The most powerful of the latest Black Shark gaming mobiles is one of those phones that not only serves to chain one game after another at maximum power, it is also an excellent phone for any other task . Of course, with a drawback: the dimensions and weight of the Black Shark 3 Pro are considerable.
Black Shark, a smartphone brand owned by Xiaomi, renewed its phone catalog in March with the Black Shark 3 and the mobile in question, the Black Shark 3 Pro. Both aim at the public that is looking for the best mobile phones to play, but the Pro is distinguished by a larger size and by including automatically triggered physical triggers, the button equivalent of many mobile phones’ pop-up cameras. The result gives a very complete experience. In all areas.
Black Shark 3 Pro data sheet
|BLACK SHARK 3|
|SCREEN||7.1 Inch AMOLED 2K|
1,440 x 3,120 Pixel Resolution
19.5: 9 Ratio 90Hz
Refresh Rate 270Hz
|PROCESSOR||Qualcomm Snapdragon 865|
GPU Adreno 650
|STORAGE||256GB UFS 3.0|
|REAR TRIPLE CAMERA||64-megapixel main, f / 1.8|
13-megapixel wide-angle, f / 2.25
5-megapixel depth capture, f / 2.2
|FRONTAL CAMERA||20 megapixels, f / 2.2|
|DRUMS||Dual 5,000 mAh (2 x 2,500 mAh)|
Fast Charge with 65W Cable
18W Magnetic Charge
|CONNECTIVITY||4G and 5G (SA and NSA)|
|DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT||177.79 x 83.29 x 10.1 mm|
cooling Retractable triggers on right side
Optical fingerprint reader under display
Illuminated rear logo
Design: big, heavy and with an enviable construction
Mobiles intended for the ‘gamer’ public tend to take risks in their design while combining metal, glass, colors, and LEDs to obtain a set that draws attention to the eye, also to the touch. The Black Shark 3 Pro is no stranger to this trend, but in its case, the ‘aggressive’ feeling of its aesthetics is multiplied by two factors: its final size and weight.
There are no palliatives: the Black Shark 3 Pro is a very large mobile. Much. And you can see that right out of the box: the 7.1-inch screen determines the final dimensions of the phone. In addition, the mobile does not dispense with the aluminum frame, generous in thickness; which ends up thickening the weight: 253 grams is many grams . It is evident when holding it since the long sessions of the game tire, also the thickness makes it not comfortable to hold. At least using it as a phone since, when placed horizontally during its use as a ‘console’, the inconvenience is not as noticeable.
The front of the Black Shark 3 Pro is well used without the need to use cutouts for the panel, nor holes: the mobile maintains symmetry by offering, as a gift, stereo front speakers , one in the upper area and one in the lower one. In addition, the screen is not curved, it does have 2.5D edges for the glass.
|HEIGHT (MILLIMETERS)||WIDTH (MM)||THICKNESS (MILLIMETERS)||WEIGHT (GRAMS)||SCREEN (INCHES)||DRUMS||AREA (CM2)||VOLUME (CC)|
|BLACK SHARK 3 PRO||177.79||83.29||10.1||253||7.1||5,000||148.11||149.59|
|BLACK SHARK 3||168.7||77.3||10.4||222||6.67||4,720||130.40||135.62|
|NUBIA RED MAGIC 5G||168.6||78||9.8||218||6.65||4,500||131.51||128.88|
|ONEPLUS 8 PRO||165.3||74.35||8.5||199||6.78||4,510||122.9||104.47|
|HUAWEI P40 PRO||158.2||72.6||8.95||209||6.58||4,200||114.85||102.79|
|SAMSUNG GALAXY S20 ULTRA||166.9||76||8.8||220||6.9||5,000||126.84||111.62|
|XIAOMI MI 10 PRO||162.5||74.8||9||208||6.67||4,500||121.55||109.39|
|IPHONE 11 PRO MAX||158||77.8||8.1||226||6.5||3,969||122.92||99.57|
If we look at the right side we come across one of the surprises of the phone: the retractable physical game triggers . Hidden in the Black Shark 3 Pro’s aluminum body, right at every corner, they only unfold when games are started. And always optionally: Black Shark gives infinite ways to configure the experience with this type of apps.
Side triggers come out when a game is started and hide lime close it
Leaving aside the mechanical triggers, on the same right side you can see the power button, in a position quite far from what is comfortable when using the mobile with one hand; with a slide button on the opposite side that directly activates the game mode, the so-called ‘Black Shark Space . At the top edge is the always welcome headphone jack, shifted to the right and out of the center. Volume buttons on the left side (just as awkward to press as the power button) next to the dual SIM tray ( no space for SD cards ). And at the bottom edge is USB C, centered across the width but not relative to the thickness of the phone.
The back of the Black Shark 3 Pro is what marks the charisma of the phone, also that desire to ensure that all the visible elements are symmetrical (with the exception of the headphone jack and the USB C connector). When you flip it over you can see the triangular-style rear triple camera module with another identical opposite module in which a magnetic charging connector is anchored. Bordering both modules, the brand places a blue edging. And right in the center, the Black Shark logo greets the view by lighting up in colors (green by default).
A drawback of symmetry on the back is the confusion when it comes to orienting the phone: it is common to turn it on backwards guided by touch
The rear face combines plastic (the outer traps), aluminum (the bands that surround the traps) and glass (rest of the rear face, also the material that protects the modules). The Black Shark 3 Pro slides a lot , although this defect is minimized by the linear marks engraved on the glass. The combination is very eye-catching and appears to be very robust, it is just the feeling that the phone throws in your hand. A solidity that matches the benefits of the Black Shark 3 Pro.
Screen: large in size and quality
It has already been clear that the mobile phone in question is of enormous dimensions, a final size that is marked by the screen: with 7.1 inches the Black Shark 3 Pro could go almost like a tablet . Large even for a current smartphone, the panel boasts numerous features with which to wrap quality gaming experience, including multimedia playback.
If we stick to the technical characteristics, the screen of the Black Shark 3 Pro is AMOLED with a 19.5: 9 ratio, the maximum resolution is 1,440 x 3,120 pixels (483 PPP), it is compatible with HDR10 +, it offers a refresh rate of up to 90 Hz , the touch response is 270 Hz, lacks clipping and is not curved. The use of the front is high even despite the frames: 83.6%.
Beyond the technical details, which already hint at the enormous quality of the panel, the truth is that the viewing and experience remain at the top. Excellent color matching, not too much saturation as standard (natural mode is very well calibrated), sharpness is very high in both 2K resolution and 1080p, viewing angles are very well level, no noticeable changes in hue are seen twisting the screen and the touch response is excellent. It does have a ‘problem’: brightness is a fair thing outdoors (according to Black Shark it reaches 500 nits). Using the mobile phone in the sun is somewhat complicated.
The customization of the screen is very wide: from the adjustments of the color scheme to the variation of the temperature of the panela. In addition, the mobile integrates several visual enhancement systems, all under a digital signal processing (DSP) system:
- Anti flicker. The Black Shark 3 Pro features ‘DC dimming’ to attenuate eye strain in low brightness conditions.
- HDR video mode. With this option checked, HDR forcing is applied to multimedia content. In games, it tends to over-exaggerate colors with excessive saturation.
- Super cinema mode. Makes video animations smoother by simulating intermediate photographers. Despite having it activated we have not seen a tangible improvement.
As we will see later in the battery section, such a large screen consumes a good amount of mAh, especially when DSP improvements are applied, it is raised to maximum resolution and 90 Hz are active. In adapted games the improvement of the set is sensible; in exchange for reducing autonomy. Always without the Black Shark 3 Pro giving less than a day of use, at least while not in use for long hours of play.
Performance: the most of the most for this 2020
You can not ask for more in terms of power since the Black Shark 3 Pro brings the latest, also the most powerful on the market for what we have from 2020. Snapdragon 865 with its Adreno 650 GPU, 8 GB of RAM LPDDR5 and 256 GB of UFS 3.0 storage . On paper nothing is missing to enjoy top quality graphics. Neither in practice.
The entire phone flows smoothly, from the interface (MIUI 11-based Joy UI 11) to game startup and transition between applications. The Black Shark 3 Pro is a phone that is not daunted by anything, nor does it get too hot with use even if titles like Fortnite or PUBG are abused. The heating is usually quite smooth, if you notice a little more temperature when the use at high performance exceeds the hour . And always without it being annoying to grab it, at least while it is not charging: during charging at 65 W the degrees rise considerably.
The Black Shark 3 Pro contains the temperature very well even for long periods of time playing titles with high graphic load
How does the Black Shark 3 Pro behave against synthetic performance tests? We have passed the usual benchmark tests, below are the data compared to other phones with similar benefits.
|BLACK SHARK 3 PRO||BLACK SHARK 3||NUBIA RED MAGIC 5G||ONEPLUS 8 PRO||HUAWEI P40 PRO||SAMSUNG GALAXY S20 ULTRA||XIAOMI MI 10 PRO||IPHONE 11 PRO|
|PROCESSOR||Snapdragon 865||Snapdragon 865||Snapdragon 865||Snapdragon 865||Kirin 990||Exynos 990||Snapdragon 865||Apple A13 Bionic|
|RAM||8 GB||8 GB||8 GB||12 GB||8 GB||12 GB||8 GB||4GB|
|GEEKBENCH 5 (SINGLE / MULTI)||906 / 3,316||920 / 3,435||925 / 3,214||885 / 3,136||943 / 2,527||819 / 2,315||892 / 3,224||1,331 / 3,333|
|3D MARK (SLING SHOT)||7,330||7,330||9,448||8,726||4,074||8,184||–||–|
Black Shark 3 Pro benchmark samples
The metal body, together with the sandwich-shaped liquid cooling system ( the steam chambers wrap around the plate where the phone’s SoC is housed ), ensure that the heat is contained despite the power that the mobile distills at all times . This makes the Black Shark 3 Pro a mobile suitable for any use, not just for games. Always keeping in mind that, due to its size, there are tasks that are not made too comfortable, such as using the phone with one hand.
Software: MIUI 11 with own details for games
Black Shark evolved their phone software from a version very similar to Android ‘stock’ (Black Shark 2 generation) to the custom Joy UI 11 layer that new models wear. Of course, despite the fact that the name differs from the software that Xiaomi mobiles include, the truth is that the aforementioned Joy UI 11 is actually MIUI 11 . With all its advantages and also with its defects.
Using the Black Shark 3 Pro is equivalent to using most Xiaomi phones since the interface is almost identical. And we say almost because Black Shark does implement its own details, also an exclusive theme that gives it a somewhat more aggressive air. The aesthetics are pleasant, the layer does not hinder the operation at any time and, as it usually happens in MIUI, the software integrated in the phone adds infinite possibilities in terms of configuration and also customization.
MIUI 11Joy UI 11 is a heavy layer that tends to cut resources in the background. Greatly optimized, and with a contained energy consumption, the system is based on Android 10 to offer a complete and easy-to-use launcher, a dark mode that can be automated is included, Black Shark integrates the gesture navigation of MIUI, the drawer Application is optional , the system monitors location privacy, quick responses can be created for notifications, the second MIUI space is available to divide the personal facet of the professional (or duplicate applications), Joy UI 11 supports Xiaomi account services (Location and Cloud), includes a Floating Ball for easy access to applications and also offers Magic Press, a pressure gestures system that can be customized to start activities by simply moving your finger on the screen.
The Black Shark 3 Pro is a mobile developed to facilitate the use of games, an orientation that is noticeable in the specialization of the software. Space dedicated exclusively to that content is key at this point: Black Shark Space makes it easy to launch apps in addition to their settings . To make it even easier, as well as ubiquitous, the mobile incorporates a slider button on the right side, just at the bottom edge. This activates the gaming space instantly.
Black Shark Space allows you to add any application so that it is favored by the detailed adjustment. The feature prevents distractions, allows you to configure your phone’s performance during the game , offers direct access to captures and video recording, and even has real-time FPS and temperature monitoring. To activate the extra options during a game session, slide your finger on any of the upper corners of the screen.
The game space adds an extraordinary adjustment to the control parameters in each title. It even allows modifying the sensitivity and precision of the screen touches . And there is one option that dramatically enhances the gaming experience: the ‘mapping’ of the physical buttons.
As detailed in the design section, the Black Shark 3 Pro has two motorized upper triggers that rise or hide depending on whether they are needed for the game. This behavior can be configured from the game space and also during the session , by activating the configuration tab of the Black Shark Space. The action of the buttons can be moved to any virtual button on the screen: this makes it easier to control the games. For example, the right trigger can be configured to fire in Fortnite and the left trigger to reload. This simple setup not only amplifies survival potential, it also greatly facilitates control itself.
As an extra to the motorized physical buttons, the Black Shark 3 Pro has two pressure zones for each half of the screen (left and right). These zones can also be configured to perform actions in games: in this way, you only have to press hard on the specific zone (Black Shark Space allows you to adjust the pressure sensitivity) to execute the touch on the configured virtual button. The ‘mapping’ system is excellent and it increases the control over the game in a remarkable way.
Battery: enough for long gaming sessions
Since the phone is large, and the thickness is consistent, Black Shark has taken the opportunity to equip it with a 5,000 mAh battery . Well, it is not really a battery since the mobile is ‘dual battery’; which implies installing two components, each with 2,500 mAh. This is not noticeable in daily use
The autonomy of the Black Shark 3 Pro is enough and is enough for a day of use, even if two settings are used that significantly increase consumption: the 90 Hz refresh rate for the screen and the 2K resolution. With moderate use, the phone throws both days even with active display enhancements. And games with high graphic demand are used, autonomy suffers, as is logical: there the day can be reduced to about fourteen hours. Usually with a minimum of six to seven hours of screen time; which can go beyond ten hours if the use of the telephone is saved.
The consumption with the screen off is minimal, Joy UI 11, and Android 10, achieve good power management. It generally does not give any concern: its 5,000 mAh total is enough . Despite the bulky figure, hardware is a resource eater, making it very difficult to obtain outstanding autonomy. Yes remarkable.
Black Shark 3 Pro’s fast charging is insane – its 65W charger revives the phone in minutes
It may not surprise too much in autonomy, but the opposite happens when the Black Shark 3 Pro enters into communion with its ultra-fast charger: the charging speed is amazing. With its 65 W, the phone goes from 0 to 100% in less than three quarters of an hour . Considering that the battery capacity is generous, there is no doubt that charging this model is one of its advantages. With one drawback: it gets very hot; which should have an impact on the health of the battery in the long term. To avoid the rise in temperature, Joy UI 11 integrates a limiter in the battery options.
The recharging times of the Black Shark 3 Pro (from when the screen is turned off due to lack of charge to 100%) are as follows, always without restricting the charging speed:
- 5 minutes : 21%.
- 10 minutes : 40%.
- 20 minutes : 74%.
- 30 minutes : 90%.
- Total : 42 minutes.
Finally, we must highlight the secondary charge of the Black Shark 3 Pro: the mobile incorporates a magnetic port on the back that allows it to be recharged using an accessory not included. This cable lowers the power to 18 W. And allows you to play much more comfortably while charging, also without risks: before a sudden jerk, the magnetic cable is released from the phone.
Sound: the front stereo speakers give a lot of play
It is not usual to find a double front stereo speaker, nor with the audio quality that the Black Shark 3 Pro throws: it is one of its great values. High power, without exaggerated distortion at maximum volume , with bass reinforcement to feel explosions and without excessive vibration in the hand.
Black Shark does not include audio improvements, this is a detail that penalizes in this section. As the only extra configuration, the mobile incorporates the ‘Biso’ sound to get the front stereo with the two speakers : the system enhances immersion and achieves an excellent multimedia experience in keeping with the large screen, both in dimensions and quality.
The Black Shark 3 Pro not only offers excellent external sound, but also through headphones, both wired and wireless (it has a 3.5 mm jack ). Good richness of nuances, balanced, light bass boost and supports high resolution audio.
Our protagonist integrates an optical reader under the screen that is located in the average of this type of sensor. It is fast enough, it is not necessary to repeat the reading often (as long as the finger is placed aligned with the sensor) and it is enough to put a portion of the fingerprint so that in less than a second the mobile is unlocked. Of course, the reader is in a position somewhat away from the bottom edge of the phone , so it can be uncomfortable to use it if you have a somewhat small hand.
The fingerprint reader is slightly away from the bottom edge of the screen: you have to stretch your finger to reach it when it is unlocked with one hand
In combination with the Black Shark optical under-screen fingerprint reader, it integrates face unlock on the phone taking advantage of the front camera. It is not too safe since it even allows unlocking with a mask.
Camera: above average on mobile gaming
It has already been clear that the Black Shark 3 Pro is a phone developed to play, also to watch multimedia content and to stay on its feet for many hours , even at maximum performance. Given this specialization, the most logical thing was that Black Shark neglected the multimedia capture section. And the truth is that it is not.
The phone does not have a great camera, but we cannot say that it defends itself poorly in most situations. It is above the average in mobiles called ‘gaming’: great detail in general, correct operation with poor lighting, and enough versatility. The camera application helps to increase performance, it is the usual one on Xiaomi phones.
Entering technical data, the Black Shark 3 makes use of a triple rear camera where its main 64-megapixel sensor with f / 1.8 aperture, phase detection focus, pixel size of 0.8 µm and 4-in-1 combinations stands out. ( Pixel binning ) of 1.6 µm. The second camera is a 13-megapixel sensor with an ultra-wide objective lens and f / 2.3 aperture. The third guest to the rear set is a 5-megapixel sensor meant to capture the depth of the scene (blur or bokeh). Its aperture is f / 2.2.
Ahead the Black Shark 3 offers a 20 megapixel sensor with f / 2.2 aperture. The pixel size is 0.9 µm.
Black Shark 3 Pro, Techrale’s opinion
That a mobile to play is powerful and includes the maximum hardware features is not new since it is part of the DNA of this type of device. Even so, the Black Shark 3 Pro surprises for its power, for its high-end benefits and for a screen that squanders quality and diagonal. The construction is excellent, it shows the ‘premium’ touch of a solid and robust mobile. In exchange for being huge and heavy.
Details such as retractable triggers add personality and also greater comfort in the game. The sound is at the level of the quality of the screen, the battery is a remarkably high, the fast charge goes up to the license plate (questions remain about the battery life due to the stress of 65 W) and the photography points ways despite certain drawbacks that lower your grade. Too bad the lack of NFC penalizes a device that excels.
Lacking NFC is one of those incomprehensible flaws that penalize much more than they should
The Black Shark 3 Pro is a mobile that would not be difficult to recommend if it were not for its size and aggressive design. Our experience with him has been very positive, in all areas. Despite its appearance, the mobile phone exudes much more than gross power.
|– You can’t ask for more power: it has it all.|
– Retractable triggers enrich game control.
– Crazy fast charge.
|– It is very big and heavy.|
– It has no NFC.
– HDR in photos needs improvement.