Black Shark 5 Pro Review: Xiaomi launched the Black Shark 5 Pro in China a few months back and the device finally makes its way to the global market. The Black Shark 5 Pro is now available everywhere including in the UK. This gaming phone is not only very good and cheap, but it also has an upgraded camera system over the previously released Black Shark 4s Pro.
This post is a review of the Black Shark 5 Pro. To be fair, the Black Shark 5 Pro is a very good phone but there is even more about this smartphone. So, let’s talk more about the Black Shark 5 Pro and explore its pros and cons.
Black Shark 5 Pro Review
Display, Design, and Build
The display size of the Black Shark 5 Pro is 6.67-inches. It has an OLED panel, features a 144Hz refresh rate, and has support for HDR10+. The display is not only big but also very colorful and when set to 144Hz, you get a very smooth experience. The design of the phone also looks really beautiful.
Xiaomi has redesigned the phone from the previous look of the Black Shark 4 series. It now has a vertical camera module on the rear that houses three camera sensors. And upfront it has a pinch-hole that houses the selfie camera. The front build is glass and Gorilla Glass protects the display.
Still on the build, the Black Shark 5 Pro has pop triggers for gamers. There is a switch button to pop up the triggers or retract the trigger buttons when you don’t need them. It has no 3.5mm headphone jack but features a solid speaker system.
One more thing, the phone can also make use of an external cooling fan to help reduce the temperature of the phone. With the fan attached, the Black Shark 5 Pro can be used extensively without performance issues. So, overall, the display, design, and build of the Black Shark 5 Pro are very solid. But, this is just the beginning.
Chipset and Performance
One of the highlights of the phone is the chipset of the Black Shark 5 Pro. The phone features the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip from Qualcomm which is a very powerful chipset but what makes this even better is what Xiaomi did with the chipset. According to Xiaomi, there is an Anti-gravity vapor chamber cooling system inside the phone.
This cooling system helps to keep the temperature of the phone down under heavy use to allow it to perform consistently for a long time. Playing heavy games on the Black Shark 5 Pro does make the corners of the phone warm but the performance of the phone remained consistent. Plus, there is also an external magnetic cooling fan to keep the temperature down.
So explain how well good the performance of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip inside the Black Shark 5 Pro is, below is a table comparing its test performance with the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.
|Tests||Black Shark 5 Pro||Galaxy S22 Ultra|
|GB5 Single Core||1237||1209|
|3DMark Low Score||2528||1433|
|3DMark High Score||2632||2537|
NB: GB5 refers to Geekbench 5
From the various tests above, you can see that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 performs better in the Black Shark 5 Pro. This is mostly because of the cooling system inside the phone. The Galaxy S22 Ultra is one of the best phones of 2022 but when it comes to gaming, the Black Shark 5 Pro is designed for that. Well, gaming is not the only reason to buy a phone, what about the cameras of the Black Shark 5 Pro?
Photography and Videography
The Black Shark 5 Pro is not among the best camera smartphones of 2022. But its cameras are pretty good too. It comes with a 108MP primary camera, a 13MP ultra-wide-angle lens, a 5MP telephoto/Macro lens, and a 16MP front-facing camera. The 13MP ultra-wide lens comes with an AF feature (auto-focus) and the 108MP primary camera can shoot videos in 4K resolution.
Under good lighting conditions, the Black Shark 5 Pro can take pretty decent photos and shoot good videos. But it lacks stabilization features so you need to hold your hands steady if you want to take a very good shot or make a decent video. Under low-light or night photography, the camera struggles to take good shots and make nice videos.
Truth is, the Black Shark 5 Pro is not a camera phone but you can also take good photos and shoot good videos with the phone during day time.
RAM, Storage, and Software
Black Shark 5 Pro comes with 8GB, 12GB, or 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM. It also comes with 256GB or 512GB of UFS 3.1/NVMe SSD storage. The RAM and storage are very fast and the device feels very smooth when you’re operating it (even when playing heavy games).
As per software, the Black Shark 5 Pro boots Joy UI 13 based on Android 12 out of the box. Xiaomi promises at least three years of major software updates and monthly security patches for the smartphone. And this takes us to the elephant in the room, the BATTERY.
Battery and Charging
Black Shark 5 Pro is powered by a 4,650mAh battery with support for a 120W fast charge solution. It takes just a little over 16 minutes to charge this phone from 0 to 100%. Under intensive use with all settings set to maximum and graphics-intensive game sets to high frame rates, the phone can stay alive for about 3 hours.
This is not the best battery life, as a 5,000mAh battery would have been better but if you can top a phone from 0 to 100% in about 16 minutes, then 3 hours of heavy use or a full day of use is not much of a big deal. Right?
Black Shark 5 Pro Review: Price
The starting price of the Black Shark 5 Pro is $799 or £639 for the model with 8GB RAM and 256GB of storage. This makes it one of the most affordable gaming smartphones to feature the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip in 2022.
Buy Black Shark 5 Pro
Black Shark 5 Pro Review: Verdict
The Black Shark 5 Pro is an affordable le premium gaming phone from Xiaomi. From the review of the Black Shark 5 Pro, it’s easy to recommend this phone as your next gaming smartphone, and here are the reasons why.
The Black Shark 5 Pro comes with a big, colorful, and smooth display, features a powerful chipset, has a very good build, features an efficient cooling system, has a really fast charge solution, and is very affordable. But, its battery life is not great, its camera is average, and its refresh rate does not auto-refresh causing drainage of the battery.
So, who should buy the Xiaomi Black Shark 5 Pro? Anyone who cares more about performance and fast charge. Who should not buy the Black Shark 5 Pro? Anyone who cares more about photography and videography.