We have been able to attend the launch of Black Shark 2 in Beijing, a mobile phone that clearly bets on the gaming segment, both in terms of aesthetics and performance. It is direct competition of the ASUS ROG Phone, Huawei Mate 20X or the RazerPhone 2 and according to our first tests is above them in terms of performance thanks to the Snapdragon 855 and its liquid cooling system.
The Black Shark company is quite young and thanks to its partnership with Xiaomi brought to the market its first mobile phone, the Xiaomi Black Shark . His idea was good and practically opened the ban along with Razer and ASUS mobile gaming market.
The new Black Shark 2 is a brave bet on the part of the company and offers what any gamer would expect from a smartphone: the best performance in the market and an aggressive and striking aesthetic.
Now, how is this Black Shark 2 ? Will it be able to crown the category in performance ? And how does it go in the rest of the sections? We see it.
|Dimensions||163.61 x 75.01 x 8.77 mm|
|Screen size||6.39 “|
|Dots per inch||403 ppp|
|Resolution||2,340 x 1,080 px|
|Fast charge||Quick Charge 4.0|
|Wifi||a / b / g / n / ac 2×2 MU MIMO|
|Rear cameras||12 Mpx f / 1.75 with 4K video |
12 Mpx f / 2.2
|Selfies camera||20 Mpx f / 2.2|
Gamer design, designed by and for gamers
The company has focused on a design so as not to go unnoticed, a design that attracts looks, we do not judge whether it is beautiful or not, but it is clear that people stop to look at it. The front has an all-screen design without notch boasting some remarkable frames (if we talk about all-screen design, of course) at the top and bottom.
The rear has that gaming approach with the logo illuminated as well as two sidebars also customizable with RGB colors. It is a metallic unibody design with a back part in embedded brightness while most of the body is anodized aluminum with matt finish, something that helps heat dissipation.
In a large mobile, more than 16 centimeters high and more than 200 grams. This is compensated with a panel screen is 6.39 inches AMOLED in 19.5.9 format and with HDR support . In our first contact with the terminal it looks like a quality screen with a good level of brightness and a priori viewing angles, but we have to put it to the test in our laboratory to go into more detail.
Unlike other manufacturers, the panel has a refresh rate of 60 Hz and instead of working in this line, the company has worked on the refresh rate of the touch panel reaching up to 240Hz , that is, it takes less time to detect a pulsation, 43.5 ms.
This is important at the level of gaming since those thousandths of a second can be crucial in multiplayer games. The feeling in normal use leaves us something cold and we want to test it thoroughly to tell you if this improvement in response time is really a leap forward or a small improvement compared to other mobile gaming that do bet on an improvement in the rate of refresh the panel, reaching 90Hz as the ASUS ROG Phone or 120 HZ with the RazerPhone 2 .
In addition it also mounts a 4000 mAh battery with fast charge that promises half an hour of play with a load of only 5 minutes, something that we will check in our analysis. Among the other specifications also highlights the fingerprint reader screen that in these first uses has given us the impression of being quite accurate, more than what we have found so far.
Top performance, Snapdragon 855 and liquid cooling everywhere
The Black Shark 2 boasts the latest Qualcomm SoC and in theory should become, if not the fastest, one of the fastest Android smartphones on the market.
With a configuration of 6 GB , 8 GB or 12 GB of RAM is a device designed to use very heavy applications and multitasking at a high level. In the first contact with him we have found a constant fluency and even outstanding performance in games like Arena of Valor.
It is clear that the company has opted to have a top processor, but what stands out against the rest is a custom liquid cooling system. It has a steam chamber in direct contact with the main components of the smartphone to evacuate the heat they generate. This joined to a plate to distribute the heat for the rest of the terminal and a heatpipe that arrives until the zone of the controllers of load complete the system.
In principle we have seen no evidence of any overclock against the default frequencies of Snapdragon 855 Qualcomm but it has a mode, Ludricrous Mode , which is activated by a switch button on the right side that will allow the mobile center all its potential in the games you launch from it. According to Gameloft, you get higher performance and fps rates with this mode. We will check it in our analysis.
Clean software, but different in China and the rest of the world
The units that had been exposed in the presentation had Chinese software, with applications from the country as well as an application store. There was no sign of Google services. However the version that we have received to test yes that brings pre-installed services.
It is a very clean version of the software, Android 9 , which largely resembles the Pixel Launcher, very clean and, at least in the software version that we are testing right now, with practically nothing of bloatware.
It is important to note that this case is ready to mount some controls that work as a JoyCon Nintendo Switch and allow the smartphone to provide physical controls to be used in games. It is a pro against other market gaming alternatives without a doubt.
Another functionalities of the terminal is Magic Finger , which you can customize two specific presses of the screen by pressing a finger on the right or left of the screen and then the specific area of the screen that we have decided will be clicked, perfect as a direct access to buttons on the screen. We are not clear if this could be defined as cheating as the combos editors but the idea is very similar.
In terms of sound the company has decided to remove the minijack connector although it offers that adapter from USB-C that other companies charge separately. It is true that it mounts a sound system with double front speaker that sounds very good, at the height of the RazerPhone 2, powerful and stereo.
It is a mobile focused on a very specific niche, it is not for everyone
In the presentation did not comment at all nothing of the section of the cameras and it lets glimpse that the company is centered in the performance gaming of these devices. However, for the vast majority of users the camera has an important weight in the purchase decision.
The cameras now have a vertical arrangement on the left side and under them the LED flash. We have not been able to test them much, but we can say that the software is the native of Xiaomi’s current mobile phone, such as the Xiaomi Mi 9 .
The camera configuration on paper seems respectable with a main sensor of 12 Mpx f / 1.75 and a secondary sensor telephoto of 12 Mpx f / 2.2 and the front camera 20 Mpx. It does not seem to offer bad results as if we live for example with the first RazerPhone. But we have to prove it thoroughly to be able to get wet in this field.
In short, the Black Shark 2 comes to the Chinese market at a price of 420 euros change the model of 6 GB and 128 GB of storage while the 8 GB and 256 GB will reach a price of around 500 euros and the Top of the range, 12 GB + 256 GB of 550 euros.