Black Shark held a press conference in China today where it officially unveiled the Black Shark 3 as well as the Black Shark 3 Pro gaming smartphones. The devices come with some of the best specs currently available in a nice, futuristic body. Most of the specifications were known before the final release, but the design is better than the promo videos from before made it look. Are the new gaming smartphones from Xiaomi that much better than the previous generation? Let’s take a look.
The Black Shark 3 and the 3 Pro come with the latest Snapdragon 865 CPU and have either 8GB or 12GB of RAM. The standard version starts with 128GB of USF3.0 storage and can get up to 256GB, while the Pro variant only has 256GB models. There is no expandable storage, but you do get many gaming features that make these smartphones worth checking out. Both devices have a complex cooling system with the PCB being layered between two heat sinks that promise to cool the phone down better than other solutions. How well it compares with the active cooling from Red magic’s line-up we will have to see.
Both smartphones come with an AMOLED display with 90Hz refresh rate, but with slightly different screen sizes and resolutions. The Black Shark 3 has a 6.67″ diagonal and 24001080 resolution while the Pro version goes even higher, with a 7.1″ screen and 31201440 resolution. The Black Shark 3 Pro is big even by today’s standards. Both devices have an in-display fingerprint reader, HDR10+ support and face-unlock.
Black Shark used a similar “X” pattern for the antennas of the phone, which they say increases signal strength for both Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity. These are also the first phones from Black Shark that come with 5G connectivity. You do get all the traditional connectivity options, including a 3.5″mm audio jack, with the noticeable exception of NFC. Just like for previous smartphones, Black Shark did not include an NFC chip. You do get a proprietary 4-pin magnetic connector on the back of the phone from which you can recharge the device while gaming. Speaking of charging, both devices support 60W fast charging, but no wireless charging. You do get big batteries, with the Black Shark 3 having a 4750mAh one and the Black Shark 3 Pro being powered by a slightly bigger, 5000mAh battery.
The cameras also see big improvements compared to last year’s models. FOr starters, the main camera has a 64MP sensor (up from 48MP in the Black Shark 2) and you get two additional cameras with 13MP sensor and 5MP sensor respectively. There is only a single 20MP selfie camera, but you do get dual speakers for improved audio. Other game-centric features include 270Hz touch sampling rate and force-touch support. The biggest addition though it the presence of two shoulder triggers on the Pro version that can be mapped to on-screen actions. The Black Shark 3 Pro also supports voice controls in certain games, but that feature is yet to be seen if it arrives in the global version.
Now, let’s talk about pricing. Both the Black Shark 3 and the 3 Pro are extremely powerful smartphones with interesting features. The presence of 5G and Wi-Fi 6 connections was expected to raise the price quite a lot, however, the phones have really good prices, at least in China. The 8GB+128GB version of the Black Shark 3 will sell for 3499 Yuan (~502$), the 12GB+128GB is 3799 Yuan (~545$) and the 12GB+256GB is 3999 Yuan (~574$). The Pro version is more expensive, at 4699 Yuan (~675$) for the 8GB+256GB, and 4999 Yuan (~718$) for the higher-end model with 12GB of RAM and 256Gb of internal storage.