You know the drill now. A new gaming phone has been launched, featuring trigger buttons, a kind of cooling tech, an average camera, and a huge body that makes for an indomitable daily driver. The Black Shark 5 Pro uses some of the same formula, but it’s more attractive with triggers and has a 108MP camera, as well as a cooling system that actually works. After playing games on this smartphone for three days now, I am fascinated by the amount of functionality it offers.
Impressive hardware across the board
The The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1-powered smartphone has more than just a flagship processor. For one, it has a top OLED display with a 144Hz refresh rate and 720Hz touch-sampling rate. Second, the trigger buttons bring something new to the pop-up buttons.
The Black Shark 5 Pro plays two magnetic pop-up triggers that are quite responsive. When not in use, you can use a hardware toggle right next to the two trigger buttons to make them disappear.
During play Battlefield Mobile India (Which is basically PUBG), I set the left trigger to shoot and the right to aim. As a result, I get more screen space to watch in order to shoot at enemies. The situation was the same Asphalt 9. I set up the left trigger for drift and the right for boost. The gaming experience was even more enjoyable because I had a full screen for my eyes to see without the penetration of two fat thumbs.
While the ROG Phone 5 has the same functionality, its trigger buttons are flush on the side. In contrast, the Black Shark 5 Pro has two magnetic pop-up triggers that can be toggled up on the side – giving you a more intuitive experience. And when you want to use the Black Shark 5 Pro as a normal smartphone, you can toggle them and carefully hide them on the right edge.
You can have all the gaming features you like on your smartphone, but it won’t make any difference if the display looks bad. Fortunately, Black Shark 5 Pro excels in this category. It touts a 6.67-inch OLED display with 10-bit color depth and 1080 x 2400 resolution. In other words, it’s a very sharp screen to see.
You can choose from three refresh rates except 144Hz – 120Hz, 90Hz and 60Hz to your liking. It is a pressure-sensitive display that makes it easy to make precise movements. The company calls it the Magic Press, and it’s scalable to customize the way you look fit. A low touch delay of 8.3 milliseconds is another addition that keeps the display as responsive as possible.
The Black Shark 5 Pro wasn’t too hot in the extended gaming session either. Although I can feel it getting warmer, there is nothing to worry about thanks to the new liquid cooling system. You get 8GB, 12GB, and 16GB RAM options to choose from along with 128GB or 256GB storage Dual-symmetrical linear stereo speakers make for an intuitive gaming experience.
Gaming software that is actually useful
Black Shark 5 Pro runs JoyUI 13, which is based on MIUI 12, Which is based on Android 11. It’s too bad that the device is not shipped with the latest stable version of Android. In my short use, the speed of the phone did not decrease or there was no problem with the interface. And although the old software is embarrassing, the suite of gaming features built into Shark Space 4.0 helps build it.
You can access the shark space by simultaneously pressing and holding the trigger button on both shoulders. The software feature lets you adjust the master touch settings, network status, performance, do not disturb function and much more.
During play Battlefield Mobile India For the first time, the system notified me to swipe down from the top-right corner to access shark space. It then allows me to assign functions to two trigger buttons via master control. When you set up Master Control, it pauses the game so you don’t miss important situations.
You’ll also find game macros that can be programmed for specific scenes in the game, allowing you to perform repetitive actions with one-key editing. Another feature of my choice was motion sensing, which allows you to control the game through the speed and movement of your smartphone. You can perform a total of six gestures, including turning left or right, leaning left or right, and flipping forward or backward.
There are plenty of other settings like game studio settings (customizing performance, display, touch and audio settings), Ludicross mode (enabling extreme performance) and much more. The feature-rich gaming software makes the Black Shark 5 Pro a strong competitor for one of the best gaming smartphones.
Although processors, displays and software are the most important specs, they are not the only aspect of the Black Shark 5 Pro. Starting with the camera, which I could not test in the heat of Delhi, the Black Shark 5 Pro comes equipped with a 108MP primary camera. It comes with a 13MP ultraviolet-angle camera and a 5MP macro lens. The smartphone is capable of shooting 4K video at 60 frames per second (fps) and 1080p slow-mo at 120fps, 240fps and 960fps. The front has a 16MP selfie shooter.
The Black Shark 5 Pro packs a 4,650mAh battery that supports 120-watt fast charging. It has gone from 10% to 100% for me in 20 minutes. To the right of the camera module is a small group of lines, which support light effects. You can map it in different light in settings.
The base of the Black Shark 5 Pro is priced at $ 799 for the 8GB RAM and 128GB storage model. It goes up to GB 999 for 16GB RAM and 256GB storage, while the mid 12GB RAM and 256GB storage model for $ 899. Starting at $ 549 for the Snapdragon 870-powered Vanilla Black Shark 5 base variant with the same amount of RAM and storage.
While we don’t have enough time to give a full review of the Black Shark 5 Pro, there is a strong foundation here for a solid gaming phone. From capable chipsets, excellent displays, and gaming-centric software, Black Shark knows its target audience. If you are interested, Black Shark 5 Pro is now available on Black Sharks website and Amazon.