Xiaomi Black Shark 3 Pro Summary

When the original Black Shark gaming phone came out in 2018, it made headlines and caused a stir in the smartphone market. The Black Shark 2 released in 2019 continued the wave, claiming Black Shark as a leading gaming smartphone brand. And now the company has announced the Black Shark 3 Pro alongside the Black Shark 3.

Black Shark is a product series from Black Shark Technology that has made headlines in the past few years for making hard-core gaming smartphones. The Black Shark 3 series is the third generation of its designated handsets for gaming.

The Black Shark 3 Pro is priced at Rs 49,190 in India while the Black Shark 3 comes at a price of Rs 45,999. To compare, the Black Shark 2 from last year was priced at Rs 42,499 and the original Black Shark was priced at Rs 30,990.

Display

The Black Shark 3 Pro sports an AMOLED capacitive touchscreen that measures 7.1 inches. Instead of adopting trending display design like top-notch or punch-hole, this smartphone features a thin traditional bezel that houses the front-facing camera. This design is in line with previous Black Shark phones’ screens.

AMOLED, or active-matrix organic light-emitting diode, is currently the most advanced technology for smartphone display. It allows for larger, higher-resolution, thinner screens.

The one word to describe the screen is “excellent,” with a high pixel density that displays clear and sharp images for the best viewing experience. To compare, even the iPhone 11 Pro’s pixel density is still lower with 458 ppi. At 1440x3120 pixels, this phone’s screen resolution is still in the mid-range segment, which is decent. And most importantly, most of those looking at this phone must be seeking gaming-related information. The refresh rate of 90 Hz should be enough for good news, it’s higher than the average 60Hz rate of normal consumer smartphones and will surely provide you a great graphics experience when gaming.

Initial gaming reviews pointed out that the screen boasts high contrast and vivid colors. Especially, its screen design with no notch means there will be nothing eating into the screen when you play games. So you will not be annoyed by a small curve on the side of the gameplay interface.

Chip

The Black Shark 3 Pro is powered by the Snapdragon 865 processor, Qualcomm’s newest and currently most powerful phone chip. This octa-core processor features 4 1.8GHz cores, triple 2.42GHz cores, and a 2.84GHz core with high clock speed. The phone also comes with inbuilt support for 5G networks. This is undoubtedly the best gaming processor for an Android smartphone right now.

Currently, if you want to own a smartphone with the Snapdragon 865, you will have to pay from 1.1 to twice the price of the Black Shark 3 Pro, except for the Xiaomi Poco F2 Pro, which is priced at Rs 40,790. To compare, the OnePlus 8 Pro and the Sony Xperia 1 II come at a price of Rs 54,999, the Motorola Edge Plus is worth Rs 74,999, while the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G comes at a price of Rs 99,890.

On the other hand, in the same price range, competitors mostly pack the Snapdragon 855 Plus processor, except for the Xiaomi Mi 10 that packs the Snapdragon 865.

Storage

The Black Shark 3 Pro features 12GB RAM and 512GB internal storage, both of which are at the high segment of a smartphone. This RAM capacity is the same as some of the highest-end, more expensive handsets like the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus 5G and the Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro 5G.

In fact, there are three variants when it comes to RAM and ROM. The 12GB RAM/512GB ROM is the international version as we learned, there is a variant with 8GB RAM and 256GB internal memory as well as a variant with 12GB RAM and 256GB of onboard memory. How Black Shark will distribute these variants among countries and regions remain to be seen.

There’s nothing to complain about this RAM capacity, especially at this price range. With 12GB of RAM, the Black Shark 3 Pro should be able to handle any mobile game you throw at it, which is not surprising considering its sole purpose but still really amazing.

Battery

In terms of battery, the Black Shark 3 Pro packs a 5,000 mAh battery, which is the largest capacity currently offered on a smartphone. While the battery life should be long, the phone also supports 65W fast charging that will quickly refill your battery completely within 38 minutes. This could be an important factor as it determines how you can play your games continuously.

An initial gaming test with PUBG Mobile on the Black Shark 3 Pro indicated that after 30 minutes of gameplay, the phone maintained an average refresh rate of 60fps and a temperature of around 40 degrees C, distributed evenly across the back of the device. That means the phone will get warm when you play games, but this is normal for every device. You won’t likely experience overheat with this handset though.

Camera

While the Black Shark 3 Pro is designed for gaming, it doesn’t miss out on photography capabilities either, or at least that’s what the specifications say. On the back, there are three cameras, including a 64MP wide-angle lens with an f/1.8 aperture, a 13MP ultra-wide-angle lens with an f/2.3 aperture, and a 5MP depth lens with an f/2.2 aperture. The rear cameras come with an LED flash, panorama and HDR mode. They support video recording at 4K/60fps, 1080p/30/60/240 fps, and 720p/120fps.

Meanwhile, the front of the smartphone houses a single 20MP selfie lens with an aperture of f/2.2 that will let you take wide-angle pictures too. The front-facing lens support HDR mode and video recording at 1080p/30fps.

This is a gaming phone so there’s not much to expect in its photography features. It doesn’t offer any special features for your photos and its processing power is likely to focus on gaming graphics rather than generating a perfect shot.

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Xiaomi Black Shark 3 Pro Full Specifications

Price
  • Dollas $669
  • Rupee ₹49190
network
expand
  • Technology GSM / CDMA / HSPA / EVDO / LTE / 5G
  • 2G bands GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 - SIM 1 & SIM 2
  • CDMA2000 1xEV-DO
  • 3G bands HSDPA 800 / 850 / 900 / 1700(AWS) / 1900 / 2100
  • 4G bands 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 17, 20, 34, 38, 39, 40, 41
  • 5G bands 41, 78, 79 SA/NSA
  • Speed HSPA 42.2/5.76 Mbps, LTE-A; 5G
launch
  • Announced 2020, March 3
  • Status Available. Released 2020, March 17
body
  • Dimensions 177.8 x 83.3 x 10.1 mm (7.00 x 3.28 x 0.40 in)
  • Weight 253 g (8.92 oz)
  • Build Glass front, aluminum back, aluminum frame
  • SIM Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
  • Physical pop-up gaming triggers
display
  • Type AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
  • Size 7.1 inches, 123.7 cm2 (~83.6% screen-to-body ratio)
  • Resolution 1440 x 3120 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (~484 ppi density)
  • Always-on display 90Hz refresh rate 500 nits typ. brightness (advertised) HDR10+
platform
  • OS Android 10.0
  • Chipset Qualcomm SM8250 Snapdragon 865 (7 nm+)
  • CPU Octa-core (1x2.84 GHz Kryo 585 & 3x2.42 GHz Kryo 585 & 4x1.80 GHz Kryo 585)
  • GPU Adreno 650
memory
  • Card slot No
  • Internal 256GB 8GB RAM, 512GB 12GB RAM
  • UFS 3.0
main camera
  • Modules 64 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide), 1/1.72", 0.8µm, PDAF 13 MP, f/2.3, (ultrawide) 5 MP, f/2.2, (depth)
  • Features LED flash, HDR, panorama
  • Video 2160p@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/240fps, 720p@1920fps
selfie camera
  • Modules 20 MP, f/2.2, (wide), 1/3", 0.9µm
  • Features HDR
  • Video 1080p@30fps
sound
  • Loudspeaker Yes, with stereo speakers
  • 3.5mm jack Yes
comms
  • WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot
  • Bluetooth 5.0, A2DP, LE, aptX HD, aptX Adaptive
  • GPS Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, QZSS, BDS
  • Radio No
  • USB 2.0, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector
features
  • Sensors Fingerprint (under display, optical), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
battery
  • Non-removable Li-Po 5000 mAh battery
  • Charging Fast charging 65W, 100% in 38 min (advertised) Magnetic charging 18W
misc
  • Colors Phantom Black, Armor Gray