Once upon a time, when Black Shark’s first-generation gaming smartphone came out, many people thought that gaming phone was a product of pseudo-demand. However, judging from the market feedback, the gaming smartphone market is becoming more and more prosperous, and many mobile phone manufacturers continue to update their gaming phones every year. It can be seen that the number of players who love mobile games is still quite large, and of course the market competition is becoming more and more fierce. Recently, the Black Shark gaming smartphone has evolved to its fifth generation. Let’s see what new gaming experiences Black Shark 5 Pro can bring to mobile gamers.
Black Shark 5 Pro specs and features:
- 6.67-inch OLED Screen
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen1
- Rear Camera 108MP+13MP+5MP, Front Camera 16MP
- 4650mAh Battery+120W Fast Charge
- Thickness 9.5mm + Weight 220g
- $665 – Check latest price on: AliExpress, Amazon US, Amazon Germany, other Amazon countries
01/ Hole-in-the-middle full screen, giving up 2K for 144Hz high refresh rate
Many manufacturers’ gaming phones continue to retain the design of the upper and lower foreheads on the front of the fuselage, but Black Shark has developed in the direction of full-screen design since the fourth generation of products. With the design scheme of digging holes in the top center, Black Shark may feel that the current hole digging screen has little impact on the experience of mobile games. For mobile game enthusiasts, it should also be biased towards the different camps of full screen and small forehead. However, as far as this full-screen gaming phone with a small hole diameter is concerned, the impact of hole digging on the gaming experience is really small.
The screen adopts an OLED straight screen design with a resolution of 2400*1080. It’s a shame to go back to 1080p from the 2K screen of the Black Shark 3 Pro. In the game scene mode, it supports a high refresh rate of 144Hz, especially for players who like to play FPS games, the frame rate is more important than the resolution. Of course, I also hope that 2K and a high refresh rate at the same time are the best.
02/ Practical physical shoulder keys, excellent symmetrical dual speakers
Above the middle frame on the left side of the fuselage is the volume button, and above the middle frame on the right side is the power button, which integrates the side fingerprint recognition function. However, there is no bump area treatment like some mobile phones with side fingerprint function, so the integrity of the frontal look and feel is maintained very well. And there are pop-up physical shoulder buttons on both sides, which is very similar to the design of the Redmi K50 esports version.
Moreover, the function of the shoulder button is not limited to games, and the quick opening of many applications is also supported in life applications. For example, one-click to open the health code or one-click to take a screenshot, these are all very useful functions. And as far as gaming phones are concerned, I personally think that the design of the physical shoulder keys is less likely to be misused than the virtual shoulder keys. The mobile phone is also very considerate and will issue a reminder notice when you forget to retract the shoulder key, but the overall structure of the shoulder key is still a little shaken, but it does not affect its normal operation.
Although the Black Shark 5 Pro has cancelled the 3.5mm headphone jack, it has made a significant improvement in the sound quality of external speakers. It provides symmetrical dual 1216P stereo speakers, providing 0.8mm amplitude, which is equivalent to dual 1.5cc sound chambers, and the external stereo experience is very good. And the stereo dual speakers are located at the top and bottom of the right area, holding the phone with both hands will not block the speakers and will not touch the camera on the back.
03/ Strong mecha style elements, 120W fast charge
The recognition of the mobile phone is mainly reflected in the back area, and the elements of the mecha style are quite strong. The rear three-camera module is located in the upper left area of the back, and the right zoom of the camera module also has a line-cut design. There is a small green light strip area on the right side of the camera module, which will enter the blinking state when charging and locking the screen. When using the phone normally, the light strip enters the always bright state.
The battery capacity inside the Black Shark 5 Pro is 4650mAh. The reason for not increasing the battery capacity to more than 5000mAh should be to take into account a certain feel experience. After all, the existing body weight has reached 220g, and if you use a larger capacity battery, it may be more tiring to hold the phone for a long time. But don’t worry too much about battery life. The phone is equipped with a 120W charger as standard, and the phone can be fully charged in less than 20 minutes. So you don’t have to worry about losing power when playing games for a long time, and it only takes a while to recharge it.
04/ Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, dual VC cooling keeps mobile games running at high frames
The processor on the Black Shark 5 Pro is the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. To be honest, this processor is currently not well received. But it is still the latest top-performance processor that the Android camp can use. This is confirmed from the AnTuTu and GeekBench 5 running scores in the picture below. Although some flagship phones of Dimensity 9000 have also come out, compared to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, there are actually winners and losers. Moreover, Black Shark already has quite mature experience in tuning Snapdragon processors, and polishing MediaTek’s processors will require longer optimization and accumulation. However, without the design of the built-in cooling fan, its 20-round Wild Life Stress stress test performance is not bad, reaching 88.9%.
This gaming phone can still achieve good results in the stress test, mainly due to its anti-gravity dual VC liquid cooling system. The “anti-gravity track” design is adopted in the VC vaporizing plate inside the mobile phone, and two VC cooling components are also equipped on the front and rear sides of the key motherboard cooling unit. The total area of the dual VCs reaches 5320mm², so it can be said that the heat dissipation area of the VC heat sink is quite large. In addition, phase change heat dissipation materials and graphene materials are also added inside the fuselage, and the main heat source and VC conduct heat through copper blocks. Therefore, although the Black Shark 5 Pro does not use a built-in fan solution, the passive cooling dual VC solution can also better control the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. However, the running score does not represent the actual game performance. It is still necessary to see how the Black Shark 5 Pro performs in the mainstream mobile game experience.
Black Shark 5 Pro not only supports 120 FPS high frame rate mode, but also through the PerfDoctor mobile game test APP, it can be seen that Black Shark 5 Pro can always run close to 120 FPS during 12 minutes of “Honor of King”, with an average frame rate of 119.2 frame. Although there were occasional large frame rate fluctuations around 8 minutes, it resumed full frame operation immediately, and the complete game experience was very smooth.
“Game For Peace” also supports a high frame rate of 90 frames under smooth picture quality, and the 20-minute “Game For Peace” game can also run close to full frame in the 90-frame area, with an average frame rate of 89.8 frames. The temperature control of the fuselage is also done very well. The maximum temperature on the front is 42.6 ℃, and the maximum temperature on the back is only 41.6 ℃.
The 30-minute “Genshin Impact” frame rate test is really impressive. It can be maintained around 60 frames most of the time, and there are only two large frame rate fluctuations, but it immediately returns to around 60 frames, which is the performance that a gaming phone should have. However, its power consumption is also quite high. The temperature of the front body reached 49.2°C, the highest temperature on the back was as high as 50.1°C, and the temperature in the middle frame area was also very high. The maximum temperature of the middle frame on both sides reached 48.5 ℃ and 46.9 ℃ respectively, and they are both located in the area where the phone is held, which is really quite hot. Hot hands are the price of running at full frame. Obviously, if you want to play “Genshin Impact” without being too hot, you still have to make some compromises in terms of picture quality or special effects. An external Black Shark cooling clip might be a good idea.
05/ Game experience is still rich
It is worth mentioning that in the gaming experience, Black Shark 5 Pro also provides screen pressure sensitivity, voice control and somatosensory control functions. The somatosensory control supports shaking the phone to trigger the corresponding function. As far as my personal experience is concerned, screen pressure and somatosensory control still need to be adapted for a period of time to be proficient in control, and there is a certain learning cost. But there are definitely some gamers who have a soft spot for these features.
As for the operating system, the JOY13 system running on the Black Shark 5 Pro is based on MIUI 13. The voice assistant is still XIaoAi, which makes people think that the positioning of Black Shark 5 Pro and Redmi K50 esports version overlap somewhat.
06/ Three rear cameras, enough for taking pictures
Many players will definitely say that the game phone can scan the code is enough, it does not need to be too good. But some friends still hope that the configuration of the camera can be upgraded. The rear main camera of the Black Shark 5 Pro is 108MP, the default output is 12MP for 9 and 1, the ultra-wide-angle secondary camera is 13MP, and there is a 5MP macro secondary camera. It also takes good photos in well-lit environments.
The following are the daytime proofs of the rear main camera:
The following are the proofs of the ultra-wide-angle daytime shooting:
The following are the proofs of macro shots:
Just in terms of shooting experience, I personally feel that it is not convenient enough to take out the ultra-wide-angle sub-camera and place it on the lower left of the shooting interface. It is impossible to switch the main camera with the ultra-wide-angle zoom connection, and this shooting experience feels very uncomfortable. At the same time, in the night scene function, Black Shark 5 Pro only supports rear main camera shooting. Although the performance of highlight suppression is good, the ghosting problem of the lens is also quite obvious. One sentence summary is that taking pictures is only enough, but don’t have high expectations.
After comprehensive experience, the main features of Black Shark 5 Pro in this year’s gaming phone are the anti-gravity dual VC cooling system with good cooling performance, excellent physical shoulder key control, excellent symmetrical stereo dual speakers, 120W fast charging and JOY13 system with virtual Idol. Players who care about these points can consider buying this flagship phone. But if you don’t agree with the high power consumption performance of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, you can also take a look at another Black Shark 5 equipped with the Snapdragon 870 processor. Among them, the space version should be very popular with astronomy enthusiasts. Players who are inspired to explore the sea of stars can take a look at this new machine.