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Huawei Pura 70 Ultra teardown clip shows off unique retractable camera

Huawei’s latest flagship has a mechanical retractable camera unit, and a new teardown video has given us a better idea of how it works.

Custom image for Huawei Pura 70 Ultra teardown video news with a green version of the phone on a yellow background

Huawei just launched its latest flagship smartphones in China, the Pura 70-series, and we’re expecting an international launch in the near future. If you’re confused about the naming, Huawei has rebranded its P-series phones to Pura, so instead of the P70, we get the Pura 70. We’re more interested in the Ultra edition, though, especially after seeing a Huawei Pura 70 Ultra teardown clip online.

These new models boast impressive specifications across the board, but the Pura 70 Ulta makes the biggest impact. It features a 1-inch main sensor, just like the Oppo Find X7 Ultra that we reviewed recently, but this model has a unique retracting camera module, just like an old point-and-shoot compact camera.

This mechanical lens module isn’t used to change the zoom level (although I’d love to see that) instead, it’s used to keep the camera bump to a minimum, while still using a massive sensor. So every time you open the camera app, the lens extends outwards by a few millimeters for shooting and then retracts back inside before you put it in your pocket. We won’t know for sure until we get our hands on it, but it could be up there with the best Xiaomi phones in terms of camera quality.

The extending lens sounds like a cool feature, but I was very curious about how it works. Thankfully, YouTuber WekiHome (via GSMArena) has posted a full teardown video – the one we mentioned earlier – that shows the internal workings, revealing all the engineering magic.

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The teardown reveals a telescoping sealed lens cover with a stepper motor surrounded by noise-suppressing foam. It’s a very clever design and manages to retain an IP68 certification for water and dust resistance, despite having moving parts.

The video reveals that the speakers are identical to those you can find in the Mate 60 Pro, and the vibration motor is slightly smaller. We also learn that the phone can charge from 0-100% in just 37 minutes, and the screen reaches 1,242 nits in high brightness mode.

US sanctions mean that Huawei can’t access the same high-end SoCs as some other manufacturers, and instead has to rely on its own Kirin chipsets. The latest model looks to be comparable with the Snapdragon 888 and Dimensity 8200 in performance benchmarks, so it might not be class-leading, but it’s an improvement over the Mate 60 Pro.

We’re looking forward to learning more about the Pura 70 Ultra, but in the meantime, if you’re looking for an impressive camera phone with top-tier gaming performance, check out our review of the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra. Or, if you’re looking for other Android alternatives, see our picks for the best Samsung phones and the best OnePlus phones.