Xiaomi Black Shark 2 reviews were mixed right from the start, as this mobile device is not even a full year old. IT was released in March 2019, and with some decent specifications at a glance, so why were the users not impressed? It was also meant to be a designated gaming device, while it also offered plenty of cool features otherwise, for everyday use. We revisited this device with the hopes of determining if the public was too harsh and if it can still be a viable option for a gaming Smartphone today.


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Black Shark 2 Development

Built by the Xiaomi Corporation…


black shark 2

Xiaomi Black Shark 2 is built by the Xiaomi Corporation. It is an electronics company founded in 2010, in China, and they delve into all sorts of electronics, not just Smartphones. They make laptops, accessories, apps, and various other products and are quite successful as a young company in this field. Xiaomi Black Shark 2 came out just in time to compete with the new wave of gaming Smartphones and was pitted against the likes of Asus ROG, Razer Phone 2, and other usual flagships that have packed a punch for the entire 2019. However, the game is changing rapidly, and many of the features are quickly becoming outdated, which means Smartphones, however good, are quickly being overshadowed by new models. But, the good thing about this is that their prices drop at an incredibly fast rate and they become incredibly affordable fast.


Xiaomi Black Shark 2 specifications at a glance:

  • Goes as low as $300-350 bucks, depending on some special deals
  • 6.39-inch (100.2cm²) AMOLED touchscreen
  • 6/12GB of RAM
  • 1080p resolution
  • 240Hz touch-sensing
  • Snapdragon 855
  • Octa-core Kryo CPU (1×2.84 GHz Kryo 485 & 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 485 & 4×1.78 GHz Kryo 485)
  • 48MP+12MP main camera
  • 2016p video at 60fps
  • 20MP selfie camera
  • 4000 mAh battery
  • 27W fast charging
  • 128GB memory space with no memory card slot available

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★ ★ ★ ★

Black Shark 2 BUILD

It features a sleek, futuristic, somewhat bulky build…


As far as gaming phones go, manufacturers, all seem to agree that it takes a special design to attract gamers. And, Xiaomi Black Shark 2 doesn’t disappoint. It features a sleek, futuristic, somewhat bulky build, and the entire unboxing experience is consistent with that theme. It comes with a Type-C adapter for charger, the SIM tool, a TPU transparent case, and a type-C to USB cable.

The phone itself has its entire front side covered in glass, with aluminum edges and the backside. The front side is exclusively reserved for the display, with the selfie cam in the header, and both speakers tucked in at the very top and bottom edge. Once again, this design is the perfect fit for a gaming phone, as the manufacturers rarely get it. The usual position of the speakers causes the user to constantly cover one or both of them when holding the device in a standard gameplay method for playing with your thumbs. The full dimensions for the Smartphone are 6.44 x 2.95 x 0.35 in (163.6 x 75 x 8.8 mm) and it weights about7.23 oz (205g).

The backside has the dual-camera setup and the glowing logo, while the edges are partially designed to make this device fit into the hand nicely. The bottom side holds the charging port and the SIM tray, the right-hand side has the power ON/OFF switch and the dedicated Gaming Mode switch, while the left-hand side has the volume control. There is also a secondary microphone for the video and call noise cancelation, while the main microphone for talking is within the speaker at the bottom-front side. The ports, speakers, and virtually all holes in Xiaomi Black Shark 2 are, unfortunately, attracting lots of dust as there is no dust protection.


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Black Shark 2 DISPLAY

60Hz refresh rate 6.39-inch AMOLED display…


black shark 2

Xiaomi Black Shark 2’s 6.39-inch AMOLED display is firstly showcasing a very high touch-sensing rate of 240Hz, but its refresh rate is 60Hz. It can play videos at a maximum of 120fps at 720p, with the 2016p available at 30 and 60 fps, and 1080p at 30fps. Maximum brightness is at approximately 710 Nits, which is still quite good, and gamma is 2.2. The front side has an approximate 81.7% screen-to-body ratio, 16M colors, and 19.5:9 ratio which is good for gaming.

The speed and the touch input are really good, and it shows. You will feel the difference in any aspect, whether it’s gaming or just browsing. The screen resolution is 1080p, with a 403 PPI density ratio, and it has the always-on feature. The default theme installed on the phone might not be best-looking, but you can of course change that easily. The device also features in-depth screen recording options and it can record very good 30fps with 20MB/s quality videos. HDR10 is also supported, and the phone comes with a video enhancer that up-scales SDR to HDR on the go.


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Black Shark 2 SOUND

The output sound is quite good and loud…


black shark 2

The recording sound is not that great on this device, as it is not a primary feature to focus on at a gaming intended device. The quality of the recorded sound is around 96kbps, which is considered very low. However, the output sound is quite good and loud. Unfortunately, the device offers no 3.5mm headphone jack. The lack of 3.5mm jack is probably due to it not being consistent with gaming and holding the phone in the hands, but it is still nice to have, in a world where they are dying slowly.


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Black Shark 2 CAMERA

Video recording is at a decent quality…


Xiaomi Black Shark 2 video recording is at a decent quality. The video quality is, as mentioned, limited by the frame rate, and the 120fps can only happen at 720p quality. There is also no electronic video stabilization tool and there is a lot of room for improvement software-wise. However, the dual camera combo has a 48MP wide sensor + 12MP telephoto lens, and they are both doing a great job with the photos. This is easily at the mid to top class in terms of quality and clarity, although it is not a gaming-oriented feature. The selfie cam can take video and photo at 20MP and supports HDR and 1080p video.


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Black Shark 2 PROCESSOR

Best suited for first*person shooters, like Fortnite…


black shark 2

This device proved its flagship competence with its Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset, with an octa-core CPU of 1×2.84 GHz Kryo 485 and 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 485 and 4×1.78 GHz Kryo 485. The GPU is the strong Adreno 640, which is more than enough for even the most demanding games out there. This device’s responsiveness, along with the chipset speed, and the overall hardware/software composition, is best suited for first*person shooter games, like Fortnite, PUBG, and similar.


★ ★ ★ ★

Black Shark 2 BATTERY

Best suited for first*person shooters, like Fortnite…


The gamer-oriented features of this device are all powered with a 4000 mAh non-removable Li-Ion battery. Online reports and tests reported great battery life, with an even better charging time. With the fast charging 4 and the 27W charger power, this device can recover from 0 to 65% in about 30 minutes, which is awesome.


IT’S GOOD AND IT’S CHEAP

START GAMING
LIKE A PRO

GET BLACK SHARK 2 NOW

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Accessories

Xiaomi Black Shark 2’s showcasing accessories are the Black Shark 2 Pro Kit Bluetooth controllers which clamp on to the phone’s case. The left and the right-hand controllers became so popular right from the launch of the device, and they were sold out and virtually hardly available in some regions. Hopefully, the situation with them has improved, but they still cost anywhere between $80 and $100, according to online sources.

The showcasing software feature of this device is Shark Space, which is a dedicated UI gaming space. It is accessed through the physical hardware switch, mentioned is located at the right-hand side of the device. It will open up a special UI, where you can add all the games and find numerous configurations and options for gaming. However, the best options are available only when the device is running a specific game, and all of the specific settings are saved for their respective game. The gaming studio allows you to tweak controls, performance, touch settings, and even the audio equalizer.


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Black Shark 2 PRICE

Laughable price for very competitive features…


black shark 2

This is the most controversial question of all when it comes to Xiaomi Black Shark 2. Pricing is changing rapidly, but even at the time of its release, this Smartphone was not at the top with all its features and thus its price was not that balanced. It was about $600 when it came out, and counting in the Bluetooth controllers which were around $100 then, it was a costly purchase. However, with the price drops, this device can now be purchased for as low as $300 to $350 bucks, which is a laughable price, regarding that it still has some very competitive features it offers.


Pros

  • 6.39-inch AMOLED 1080p display
  • 240Hz responsive touch-sensing capability
  • Snapdragon 855
  • Very decent 48MP+12Mp main camera setup
  • A decent sound output
  • 4000 mAh battery which is said to be quite durable
  • Very affordable price currently with a 93h endurance rating confirmed testing by the manufacturer
  • Excellent fast charging with 27W power
  • Gamer dedicated UI tools
  • Solid-body build, quite sturdy and durable

Cons

  • No 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Only 60Hz display refresh rate
  • Low sound recording quality
  • Purchasing the Bluetooth controllers will increase the price for over $50
  • No microSD support

★ ★ ★ ★

Black Shark 2 VERDICT

The design and build are still very good for gaming…


black shark 2 gaming phone

There are certainly many Smartphones today that are much better than this Xiaomi Black Shark 2. Some of its weak points are even more visible now, and it has many outdated software and hardware features. However, the Snapdragon 855 is certainly not outdated yet and neither is the 240Hz touch-sensitivity. The design and build of this phone are still very good for gaming, and even its 60Hz refresh rate is not that big of a deal when you factor in that not many games today go higher. With its very affordable price of around $350 bucks, this device can certainly still be put to good use.


NOTE:

All images are taken from Xiaomi Black Shark 2 Official Website.

By using an affiliate link in this article to purchase Black Shark 2 or any other product within 24 hours of clicking on a link, you are helping the BMG team to continue doing what we do best. Thank you!


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The design and build of this phone are still very good for gaming...

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