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Black Shark Unboxing and First Impressions

Huawei
The Black Shark phone is the first attempt of Xiaomi's sub-brand to create a pure gaming smartphone.
Black Shark Unboxing and First Impressions
The gaming phone to beat!

By the looks of it, it seems like Black Shark nearly did everything right on first try.


How? First, it has an aggressive and premium looking gaming-centric design. Second, it goes with top-of-the-line specs. Third, it has big battery capacity inside. Fourth, it goes with nifty gaming-focused features like the liquid cooling system. Fifth, it even has an included controller in the package.

Let's check it out!

Xiaomi Black Shark Specs

Display: 5.99-inch FHD+ LTPS IPS 2160 x 1080 resolution w/ 2.5D curved glass and Gorilla Glass 5 protection at 403 ppi
CPU: 2.8GHz 64-bit Snapdragon 845 octa-core processor
GPU: Adreno 630
RAM: 6GB/8GB
ROM: 64GB/128GB UFS 2.1
Main Camera: 12MP f/1.75 Sony IMX486 + 20MP f/1.75 Sony IMX376 w/ PDAF and dual tone LED flash
Selfie Camera: 20MP f/2.2 Sony IMX376
Battery: 4,000mAh w/ Quick Charge 3.0
OS: Android 8.1 Oreo
Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 4G w/ VoLTE, Bluetooth 5, OTG, GPS, A-GPS, dual SIM (nano + nano)
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic
Others: Fingerprint sensor, USB Type-C, HiFi audio, dual Smart PA, dual speakers, SHARK key, Colors: polar night black, sky gray
Dimensions: 161.6 x 75.4 x 9.25 mm
Weight: 190 g
Price: TBC

Disclaimer: We only borrowed this unit from a very good friend for our honest take. This is not a sponsored review.

Unboxing / Accessories

Everything inside
Everything inside

The Black Shark arrived with one of the most unique looking package yet. It goes with a black looking box with green S logo which reminds us of Razer.

On the inside, it has a quick charger USB wall charger, USB to USB Type-C data/charging cable, USB Type-C to 3.5 mm dongle, SIM ejector tool, plastic case, and paper documents.

On the other box, you'll find the dedicated Bluetooth controller that you can attach on the phone when the case is on.

Build Quality / Design

Solid metal frame, fancy design!
Solid metal frame, fancy design!

Among all the new flagships of 2018, the Black Shark has one of the most unique looking build and design.

The build is also one of the most impressive today. In general, the Black Shark has a tank like STURDY build.

It's a very attractive unique looking handset!

The body is made out of a hefty (190g) and all metal frame with nice chamfered edges. On the front, the 5.99-inch 2.5D FHD+ display has tough Gorilla Glass 5 protection.
Controller attached
Controller attached
Mic, USB Type-C, and speaker below
Mic, USB Type-C, and speaker below
SHARK key and dual SIM slots at left
SHARK key and dual SIM slots at left
Power button and volume rocker at right

In terms of design, you know that it is a gaming phone right off the bat. It has an Xbox controller-like design with beautiful gaming shiny green accents. The Black Shark logo at the back even has its own green light when booting up. 

On the front, the bezels are small enough. Thanks to its 18:9 screen aspect ratio. But, Black Shark is wise enough to leave some bezels on the top and at the bottom as you will still need some bezels when playing games to avoid touching the display accidentally.

On the top portion of the screen, it has the selfie camera, earpiece/secondary speaker, sensors, and LED notification. 

Below, you'll find the microphone, USB Type-C port, primary speaker. It has no 3.5 mm headphone jack slot though.

On the left it has a special toggled to activate the Shark Space. When on Shark Space mode, you can't be interrupted by calls, you can clean the RAM, activate ExtremeMode for faster gaming experience, and map the commands on your controller.

At right, it has the usual power button and volume rocker. 

The mold of the frame is isn't like your ordinary curvy smartphone. But, it can surprisingly give you a very good type of grip.

The case included won't give you the best protection around. But, you will need it. Why? The case also serves as a lock to the attachable controller.

The controller has the power on button, joystick, programmable L1 and L2, and the unlocking key.

Initial findings

Stunning screen!

1. The Black Shark has a very attractive and well engineered design. It also has a very sturdy looking build. I also liked its clever way of attaching the controller.

This phone only has an FHD+ display, but its a stunning kind of screen with beautiful colors and sharp enough details. It doesn't have the 120Hz display of the Razer phone though.

2. In terms of specs, this device is a BEAST. It has a 2.8GHz 64-bit Snapdragon 845 octa-core processor, Adreno 630 GPU, 6GB/8GB RAM, 64GB/128GB UFS 2.1 storage, and massive 4,000mAh w/ Quick Charge 3.0 tech via USB Type-C. It even has 4G LTE w/ VoLTE.

It even has liquid cooling to lessen the heat while playing games. The phone still gets a bit warm though. But that's fine, the Black Shark is a super fast phone so far.

3. It boots with Android 8.1 Oreo OS with a MIUI like interface. Like what we mentioned earlier, it has the Shark Space mode where you can't be interrupted by calls and you can optimize the game and add shortcut controls.

4. At the back, it goes with a 12MP f/1.75 + 20MP f/1.75 dual camera saetup w/ PDAF and dual tone LED flash. For selfies, it has a single 20MP f/2.2 shooter. Both can shoot flagship grade photos so far. Only the mainstream photography phones are better than this in my opinion. Not bad for a gaming phone.

5. The Black Shark is complete with an accurate fingerprint scanner, LED notification, pretty loud speakers, HiFi audio, OTG, and gyroscope sensor.

Related: Black Shark: First Camera Samples

As of the moment

VERY IMPRESSIVE! The Black Shark is a dream-like gaming smartphone. It has stunning design, very powerful performance, respectable cameras, and nifty gaming-centric features.

Stay tuned for our full review!

Note: The Black Shark phone is not official in PH yet. Stay tuned for the official SRP.
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