After stripping the Chinese variant, the time has come to examine also the Black Shark Global, the gaming smartphone in its incarnation for the international market. What does this model have to offer and the rest of the category? And what changes compared to its Chinese counterpart? To answer these and all the questions that are in your mind you just have to immerse yourself in our full review!
Black Shark Global Review
The box of the Black Shark Global it is a black hardcover, smooth to the touch and characterized by the logo of the company of the same name on the upper part. Inside the package we find:
- Black Shark Global;
- GamePad controller;
- plastic bumper;
- protective film;
- Quick Charge 3.0 charger;
- USB / USB Type-C cable;
- Mini-jack / USB Type-C adapter;
- pin for the SIM slot;
The equipment is identical to the Chinese one, except for the presence of the controller (to underline the gaming soul of the device).
Design and construction
The Black Shark Global does not change a word in terms of design compared to the model intended for the Chinese market and mounts the same atypical back cover, from the character aggressive and which recalls shapes and colors typically associated with gaming terminals. The back panel is in black metal, except for a thin green stripe; at the center of the body we find the brand logo (which also acts as a LED back) while the rest of the same is characterized by a texture with small triangles. Everything is done in a fine and precise way, with a design full of grooves and details.
The Black Shark is an impressive device, with dimensions of 161.62 x 75.4 x 9.25 mm for a weight of 190 grams. The grip improves considerably thanks to the bumper supplied even if it slightly increases the size.
The front part has a display in 18: 9, which helps to simplify the shapes of the smartphone. To make your nose turn up, however, the bulky frames above and below the screen are taken care of. The upper one houses the selfie camera, the headset capsule (which doubles as a secondary speaker), the sensor and the notification LED; on the opposite side we have a touch-sensitive Home button, with integrated fingerprint reader, and two Backward and Task Management keys.
Inside the same model two souls cohabit: the gaming one - with a rear panel definitely out of the box - and the "classic", with a front that knows terribly already seen.
Along the perimeter frame we find the microphone, the USB Type-C input and the main speaker (below), the volume rocker arm and the Power button (on the right), the slot dual SIMs. and the slider for the Shark Space (to the left). We will return to it later on and on its usefulness.
As anticipated a little while ago, the Black Shark Global mount a panel LCD da 5.99 inches with resolution Full HD + (2160 x 1080 pixels) with 403 PPI density, brightness up to 550 nits and 97% DCI-P3 color gamut. Good brightness (even under the sun) and excellent colors, reproduced fairly faithfully; only flaw, often these are excessively saturated and in the case of the brightest, sometimes they almost seem to "impress" the eye.
These considerations apply - as seen in our review of the Chinese model - for the Cinema Mode present in the option Screen Color (In Settings/Display). Basically, the smartphone arrives with the voice Natural Mode activated: run to modify it, since the latter returns really dull colors, which do not do justice to the panel.
Despite its flaws (seen above) and its typically IPS nature, we are faced with a more than acceptable solution. In addition, a gem that can not fail to be engrossed, is the presence ofAmbient Display.
Hardware and Performance
The hardware equipment of the device is the best you can get from a high-end model. Obviously we find on board the Snapdragon 845, Qualcomm's high-end processor made at 10 nm and composed of a CPU with a maximum frequency of 2.8 GHz. In the case of the smartphone under test, we have well 8 GB of RAM LPDDR4X-1866 dual channel and 128 GB of internal memory UFS 2.1 (not expandable). We have now reached the end of the 2018 and this configuration certainly does not need any introduction or clarification.
This is a top-level hardware, which returns an experience free of lag, jamming, freeze and so on. The Black Shark Global it's a sliver and the process management in the background also appears impeccable, with times of opening / closing of the app (both scratch that to recall) almost inexistent.
As for the graphic part, we have the GPU Adreno 630. Nothing to declare apart from what has been said before: talking about smartphone gaming seems decidedly "pushed". At present, the panorama of titles for mobile and works on the hardware side do not seem to shine so much that they can talk about "gaming" real (as if it had to do with a PC or a console, in short).
If you want to forget this aspect, overall the device behaves very well and any type of title runs without any problem at the highest quality. Both PUBG and Fortnite, as well as Asphalt 8, appear fluid despite the exhilarating demands in terms of performance. The same applies to Portal Knight, a title that if set to the maximum creates not a few headaches to smartphones that are not moved by adequate hardware. The recent porting of Monster Hunter Stories - coming from 3DS - it is a pleasure to play; obviously even the less demanding titles and casual games are a bomb.
Shark Space and Game Dock
By activating the side slider it is possible to access the Shark Space; the system is put on stand-by and goes to a mode characterized by a minimal interface and with reduced consumption to the bone. Using a swipe on the Home key you can open the Game Dock, a bar with controls to activate and deactivate notifications, calls and Wi-Fi. Here are also the settings for the game pad supplied (very convenient to play), to clean RAM memory and to set maximum performance.
Those who are accustomed to MIUI can not fail to look at the Shark Space as a kind of game mode (present in the UI of Xiaomi) in a super advanced version and with a greater number of options.
We conclude by quoting the much talked-about system of liquid cooling, on paper that can reduce CPU temperatures of 8 ° C. We would have expected a little more, especially during extended gaming sessions. However, temperatures are good and one never gets the impression that the smartphone is excessively hot.
What in my opinion is one of the hot spots of this Black Shark Global it's the software side. On board our gaming smartphone we have the interface JoyUI in G66X1811240OS00MPX version on base Android 8.1 Oreo and with security patches updated in November 2018. Honestly I expected a similar software to MIUI, maybe with some more gem tied to gaming (see the Shark Space and the Game Dock).
In reality, "it seems" to be in front of Android stock since there is no trace of MIUI. Missing gestures, the Second Space (which allows you to have an additional space on the phone, perhaps for the "guests"), the Dual App (to clone the applications) and the App Lock. The ability to customize the capacitive keys is missing and it seems that the only additions are the settings of the Game Dock and the rear notification LED (which among other things can not change color).
In practice we are dealing with software essential and, frankly, with such a hardware available it would not have spoiled a "heavier" interface or with a go go feature. Finally we have the Face Unlock but does not allow to unlock the device and directly access the homescreen. It will be necessary to carry out a swipe, an operation which is superfluous.
The photographic part of the gaming flagship relies on a dual camera 12 + 20 mega-pixel with opening f/1.75, pixel from 1.25-1.0 μm and Dual Tone LED flash, with Sony IMX486 and Sony IMX376 sensors. Compared to our review of the Chinese variant we certainly have some improvements regarding the interface of the Camera app as the addition of the Portrait Mode for the Selfie chamber and the introduction of the scene recognition means AI.
Il Black Shark Global it is not a camera phone but try to get by with what it has available. It is able to offer valid images for a bland and social use but nothing to really aim at. His qualities are elsewhere and they demonstrate the shots characterized by colors never really vivid, with an often excessive contrast and some defect of overexposure.
This does not mean that it is not able to give satisfactions, especially with the right lighting. The photographic package returns images with a good level of detail even if with artificial light or in the evening begins to lose shots.
On the front we have a Sony IMX376 selfie camera from 20 mega-pixels with opening f/2.2 and 4 Pixel technology in 1. Self-portraits are fine for social use and with the presence of the Portrait Mode it will not be difficult to make satisfactory photos from this point of view. In short, nothing exceptional and certainly some more detail would not hurt, as well as better exposure management.
We conclude with videos, which can be recorded in 4K / Full HD quality at 30 fps and are discrete; months later from the review of the Chinese model, also here there is the presence of a mediocre stabilization and some defect of focus.
Connectivity and audio quality
In this version we have the much desired 20 band and the results offered by the modem that accompanies the 845 Snap - presumably also thanks to the X arrangement of the antennas - are more than satisfactory. We have never encountered any kind of problem both for receiving calls and for Internet connectivity (good for online multiplayer games). The switch between the networks is quick and "painless"; indoors, the benefits of the 20 band are definitely felt.
For the rest, the connectivity package does not make a fold: present at the call 802.11 Wi-Fi a / b / g / n / ac Dual Band e Bluetooth 5.0 (with aptX HD) even if the big absentees (NFC and FM Radio) leave a bit 'of bitter taste. Good satellite navigation through GPS / AGPS / GLONASS / Beidou.
The audio part relies on a speaker main positioned along the lower edge and one secondary integrated in the capsule earphone. The solution offered by Black Shark leaves fully satisfied both for playing and for playing multimedia content; obviously we do not talk about an audio at the top but the volume returned is high and the management of the frequencies is not bad.
Thanks to the battery from 4000 mAh the Black Shark is able to return up to 5 / 6 display hours on. In some cases we also arrived at almost 6 hours and 30 minutes. The gaming flagship will be able to accompany you without any problem for a whole day and even playing in a more or less intense does not seem to be consumed out of place.
Support for charging is present Quick Charge 3.0 but in the case of our sample we received a model accompanied by a charger with UK socket. Obviously it was a pure chance and the models for Italy will have the classic European charger. They come back to us, with another charger - always QC 3.0 - the full charge settles around one hour and 30 minutes.
Black Shark Global Review - Price and Conclusions
When it comes to "gaming smartphone" you must have clear what you are talking about: powerful smartphones, with a top hardware, dedicated accessories and a strong look, familiar to those who haunt the world of video games. In practice, the only "gaming" aspect is design; everything else can be found on board any self-respecting premium smartphone.
Finally, analyzing the Black Shark Global we are facing an excellent device albeit with some shortcomings. The quality / price ratio convinces and if the design is close to your tastes, then you will not have any regrets in falling in love with this device.
However, if you prefer a more sober style, it will be a must to turn upwards. If instead you are hardened gamers, console fans and looking for a device Well then you are early and should try again in a while. Speaking of prices, Black Shark is proposed through the official website a 469€ e 419€ (at the time of which we write), respectively for the model from 8 / 128 GB and the one from 6 / 64 GB.