Huawei launches Honor Play and Honor 9i, two budget gaming smartphones with GPU Turbo

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Huawei has released two budget smartphones under the Honor brand in China with quite strong hardware, especially dedicated to gamers, as they are equipped with a new feature called GPU Turbo. These are called Honor Play and Honor 9i, and they use old-fashioned hardware such as P20 or Honor 10 as well as the Lite versions of their top smartphones. Surprisingly, however, the price for the hardware it offers is quite similar in terms of performance to the top models

Before we talk about phones, it is worth mentioning the GPU Turbo capability. Huawei's past smartphones, even the top ones, have come equipped with GPUs in the Mali range, which are insufficient to run very demanding games, especially in 3D tests where the results were rather weak . GPU Turbo is a software feature that promises to improve game performance by up to 60%, reducing energy consumption by 30%. The second part seems a little hard to believe, but it has to be tested before we get a verdict.

Honor Play is the model that wants to make this popular feature with hardware similar to Honor 10 or P20, but with a price starting at 2,000 yuan, or about $ 310. For such a low price, Honor Play offers a 6.3 "diagonal 6.3" diagonal screen with Full HD + resolution 19: 9 (2,340 x 1,080 pixels), a Kirin 970 chipset with neural processing of its portfolio), configurations with 4 or 6 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage space (also supports microSD card). The 3.750 mAh battery is large enough to provide good autonomy in normal use, but it remains to be seen how effective it is in gaming, one of the main features of this model.

On the back there is a dual camera system with a 16 megapixel sensor (f / 2.2) and a 2 megapixel (f / 2.4) sensor, so photo capabilities will not be an attraction for this model. With the diaphragm so shut and unstable, it's likely that the performance of these cameras will only be decent in natural light. What the P20 and Honor 10 do not offer, a 3.5mm audio jack, is included on the Honor Play. Also, the construction of the phone is made of aluminum on the back and glass on the front, so it will probably be a bit more resistant than the glass rear models. As a consequence of this decision, the phone does not integrate NFC for contactless payments.

Eventually, Honor 9i seems to be a "lite" version of Honor Play. It comes equipped with a 5.84 "Full HD + 18: 9 (2.280 x 1.080 pixel) display and Kirin 659 chipset. It has 4 GB of RAM, 64 or 128 GB storage options with the ability to add a memory card of up to 256 GB and a 3,000 mAh battery

The dual camera on the back features 13 and 2 megapixel sensors respectively. And it comes with a headphone jack, but not a USB Type-C plug, charging is done through the "classic" micro-USB. Honor 9i's starting price is 1,400 yuan, or $ 220. And this model benefits from the Turbo GPU and is also equipped with a cut-off screen at the top. Honor 9i is still made of glass on both sides

The two phones are coming out very soon in China, but it is not clear if they will be delivered to other regions as well. Interestingly, the Turbo GPU feature will be delivered through a software update on Honor 10, Honor View 10, Honor 9 Lite and Honor 7X to improve gaming performance. It is not clear whether the Huawei P and Mate series will benefit from the same treatment

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