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Huawei Pura 70 Ultra review: simply the best camera phone

By launching its latest Pura 70 Ultra in France, Huawei intends to win back its old fans. The brand gave everything it had. on a very specific segment: photography. Discover our test.

To say that Huawei has had quite a journey through the desert is an understatement. The Chinese brand was widely acclaimed. biscited by many users around ten years ago, to the point of starting to use it. overshadowing the giants Samsung and Apple. With excellent smartphones like the P30 Pro, Huawei was making a small contribution to its success. small, its place among the big players on the market.

The rest is unfortunately more than known: continuation à banned from the United States, Huawei is prohibited from using services related to Google as well as chips manufactured by American manufacturers. What followed was a terrible drop in the company's sales in the field of smartphones, particularly in Europe.

Huawei, however, continues to regularly offer new phones with an emphasis on its specialty. always: photography. Thus, the firm recently unveiled its new flagship: the Huawei Pura 70 Ultra. As soon as it was released, the phone imposed itself on the market. at the top of the rankings of specialized photo laboratories, whether for its overall capabilities, its zoom or its portraits. We wanted to see Check if the Huawei Pura 70 Ultra was really that excellent in photos, but also if it is a good one ;the phone without the Google Play Store available on it.

Editor's note: This review was completed by fully realizedé &agrav; from a loaned copy; by the brand.

A design that will not leave you indifferent

Difficult to move on side of the design of the Huawei Pura 70 Ultra. Its name "ultra" This can be felt even in the different choices of its design. The phone feels quite massive in the hand and its leather back sets the tone of a true high-end phone. This item, however, has several big advantages: it is very pleasant to the touch while allowing a good grip. also quickly retains any fingerprints during your handling.

Huawei Pura 70 Ultra review: simply the best camera phone

© Julian Madiot/Huawei

The photo block of the Huawei 70 Pura Ultra is…very bulky. The latter occupies a large space on the back of the smartphone in order to house the device's various sensors. The grip, however, remains quite good on a daily basis since our fingers and thumbs land just below the block, even when gripping at full angle. two hands whereù our index and middle fingers tend to increase; position yourself on the small metallized part below.

Conversely, the edges of the Huawei Pura 70 Ultra are made of very shiny aluminum and are likely to retain some fingerprints on a daily basis. If the power button falls well under the thumb, this is unfortunately not really the case for the volume buttons which are located above and a little too high to be easily reachable when using the smartphone ; a hand.

At the front, the Huawei Pura 70 Ultra has a nice 6.8-inch panel with a selfie camera placed at the top center of the screen. The borders are very thin and symmetrical, which gives a beautiful aesthetic to the Pura 70 Ultra.

A screen as fluid as it is bright

It's difficult to be choosy in front of the Huawei Pura 70 Ultra screen. The company's high-end smartphone has an OLED panel capable of displaying your content with extremely vivid colors as well as deep blacks.

Side brightness, there is plenty to do. Huawei has equipped it with its Pura 70 Ultra with a peak of brightness& maximum of 2500 nits. For comparison, the latest Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra reaches 2600 nits and the iPhone 15 Pro Max reaches 2000 nits. The score of the Huawei Pura 70 Ultra therefore remains very honorable and you will have no trouble achieving this. view your favorite content even in direct sunlight. The automatic switch is also very responsive and adapts quickly to changing conditions. your environment so as not to dazzle you too much or, & Conversely, giving you enough light to view your screen.

Huawei Pura 70 Ultra review: simply the best camera phone

The screen of the Huawei Pura 70 Ultra is pleasant to look at. to use. © Huawei/Julian Madiot

The screen of the Huawei Pura 70 Ultra is also very fluid for its animations. The phone has an adaptive refresh rate that can oscillate between 1 and 120Hz depending on what is displayed. &agrav; the screen. Enough to have a fluidity exemplary, especially within your favorite video games, or to go back down to the next level. 1 pixel when your phone is asleep with an 'always on' mode.

Huawei has done a nice job with the screen of the Pura 70 Ultra. The latter responds perfectly to different light conditions around the phone and perfectly adapts its refresh rate to the content displayed. &agrav; the screen. We will only blame it for its fingerprint sensor which, although it responds rather well, is located' oacute; far too close to the bottom edge of the screen to be easy to use. use daily.

Great performance and controlled heating

Banned from the USA, Huawei cannot use the famous Snapdragon chips from the company Qualcomm. The Huawei Pura 70 Ultra is therefore equipped with a built-in processor. a Kirin 9010 processor to manage your applications and operations. The latter does everything we ask of it on a daily basis, but ;ecirc;e when multiple applications are open at the same time and you want to juggle between them.

Side video games, the Huawei Pura 70 Ultra blows hot and cold, but especially hot. The Huawei smartphone handles power-hungry applications very well. resources like Call of Duty Mobile or Genshin Impact which run perfectly with the graphics pushed to the next level background and the maximum FPS available. A heating of the phone is however felt after a few minutes of play, but nothing that prevents this from happening. che long handling during your games.

Huawei Pura 70 Ultra review: simply the best camera phone

The most demanding games run very well on the Huawei Pura 70 Ultra. © Linternaute/Julian Madiot

An important point à note: if one of your games includes micro-transactions, you will not be able to pay for them within the application. The Huawei Pura 70 Ultra cannot reach the servers from the Google Play Store, you will not be able to buy currency for your favorite game.

Software: These aren't the Google apps you're looking for

When reading the review of a Huawei phone, you must certainly ask yourself a question: “can I have my Google applications on it ?”. A legitimate question and one that has continued to be discussed. to hear from those around us during our test week.

The answer is yes…And no. Unable to have the Google Play Store, Huawei has created its own application store: AppGallery. The latter allows you to find many classic applications like Facebook or Instagram.& ;nbsp;There is, however, a much better solution that has been put forward by the manufacturer for several months: the Aurora Store. Very similar to the Google Play Store, this alternative store allows you to find all of your favorite applications and put them up to date. update very easily as if you had any Android phone.

During our week of testing, we didn'miss of no particular application. Gmail, Google Chat, Google Calendar… We had all of our favorite applications at our disposal. only one exception: impossible to pair a Google Pixel Watch with our Huawei Pura 70 Ultra, but no real surprise here. While we thought we wouldn't be able to take advantage of Google Maps, it works completely and allows us to consult nearby places as well as directions.

Huawei Pura 70 Ultra review: simply the best camera phone

The apps are easy to install and update even without the Google Play Store © Linternaute/Julian Madiot

There is, however, one black spot to note: the Huawei Pura 70 Ultra is still stuck on Android 12 (while the majority of recent phones have Android 14 and version 15 will soon be available at the time of writing). A rather worrying delay being doubled some vagueness about the number of years of updates planned for the device.

A photo quality that surprises from near and far

You are looking for the best smartphone for taking photographs ? Your quest touches on this. its end. Voilà how we could summarize the performance of the Huawei Pura 70 Ultra regarding photography. Endowed With a (gigantic) one-inch photo sensor, Huawei's high-end smartphone shines in almost all circumstances. There are many details, even when you zoom in on a photo. already carried out and we do not observe any motion blur or digital noise that could deteriorate the quality of the video. of the image. The sharpness is very good and the colors are well reproduced. Add &to; This is a "camera" which triggers very quickly and the Huawei Pura 70 Ultra stands out as one, if not the best smartphone for photos day.

Huawei Pura 70 Ultra review: simply the best camera phone

Huawei Pura 70 Ultra review: simply the best camera phone

Huawei Pura 70 Ultra review: simply the best camera phone

Huawei Pura 70 Ultra review: simply the best camera phone

The Huawei Pura 70 Ultra is equippedé a telephoto lens that can zoom up to x3.5 optically and up to 3.5x. x100 in digital processing. Using the zoom on the Pura 70 Ultra is surprisingly pleasant. whereù many smartphones lose a lot of quality. When zoomed x3 or x10, the shots taken with the Pura 70 Ultra remain very good. However, we will note a colorimetry that is sometimes approximate and which tends to change. "blanch" our photos as à as you zoom into the scene.

Huawei Pura 70 Ultra review: simply the best camera phone

Zoom x10 © Linternaute/Julian Madiot

Huawei Pura 70 Ultra review: simply the best camera phone

Zoom x10 © Linternaute/Julian Madiot

The portrait mode of a smartphone generally allows you to apply a Gaussian blur in the background of a smartphone. cliche. This allows a particular subject to stand out. provided that the phone accurately handles small details at a glance. such as hair, fur or vegetation. The Huawei Pura 70 Ultra performs brilliantly and manages to achieve this goal. almost perfectly delineate our subject in order to apply a blur in the background. However, they are sometimes blurred, but you would really have to be choosy to be upset about it.

Huawei Pura 70 Ultra review: simply the best camera phone

The portrait mode of the Huawei Pura 70 Ultra delivers very good results. © Linternaute/Julian Madiot

The ultra-wide angle also does quite well and manages to achieve a high resolution. capture many small details in everyday life and when the brightness is high. ambient is good. We will still notice slight losses of quality on certain shots as well as sometimes less natural colors, but the result remains overall very good.

It's generally at night that we feel the difference in the quality of the video. photo between a good and a bad smartphone. Good news: the Pura 70 Ultra comes out with honors in this segment. Even when the phone lacks brightness, its sensor will manage to detect light. capture enough light or generate it to restore a snapshot totally usable.

Huawei Pura 70 Ultra review: simply the best camera phone

A decent sound but lacking punch

The Huawei Pura 70 Ultra is equipped with rather well-made speakers. Calls are perfectly audible, whether you stick the device to the phone or not. your ear or use the "speaker mode" to listen to our conversations. Likewise, music broadcast directly from the smartphone is pleasant to listen to. élisten. The Huawei Pura 70 Ultra, however, tends to listen. Quickly muffle the sound as soon as the volume becomes too high. and therefore cannot really replace a potential audio speaker.

Conversely, we have beené relatively disappointed when using Bluetooth headphones. the Huawei Pura 70 Ultra à AirPods 3, AirPods Pro 2 and Nothing Ear (2024) and we obtain a very timid result during our listening. We had to push the sound of the telephone to louder. background to be able to correctly hear our music and audio content on Spotify and YouTube.

Very good autonomy for efficient recharging

Huawei has equipped its Pura 70 Ultra with a large 5200 mAh battery which, on paper, should give it very good battery life. Unplugged around 8am and used as our main smartphone, our test model still had more than 50% battery 10 hours later. A good performance that allows the Pura 70 Ultra to be fully used during a day of typical use. Power users who play video games and other very demanding applications will potentially have to go through a small recharge to last until the evening.

However, recharging the Huawei Pura 70 Ultra is not a problem. It is even another very good point of the phone which is compatible with a recharge of up to 100 W wired and 80 W wireless. Impressive figures that allow the phone to be fully charged in just under 50 minutes during our tests. The height of happiness: the 100W charger with its block is provided in the box!

Clear communications but confined to 4G

We were able to use the Huawei Pura 70 Ultra as our main phone for more than two weeks. During our various calls, we did not notice any problems No network issues or troubleshooting. to be heard by our interlocutors. It should be noted, however, that the Huawei Pura 70 Ultra is not compatible with 5G communications networks.

Side connectivity, we already have it. &eac;mentionedé the few problems when we wanted to use Google devices with the Huawei Pura 70 Ultra. For our other equipment (JBL speaker, Android headphones, AirPods …), we did not find out what possible concerns.

Our conclusion of the Huawei Pura 70 Ultra


This test of the Huawei Pura 70 Ultra was a first for us: testing a Huawei smartphone since the brand was banned in the US. If we had some fears about the lack of Google applications, these were quickly resolved. swept away thanks to the use of the Aurora Store which stands out as a real solution equivalent to the Google Play Store.

The Huawei Pura 70 Ultra impresses especially with its photo component. Capable of surpassing the capabilities of the latest Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and iPhone 15& nbsp;Pro Max, Huawei's high-end phone, easily establishes itself as the best photophone on the market. &agrav; current time. Add à This provides a good grip with its rigid leather and its very good quality screen, and you get an excellent smartphone.

Side disappointments, we will still mention our concerns about the number of updates. safety day planned by the manufacturer as well as the fact that the Huawei Pura 70 Ultra still runs Android 12 released more than two years ago! Finally, the impossibility of to take advantage of micro-transactions within our favorite applications as well as the pronounced heating on certain games remain quite annoying for the most gamers.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116