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Watch: Honor Play vs ASUS ZenFone 5Z Gaming Comparison - The value for money gaming phone king is?

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Previously, we claimed that the Honor Play can compete with smartphones with higher price tags.
Watch: Honor Play vs ASUS ZenFone 5Z Gaming Comparison - The value for money gaming phone king is?
Gaming phones!

So, we decided to put it against with a handset almost 2x its price, the ASUS ZenFone 5Z.

Honor Play vs ASUS ZenFone 5Z Gaming Comparison - The value for money gaming phone king is?


Honor Play vs ASUS ZenFone 5Z Specs Comparison

DeviceHonor PlayASUS ZenFone 5Z
Display6.3-inch 2.5D curved Gorilla Glass protected IPS screen w/ 2340 x  1080 resolution at 409 ppi6.2-inch 2.5D curved Gorilla Glass 5 Super IPS screen w/ FHD+ 2246 x 1080 resolution at 402 ppi
CPU
2.36GHz 64-bit Kirin 970 octa-core processor w/ NPU and i7 co-processor
2.8GHz 64-bit Snapdragon 845 octa-core processor
GPUMali-G72 MP12 w/ GPU TurboAdreno 630
RAM4GB/6GB6GB
ROM64GB expandable via microSD card slot up to 256GB128GB expandable via microSD card slot up to 2TB
Back Camera16MP f/2.2 + 2MP f/2.4 w/ PDAF, CAF, and dual tone LED flash12MP f/1.8 Sony IMX363 + 8MP f/2.0 OV8856 w/ Tri-tech AF, Dual Pixel, 120-degree wide-angle, OIS, EIS, and dual tone LED flash
Selfie Camera16MP f/2.08MP f/2.0 OV8856 w/ 83-degree wide-angle lens
Battery
3,750mAh w/ fast charging
3,300mAh w/ ASUS BoostMaster fast charging and AI charging
OSAndroid 8.1 Oreo w/ EMUI 8.2
Android 8.0 Oreo w/ ZenUI 5.0
Connectivity
WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz/5GHz), 4G LTE Cat 18, Bluetooth 4.2 LE, OTG, NFC, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, dual SIM (hybrid)
WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz/5GHz), Bluetooth 5.0, 4G LTE w/ VoLTE, OTG, GPS, A-GPS, dual SIM (hybrid)
SensorsAccelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic
Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic
Others
Fingerprint sensor, USB Type-C, 7.1 channel Histen audio, Colors: black, blue
Fingerprint sensor, USB Type-C face unlock, stereo speakers, NXP 9874 Smart Amp, Hi-Res Audio, DTS Headphone: X for 7.1 channel surround sound, dual microphones, Colors: midnight blue, meteor silver
Dimensions167.91 x 74.27 x 7.84 mm153 x 75.65 x 7.85 mm
Weight
176 g
155 g
PricePHP 15,990 (4GB/64GB)
PHP 29,995

The Honor Play boasts a massive big 6.3-inch IPS screen w/ FHD+ resolution. Inside, it runs with the flagship-grade 2.36GHz 64-bit Kirin 970 octa-core processor w/ dedicated NPU for AI tasks, i7 co-processor, and Mali-G72 MP12 GPU.
Can the Honor Play compete with a phone almost 2x its price?

It also has 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and 3,750mAh w/ fast charging support. It is priced at just PHP 15,990.
PHP 15,990 vs PHP 29,995
PHP 15,990 vs PHP 29,995

On the other hand, the ASUS ZenFone 5Z has a 6.2-inch IPS screen w/ FHD+ resolution. Under the hood, it loads with the newer 64-bit Snapdragon 845 octa-core processor clocked at 2.8GHz. It is also paired with Adreno 630 GPU, 6GB RAM, 128GB storage, and 3,300mAh of battery. It retails for PHP 29,995.

The gaming features

Honor Play gameplay
Honor Play gameplay

The display of both phones are about the same at 6.3-inch and 6.2-inch respectively. Both can provide good colors, contrast, and viewing angles for an immersive gaming and multimedia experience.

As expected, the Honor Play has the Mali-G72 MP12 GPU w/ GPU Turbo support out of the box.

In case you missed it, the GPU Turbo tech can improve gaming performance by up to 60 percent while improving battery efficiency by up to 30 percent. In our previous test, it really made the game smoother with less lags and frame drops.

It also has the game suite for a more optimized gaming experience and uninterrupted gaming.

The Honor Play also highlights the AI 4D smart shock which improves game immersion. It can detect 30 different scenes in supported games like PUBG.

This results in vibrations that simulate the direction of the sound or the kickbacks of guns and or enemy fire.

It also has the Histen 7.1 3D surround sound via headphones which simulates 3D stereo effect. It uses AI to three different surround sound modes of near, front and wide. It works on  games like PUBG Mobile and Mobile Legends.
ASUS ZenFone 5Z gameplay
ASUS ZenFone 5Z gameplay

On the other hand, the ZenFone 5Z also has several interesting features that could improve your gaming experience.

For uninterrupted and boosted gaming, ASUS has the Game Genie.

The speaker of this handset is also louder. Thanks to its stereo setup.

It also has DTS Headphone: X for 7.1 channel surround sound. It even has Hi-Res audio support.

Game test

Honor Play benchmark scores
Honor Play benchmark scores

On paper, the Adreno 630 GPU of the ZenFone 5Z is higher than the Mali-G72 MP12 GPU of the Honor Play. It also has the higher benchmark scores.
ASUS ZenFone 5Z benchmark scores
ASUS ZenFone 5Z benchmark scores

But, GPU Turbo technology of Honor Play really works. It was able to go toe to toe in terms of gameplay smoothness of the higher priced ZenFone 5Z.

We tried the Honor Play and ZenFone 5Z with several games. It include PUBG, Mobile Legends, and NBA 2K18.

For Mobile Legends we were able to play it at max settings with hardly noticeable frame drops for both phones.

The same goes with the GPU Turbo supported PUBG Mobile. We noticed that the ZenFone 5Z is a bit smoother here. But, it is just by a hair.

For NBA 2K18, the ZenFone 5Z is a bit ahead again. But again, it is a close fight considering the huge price difference.

The thermal management of both phones are also great. They get warm, but not to the point of alarmingly hot.

This is where the ZenFone 5Z will have a slight advantage with the Honor Play. The Honor Play will have a minor dip in speed if it gets warm.

But, on a cool air-conditioned scene, the gaming performance of both phones are identical.

Both devices can last for more than 4 hours of straight PUBG gaming. In our PC Mark battery test, the ZenFone 5Z is a bit ahead at 11 hours and 30 minutes versus the 10 hours and 33 minutes of the Honor Play.

Verdict

Overall, the ASUS ZenFone 5Z is the slightly better gaming device due to its newer gen Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor and stereo speaker setup.

It can play heavy games at the highest settings with slightly smoother performance against the Honor Play.

However, not everyone has PHP 29,995 to spare.

On the other hand, the Honor Play is also a very good phone for gaming. The ZenFone 5Z has the slight edge. But, it can definitely compete with it for almost half the price. It can also smoothly play most of the heavy games on max settings.

Pound per pound, the Honor Play is the better value for money gaming device for us.

Remember, it is priced at just PHP 15,990.

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