Black Shark 2 is the second generation gaming phone from Chinese firm Xiaomi’s gaming arm, and it builds well on its predecessor adding more power and a better screen into the mix.
Combining a great camera, excellent internals and improved gaming credentials over the original, the Black Shark 2 is a triple threat that betters most of its gaming phone rivals.
It’s lumbered with a handful of instabilities and quirks, but even with those accounted for, the bang for buck it delivers is off the chart. The only thing to watch out for is its availability. It’s not easy to find in some countries, such as the US.
Black Shark 2 Feature:
Release date: March 2019 | Weight: 205g | Dimensions: 163.6 x 75 x 8.8mm | OS: Android 9.0 Pie | Screen size: 6.39-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2340 | CPU: Snapdragon 855 | RAM: 6/8/12GB | Storage: 128/256GB | Battery: 4,000mAh | Rear camera: 48MP + 12MP | Front camera: 20MP
Black Shark 2 is Available in two versions, it packs either 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, or 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. The 256GB/12GB RAM Black Shark 2 costs $599.99 on eBay or $439.99 on Aliexpress, 128GB/8GB RAM Black Shark 2 costs $558.66 on eBay or $293.99 on Aliexpress.
Black Shark 2 gamepad
This Joy-Con-esque peripheral is another unique selling point of the Black Shark, and the pitch is that you get the best of both worlds: a thumbstick on the left for movement and a touchscreen on the right for precision aiming. The claim is legit, too. It’s more adapted to shooters than anything else, and I have been absolutely shredding other PUBG Mobile players using the attachment or nba2k20.
While the gamepad definitely makes you a stronger competitor in shooters, that’s one of the only good things about it. For starters, you have to snap an ugly plastic frame on to the Black Shark, and only then will the controller fit snugly against the device. The gamepad itself just feels a bit cheap, too, as it’s made of light, flimsy plastic. The thumbstick is really short, not very grippy and it sits a bit lower than your thumb naturally rests. It’s just not very comfortable to use for any period of time, particularly with my spindly fingers.
The only other gaming-oriented tweak is called Game Dock, which is like an extra quick-settings menu you bring down by swiping across the fingerprint reader. The reader is quite small, mind, and it registers my contact as a tap just as often as it does a swipe. There are a couple of useful things in here such as the button that lets you change the gamepad bindings, the do-not-disturb toggle, WiFi settings and an eye-care mode that strips blue light from the display.
The Black Shark is a perfectly fine phone to game on. Even some of the things I don’t particularly like about it, such as the overly eccentric design and unergonomic controller, appear to have been addressed by the company in the second-generation device now available in China — the gamepad has more buttons this time around, too (cue Nintendo’s legal team), making it even more useful in games like PUBG.