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Black Shark 2 Pro First Impressions

Just last Tuesday, September 3, I've had a quick hands-on experience with the Global version of the Black Shark 2 Pro at its Southeast Asia launch in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Black Shark 2 Pro First Impressions
Meet the Black Shark 2 Pro

In case you missed it, Black Shark 2 Pro was officially announced in China last June 2019 and is poised to be an upgrade of the Black Shark 2, which was launched six months ago.

This is also probably the first Black Shark smartphone to be available in the country since the brand's announcement of their plans to bring it in the Philippines. 

In terms of specs, Black Shark 2 Pro is arguably the best gaming phone in the world right now. It still has the 6.39-inch AMOLED display with FHD+ resolution, but it now runs with the 7nm overclocked Snapdragon 855+ processor. The company also managed to reduce the touch latency down to 34.7ms versus 43.5ms of Black Shark 2.

Here's our first impressions of the Black Shark 2 Pro!

Build Quality/Design

Black Shark 2 Pro's aggressive gaming design
Black Shark 2 Pro's aggressive gaming design

Right when I saw the Black Shark 2 Pro with my own eyes, or even anyone who will, can already say that it is a gaming smartphone. It sports an aggressive design of renewed back cover with five RGB lighting and a better grip.

Styled for gaming!

It's made of aviation-grade frosted metal and glass. Black Shark said that they took inspiration from a luxury sports car to create the bold lines and subtle curves on the back design of the phone.  

There's no mention of any Gorilla Glass protection on both the top and rear of the phone.

At the back, you'll see the RGB design along with the Black Shark Logo. The vertically-aligned dual rear cameras along with the flash are placed on the upper left of the gaming phone. 

It may look shiny but you can hold it with one hand without slipping from your palm, thanks to its compact design. Black Shark also made sure that it's lightweight so that mobile gamers wouldn't have a hard time holding and playing for hours.

I just wish that the Black Shark 2 Pro could've had a 3.5mm headphone jack. But I guess smartphones these days are really transitioning to the 'dongle life' or to give more emphasis on the Bluetooth headphones/earphones.

In front, you'll see the VDE certified 60Hz 6.39-inch unnotched display. It has a slim top and chin bezels and slimmer side bezels.

There's no physical fingerprint scanner since Black Shark 2 Pro uses the In-Display fingerprint scanner technology.

Black Shark 2 Pro measures 163.6 x 75 x 8.7 mm and weighs 205 g only. 

Overall, the Black Shark 2 Pro is a stunning, really for gaming designed smartphone. From the looks of itself, it would persuade the user to put the game face on.

Black Shark 2 Pro has a certified VDE certified 60Hz display. 
Left 2

There's nothing on the clean top of the Black Shark 2 Pro. Meanwhile, its bottom houses the Type-C USB port and the dual SIM tray. It has no place for microSD card since the memory is not expandable.

The power button, Dolby Atmos 1W loudspeaker, and the Shark Space simulator toggle are placed on the right side. While the volume rocker is on the left.

Initial findings

1. The Black Shark 2 Pro is definitely designed for mobile gamers. Its aggressive design did not sacrifice the very good grip of the phone. I also liked its five RGB lighting at the back. 

Its screen could have been larger but its VDE certified 60Hz 6.39-inch display is able to create an immersive experience. To recall, the company also managed to reduce the touch latency down to 34.7ms versus 43.5ms of Black Shark 2.

2. This gaming beast is powered by 7nm overclocked Snapdragon 855 Plus processor, Adreno 640 GPU, up to 12GB RAM, up to 256GB internal memory (not expandable).

It packs 4,000mAh of battery supported by 27W fast charging.

Snapdragon 855 Plus is arguably the most powerful chip for mobile phone gaming in the world today.

3. Black Shark 2 Pro runs on the latest Android 9.0 Pie with Black Shark OS. It's nice to note that the Black Shark OS has this so-called 'Shark Space' wherein users can enter by toggling on the simulator button on top of the power button placed on the right side. 

Shark Space supports the games you install on the phone. But the games that I saw in Shark Space when I flicked it on are Metal Solution, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, and PUBG Mobile. Maybe these are the games installed on the phone I was able to play with.
A closer look to Black Shark's dual 48MP + 12MP rear cameras
A closer look to Black Shark's dual 48MP + 12MP rear cameras

4. This gaming smartphone is equipped with dual rear cameras of  48MP f/1.75 main sensor paired with a 12MP f/2.2 secondary camera. As for the selfies, it has a 20MP f/2.0 front-facing camera. 

The Camera app features the usual Photo and Video modes along with a Super Night Mode.

Here are some of the quick camera samples I was able to take using the Black Shark 2 Pro during the event.
Indoor point-and-shoot
Indoor point-and-shoot
Using the 48MP main camera. On subject are the Black Shark 2 Pros in Iceberg Grey
Using the 48MP main camera. On subject are the Black Shark 2 Pros in Iceberg Grey
Another selfie
Indoor night setting
Indoor selfie (Beautified)
Indoor selfie (Beautified)
Another selfie
Another selfie

5. Unfortunately, Black Shark 2 Pro has no 3.5mm headphone jack. It also does not support expandable memory. 

It supports direct touch Liquid Cooling System 3.0. It also has an In-Display fingerprint scanner, and face unlock tech.

Its 1W powerful speaker is Dolby Atmos-supported.  It also features a haptic vibration motor where you can feel the effects while playing a game. 

Black Shark 2 Pro Specs

Display: 6.39-inch 2.5D curved AMOLED screen w/ FHD+ 2340 x 1080 resolution at 403 ppi
CPU: 2.96GHz 64-bit Snapdragon 855 Plus octa-core processor
GPU: Adreno 640
ROM: 128GB/256GB UFS 3.0
Back Camera: 48MP f/1.8 Sony IMX586 w/ PDAF + 12MP f/2.2 2x telephoto w/ LED flash
Selfie Camera: 20MP f/2.0
Battery: 4,000mAh battery w/ 27W fast charging
OS: Android 9.0 Pie w/ Black Shark OS
Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 ac (2.4GHz/5GHz), 4G LTE Cat 20, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, GPS (L1+L5 Dual Band), GLONASS, Galileo (E1+E5a Dual Band), Beidou, SBAS, A-GPS, dual SIM (nano)
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic
Others: In-Display fingerprint sensor, face unlock, direct touch liquid cooling system 3.0, RGB LED lighting, 1W loudspeaker, Dolby Atmos, haptic vibration motor, USB-C, Colors: shadow black, iceberg grey, gulf blue
Dimensions: 163.6 x 75 x 8.7 mm
Weight: 205 g
Price: PHP 27,990 (8GB/128GB), PHP 33,490 (12GB/256GB)

As of the moment

The Black Shark 2 Pro is an affordable gaming smartphone with beastly specs on paper. Its features mainly focused on how to enhance the great gaming experience of a mobile gamer. 

We just wish that Black Shark would announce soon its availability in the Philippines.

See also: Black Shark 2, Black Shark 2 Pro arrives in the Philippines, gaming beast starts at PHP 23,990!

We'll be posting our full review once they loan us with a unit.
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