BEIJING, April 18 (Reuters) - Chinese tech giant Huawei started selling two models of its highly anticipated, high-end Pura 70 smartphone series on Thursday which many analysts expect to contain an advanced China-made chip like the Mate 60 handset.

The Shenzhen-based company started sales of the Pura 70 smartphones series on Thursday morning. The Pura series has advanced cameras and is known for its sleek design, while the Mate series emphasises performance and business features.

The launch of Huawei's Mate 60 series last year was celebrated by state media as a triumph over U.S. sanctions on the firm, as the handsets contain an advanced China-made chip.

Huawei’s recent smartphones have drawn attention as they feature an advanced smartphone chip that is considered only a few generations behind cutting-edge chips used by Western tech giants like Apple and Google in terms of computing power.

Huawei teased the Pura's sale this week in a rebranding campaign renaming it from simply “P”.

The Pura 70 series has four variants: the 70, the 70 Plus, the 70 Pro and the 70 Ultra. The starting price for the Pura 70 series will be 5,499 yuan ($760.06).

The pro and the ultra versions have gone on sale on Thursday while the plus and base version will begin sales on April 22. ($1 = 7.2350 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Beijing newsroom; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Stephen Coates)