Honor Play unveiled with “GPU Turbo” tech for gaming, Honor 9i mid-range announced too

Honor Play unveiled with “GPU Turbo” tech for gaming, Honor 9i mid-range announced too

We’re starting to see smartphone companies create devices with a major emphasis on mobile gaming. Razer released a smartphone dedicated to gaming and ASUS just announced the ROG Phone, which again, is being marketed toward gamers. Honor has just announced two new phones, the mid-range Honor 9i and the Honor Play with a new feature called “GPU Turbo” that helps improve the mobile gaming experience. The company has also revealed how this GPU Turbo feature works and the list of other Honor devices that will receive the feature in a future update.

What is GPU Turbo?

The goal of GPU Turbo is to improve the mobile gaming experience. The company’s initial tests show that even their mid-range devices have been able to beat the multi-thread GPU performance of some flagship smartphones. Honor was able to achieve this by restructuring the traditional graphics framework at a lower level than simple software features. GPU Turbo relies on hardware-software integrated GPU acceleration to change how the GPU handles graphics processing. In turn, this not only improves the overall performance of the GPU, but it also improves power efficiency to a certain extent.


The Honor Play will be the first smartphone to feature this new technology but it will also be coming to existing devices as well. The company was able to confirm that GPU Turbo will find its way to the Honor 10, Honor View 10, Honor 9 Lite, and the Honor 7X in a future update. With Honor using the same Kirin chipsets that Huawei makes, I wouldn’t be surprised if the feature eventually made its way to some of Huawei’s existing and/or future smartphones either.

Those who are looking for numbers will be happy to hear that in some circumstances GPU Turbo was able to increase overall GPU performance by 60% while also reducing SoC power consumption by 30%. Not only will this improve the performance of traditional mobile games on mid-range and high-end smartphones, but it will support both AR and VR in the future. Playing VR games for an extended period of time can be tough due to both overheating and power consumption so GPU Turbo sounds ideal for this use case.

Honor Play

Specs Honor Play
Display 6.3″ LCD at 1080 x 2340 pixels
Chipset Hisilicon Kirin 970
Memory 4GB or 6GB RAM
Storage 64GB
Rear Camera Dual 16 (f/2.2) + 2 MP (f/2.4)
Front Camera 16 MP (f/2.0, 2.0µm)
Battery 3,750mAh
Software Android 8.1 Oreo with EMUI 8.2

Honor 9i

Specs Honor 9i
Display 5.84″ LCD at 1080 x 2280 pixels
Chipset HiSilicon Kirin 659
Memory 4GB RAM
Storage 64GB or 128GB
Rear Camera Dual 13 + 2 MP
Front Camera 6 MP (2.0µm)
Battery 3,000
Software Android 8.0 Oreo with EMUI 8.0

Pricing & Availability

At the launch event for these two devices, the company did reveal some information about pricing and release dates as well. The base model of the Honor Play will run you ~$310 while the 4GB model with 64GB of internal storage increases the price a bit to ~$375. On the other hand, the lower end Honor 9i is said to cost ~$220 for the base model with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage. This price goes up to ~$265 if you choose to get more internal storage (128GB) while keeping the same amount of RAM (4GB).

You can pre-order the Honor Play right now in Black and Violet, plus Black and Red color options with sales beginning on June 11th. Those who are interested in the Honor 9i will be able to purchase it tomorrow in Charm Blue, Dream Purple, Jasper and Magic Night Black color options. Both devices are available in China. We don’t expect them to be available in the U.S., but even if they do, don’t count on the bootloader unlocking being available.

Via: GSM Arena Via: GizmoChina

About author

Doug Lynch
Doug Lynch

When I am passionate about something, I go all in and thrive on having my finger on the pulse of what is happening in that industry. This has transitioned over the years from PCs and video games, but for close to a decade now all of my attention has gone toward smartphones and Android.

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