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The HUAWEI Pura 70 Ultra is here, complete with a retractable (!) camera

HUAWEI is offering four models this time, but we hope the Ultra device comes to global markets.

Published onApril 18, 2024

HUAWEI Pura 70 Ultra rear
  • HUAWEI has launched the Pura 70 series of flagship phones.
  • The Pura 70 Ultra brings a one-inch retractable main camera and a telephoto camera with a 5cm minimum focusing distance.
  • The series starts at ~$760 for the standard model, all the way to ~$1,380 for the base Pura 70 Ultra.

We thought the HUAWEI P60 Pro was one of the best camera phones of 2023, so we were curious to see how the company could build on this formula with its future devices. That time has come, as the Chinese brand has just announced the HUAWEI Pura 70 series.

The Pura 70 family consists of four models, namely the standard Pura 70, the Pura 70 Pro, the Pura 70 Pro Plus, and the Pura 70 Ultra. HUAWEI hasn’t disclosed the chipset, but a third-party report points to at least one of the phones offering the Kirin 9010 chipset (featuring a 12-core CPU and an in-house Maleoon 910 GPU).

Otherwise, the four phones have a number of features in common. This includes a similar 1.5K OLED screen (120Hz, LTPO, 2,500 nits peak brightness), a 13MP selfie camera, Harmony OS 4.2 (although the underlying Android version is unclear), an IP68 rating, and in-display fingerprint sensors.

The Pro, Pro Plus, and Ultra phones also support 100W wired charging, 80W wireless charging, and 20W reverse wireless charging. Meanwhile, the standard Pura 70 settles for 66W wired charging, 50W wireless top-ups, and 7.5W reverse wireless charging. Unfortunately, none of these phones come with storage expansion (not even NM cards), so you’ll have to choose your storage variant wisely.

Pura 70 Ultra: The top dog

HUAWEI’s first Ultra phone stands out primarily due to its interesting camera setup. The company is touting a retractable main camera here, featuring a one-inch sensor, a variable aperture (f/1.6 to f/4.0), and sensor-shift stabilization. I have some reservations about the decision to include moving parts on the device, but HUAWEI claims the mechanism is rated to retract and expand up to 300,000 times. It’s not the first modern smartphone with a retractable camera, as we’ve seen the TECNO Phantom X2 Pro in recent times. It also doesn’t seem to serve an extra purpose beyond enabling a large sensor (e.g. zoom). But this is still a rare sight on phones today.

In any event, the company asserts that all phones (including the Ultra model) are capable of capturing high-speed movement. The brand went so far as to claim that the Ultra camera, in particular, can clearly capture a car traveling at 300km/h (186mph).

We were very impressed with the P60 Pro telephoto camera, and the Pura 70 Ultra ups the ante in this regard too. Expect a 50MP 3.5x camera this time (up from 48MP 3.5x), along with the same wide f/2.1 aperture as last year’s phone. HUAWEI adds that the tele camera now supports macro shots from just 5cm away, down from the already impressive 10cm on the P60 Pro. The brand also says macro mode supports 35x zoom, although we’re guessing image quality will fall off a cliff long before you reach this zoom level. A 40MP ultrawide camera (f/2.2) rounds out the package.

Other Pura 70 Ultra specs worth knowing include a 5,200mAh battery, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB or 1TB of storage.

Pura 70 Pro and Pro Plus

HUAWEI Pura 70 Pro Plus

The next two HUAWEI phones on the totem pole are the Pro and Pro Plus models. These two phones pack the same rear camera system, namely a 50MP non-retractable main camera (1/1.3-inch) with a f/1.4 to f/4.0 variable aperture, a 12.5MP ultrawide lens, and a 48MP 3.5x telephoto camera (f/2.1). The latter camera seems identical to last year’s shooter bar the 5cm minimum focusing distance.

HUAWEI’s Pro phones also have the same 5,050mAh battery. However, the Pro Plus delivers 16GB of RAM and your choice of 512GB or 1TB of storage. Meanwhile, the Pura 70 Pro brings 12GB of RAM and 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB of storage.

Pura 70: The core HUAWEI flagship experience

HUAWEI Pura 70

Don’t have the cash for a Pro or Ultra phone? Then HUAWEI is also offering the standard Pura 70. This brings a slightly smaller LTPO OLED screen and flat edges, along with 12GB of RAM, 256GB/512GB/1TB of storage, and a 4,900mAh battery.

The Pura 70 also brings less impressive camera hardware. You’re getting a 50MP variable aperture main camera (1/1.3-inch), a 13MP ultrawide lens, and a 12MP 5x periscope camera. The brand says this tele camera brings macro focusing abilities too, but didn’t give a minimum focusing distance (suggesting it’s not on par with the other models).

HUAWEI Pura 70 series pricing and availability

The Pura 70 phones are only available in China right now, although we’re expecting one or several of these models to launch globally.

Chinese users can expect to pay a starting price of 9,999 yuan (~$1,381) for the Pura 70 Ultra. Meanwhile, the Pura 70 Pro and Pro Plus start at 6,499 yuan (~$898) and 7,999 yuan (~$1,105), respectively. Otherwise, the vanilla Pura 70 will set you back at least 5,499 yuan (~$760).

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