you back US$ 1,249. It arrived with a Gorilla Glass 5 body, but what if they covered it in gold instead?
Russia-based luxury smartphone company Caviar decided that the Note 9’s glass body is not flashy enough, so they customized one and added 1 kilogram of pure gold.
Mind you, this is actual gold, and not just a simple paint job. Look at the images below:
The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 Fine Gold Edition is still a typical Galaxy Note 9 inside but with Caviar’s custom gold plate on its back.
It starts at RUB 3,870,000 or almost US$ 60,000! You can buy 60 units of the regular Galaxy Note 9 with this money, and that’s just for the 128GB variant. If you wish to get the one with 512GB of storage and 8GB of memory, you’ll have to add another US$ 1,000.
Check out Caviar’s website if you’re interested.
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