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Gadget of the Week

Gadget of the Week: Huawei’s first Pura delights

It starts with the camera, but then goes deep into its insides, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK as he dives in.

What is it?

The Pura70 Ultra is the first of a new generation of Huawei smartphones, using the Pura sub-brand that evolved from the P- or Premium series. And this device is a pure premium delight.

To start with, it’s not often that we see premium packaging on a smartphone nowadays. But that’s the only way to describe the way the Huawei pure 70 Ultra arrives. The Pura brand still stands for Premium, so the packaging is highly appropriate. And now it also stands for Purity. 

That is because Huawei is hoping to add not only a premium experience but a pure smartphone experience. The phone has a 6.8 inch AMOLED display with a 460 pixel per inch density, which is pretty decent in terms of display resolution, especially when it’s paired with 120Hz refresh rate.

The Pura 70 Series is equipped with a new generation of Huawei X-True Display, with 2500 nits brightness and AI HDR high dynamic display. When the screen is not in use, it supports a EOD 1Hz low-power display, which dramatically reduces power consumption when the screen is on. It also supports 1-120Hz LTPO Adaptive Refresh Rate, which can intelligently adjust the screen’s refresh rate according to how it is being used.

The standout feature of the device, though, and I use that term with the pun fully intended, is what Huawei calls the Ultra Lighting Pop-out camera, which is a very innovative approach to camera arrays. It features a retractable main camera mechanism that allows for a 1-inch sensor. 

That is far more significant than the megapixels in the three lenses on the rear – 50MP wide, 50MP telephoto, and 40MP ultrawide – because the size of the sensor determines the amount of light that’s let in, and therefore the quality of the image. In terms of mainstream devices that are widely available, this is going to set the phone apart in terms of camera capability. 

The selfie camera on the front has a 13 MP ultrawide lens, which will not shoot out too many lights.

The screen uses a new version of Kunlun Glass, which already sets Huawei apart in terms of durability, strength and scratch proof quality of the device. The new version is described as basalt-tempered, which gives a clue to just how hardy it is. It is also RP 68 rated for dust and water resistance, meaning you can go up to two meters deep for up to 30 minutes. 

Standard in the box is a rear cover that is a rare example of a cover that is aesthetically pleasing and not just a lump of plastic slapped on the back of the device. It integrates exceptionally well with the colour scheme of the Pure 70 Ultra.

And then there is the 100 Watt, Huawei Supercharge brick that also comes standard with the device. That capacity is going to take the battery from zero to 100 in 30 minutes, meaning it doesn’t even matter if the battery runs out before the end of the day. That said, it’s a 5200 mAh battery, which is impressive for a device that has built in so much technology. 

It supports blazing fast 80W wireless charging, as well as 20W reverse wireless and 18W reverse wired charging, meaning it can be used to charge other devices.

It comes with a generous 512GB storage and16GB RAM to start, with a 1TB storage option.

Of course Huawei phones don’t come with Android. They run on Huawei’s own EMUI interface, in this case version 14.2. The most notable thing about it is that it doesn’t look very different to the standard Android experience. That means, unless you’re looking for specific Google services like Maps or Gmail, you’re not going to notice that it operates in a different ecosystem and a different universe. 

Different is probably the word that best sums up this device. It is different to anything else that we see on the smartphone market, and it’s not going to be confused for any other device.

How much does it cost?

You can buy it at the Huawei store here for R19,999. That also gets you a free Huawei MatePad SE 4GB+64GB.

Why does it matter?

Mainly, it matters because the absence of Google services hardly matters anymore.

What are the biggest negatives?

  • The absence of Google services will always be a negative, but it is becoming less relevant all the time.
  • The individual camera lenses do not stand out, but a large sensor makes up for it.
  • The selfie camera has a stingy 13 MP ultrawide lens.

What are the biggest positives?

  • One of the biggest image sensors on the market, great for low-light photography.
  • Premium packaging creates a premium experience from the moment of unboxing to the elegant rear cover supplied with the device.
  • 100 Watt Huawei Supercharge brick, standard with the device, charges from 0 to 100% in 30 minutes.
  • Generous 512GB or 1Tb storage and16GB RAM.

Arthur Goldstuck is CEO of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Follow him on social media on @art2gee.

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