Huawei and its sub-brand Honor has to be among the busiest smartphone brands in India right now. The past few weeks have seen the launch of as many as four new devices from both these brands in quick succession. These include devices like the Honor 9N, the Nova 3, the Nova 3i and lastly, the Honor Play. In today’s article, we will take a closer look at the new Honor Play. This is, in fact, the first in a series of articles around the new Honor Play. As you might have already read in my first impressions article on this device, the Honor Play is a mid-range device that finds itself being powered by a flagship-grade processor. In this article, however, let us first talk about the design characteristics of the device.

Honor Play Design: The Family Look

The Honor Play has a strong resemblance to two of its predecessors – the Honor 7X and the Honor 9i. In fact, from the front, it would be difficult for you to differentiate between these three devices had it been not for the large notch at the top of the display and the smaller bezels. The large 6.3-inch IPS LCD panel dominates the front fascia of the Honor Play. The notch area integrates the front facing camera, the earpiece, the proximity sensor and an LED notification light. The volume rocker keys and the power button is on the right side while the SIM tray is located on the left side. At the bottom, the phone gets a 3.5mm audio jack, the USB Type-C port, and the bottom-firing mono-speaker. There are two microphones located at the top and the bottom sides. Another thing that I noticed was the fact that the Honor Play and the Nova 3 are almost the same devices. The Nova 3 seems to be just a flashier version with slightly upgraded internals.

The unit that we got for review was the base 4GB RAM version of the device in the midnight black colour scheme. The rear panel of the handset is where you will find the vertically stacked dual camera setup. Below the dual camera module is the single LED flash. There is also a fingerprint scanner at the rear located slightly away from the LED flash. Also seen on the panel are the faint labels that read ‘Honor’ and ‘AI Camera’. It is also pertinent to note that the Honor Play’s camera layout and the overall rear-panel design is identical to the Nova 3 with the only difference being that the Nova 3 and the Nova 3i have more attention-grabbing colour schemes.

Honor Play Design: The Family Look


The Honor Play is a well-built device and has a sturdy feel to it. The metal body of the handset does not creak or show signs of flex even when I tried hard to bend the device. The volume control and the power buttons make a satisfying click sound and seem to have been built to last. One of the concerns I had with the Honor Play was the fact that it did not feature any form of Gorilla Glass layer for scratch resistance or durability. It is therefore advisable that you use the handset with a suitable cover. This is important in case you happen to be careless with your smartphones. Also, avoid putting the handset inside your trouser pockets along with your car or house keys.

Overall, I quite liked the design of the Honor Play. Perhaps the only downside is the fact that at least at first glance, it looks like Honor’s older, cheaper handsets. I will talk about the display in our next article on the Honor Play.