Honor 20 Pro rear glass

Honor doesn’t necessarily have a dedicated gaming phone of its own, but the company hopes to capture the attention of gamers anyway with the Honor 20 Pro. The company announced a new gaming strategy at Gamescom 2019 today that includes hardware and software initiatives.

Can Honor entice mobile gaming fans away from dedicated devices such as the ROG Phone 2 and Black Shark 2 Pro? Here’s the skinny.

Gaining a gamepad

Honor 20 Pro GamepadHonor debuted the Honor GamePad at Gamescom, an accessory that the company will initially sell in western Europe some time later this year. The attachable hardware plugs into the USB-C port of the Honor 20 Pro. It provides six buttons and a joystick to enhance gameplay. Think of it as half a Nintendo Switch and you get the idea.

Rather than interact with the phone via USB-C, the Honor GamePad connects via Bluetooth. The company says the GamePad is compatible with most games in the market that support Bluetooth controls. Users will be able to configure the pad’s buttons within individual games if they so desire.

A 400mAh battery provides plenty of game time, though Honor notes that the accessory can draw power from the phone via USB-C if it runs dry.

Honor did not provide any details on pricing, and exact availability (markets and timing) is still to be determined.

Getting soft

Honor 20 Pro display close up

The GamePad isn’t the only item on Honor’s gaming to-do list. The company is focusing anew on developers and software to boost its gaming cred.

Earlier this year, the company worked with developers to improve gaming fun time on the Honor View 20, and now it has new hooks for developers. Honor says it is partnering with a fresh selection of major and indie gaming studios and, importantly, will provide those developers with API access to Honor hardware. This could lead to some unique experiences for Honor gamers, though Honor did not provide any specifics.

Honor says it will preload games (bloatware?) into a new gaming folder on future phones.

Honor phone owners may not get as excited about the Gaming Arena folder, which Honor plans to pre-install on future Honor phones. The company says it will load games (bloatware?) into this folder on new phones.

Then there’s the esports. Honor claims that 18% of Honor phone owners have declared themselves to be gamers. That’s all the evidence the company needs to weigh joining the esports arena. For now, Honor is still exploring this possibility.

Why the Honor 20 Pro?

What makes the 20 Pro Honor’s gaming nexus? The phone boasts and edge-to-edge display, Kirin 980 processor, 4,000mAh battery, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage. Further, it boasts GPU Turbo 3.0, which Honor says delivers snappier graphics during gameplay.

The Honor 20 Pro went on sale globally last month. You can read Android Authority‘s full review here

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