Smartphone Review Xiaomi Black Shark

Xiaomi Black Shark Gaming smartphones have become quite popular in 2018. Many well-known manufacturers release their powerful smartphones in this category. Among them are Asus ROG Phone, Razer Phone 2 and Xiaomi Black Shark considered in this review. Of these three devices, the smartphone Xiaomi is traditionally the cheapest, in China it costs 2999 yuan (30,000 rubles). The Chinese manufacturer is used to offering top-level features, excellent design and extensive functionality at prices lower than competitors. Xiaomi Black Shark was no exception.

pros Minuses
Design and build quality Screen colors are inaccurate
Powerful characteristics The speaker is easy to close when playing games
Improved Performance in Extreme Mode Game modifications require improvements
Clean software Mediocre camera
Excellent autonomy

Conclusion: Xiaomi Black Shark may not be the best smartphone, but at its price, this is a pretty attractive device. As a gaming smartphone, it is not bad, but as a smartphone, it is among the best in its price category.

Design and build quality

Design Xiaomi Black Shark

Like any good quality gaming product, Xiaomi Black Shark has a bold design. He attracts his eyes from the very first minute. The device is black with a green metallic finish, there are glass parts on the back. The rear camera is dual with 12 and 20 megapixel sensors. There is an LED flash, an inscription Black Shark and an LED manufacturer's logo with a raised surface around.

Appearance Xiaomi Black Shark

Green metal is applied around the edges. Here are the power and volume buttons on the right side, the Shark space switch on the left. At the bottom is the USB-C port and speaker.

The front is more traditional. There is an LED indicator, a 20 megapixel front camera, a fingerprint scanner in the lower frame. Along the way, it works as a Home button, and there are two capacitive buttons on the left and right.

Front Xiaomi Shark

This device will attract attention and satisfy the needs of gamers who love shiny toys. The logo on the back lights up with notifications popping up so you don't miss them. Although the device is mostly made of plastic and glass, the build quality is the best of the three smartphones mentioned above.

Connector Black Shark

The sturdy, embossed surface and grooves on the back make it comfortable to hold the device in your hand during games. I would like to see thinner bezels around the screen, but this is a gaming device and it has its own rules. Such devices may not be small or thin. Instead, Xiaomi Black Shark is solid, unique, and as comfortable in the hand as a rectangular smartphone can be.

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Xiaomi Black Shark has a 5.99-inch IPS LCD screen with a resolution of 2160 x 1080 pixels with an aspect ratio of 18: 9. IPS screens LCD are known for high color fidelity, but this is not the case. It is very rich and deep black, which makes it look like AMOLED.

In Natural display mode, the color temperature is 8778 K, while the ideal value is 6500 K. The color error is very high, the second highest among smartphones we tested. If accurate colors are important to you, it is better to look for another model.

Screen Xiaomi Black Shark

The brightness reaches a high value of 560 nits. Although the colors are not so accurate, the images work well for games. Vivid colors enhance the immersive effect.

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Performance and hardware

Gaming products must be fast. In this regard, Xiaomi Black Shark should not disappoint. It runs on a modern Snapdragon 845 chip. There are versions with 6 and 8 GB of RAM.

It is a powerful device, fast, smooth and with minimal dropped frames. This can be said about many flagship smartphones, but Xiaomi Black Shark has additional bonuses to attract fans of mobile games.

First of all, this is Extreme mode, which can increase the clock speed of the processor and make games look even more realistic. You can also easily clear your RAM to give your games more system resources. The boot time when the smartphone is turned on is reduced by a couple of seconds, although the smoothness of the operation remains the same.

The gaming smartphone can get very hot and slow down the performance. Xiaomi uses a unique liquid cooling system, promising to lower temperatures by 8 degrees compared to traditional copper heatpipes.

Liquid cooling systems are popular on computers, but they look different on smartphones. A small volume of liquid evaporates as the compartment heats up, moves to cooler areas, and condenses back into liquid.

Water cooling on Xiaomi Black Shark

This initially improves cooling, but eventually the evaporator compartment becomes too hot and the system stops working. After that, the device becomes inconvenient to hold. Thus, the efficiency of the cooling system is poor.

The package includes a gamepad, but it only attaches to one side, it has a joystick and two buttons. On the one hand, such a gamepad is not very comfortable.

Gamepad for Xiaomi Black Shark

The company recently announced Xiaomi Gamepad 2.0, which installs on both sides of the smartphone. There is a joystick and D-pad on the left and a touchpad with ABXY buttons on the right. On both sides there is a trigger and a triangle button at the bottom. All of these buttons can be reassigned, which is convenient in various games.

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Many people choose a smartphone primarily for its cameras. Xiaomi Black Shark was clearly not released for mobile photography enthusiasts. This is not to say that he cannot take high-quality pictures at all. After all, this is the flagship device of the end of 2018.

Camera on Xiomi Shark

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Shooting during the day

In daylight, the shots have good detail, exposure and contrast, but in some ways the camera is weak. Watermarks are enabled by default, which you need to keep in mind before you start shooting. Many do not touch the settings, and as a result, the pictures may be damaged.

The dynamic range is poor. Highlights look normal, but much of the light in the shadows is lost. If you look under the bushes, you will see deep darkness.

Day Shooting Shark

The clock in the photo also looks underexposed, although the reviewer tried to manually set the exposure and focus.

Daytime shooting at Xiaomi Black Shark

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HDR improves shadow shots slightly, but the results are still inferior to HDR shooting on the best smartphones. You can enjoy at least a wider dynamic range.

Snapshots from HDR to Black Shark

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Colors are rich and vibrant when captured in the right lighting. The graffiti in the image looks juicier in real life, but it was quite dark, the sun began to set behind the building.

Camera Black Shark - color transfer

If you enter a store with well-lit dolls, they look much more alive. I would like to see a brighter contrast.

Camera Black Shark - saturated colors

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Low lighting

The pictures are taken with good exposure, but the quality cannot be said to be high. In the image below, you can see too much blur, resulting in loss of detail. Also, the device has problems with the white balance.

Low light shooting

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Portrait mode

In portrait mode, the disadvantages are the same as in the others. However, the camera is at least good at separating the subject in the foreground from the background. Not all smartphones are capable of pinpointing boundaries.

Portrait mode

This makes nearby objects appear sharper than objects in the background. This is especially noticeable in the image, where the cannon and grass are blurred gradually.

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Fans of pure Android will love this smartphone. The user interface is similar to Google Pixel devices, there are no native apps Xiaomi. All options are available in the Settings app. The software is as clean as possible.


Of course, there are game options here. During the game, you can swipe down on the fingerprint scanner when holding the device in landscape mode. A game dock opens at the top, which overlaps the game interface. Here you can change gamepad settings, turn Wi-Fi on and off, prohibit phone calls, turn on the blue filter and turn off the numeric keypad. You can also turn off notifications, turn on Extreme mode, clear RAM, hang up and open advanced settings.

Xiaomi Black Shark game mode

There is also a mode called Shark Space. It can be turned on using a physical switch on the left side of the case. When activated, the smartphone automatically clears the memory and turns off all notifications, calls and messages. That is, everything that distracts from the game. The smartphone starts displaying a clean interface with a list of games, gamepad settings, game statistics, etc.

Shark Space

In addition to these additions Xiaomi I tried to make the smartphone as clean as possible. It's a pleasure to work with, but someone will say that a gaming smartphone needs more bonus features. The device Asus ROG Phone allows you to control the device temperature, CPU and memory load, change the color of notifications, select cooling modes, etc.
We can say that Xiaomi Black Shark is too simple for a truly gaming device. Gamers love more control over their devices.

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Sound quality

The sound on Xiaomi Black Shark is good, but it won't outperform other flagships. Suffice it to say that the volume is high and the sound gives a sense of presence.

There are two speakers, but one of them is not directed forward. This is a problem as it is easy to cover the speaker with your hand when holding the unit in landscape orientation. As a result, the sound is muffled.

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Xiaomi Black Shark performed well in duration tests. When playing a video with a screen brightness level of 200 nits, the device lasted 12 hours and 15 minutes. With continuous loading of websites, it lasted 13 hours and 40 minutes, while the average value for smartphones is 11 hours and 15 minutes.

In games, the battery is discharged faster, but it did not work to discharge it to zero. It will be enough for 4-5 hours in the game.

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Price and conclusion

There are two versions Xiaomi Black Shark. In China, the 6/64 GB version costs 2999 yuan (30,000 rubles), the 8/128 GB version will cost 3499 yuan (35,000 rubles). On Yandex.Market, the price for the first option is 28,900 rubles, for the second 30,000 rubles.

If you are a gamer and want the best quality / price ratio, this device will do just fine. Even if you are not a gamer, this device will be an attractive purchase with such characteristics.

The performance is sufficient for all modern games, especially in extreme operation. It may not be an ideal gaming smartphone, but given the lower price compared to competitors, it has a right to exist. Even without games, it will be an excellent device for everyday work.

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