Xiaomi Mi A2 vs Honor Play; Budget Camera against Budget Flagship

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Over the past few years, the line between mid-range and budget smartphones has seemingly blurred. With mobile makers lining up phones that offer impressive features at modest rates, the battle for supremacy is visibly tough.

Competent mobiles have flooded the markets like never before, and smartphone manufacturers are pushing their limits with every successive launch. Likewise, Xiaomi’s Mi A2 and Huawei’s Honor Play attempted to push the limits by their bits. The short answer: Neither phone outdoes the other. The long answer is detailed below in the specs wise comparison.

In this article, we have staged Huawei’s budget flagship phone Honor Play against Xiaomi’s camera flagship device Mi A2. Let us find out which one fares better.

Xiaomi Mi A2 vs Honor Play: Specifications

Model Xiaomi Mi A2 Honor Play
Display 5.99-inch IPS LCD display (1080×2160), 18:9 ratio, 403 ppi 6.30-inch IPS LCD display, 1080 x 2340, 19.5:9 ratio, 409 ppi
Processor Octa-core Snapdragon 660, Adreno 512 Octa core Kirin 970 chipset, Mali-G72 MP12
RAM + Internal Storage 6GB RAM + 128GB Internal Storage, 4GB RAM + 32/64 GB Internal Storage (expandable via microSD, up to 256GB) 4/6GB RAM + 64GB Internal Storage ( expandable up to 128GB microSD, hybrid micro-SD card slot)
Software Android 8.1 (Oreo), Android One Android Oreo based EMUI 8.2
Primary Camera 12MP (f/1.8) + 20MP (f/1.8, PDAF) 16MP (f/2.2, PDAF) + 2MP (f/2.4, depth sensor)
Secondary Camera 20MP (f/2.2) 16MP (f/2.0)
Dimensions and Weight 158.7 x 75.4 x 7.3 mm; weight- 166 gms 157.9 x 74.3 x 7.5 mm; weight- 176 gms
Battery Non-removable Li-Ion 3000 mAh battery, Quick Charge 4.0 (exclusively in India) Non-removable Li-Po 3750 mAh battery, Fast charging 18W
Connectivity Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, NFC, USB OTG, 3G and 4G VoLTE, No Audio Jack 4G VoLTE, Bluetooth v4.2, USB Type-C (v2.0), GPS/ A-GPS, Wi-Fi 802.11ac (dual-band, 2.4GHz and 5GHz), 3.5mm headphone jack
Sensors on board Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity, compass Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity, compass
Price Rs. 16,999 Rs. 19,999 (4GB RAM) / Rs. 23,999 (6GB RAM)

Xiaomi Mi A2 vs Honor Play: Design and Built

To begin with, both Honor Play and Mi A2 phones are aesthetically decent, if not very elegant. These two sport a metal back, against the popular glass back culture these days.

In terms of display, Honor Play has a notably wider screen than Mi A2, something that would give Honor Play the edge. Both have the similar basic design with front mostly covered by the display and extremely thin bezels. While Honor Play sports a notch-screen, Xiaomi’s Mi A2 doesn’t.

Both phones feature raised, vertically aligned dual rear cameras on their back, though Mi A2’s camera hump is a bit more prominent.

Although, Mi A2’s smaller battery size makes the overall device somewhat smaller and lighter, Honor Play wins the display challenge. It is more compact than Mi A2, despite having a wider display. Honor Play is also marginally shorter and less wide than Mi A2, resulting from its slimmer bezels on all sides of the display.

Xiaomi Mi A2 vs Honor Play: Hardware and Battery


Chipset- Honor Play packs Huawei’s home-made flagship HiSilicon Kirin 970 chipset. Huawei announced this chipset with AI integration back in September, 2017. The chipset is clearly very powerful and competes with the likes of Snapdragon 835 that is usually seen on high-end phones.

The Mi A2 isn’t far behind either. The Snapdragon 660 running on Xiaomi’s Android One phone is quite capable and the resulting performance is extremely smooth. Both phones can run high-end games without breaking a sweat.

While both Honor Play and Mi A2 offer 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage, the memory on Mi A2 is not expandable via any means.

Battery- Honor Play comes with a larger 3750 mAh battery, as compared to the 3000 mAh battery in Mi A2. While measuring their practical performance, Honor Play easily survives past a single day with heavy usage, while Mi A2 survives a day with light to moderate usage, but struggles beyond.

Xiaomi Mi A2 vs Honor Play: Software and Camera

Software- Both the phones run Android 8.1 Oreo. While Xiaomi Mi A2 wears stock Android with a token amount of bloatware, the Honor Play features a heavily customized EMUI 8.2 skin atop. Both Mi A2 and Honor Play have Face unlock.

Although a heavy skin is rarely recommended, EMUI 8.2 skin does bring along some very useful features. Which skin you prefer will depend on your individual preferences.

We personally prefer the stock Android software on Mi A2 that offers the promise of speedy updates for the next three years, but many would find the stock Android simplicity bland and may very well prefer the customization perks of EMUI instead.

Having said that, going by Xiaomi’s previous track record, it’s hard to put much faith in future updates.

Camera- Mi A2’s selling point is perhaps its camera, which Honor Play fails to match up to. It features a dual rear cameras (12MP + 20MP), both having 1.75 aperture, and a 20MP selfie snapper present, which is way better than Honor Play’s 16MP + 2MP (f/2.2 on main camera) rear camera combo and 16MP front-facing camera. Despite Huawei’s clever attempt of integrating the trending AI features and its camera app being more efficient than the one featured by Mi A2, the latter captures more detailed and vivid images than Honor Play cameras do. On their video recording front, both the phones are fairly similar.

Xiaomi Mi A2 vs Honor Play: Verdict

It is evident from the specifications listing that the battle here lies between a budget flagship phone- Honor Play, and a budget camera phone- Mi A2. Although Xiaomi wins the camera and software battle, it does not do enough to face off against a budget flagship phone like Honor Play which packs a superior processor and battery. Also, Mi A2 has no expandable memory, no audio jack, and is less compact and that slightly tilts the scale in Honor Play’s favor.

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