Laptop Magazine Verdict
The Blackness Shark 4 Pro squeezes every final driblet of potential out of last twelvemonth’s components, pairing them with 120W charging and physical shoulder buttons, to brand a decent upkeep gaming phone. But there are besides many problems and an extremely creepy assistant app, to brand it worthwhile.
Pushes Snapdragon 888 to loftier speeds
Super polish 144Hz display
Concrete shoulder buttons
…but you tin get better for a tiny corporeality more
Ho-hum camera system
Motion picture watermarks on by default
Very gamer-centric hardware design
The Shark Chan app is creepy af
The Black Shark iv Pro is being pitched as the ultimate budget gaming phone — packing a vivid AMOLED display, last yr’south Snapdragon 888 tuned to its max and physical shoulder buttons over bear upon surfaces.
But does it deliver? The gaming smartphone infinite is exploding with some seriously good powerhouses at competitive prices, and so Xiaomi (the company behind Black Shark) needs to do something special.
Black Shark 4 Pro: Price and configurations
The Black Shark 4 Pro is bachelor in 3 finishes (matte black, grey or a holographic black), and in either 8GB RAM + 128GB storage or 12GB + 256GB configurations.
Prices start from $579/£489, which puts this in a similar price range as the
RedMagic 6R. For comparison, the new
weighs in at $429 and, if you lot wanted the cream of the crop with Snapdragon 8 Gen ane internals, the
will set you back $50 extra at $629.
Black Shark four Pro: Design
The Blackness Shark 4 Pro is a bit of a brick. Granted, information technology is curved on the dorsum to fit nicely into the hand, but make no mistake about it, this is a chunky telephone.
Looking at the numbers, the 4 Pro measures in at 6.5 x 3 x 0.four inches with a weight of 7.8 ounces. This is markedly bigger and heavier than the RedMagic 6R (6.4 10 3 x 0.three inches, 6.6 ounces), and but slightly smaller only heftier than the RedMagic 7 (6.vii x 3 x 0.4 inches, seven.6 ounces). When using this telephone, you can really experience that mass.
For the players, instead of bear upon sensitive shoulder areas, y’all tin motion picture the two switches on the right side and pop out physical shoulder buttons, which are so much amend to apply. The frame has been sculpted for decent condolement and the holographic end on the back does look pretty absurd.
But that gamer-esque design is not going to be for anyone. Any sleekness to its curves doesn’t make up for the fact that this isn’t a pocket-friendly phone; it volition get out a noticeable bulge in skinny jeans and the plastic on the back feels pretty cheap.
Blackness Magic 4 Pro: Display
The display on the Black Magic iv Pro is, to paraphrase Zoolander, actually, really, ridiculously good looking.
Hither, you’ll find a 6.67-inch AMOLED screen with a 2400 x 1080 resolution and silky smoothen 144Hz refresh rate (and 720Hz reporting rate for rapid touch interactions). Black Shark also claims information technology has HDR x+ support, a 111% DCI-P3 calibration and a 1,300 nit peak brightness.
The cease result is a spectacularly vivid console for your games to look at their all-time both indoors and in direct sunlight outdoors. The Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness trailer was the perfect showcase for the display equally spells glow off the screen with brilliant colour. Color accuracy is impressive, the brightness levels are outstanding and the fluidity of that 144Hz refresh rate really helped me in games like Existent Racing 3.
Black Shark iv Pro: Sound
Of form, a good screen needs expert sound for immersive gameplay, and the Black Shark 4 Pro delivers with a stereo experience on dual speakers. It does misconstrue slightly at high volumes though, and the orchestral insurgence section of The Beatles’ “A Twenty-four hours in the Life” just sounds similar a mess.
As for headphones, the inclusion of a 3.5mm headphone jack ways you can savour lag-gratuitous sound. Classy motility, Black Shark.
Black Shark four Pro: Performance
At present for the staff of life and butter of this telephone. The Black Shark 4 Pro features last twelvemonth’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor with up to 12GB LPDDR5 RAM and 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage.
This power is kept at optimal temperatures via a “sandwich” liquid cooling system that keeps thermals at an optimal level. Equally far as benchmarks go, nosotros’ve seen the Snapdragon 888 deliver impressive results, but the 4 Pro takes its performance to some other level.
In the Geekbench five test, the iv Pro striking a multi-core score of 3,742 and a 3DMark Wild Life average frame rate of 35.2 FPS. Unsurprisingly, the iPhone SE’s A15 Bionic demolished this with 4,482, but every bit for this gaming phone’s real contest, the RedMagic 6R hit a multi-core score of iii,652 and matched the boilerplate FPS.
For a laugh, I also compared this with the
OnePlus 10 Pro’south Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (3,682 multi-core) and at the moment, the four Pro is chirapsia this. Information technology seems similar in that location was a shift in priorities with the viii Gen one as the OnePlus 9 Pro outperformed the 10 Pro equally well (3,685), but graphics performance is dramatically improved with the 10 Pro delivering 61 FPS on 3DMark Wild Life..
Regardless, in existent-world utilize, information technology translates to a phone that doesn’t get a single hint of slowdown no matter what games yous throw at information technology. Same goes for your everyday tasks, including multitasking and swiping between apps. Yes, at that place are newer components offering faster speeds, just you’re getting a good price-to-performance ratio here and while it tin become hot under intense use, no temperature spikes hamper the speed of this phone at all.
Blackness Shark 4 Pro: Bombardment Life & Charging
The Black Shark 4 Pro comes packed with a iv,500mAh bombardment, which is a niggling lacking when compared to the 5,000mAh monster cells y’all can find in phones at this price point.
Under general daily use, which for me includes hours of podcasts, plenty of gaming, a lot of social media and e-mail use, and a fair bit of YouTube, I just got through to bed fourth dimension with 5% of battery remaining.
In that location is one saving grace, which is Xiaomi’s redonkulously fast 120W Hyper Charge applied science. You lot become the plug in the box and you can juice this phone dorsum up to 100% in just 18 minutes in my testing. That’s barely the time for a loving cup of coffee in the morning time.
If you are out and most using your phone a lot, provided yous’re near a plug, then you can keep going for as long as yous demand.
Black Shark iv Pro: Cameras
As with most gaming phones, Black Shark hasn’t spent much time in this department.
The Black Shark 4 Pro packs a 64MP main photographic camera with an f/1.eight aperture, an 8MP ultrawide with f/2.iv and a 5MP macro with f/2.iv. Round front, you lot’ve got a 20MP selfie shooter with an f/ii.45 aperture.
When it comes to phones primarily built for blistering gameplay performance, the photos are usually either actually dull and grainy or actually vivid only spongey with a lack of detail. Somehow, the 4 Pro manages to exist both.
The main photographic camera’due south color science is on the slightly cooler side with some exceptions being when the earth’southward hue is significantly warmer like the lite of a glowing orangish dusk. In annihilation other than daylight, prominent noise starts to creep into darker parts of a motion-picture show.
The ultrawide cranks up the color but with its particular defective, produces quite a mushy photo with no real clarity when you zoom in. The front-facing photographic camera is pretty adept, though — 4-in-i pixel binning the 20MP shot with decent HDR to make a balanced image. Simply don’t use the AI features, unless you want to look like a horrifying human/anime hybrid.
As for video, information technology is technically capable of shooting 4K, but really, you already know where this is going. The 4 Pro’southward camcorder capabilities are for family and friends scenarios simply, and that may even be a chip of a stretch with the irksome, noisey picture produced and the EIS turning everything into jelly the moment you motion your hands.
Plus, as you may call back from my
RedMagic 7 review, I declared that I would start to factor in default image watermarking into my phone scores. Black Shark (and past extension, Xiaomi) has tried to call my bluff and the 4 Pro suffers considering of it.
In 2022, this is beyond unacceptable. Have watermarks off by default and I won’t have to go on this crusade!
Blackness Shark 4 Pro: JoyUI 12.five
The gamer-ish await and feel is not bad for a small audience, but others may be looking for something that just isn’t quite bad-mannered to exist caught with in public. Y’all may need to do some work on removing some of these visual tweaks. Plus, you’re stuck with Android 11 instead of the more than recent
for now then far, in that location’due south been no discussion on how many Android versions or security updates you will receive.
And finally, we’ve got to talk about Shark Chan. I understand Black Shark’southward intent to innovate a mascot/smart banana and while anime is non really my thing, I tin totally appreciate that the Shark Chan herself will take some fans.
Only the companion app opens with a screen where yous can poke the mascot wherever with several heart-filled reactions and playful-sounding requests to “finish.” At that place’s a far better style of integrating a smart assistant than giving yous a virtual being that you can touch, and it left me craving a shower given how creepy the whole thing was.
The Black Shark 4 Pro is a practiced gaming phone for the price. The screen is gorgeous, the inclusion of concrete shoulder trigger buttons meliorate your gameplay operation, and the 120W charging keeps yous playing with very minimal interruptions.
It does fall into the same traps equally other gaming phones, such equally the bombardment is lacking, the camera is dull and hardware design is very much gamer-esque.
There is another trouble. For $50 extra, you could get the RedMagic 7 with additional power and a faster display refresh charge per unit, all of which is worth far more than than that additional fifty bucks. But in picking that, you’ll become 65W charging rather than the full 120W of the four Pro.
So, as a gamer, you demand to ask yourself what’s more of import: better trigger buttons and faster charging, or faster internals and a slightly smoother screen? As someone who uses the
GameSir X2, the on-phone buttons become redundant and I know I’d rather go for RedMagic’s flagship.