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HUAWEI Pura 70 Pro Review – More Than Just Benchmarks
Silver Pokdeward
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Review

HUAWEI Pura 70 Pro Review – More Than Just Benchmarks

by May 27, 2024
Overview
Warranty

1-year with optional add-on for extra 1-year

Price

RM4,899

Positives

+ Attractive, unique design
+ Excellent display, complete with adaptive 120Hz refresh rate
+ Good weight distribution makes it comfortable to hold
+ Works surprisingly well despite benchmarks
+ Facial recognition and fingerprint reader works fast and well
+ Great battery life
+ Superb camera performance
+ Excellent charging speed with included 100W charger, supports 80W wireless
+ Infrared port allows it to act as a smart remote

Negatives

- No Google Mobile Services (GMS)
- No 5G connectivity
- Graphical performance could use improvements
- Can be a bit slippery to hold (rear) without a case, especially if wet

Pokde Scoreboard
Pokde Rating
Appearance
9.0
Efficiency
8.5
Features
7.0
Materials
8.5
Performance
7.5
Portability
8.5
User Experience
8.0
Value
8.0
Bottom Line

The HUAWEI Pura 70 Pro is a great smartphone that befits its flagship stature. Though it might not be the best of the bunch, I would commend it as the value king of the Pura 70 series.

8.1
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Unboxing the HUAWEI Pura 70 Pro

HUAWEI Pura 70 Pro Review

HUAWEI Pura 70 Pro Review – Box

Starting off the HUAWEI Pura 70 Pro review with the unboxing, the packaging is a white box with the model name listed on the center. There’s also a HUAWEI App Gallery logo on the bottom, reminding people that this is the primary way to get apps downloaded on the phone. Inside the box, you can find the following items:

HUAWEI Pura 70 Pro Review -

HUAWEI Pura 70 Pro Review – Box content

  • 100W FlashCharge charging brick
  • USB-C cable
  • Documentations
  • SIM ejector pin
  • Clear protective case
  • The HUAWEI Pura 70 Pro smartphone itself

Specifications

SoC Kirin 9010, 7nm
1 x Taishan Big @ 2.3GHz + 3 x Taishan Mid @ 2.18GHz + 4 x Cortex-A510 @ 1.55GHz
Maleon 910 GPU
RAM 12GB LPDDR5X
Storage 512GB UFS 4.0
Display 6.8″ 1.5K+ (2844 x 1260) 120Hz (adaptive) LTPO OLED Display
2,500 nits (peak)
1440Hz PWM Dimming
300Hz Touch Sampling
Kunlun Glass 2
Rear Camera 50MP f/1.4 – 4.0 wide angle camera, PDAF, Laser AF, OIS
48MP f/2.1 telephoto camera, PDAF, OIS, 3.5x optical zoom
12.5MP f/2.2 ultrawide camera
LED Flash, panorama, HDR, 4K, Full HD, gyro-EIS
Selfie Camera 13MP f/2.4 (ultrawide), AF, HDR, panorama
Battery 5,050mAh
100W HUAWEI SuperCharge
80W Wireless HUAWEI SuperCharge
Ingress Protection IP68
Software EMUI 14.2
Connectivity Wi-Fi 6, dual-band (2.4GHz and 5GHz)
Bluetooth 5.2 with A2DP, LE, L2HC
GPS (L1+L5), GLONASS (L1), BDS (B1I+B1c+B2a+B2b), GALILEO (E1+E5a+E5b), QZSS (L1+L5), NavIC
NFC, Infrared
USB-C 3.1 with OTG, DisplayPort 1.2
Dimensions 162.6 x 75.1 x 8.4 mm
220g
Colours White and Black

Performance

HUAWEI Pura 70 Pro Review

HUAWEI Pura 70 Pro Review – Antutu v10

Starting off our benchmark suite with Antutu v10, the HUAWEI Pura 70 Pro didn’t perform badly but we expected a bit more given that it’s part of a 2024 flagship series, let alone Pro model. Not only did it lose out to this year’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, it also lost to last year’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, which made me worry about the device’s potential. It’s at least definitely a league above midrange chips, being notably higher than the Snapdragon 7 Gen 3 in the iQOO Z9, the strongest midrange performer we’ve had thus far.

HUAWEI Pura 70 Pro Review

HUAWEI Pura 70 Pro Review – Geekbench 6

In Geekbench 6, it’s not particularly different from the previous benchmark but the difference isn’t as staggering. This time around, the Kirin 9010 chip powering the HUAWEI Pura 70 Pro seems to be practically on par with Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, and still healthily above any midrange chips we’ve tested at this point in time.

HUAWEI Pura 70 Pro Review

HUAWEI Pura 70 Pro Review – 3DMark

Moving on to 3DMark, the HUAWEI Pura 70 Pro didn’t fare well as it had relatively low scores in both Wild Life and Wild Life Extreme. These may be resource-intensive 3D benchmarks but we did expect it to fare better considering its rivals are doing a whole lot better in this area. One upside that it has over its competition is thermal efficiency as it managed to go through the stress tests with a 99.8% stability rating, meaning no thermal throttling and it barely felt warm to the touch by the end of it.

HUAWEI Pura 70 Pro Review

HUAWEI Pura 70 Pro Review – PCMark Work 3.0

Lastly on PCMark Work 3.0, the HUAWEI Pura 70 Pro performed well enough, easily breaking the 10,000 mark. While it seems to be on par with last year’s flagships in this area, it doesn’t change the fact that it can serve you well as a daily driver, and can multitask well enough. With 12 LPDDR5X RAM, there’s nothing to worry on the latter part but if you want more, you can always opt for the Pro+ or the Ultra models instead.

HUAWEI Pura 70 Pro Review

HUAWEI Pura 70 Pro Review – Battery endurance test

For those of you wondering about its battery life, the HUAWEI Pura 70 Pro has a great endurance score as it lasted 12 hours and 19 minutes (739 minutes) in PCMark’s Work 3.0 endurance test. It may not have the best battery life out there but it’s quite high up there among the best. Keep in mind that it managed to keep up with the ROG Phone 6D, a performance-oriented gaming phone with almost 1,000mAh capacity more in battery. To give you an idea, I can get two full days of use comfortably without intentionally limiting my use, but if I use the camera extensively like for video shoots, expect to charge it at least once a day.

As for charging speed, this is what I managed to get using the included 100W FlashCharge charger:

  • 15 minutes = 51%
  • 30 minutes = 73%
  • 45 minutes 97%
  • 49 minutes = 100%

Camera

The HUAWEI Pura 70 Pro has a pretty good camera overall. The main camera is capable of capturing so much details along with such wide dynamic range, it’s sometimes hard to believe this is still from a smartphone. At times, it does have a bit of trouble focusing on smaller objects but if you take a step back, it will work fine again. The telephoto camera is practically on par, just that the colors look a teensy bit more dull. It works great up to 10x zoom for the most part, with 5x looking like its still in optical zoom (optical is only up to 3.5x), but anything past 10x can be of questionable quality depending on how good the lighting is.

Ultrawide works fairly well, though details are softer and colors aren’t as punchy as the main camera. The selfie camera works well overall but at times, and the skin softening effect is within acceptable levels by default. However, it seems like it produces some out-of-focus shots every now and then so I would recommend taking multiple selfies at once, just in case. The software is smart enough to identify the subject being shot, whether it be people, food or even scenery and does a good job at optimizing them, which is likely why most pictures turn out well with just a simple point-and-shoot approach.

The Good

HUAWEI Pura 70 Pro Review - Forward

HUAWEI Pura 70 Pro Review – Forward Symbol Design

There are a good number of reasons to consider getting the HUAWEI Pura 70 Pro. For starters, the design is rather unique, classy, and certainly eye-catching. It has a frosted glass rear with a more matte finish, mated to its aluminum frame, which looks unlike anything we’ve seen in order smartphones and certainly adds a touch of class to the overall look. The triple-camera array is arranged in a triangular formation which they dub as “Forward Symbol Design”. While it is rather large, the weight distribution is well-balanced, making it easy and comfortable to hold. Without a protective case however, it can be a bit slippery so do be careful, especially if your hands are a little moist.

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Razer Kishi Ultra Review

It also has an excellent display. It’s a 6.8-inch 1.5K+ (2844 x 1260) LTPO OLED display with 120Hz adaptive refresh rate, 2,500 nits peak brightness, 1440Hz PWM dimming and a decent 300Hz touch sampling rate. Simply put, it’s a bright, colorful display that easily matches up with all of the flagships out there this year. It doesn’t come with Gorilla Glass by any means but it does have Kunlun Glass 2, which has built a reputation of withstanding several drops to concrete floors, getting run over by a car, and more. Many people who have used this claimed that once you have this, you’d forget about whatever Corning has to offer.

Did you know that it works well with the Razer Kishi Ultra despite the gamepad not advertising support for HUAWEI phones? Check out our review of it by clicking right here.

This is also one of the few smartphones around to have an infrared sensor. This might not seem like much for a lot of people but it brings one very useful feature for you to use; the ability to act as a remote control. Using the Smart Remote app that has been pre-installed, it can act as a TV remote, air conditioner remote, and even a set-top box remote. All you have to do is pick the device you’d like to control with the HUAWEI Pura 70 Pro, test out which signal works, and you’re good to go. It should work with most appliances that have a remote control, with only the really obscure brands being left out.

HUAWEI Pura 70 Pro Review -

HUAWEI Pura 70 Pro Review – EMUI 14.2

Given the benchmark results we’ve obtained, we expected the HUAWEI Pura 70 Pro to be lacking but to my surprise, it actually works pretty well. Powered by EMUI 14.2, navigating through the device is easy and works like a breeze. Sure, some of its competitors could run certain games better, like how it occasionally stutters in Devil May Cry: Peak of Combat, but for the most part, you can run pretty much anything that the HUAWEI App Gallery can throw at it just fine. While I hope to see improvements in its graphical capabilities in future iterations, this goes to show that there’s more to a smartphone than just benchmark scores.

Lastly, the facial recognition and fingerprint scanners works fast and well. With regards to the former, I seem to have no issues getting it to work, even when trying to unlock the phone in the dark, though it’s likely that the screen’s brightness was adequate to shine on what’s necessary for it to read. As for the latter, the only time I’ve had issues with it is when my fingers are still damp / wet after washing my hands but other than that, it works almost instantaneously and rarely, if ever, had any issues.

The Bad

HUAWEI Pura 70 Pro Review -

HUAWEI Pura 70 Pro Review

Of course, the HUAWEI Pura 70 Pro does have its share of drawbacks. For starters, there is still no Google Mobile Services support here. I’m sure you know of the ongoing issues they have with US sanctions and that doesn’t look like it will change anytime soon. This is of course if we’re strictly looking at it from an official standpoint as this is EMUI 14.2, which is based on Android 12. As a result, there are multiple workarounds but that’s as much as we can say in this review.

Another major issue that may hold people back from buying not just this but the entire Pura 70 series is the lack of 5G connectivity. Everything else seems to be up to par with other flagships, such as Wi-Fi 6 support, Bluetooth 5.2, GPS, NFC, and USB-C connection but 5G connectivity is absent. Unsurprisingly, this is a limitation on HUAWEI’s end due to the aforementioned sanctions as the China version running HarmonyOS 4.2 has no issues with 5G support. With more local telcos improving 5G support, consumers may feel like they’re left out but realistically, I do believe that 4G LTE is plenty fast for most people today still. At the end of the day, it depends on the consumer themselves if they really want 5G support or not.

HUAWEI Pura 70 Pro Review -

HUAWEI Pura 70 Pro Review – App recommendations

Lastly, and this was a similar bone I had to pick with a recent iQOO smartphone, is that it seems to be indirectly promoting a whole bunch of apps. There exists a number of folders that contain apps that they recommend you to download, and if you don’t look carefully, it may look like you have already downloaded it and open it by instinct or curiosity. Personally, I was fine with it in cheaper phones as it might be a way for companies to gain revenue so that they can put a lower price tag on certain phones but on a flagship, this doesn’t sit well at all. It’s okay to recommend apps on the HUAWEI App Gallery, but not directly on the phone’s UI itself where all your apps are listed.

HUAWEI Pura 70 Pro Verdict

HUAWEI Pura 70 Pro Review -

HUAWEI Pura 70 Pro Review

The HUAWEI Pura 70 Pro is a great smartphone that befits its flagship stature. Though it might not be the best of the bunch, I would commend it as the value king of the Pura 70 series. With its retail price of RM4,899, it might be a bit of a tough sell given its shortcomings but if you can live without 5G support nor GMS, and are already within the HUAWEI ecosystem such as with their MateBooks or FreeBuds, it is more than capable of serving you well. You might not get the Ultra’s 1-inch sensor here but keep in mind, that is almost RM2,000 more and this is already an excellent shooter.

At the end of our HUAWEI Pura 70 Pro review, I award this smartphone with our Silver Pokdeward.

Pokde-Silver

Big thanks to HUAWEI Malaysia for sending us this smartphone for the purpose of this review.

About The Author
Aiman Maulana
Jack of all trades, master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one. YouTuber, video editor, tech head, and a wizard of gaming. What's up? :)