Among Xiaomi smartphones a special place is occupied by representatives of the Black Shark line. It includes gaming devices, whose technical equipment is entirely aimed at creating a maximum level of comfort for mobile gamers. Black Shark model 4 Pro – the actual gadget that can boast incredible performance, which gets along with a number of compromises that do not allow you to call this smartphone a flagship.
Design and appearance of the smartphone
The gamer essence of the model is expressed both in the design of the box, and in the appearance of the device itself. A distinctive feature of the fourth generation Black Shark – the letter “X”, which can be seen on the front of the box, as well as on the back of the phone.
By the way, the back of the device is made of glass, and the frame is made of metal, which provides a pleasant feeling when interacting with the smartphone without a case. Of course, the appearance with its gamer accent can be called controversial, if you have not held a gaming device in your hands, but to the materials will not pick on even the owner of the flagship device.
Another thing is that the 4 Pro is quite a “chubby” smartphone. Its thickness almost reaches the 10-millimeter mark. At the same time, the device is far from being the heaviest. Weighs the “Black Shark” 220 grams. For comparison, the weight of the iPhone 13 Pro Max is 240 grams. The buyer can choose from three colors:
The last two are not popular, and therefore in most stores there is only black color. However, given the glossy surface of the back, the owner of the fourth generation Black Shark will probably use the smartphone in a case.
Like the design, the Black Shark 4 Pro’s core is completely centered around gaming capabilities. That is, in front of us an economy on cameras and carte blanche for the elements responsible for performance.
Given the voraciousness of the Snapdragon 888, it will be interesting to see how well the Black Shark 4 Pro with its relatively small 4,500 mAh battery can hold a charge and how much the case will heat up under gaming loads. We’ll talk about that next.
As a side note. In addition to Black Shark 4 Pro, there is a version of the gaming smartphone without the prefix “Pro”. It differs less powerful chipset Snapdragon 870, a camera for 48 megapixels and less weight (210 grams).
Screen and sound
The display plays a crucial role for any smartphone. And in this respect, the Black Shark is doing just fine. The phone has a large 6.67-inch panel with a sufficient resolution of 2400×1080. The frames are narrow, but not symmetrical, because the “chin” stands out. But the cutout for the front camera almost does not stand out against the general background.
The matrix is made using AMOLED E4 technology, and Samsung was responsible for its production. As befits such a screen, it features virtually unlimited contrast and an excellent level of brightness – 1300 nits against 600 nits of IPS analogs. It is important to note that the peak value is achieved only in bright sunlight or while viewing HDR content with auto-brightness function activated.
Also the display of the gaming smartphone is notable for its smoothness. The owner of the device can choose one of three modes: 60 Hz, 90 Hz or 144 Hz. The first is an energy-efficient solution, while 144 Hz makes scrolling as smooth as possible, but greatly affects the charge. The golden mean is the 90 Hz mode.
The model is equipped with stereo speakers, which are tuned so that the sound from both channels has about the same volume level. Of course, the main speaker sounds more powerful, but the available stereo is quite enough for both watching movies and playing games. In addition, there is the usual jack for wired headphones with Hi-Res Audio support.
Cameras and sound
The Black Shark 4 Pro is not the smartphone to choose for fans of mobile photography. The cameras here are certainly not bad, but the level of sensors corresponds to the sensors in the far from flagship model Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE, and it costs half as much.
The 64-megapixel sensor is able to provide excellent photo quality in the daytime and a decent result in the evening when the night mode is activated. In severe conditions, the wide-angle camera smears photos, but gives sufficient quality of pictures in the daytime.
It is difficult to make an overall impression about the macro module. On the one hand, it is one of the best “macro” sensors on the market (5 MP resolution, there is autofocus, and optical zoom), on the other hand, people use it very rarely. The front camera allows you to take good pictures even in portrait mode, but, again, when the light level drops, the quality drops dramatically.
Despite the lack of optical stabilization, the camera of the gaming phone Black Shark 4 Pro is ready to please with good electronic stabilization, which works when recording FullHD-video, and in 4K. Sound recording quality, of course, does not reach the iPhone 13 Pro, but remains at a fairly high level. Traditionally for Xiaomi smartphones “Black Shark” got a lot of additional modes in the camera application, and therefore you can play around not only in games.
Black Shark 4 Pro is based on Android 11, embellished with a branded shell Joy UI 12.5. This is a modification of MIUI 12.5 with additional features like a gamer keyboard and screen projection on the TV. This is the same MIUI with a huge number of features and built-in ads, which, if you want, you can turn off once and for all.
“Hardware and performance
Since we are dealing with a gaming device, we do not have to worry about performance. There is a flagship chipset Snapdragon 888, as well as current standards of RAM and permanent memory. RAM, by the way, not spared. You can take a version up to 16 GB.
In basic tasks, the gamer smartphone works quickly. This is helped not only by the flagship “iron”, but also by the increased frequency of the screen. Applications run instantly, and scrolling is not interrupted by freezes. The heat of the device is practically not felt, but it concerns the usual tasks like web surfing or watching video through the applications.
In order not to make a hollow statement about the incredible capabilities of the smartphone in terms of performance, let’s turn to the tests. The maximum configuration is capable of scoring over 800 thousand points in AnTuTu. This is a good result, proving that the Black Shark 4 Pro phone can be taken for several years to come.
In other tests, everything is also good. Geekbench 5 gives the gaming smartphone 1133 points in single-core mode and 3575 in multi-core mode. 3DMark Wild Life Performance rates the graphics at 5775 points, but here it is important to pay attention not only to the overall result, but also to the stability of the test. The device shows 97 percent stability, indicating that there is no performance degradation under load. The performance does not drop, and this is the merit of advanced cooling.
The main visual difference between the Joy UI 12.5 shell and MIUI 12.5 is the emphasis on green colors. At the same time, the font is the same, and shortcuts have a square shape, not round, as in MIUI’s adaptation for POCO smartphones.
The main feature of the Joy UI 12.5 shell on the BlackShark 4 Pro gaming smartphone is the Shark Space utility. It is a game control mode, where you can configure many parameters. The utility is necessary, but not unique.
The rest of the chips are present in the MIUI shell on other smartphones Xiaomi and POCO. There is a camera app with many modes and settings to get good pictures, as well as “Gallery” with a powerful editor. Finally, there’s a Security app designed to protect your phone from viruses and other threats.
The gaming experience
High-performance “iron” gamer smartphone allows you to count on maximum fps in games. But anyone who is chasing a refresh rate of 144 frames per second will be a little disappointed. The increased frequency is supported by a limited number of games, and often there is a limit of 90 Hz or 120 Hz.
But stable 60 frames are guaranteed under any conditions (even at maximum graphics settings). Over time, of course, the frequency will subside slightly, but it will still be sufficient for comfortable gaming on the Black Shark smartphone.
To help fans of games like “Call of Duty Mobile” or “PUBG” are allotted triggers, located on the right end of the case. They help free up your thumbs by doing some actions with your index fingers. Well, and the increased frequency of the touch layer also makes itself felt – touches are processed instantly, thanks to which the owner of the smartphone gets an advantage over opponents.
The phone got a battery for 4500 mAh. Without games, the Black Shark will last until the end of the day and will give 13-14 hours of continuous video viewing. The gamer will have to put the phone on charge closer to the evening or even earlier, but the adapter for 120W comes to the rescue. It fully restores battery power from 0% to 100% in 17-20 minutes.
Mobile technology and data transfer speed
In terms of data transfer, the Black Shark 4 Pro is equipped with the latest technology. With Wi-Fi 6 technology, you can achieve incredible download speeds. Stability is also top notch. This not only applies to Wi-Fi, but also to Bluetooth connectivity.
The phone has support for 5G technology, but you can’t test its speed even in the test area of Moscow or St. Petersburg. The fact is that the built-in modem is deprived of the n79 band, which is used to test the new standard in Russian cities. But all other bands are available, and 4G works flawlessly.
Where to buy and the price
January 24 Black Shark 4 Pro can be purchased at AlieXpress at a discount of 3500 rubles with promo code – SHARK3500. For the first 500 who buy the TWS Black Shark Lucifer T2 Bluetooth 5.2 headphones for $40, a gift.
Pros and cons
Black Shark 4 Pro – a typical representative of the gaming line of devices, with its advantages and disadvantages. Let’s highlight the main points that can influence the purchase of a gamer smartphone.
- Assembly and materials;
- the quality of the display;
- 120 watt charging;
- gamer features.
Thus, the smartphone can be recommended for the purchase of gamers, but not for those who want to get a flagship at the best price. For these purposes, there are other models, both in the line of Xiaomi, and competitors.