Smartphone manufacturers are taking the gaming niche to a whole new level. This is evident by the release of handsets dedicated, specifically to mobile gaming. One of the major players, Xiaomi, launched the Black Shark 4 Pro in China in March, along with Black Shark Pro. These two phones rival the likes of Rubia Red Magic 6 and Asus ROG Phone 5. The Black Shark 4 Pro might be one of the most affordable gaming phones we’ve seen yet, but does it stand up the hype?

Black Shark 4 Pro: Price and Release Date

As noted, Xiaomi Black Shark 4 Pro debuted in China on March 23rd, 2021. This means that the phone is currently only available in China. We are yet to hear about its release worldwide, but we expect it to be soon. The phone features some cool features like the Snapdragon 888 and the fast LPDDR5 RAM.

The Black Shark 4 and Black Shark 4 Pro mark the fourth series of gaming phones for Xiaomi’s Black Shark Brand. The Black Shark 4 with 128GB of storage and 6GB RAM starts at 2,499 Yuan (around $383), while the 4 Pro with 265GB of storage space and 8GB RAM will cost 3,999 Yuan (approximately $613). If you want more RAM, you can upgrade to the 12GB RAM, 256GB storage for 4,499 Yuan (roughly $690), or a 512GB of storage space for 5,299 Yuan (around $810).

Black Shark 4 Pro: Design and Display

The Black Shark 4 Pro features a 6.67-inch AMOLED screen with a 144Hz refresh rate. The phone has a super-fast 720Hz touch input rates with an 8.3ms touch delay, which Xiaomi claims to be the industry best. For most people, you won’t notice that much of a difference. But for hardcore gamers, any improvement that can boost performance means a lot. The high touch input rate is ideal for gaming since it ensures that every touch is registered quickly, with no lag.

Both the Black Shark 4 and the Black Shark 4 Pro feature Samsung’s E4 AMOLED panels that have also been used on Xiaomi’s flagship Mi 11. This display technology is said to save a lot of battery compared to other types of displays.

The Pro has LEDs on the back and a side-mounted fingerprint scanner. There’s also a physical trigger that fits seamlessly into the phone’s design but pops out when activated. Apart from the shoulder buttons, the Shark 4 Pro maintained the pressure-sensitive display that lets you map two functions to one spot on the screen. 

The company has not provided an IP rating for the phone. But, it comes with the standard 3.5mm headphone jack, NFC, USB-Type C, and sensors like accelerometer, proximity sensor, and gyroscope. There are dual front-facing speakers, which the company claims to have good spatial audio separation to provide a better gaming experience. To prevent heating, the phone allows you to attach a fan called FunCooler 2 Pro, which can be purchased separately for 199 Yuan ($30).

Generally speaking, Black Shark 4 Pro appears to be more attractive than its precessors. 

Black Shark 4 Pro: Performance

The Black Shark 4 Pro gaming phone is equipped with a top-of-the-range processor, Qualcomm Snapdragon 888, for high processing speed. The Black Shark 4 comes with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 chipset, not the best chipset available, but still a pretty good one. The phone ships with Android 11 with Joy UI 12.5.

Most gaming phones have a gaming-dedicated mode that, called the Shark Space, which among other things, mutes calls and notifications, dedicating all resources to the game. The Shark Space in the Shark 4 Pro is more advanced than on previous models. Apart from displaying a list of games to boot up, an AI companion pops up and starts talking when launched.

Gaming phones tend to heat up during intense gaming sessions. The Black Shark 4 Pro has a solution for this. The top-end features a dual-layered liquid cooling system. The first layer is directly below the screen, sandwiching the processor and other core internal components with the second layer. According to Xiaomi, this will increase heat dissipation by about 30 percent and lower the CPU temperature by 18 degrees Celsius. This technology is also said to keep the phone cool when using a 120W fast charger.

Black Shark 4 Pro: Battery and Cameras

The Black Shark 4 Pro comes equipped with three rear cameras – a 63MP primary camera, an 8MP ultra-wide camera, and a 5MP macro shooter. On the front, you get a 20MP selfie camera, which can shoot some pretty decent photos.

When it comes to battery, the Black Shark 4 Pro ships with a 4500mAh power pack that supports a 120W fast charger. To put it in perspective, the 120W fast charger can juice up the gaming phone from zero to 100 percent in about 15 minutes!

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