High-level sound and camera gaming smartphone “Black Shark 5 Pro” review

The “Black Shark 5” series of gaming smartphones was released in late July 2022. It is one of the coveted smartphone gamers, but it has an unexpected depth of pocket. Let’s approach its features through a review of the high-end model “Black shark 5 Pro”.

Black Shark is a manufacturer under the umbrella of Xiaomi, which handles gaming smartphones and peripherals. In Japan, two models, “Black Shark 5 Pro” and “Black Shark 5”, were released in late July 2022 as the latest models that are the fourth generation. This time, the high-end model “Black Shark 5 Pro” was used as a verification machine.
SoC and memory storage specifications are different
Let’s make a quick comparison between “Black Shark 5 Pro” and “Black Shark 5”. The big difference is the mounted SoC and memory. “Black Shark 5 Pro” is equipped with “Snapdragon 8 Gen1” with 12GB of LPDDR5 memory operating at 6400MHz and 256GB of Enhanced UFS 3.1 standard storage. On the other hand, “Black Shark 5” is equipped with “Snapdragon 870” with 8 GB of LPDDR5 memory that operates at 5500 MHz and 128 GB of UFS 3.1 standard storage. Both OS are “JOYUI13” based on Android 12. A microSD memory slot is not installed.

“Black Shark 5” is slightly smaller
The size of the “Black Shark 5 Pro” is about 76.5 (width) x 163.9 (height) x 9.5 (thickness) mm, and the weight is about 220g, while the “Black Shark 5” is slightly smaller, about 76.3. (Width) x 163.8 (Height) x 10.0 (Thickness) mm, weighs about 218g. Both devices are not equipped with a FeliCa port, and the water resistance is limited to IPX2 grade drip-proof specifications.

“Black shark 5 Pro” supports 10bit color and HDR10+
The display is an approximately 6.67-inch organic EL display that supports 2400 x 1080 full HD + display, and supports a refresh rate of 144Hz, a touch sampling rate of 720Hz, and pressure-sensitive touch “Magic Press”, which will be described later. It also supports 111% of the DCI-P3 color gamut. Only “Black Shark 5 Pro” supports 10-bit gradation expression and HDR10+. In terms of sound, both machines have stereo speakers, but the “Black shark 5 Pro” has won first place in the DxOMARK speaker ranking with 86 points (ranking as of early August 2022).

“Black shark 5 Pro” supports 5G n79
There is also some difference in communication performance. Both models are compatible with 5G and 4G from NTT Docomo, KDDI, Softbank, and Rakuten Mobile. Looking at the details, the 5G compatible bands of “Black Shark 5 Pro” are n41/77/78/79, and the 5G compatible bands of “Black Shark 5” are not compatible with n7/41/77/78 and n79.

The price difference between the two machines is about 50,000 yen, but the difference in performance cannot be ignored. The 144Hz refresh rate, 720Hz touch sampling rate, “Magic Press” and other features of a gaming smartphone are maintained, and it can be said that it is one of the best cost performances.

Equipped with a display that supports 144Hz and push detection
The actual “Black shark 5 Pro” I got is big and heavy like other gaming smartphones. There are claims that the design looks like a gaming smartphone, but it’s not that flashy. Outwardly, it features two shoulder buttons on the right side of the body. This shoulder button can be stored inside the main body when not in use with the power of magnets. Also, the shoulder button is a physical button that is not a touch sensor type like ASUS’s “ROG Phone 5s” or Nubia Technology’s “REDMAGIC 7”, so it is attractive that the operation is clear.
A headphone jack is not installed, and a conversion adapter is not included. If you use earphones, you need to get a USB Type-C connection or a conversion adapter separately. In addition, when I tried it with a conversion adapter with a built-in DAC that I had at hand, I was able to use wired earphones. Dobly Atoms is not supported.
The display is extremely fast with a refresh rate of 144Hz and a touch sampling rate of 720Hz. However, while game apps are gradually starting to support 120Hz refresh rates, there are not many apps that support 144Hz drive.

On the other hand, the touch sampling rate, which does not require app support, is 720Hz for single touch and 360Hz for multitouch, which is a very high speed, which gives the impression of a gaming smartphone.
In combination with an efficient heat treatment system, heat sagging is suppressed and high performance lasts for a long time.
Let’s take a look at the processing performance, which is the appeal of this machine. As mentioned at the beginning, “Black Shark 5 Pro” combines “Snapdragon 8 Gen1” with 12GB of memory and 256GB of storage. Also, as a cooling system, the point is that two bay bar chambers are arranged so as to sandwich the heat generating part including the SoC. In addition, the structure of the vapor chamber itself has also been improved, improving heat dissipation performance by 50% compared to the previous model “Black Shark 4”. The combination of this powerful cooling performance and the “Snapdragon 8 Gen1”, which is known for its high heat generation, is very intriguing.

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