The idea to create a gaming smartphone arises regularly. And after the appearance of the Nintendo Switch and its unexpected popularity, it turned out that people have long wanted something like this. And manufacturers poured on us their options – Razer Phone, Nubia Red Magic and of course Xiaomi Black Shark. And unlike Razer and Nubia, where the rate was made on the display, sound, and appearance, Black Shark thought about the main thing – the system’s operation and management.
Xiaomi Black Shark Specifications
|NETWORK||Technology||GSM / CDMA / HSPA / EVDO / LTE|
|Status||Available. Released 2018, April|
|BODY||Dimensions||161.6 x 75.4 x 9.3 mm (6.36 x 2.97 x 0.37 in)|
|Weight||190 g (6.70 oz)|
|SIM||Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)|
|DISPLAY||Type||IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors|
|Size||5.99 inches, 92.6 cm2 (~76.0% screen-to-body ratio)|
|Resolution||1080 x 2160 pixels, 18:9 ratio (~403 ppi density)|
|– 97% DCI-P3 coverage|
|PLATFORM||OS||Android 8.0 (Oreo)|
|Chipset||Qualcomm SDM845 Snapdragon 845|
|CPU||Octa-core (4×2.8 GHz Kryo 385 Gold & 4×1.8 GHz Kryo 385 Silver)|
|Internal||128 GB, 8 GB RAM or 64 GB, 6 GB RAM|
|CAMERA||Primary||Dual: 12 MP (f/1.8, 1.25µm) + 20 MP (f/1.8, 1.0µm), 2x optical zoom, dual pixel phase detection autofocus, dual-LED dual-tone flash|
|Features||Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, HDR, panorama|
|Video||2160p@30fps, 1080p@30fps, 720p@120fps|
|Secondary||20 MP, (f/2.2, 1.0µm), 1080p|
|SOUND||Alert types||Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones|
|Loudspeaker||Yes, with stereo speakers|
|– Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic|
– 3.5 mm to USB-C headphone adapter incl.
|COMMS||WLAN||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, WiFi Direct, hotspot|
|Bluetooth||5.0, A2DP, aptX HD, LE|
|GPS||Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS|
|USB||2.0, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector|
|FEATURES||Sensors||Fingerprint (front-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass|
|Messaging||SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email, IM|
|– Fast battery charging 9V/2A (Quick Charge 3.0)|
– XviD/MP4/H.265 player
– MP3/WAV/eAAC+/Flac player
– Photo/video editor
– Document viewer
|BATTERY||Non-removable Li-Ion 4000 mAh battery|
|Price||About 450 EUR|
So, Black Shark looks like a dream of a harsh gamer. But in fact, for some reason, all the producers think that people in need need a bright, sometimes vulgar and some cosmic appearance. If this is really so important, then we can say that Black Shark did it. The front side looks quite normal – a display with an aspect ratio of 18: 9, a home button and a fairly perceptible frame. But in the gaming device, frameless rather minus than plus. But the edges and the back of this smartphone immediately give out in it its gaming start. Cutouts in the case, accents, a picture and a bright logo – all this immediately signals to people that the smartphone is not simple. The very form of the back cover is most likely dictated by the internal design of the components, where there is seemingly a liquid cooling.
I must admit that Xiaomi Black Shark turned out to be convenient for ergonomics. It perfectly sits in the palm of your hand and plays at the expense of rounded forms and tangible dimensions more convenient than on an ultra-thin smartphone. From this point of view, the smartphone came out right. But real gamers may not have enough mini-jack. Yes, to play it is necessary to use the complete adapter on Type-C. And you can charge and play headphones only in one scenario – if you use a wireless headset. On the right side of the smartphone is a power button and a volume rocker, on the left switch, made in the spirit of OnePlus. This switch activates the game mode. In this mode, not only the behavior of the smartphone changes, but also the shell – it becomes almost console and only in a horizontal orientation, showing only a list of games.
Technically, the Black Shark smartphone does not differ much from the usual flagship smartphones: Snapdragon 845 processor and Adreno 630 graphics, 6 or 8 GB of RAM, and 64 and 128 GB permanent. But there are also nuances. In Xiaomi Black Shark, the processor has the same eight Kryo cores as other smartphones, but four cores, according to the description, work at 1.8 GHz, while all other smartphones are 1.7 GHz. But this is not actually an indicator, but the allegedly liquid cooling system sounds much more interesting. With this technology, Black Shark tried to solve the problem of throttling with overheating, and at peak loads, they managed to reduce the temperature by 8 ° C. And if you believe benchmarks, then this is one of the most powerful smartphones on the market. The 8GB version knocks out 279464 points. In practice,
To play it was more convenient, Black Shark separately sells the gamepad, which is attached to the smartphone on the left side and connects to it via Bluetooth. However, before you connect the gamepad, you should always put on a smartphone a complete plastic bumper, which partially covers the back of the device. Neither of the falls, nor from anything else such a bumper will not protect, but he needs, by and large, in order to fasten this gamepad. Without a bumper, it cannot be connected. An interesting approach, but even more strange is that the gamepad will only be on the left side, and the right hand will have to control the tap on the screen. It turns out some kind of hybrid method of control, which in the first minutes of the game causes cognitive dissonance.
It’s like trying to re-invent a bicycle, and in some games, it’s so much more convenient to play, but in PUBG, GTA or Tanks you want the right hand to press the physical buttons. Black Shark did not even have to invent anything, it was enough to look at what Motorola, GameVice or a lot of Chinese companies did and did at least the same. By the way, in some games, this gamepad is not supported and it will have to be adjusted. And in some games, only the joystick works, and the triggers do not react at all to pressing. It connects to the smartphone via Bluetooth, and it has a built-in battery, which is enough for 3 hours of games.
But what everyone expected from Xiaomi Black Shark, but did not get it – a display with a refresh rate of 120 Hz. Still, get everything immediately and preferably cheap – quite problematic. The screen in Black Shark IPS, 6-inches, with Full HD + resolution. The display itself is not bad, but its colors are clearly inverted when tilted. The screen goes a little red. Perhaps this is the problem of a specific instance, and maybe this is a feature of the smartphone. The display is bright enough, and it has good viewing angles, but what unpleasantly surprises gamers is the lack of a mini-jack. In such a large and fairly thick body there was no place for a headphone jack. Well, that at least in the kit there is a Type-C adapter. But the sound from the speakers pleased, and here is not just one loudspeaker, here’s stereo speakers.
Black Shark runs on Android 8.0 and its own launcher Joy UI. This is essentially the same MIUI but thoroughly redrawn for this smartphone. Everything is implemented well, except for one feature – while scrolling menu items or the Instagram tape creates a jelly effect.
First of all, Xiaomi Black Shark is a gaming smartphone and the camera has much less attention. Although there is a dual module installed here. The main camera is 12 Mp with a fast aperture f / 1.8 lens, an auxiliary 20 Mp with the same diaphragm. The quality of the images can be characterized as average. The level of the camera is definitely lower than the flagship, the pictures do not strike the imagination with detail and the correct display of colors. So, if you were planning to get both a gaming smartphone and a mobile camera, it will not work. Quality mediocre, but not terrible. During the day you can get quite good shots, but in the dark, noises, overhauls and quality are far from the best. The camera has several modes – for example, a two-fold magnification and a portrait mode with background blur. The video is written in 4K. In general, the quality of the camera is not bad,
Autonomy and other features
But for what there is a praise, so this is for the amount of built-in battery. A battery for 4000 mAh and play normally allows and use the smartphone in normal mode, without worrying about charging. Day work with very active use of Xiaomi Black Shark is going through easily. This is based on video, games, instant messaging and other applications. With active games, 15 to 25% of the charge is spent in 30 minutes.
BlackShark supports work with two SIM-cards. The fingerprint scanner located under the screen is not the fastest and even slightly thoughtful, but works. To the left and to the right of the “Home” button there are invisible hardware touch buttons Back and Call the application manager.
Buy Xiaomi Black Shark can be in two colors: black and gray. There are 2 versions: 6/64 and 8/128 GB. The cost of the smartphone from 550 to 660 dollars, depending on the version. And here the question arises: Do you need to take a gamer’s Black Shark or can you buy OnePlus 6 for the same money and buy an IPEGA gamepad and get the same thing, but in a more civilized form? Probably, the second option is more practical and at a price of about the same. On the other hand, the appearance of Black Shark is different from most smartphones and really causes certain parallels with gaming devices. So, if you are a gamer and a fan of this appearance, then why not choose this smartphone. Especially since there is an advanced game mode. In general, mobile consoles, in the form of the same smartphones, gradually gaining momentum and not least due to the success of the Nintendo Switch. Xiaomi, Razer, Nubia, and now Asus and Honor are preparing to enter the market of gaming smartphones. Competition is growing, which means that quality will also grow.