Black Shark 2 Review: Better Most Of Its Gaming Competitors

Aadhya Khatri - Mar 10, 2021


Black Shark 2 Review: Better Most Of Its Gaming Competitors

When it comes to value for money, the Black Shark 2 is unparalleled

The Black Shark 2 is circled by plenty of competitors, from the famous Asus ROG series to the Razer Phone 2, but when it comes to value for money, this phone is unparalleled.

Black Shark 2 Price And Availability

Users get to acquire the phone with either 8GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage, or 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. The former option will set you back £479 (approximately $620) while the latter comes at the price of £529 (about $690).

Black Shark 2 price in India starts at Rs. 24,999.

Black Shark 2 Design

The Black Shark 2 has gotten heavier, bigger, but slimmer than its predecessor. So it looks rather more refined than chunky.

Black Shark 2 Review 1
The Black Shark 2 has gotten heavier, bigger, but slimmer than its predecessor

The front of the phone is dominated by a Full HD+ display with an aspect ratio of 19.5:9. Users can sign in via the integrated in-display fingerprint scanner.

At the bottom, you will find the front-firing stereo speakers while at the top there is the 20MP selfie snapper.

The look of the phone reminds users of the Black Shark aesthetics made popular by the first generation.  The power button and the volume rocker are on the left and right respectively. On the same side with the power button is the Shark Space toggle that leads users to the phone’s gaming center. There is a USB port at the base of the handset.

Black Shark 2 Display

The Black Shark 2 features an immersive 6.39-inch AMOLED display. While its competitor might have an upper hand in terms of refresh rate, with 120Hz of the Razer Phone and 90Hz of Asus ROG Phone, Xiaomi claims that the second generation of its gaming phone was the most responsive with a 43.5ms response time and a 240Hz touch report rate.

Black Shark 2 Review
The Black Shark 2 features an immersive 6.39-inch AMOLED display

With a resolution of 1080x2340, there is no improvement here compared to the original. While it’s far from being the sharpest gaming handset available, it sports the same level of clarity as to the Huawei P30 Pro and iPhone XS.

Out of the box, the Black Shark 2 impresses users with incredible vividness, which makes the phone great for games.

Sometimes during our time with the phone, it failed to register presses. While turning the screen off and on again will fix the problem, but the rate at which the issue arises is annoying.

Black Shark 2 Battery Life

The phone draws power from a 4,000mAh battery and with the competent Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset and AMOLED tech, things look good for the Black Shark 2.

After 90 minutes running a Full HD video playback at max brightness, the phone lost just 8% of its juice, a surprising outcome compared to what its predecessor can do as the phone has the same battery size yet a larger screen.

This translates to over a day of battery life for both casual users and gamers. While you have fast charged, there is no wireless charging on board.

Black Shark 2 Camera

Equipped with a 48MP f/1.8 primary camera and a 12MP f/2.2 snapper capable of 2x zoom, the Black Shark 2 trumps the original in terms of pixel count.

Photos taken by the phone are at 12MP by default and they look way better than those taken by the previous generation.

Xiaomi Black Shark 2 cameras
Photos taken by the phone are at 12MP by default and they look way better than those taken by the previous generation

With proper lighting, these images are sharable right away. The only complaint here is that users don’t exactly have a lot of room to edit the shots in the way they like.

Even in low light, the cameras can handle things admirably. Shots come with more noise than those taken by the like of Samsung Galaxy S10 but since this is a gaming phone, this level of competence is more than solid.

For selfies, the 20MP f/2.0 front camera is competent too, taking pictures with an ample amount of details.

You can record videos at up to 4K with electronic image stabilization kicks in for every resolution.

Black Shark 2 Interface And Performance

The Black Shark 2 is powered by Android 9 as Google designs it. However, this time, everything runs more stable.

When you switch the toggle on the right of the phone, the phone will enter Shark Space 2.0 and disable all background processes.

With Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset onboard and either 8GB or 12GB of RAM, the phone can handle 3D gaming without breaking a sweat.

There is no microSD card slot nor headphone jack so no expanding the storage and wired audio.

Connectivity-wise, here is what you get: a USB-C port, Bluetooth 5.0, 4G, and Wi-Fi.

Black Shark 2 Gaming

The Black Shark 2 has lots of power but what is even more impressive is the series of software dedicated to gaming.

Black Shark 2 gaming
The phone has lots of power but what is even more impressive is the series of software dedicated to gaming

Users can tune the handset to vibrate when they press it with different levels of force. This trick is fun for games like Asphalt 9 but especially annoying for titles like Injustice 2.

The Game Dock is the highlight of this handset, offering a slew of Gaming Tools. Some of the features are a performance monitor, the phone’s keypad, and Wi-Fi notifications.

The Game Dock also allows you to overclock many aspects of the performance of the handset, giving you the choice to decide what your games do and what the UI looks like. The dual front-firing speakers are loud and there is no way you can cover them up.

However, the handset isn’t without drawbacks. Sometimes in the Game Dock, you will see Chinese text, something no one should see in the final version of a phone.

That isn’t all, the advanced features crashed when we synced our Google account to the dock.

>>> OPPO Reno3 Pro Review: Great All-Around Phone With A Few Compromises

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