Xiaomi Black Shark 5 Pro: excellent gaming phone, at a decent price
Gaming smartphones are on the rise – as hardware becomes more powerful and developers become more adept at coding for mobile platforms, games become deeper, more rewarding, and closer to their console counterparts . For a good example of this, look no further than the new Apex Legends Mobile game, which perfectly mimics the console experience.
But a smartphone has its limits – when you’re limited to simple touchscreen input, it’s easy to fumble your controls and fail in fights you should have won.
Well, the new Black Shark phone will enhance your gaming sessions with a host of customizable hardware controls, to the point that you’ll wonder “how can anyone game without one of these?”.
Buy Black Shark 5 Pro on Amazon
Black Shark Official Site
Black Shark 5 Pro: Great hardware controls
Black Shark is a brand specializing in gaming smartphones and their experience in making such devices. The Black Shark 5 Pro comes with two mechanical shoulder triggers that recess into the body of the phone. Once it’s time to play, you can activate the triggers, which will appear and be ready to use.
They’re comfortably placed and offer a very reassuring click, essential for aiming and gaming accuracy. But the hardware controls don’t stop there.
The Black Shark 5 Pro’s screen has two pressure-sensitive areas – basically tapping with your left or right thumb can activate two additional controls.
For example, I have my setup for the aforementioned Apex Mobile like this – the left and right shoulder buttons are used to aim and fire, naturally. Then pushing down with my left thumb results in a squat (or sliding as I sprint) and pushing down with my right thumb is a jump.
Thus, without moving my fingers on the phone, I have access to 4 different buttons, as if I were holding a joystick.
Black Shark 5 Pro: design and display
Gaming phones usually have super aggressive designs that scream “high tech gaming device here!”. If you’re not necessarily a fan of this aesthetic, the Black Shark 5 Pro may appeal to you.
It still has that high-tech graphic on the back, but it’s more understated, elegantly hidden behind a frosted glass back. There’s also an RGB LED light on the back, but it’s unobtrusive and not obnoxious.
The phone as a whole still feels like an everyday accessory, instead of a mobile console.
Then there’s the display – an excellent 6.67-inch OLED panel with a 144Hz refresh rate and an incredible 720Hz touch polling rate. It’s HDR10+ compatible, so you can watch your favorite media when you take breaks from playing.
Black Shark 5 Pro hardware and speakers
A gaming phone needs gaming hardware. It’s no surprise that the Black Shark 5 Pro is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. For memory, it comes in different combinations, from 256GB of storage and 8 GB of RAM to 512 GB of storage and 16 GB of RAM.
We have two speakers located in a stereo configuration and placed in such a way that you cannot block them when holding the phone in landscape mode. They can get pretty loud and deep enough, so listening to the footsteps or getting a healthy dose of dopamine every time you score a headshot are both doable.
Black Shark 5 Pro Software
Of course, there are plenty of software enhancements designed specifically for gamers. On the surface, the Black Shark 5 Pro’s software (called Joy UI 13) looks a lot like Xiaomi’s MIUI. However, once you engage Shark Space (the game hub), it transforms to give you all the goodies Black Shark has prepared.
Shark Space can block all incoming notifications, purge your RAM, and lock brightness as soon as you launch a game, so your phone is effectively transformed into a mini gaming console without interruption. If you’re feeling a bit cheeky, you can also pre-program “macros” – a series of taps and actions that the phone can perform automatically with the press of a button. You can stream your game or you can record yourself.
Black Shark 5 Pro Camera
We have a 108MP camera on the back, which by default takes 12MP photos with pixels grouped in groups of 9, and an aperture of F1.75, which gives creamy bokeh once you zoom in. approach it.
On top of that, there’s a 13MP ultra-wide camera and a 5MP macro camera to help you out when you want to get too close…or capture something way too big.
The front camera has a 16MP resolution, which should come in handy if you choose to stream your mobile gaming escapades!
Black Shark 5 Pro Battery
The Black Shark 5 Pro has a 4650mAh battery inside which was good enough to last me a whole day. Admittedly, gaming on the highest settings really eaten away at those percentages, but I was never concerned. You know why?
It comes with a 120 W charger! Yes, the brick in the box of the Black Shark 5 Pro is more powerful than your average laptop wall outlet. You can recharge it in about 15 minutes, if you’re in a hurry.
If you’re worried about battery health, there are toggles in phone settings that can limit super-fast charging when you don’t need it. This way you get the best of both worlds – you can charge super fast when you need it, you can use it like a normal charger when you’re not in a rush.
Conclusion of Black Shark 5 Pro
Buy Black Shark 5 Pro on Amazon
Black Shark Official Site
Despite its top-tier hardware and the extra hardware controls, the Black Shark 5 Pro still starts at $800, which is great considering how much tech it packs. If you want the stereo speakers, magnetic shutters and super-fast screen, but would rather save the cash – the non-Pro Black Shark 5 starts at $549, powered by a Snapdragon 870. Hey, that’s not is no exaggeration, but it will still get the job done!
The Black Shark 5 series alone offers plenty of value for on-the-go gaming, with the aforementioned controls really enhancing the experience. But there are also additional Black Shark accessories you can add – a real hardware controller with a stick and a few buttons, and a fan to keep the phone cool.
And then it can very well act as your everyday phone – just retract the triggers and enjoy the sleek look.