Black Shark has returned for another swim. This time, the Black Shark 5 Pro is powered by a fresh Snapdragon and Android 12. Other small changes to the new model include its appearance and battery size, and that’s about it. Xiaomi’s Black Shark game series has been around for quite a while and has built a solid name for itself. The Black Shark 5 collection, which debuted in March and currently includes three models, is the newest addition to the proud family.
What will you see here?
What distinguishes a gaming phone from a conventional smartphone? Hardware and design, are the most important differentiators. Unlike typical, monochrome iPhones and Pixels intended for widespread consumption, gaming phones are targeted at a specific clientele. This allows makers to be more daring, choosing bioinformatics and future-themed looks that you’d never see on a popular device.
Take, for example, the Black Shark 5 Pro. Its satin-finished backside is engraved with solid lines and a tiny RGB LED indication. The glass panel shines in an attractive and delicate manner under varied lighting circumstances. This is unquestionably one of the most subdued gaming phones. Instead of the horizontal camera configuration of its predecessor, the 5 Pro’s bump is merely a basic square. While the design has no effect on on-camera performance.
In terms of design, the Black Shark 4 Pro has a 3.5mm headphone jack, however, the 5 Pro did not. Even while wireless headphones have gotten more popular and affordable, nothing rivals delivering the zero-latency audio that gamers require for high-level play.
On the front is a 6.67-inch OLED display that refreshes at 144Hz. The Black Shark produces enough light (up to 1,300 nits) to make mobile gaming as enjoyable outside as it is indoors. How smooth the auto-brightness seemed while switching between locations. When the display ramps up the luminance, the shift is gradual and does not startle you.
The Black Shark has a maximum resolution of 1080p, which should be more than enough for most people. While the display isn’t as crisp as, for example, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, it’s well-calibrated, and the colors are saturated just enough. Of course, there are display options that allow you to adjust the color settings to your preference.
Going from 120Hz to 144Hz isn’t a game-changer, but the greater refresh rate is really useful for mobile gaming. The animations and visuals are buttery flawless, and the additional hertz is comparable to those of high-end gaming displays. The Black Shark allows you to reduce the refresh rate to 90Hz. Most manufacturers like to maintain your pegs at 120 and 60, but 90 is the ideal halfway point, providing equal smoothness while being more power-efficient.
After all, it is a gaming phone, so here’s a list of its biggest gaming features.
The magnetic trigger buttons on the phone’s side are arguably the most useful feature. Two physical buttons appear from the Black Shark when the top and bottom switches are flipped, and they may be programmed to almost any purpose. This covers everything from in-game controls such as aiming to typical phone functionality such as a shutter or screen capture.
This time around, the thumb shifts on the 5 Pro are substantially firmer. When evaluating the 4 Pro, the shoulder triggers were how easily they popped up. The new version requires greater pressure to trigger the buttons, resulting in fewer inadvertent pushes.
Joy UI 13, Black Shark’s overlay over Android 12, includes features designed to improve your gaming experience. Most notably, Shark Space is a pre-loaded program that acts as a gaming portal, centralizing all of your downloaded titles and external peripheral settings.
Once in-game, Shark Space transforms into a settings overlay that can be accessed by swiping in from any corner of the screen. The user interface (UI) displays gaming-related metrics such as frames per second (fps), internet strength, and battery %, as well as toggles to silence messages and calls.
Instead of using physical fans to keep its engines operating, Black Shark employs “Anti-gravity Dual VC Liquid Cooling” plates. The copper alloys that cover the phone’s internals aid in heat dissipation by mitigating the higher temperatures produced by the battery and CPU. It just never felt hot enough to justify putting it away. Unless you’re doing 3D benchmarks or applications at maximum graphics settings, the vapor chambers should keep you cool enough.
Because of the emphasis on gaming features, camera quality is often an afterthought. That is somewhat true of the Black Shark 5 Pro. This model comes with a new 108MP primary lens, a 13MP ultra-wide lens, and a 5MP macro lens. Before you get too excited about the large 108MP count, keep in mind that more megapixels do not automatically imply higher quality.
The 4,650mAh battery on the Black Shark 5 Pro provided 4 hours of screen time (SOT) per charge. A typical day featured social media surfing, emailing, video streaming, and roughly an hour of gaming. With a focus on playtime, the Black Shark approaches 3 hours of SOT each charge. It’s sad that the 5 Pro only receives a 150mAh increase over its predecessors; a 5,000mAh battery would be more appropriate for the $799 asking price.
To compensate for the poor battery life, Black Shark includes a unique 120W charging brick that really can charge the 5 Pro from 0 to 100 percent in just 15 minutes. Those are the figures that the corporation promotes. In actuality, completely charging the 4,650mAh cell takes roughly 19 minutes. Still.
Is Black Shark a good phone?
The Black Shark 5 Pro certainly impressed me, from helpful pop-up triggers on the side of the device to technology that works well and cameras that don’t completely disappoint. It’s also a gaming beast, with a large 6.7-inch 144Hz display, a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 CPU, and excellent battery life.
Is Xiaomi Black Shark worth buying?
It’s certainly worth considering if you want a phone that’s powerful and designed for gamers. There’s a top-tier Snapdragon 865 CPU on board here, as well as a 5G connection, so it’ll be difficult to find a smartphone with better features this year.
The Black Shark 5 Pro is definitely the greatest phone from the manufacturer, and it deserves a position on a list of the best gaming phones. Retractable shoulder triggers were vital for mobile gamers, and internal hardware is not skimped on.
The Black Shark 4 Pro is dubbed a “Gaming flagship killer.” However, with the 5 Pro’s improved capabilities and cost, Black Shark has become the same thing it previously intended to destroy. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; you now have a top-tier smartphone that was just as capable for gaming as it would be for power users. Black Shark no more does have the value appeal it once had in sacrifice.