Black Shark 5 Pro review: finally Xiaomi has REMOVED THE BRAKES to Snap 8 Gen. 1

Let's get right to the point: Black Shark 5 Pro is a flagship smartphone in all respects. And not only because it is powered by a Snapdragon 8 Gen. 1, it has a 144 Hz display and a 108 megapixel camera, but it is above all because the company has well thought of doubling the vapor chamber for cooling to manage the Qualcomm's SoC temperatures better.

In reality, then, the vapor chamber is not even the only factor in the Black Shark 5 Pro has done it in two: the smartphone can reach up to 512 Gb of storage space, which are divided into 256 GB of UFS 2.1 type memories and 256 GB of space in an NVMe memory. In short, by using a real SSD with DM Cache technology, the company has managed to significantly improve the performance in random read and write.

In a nutshell, this Black Shark 5 Pro focuses on performance. And it succeeds: it is one of the smartphones at the top of the AnTuTu ranking, and it is for a very specific reason, which (finally) brings a particular feature to this very difficult Snap 8 Gen. 1.

But first things first.

Black Shark 5 Pro Review: The Snap 8 Gen. 1 has finally been tamed

Design and materials

In fact, there are no striking differences between the Black Shark 5 Pro and the previous generation (here the review). Even the new smartphone continues to be one of the most “elegant” gaming smartphones in circulation with rounded shapes and a velvety back cover which, among other things, handles fingerprints very well. But let's be clear, I used the “elegant” quotes because the appearance of the device actually continues to be gaming, but it does so with a slightly less “tamarro” style than what we are used to with this category.

With its 163,9 × 76,5 × 9,5 mm and a weight of 220g, the dimensions and weight of the Black Shark 5 Pro continue to be virtually identical to those we saw in the previous generation (which, I remind you, was 163,8 x 76,4 x 9,9 mm large and weighed 220 grams) and, just like in the Black Shark 4, also in the new model the company has integrated an RGB LED that is activated and can be customized.

Black Shark 5 Pro gaming review Xiaomi powerful performance display price discount features italy

Of course, as you might expect from a gaming smartphone it is not among the thinnest devices on the market, especially in thickness, but there is a reason: in addition to the heat dissipation system (which we will talk about shortly) along the body. side of the device two mechanical retractable triggers have been integrated that for avid gamers could bring great benefits: they are physical, which makes them much more comfortable than some solutions we have seen in other competing devices, and for example in Call Of Duty Mobile allow you to have a button to aim and another to shoot.

Black Shark 5 Pro gaming review Xiaomi powerful performance display price discount features italy

Personally though, I have to tell you: I'm not a fan of physical triggers. Don't get me wrong, this is a "physically" more comfortable solution to use, but I still have the feeling that with this type of trigger you slightly increase the input lag, which is a very important factor for some of the people who are thinking of buying one. gaming smartphone like that of Xiaomi.

Black Shark 5 Pro gaming review Xiaomi powerful performance display price discount features italy

The convenience of this solution, however, is that when you are not playing, you can then assign quick functions to each of the triggers: by default the top button takes a screenshot, but you can also decide to start recording the screen. , one-handed mode or set functions according to the app you are using.

The fingerprint sensor has been positioned on the power button on the right, there is an excellent system of symmetrical stereo speakers completely independent from the ear capsule, while the entire front area is occupied by the display which, however, continues to be characterized by a strong asymmetry of the upper and lower frames.

Display

Looking superficially at the technical specifications of the screen of the Black Shark 5 Pro, you could fall into the trap of thinking that the same panel we saw in the 4 Pro was used. Because even the older generation had a display capable of reaching 144 Hz, with a peak brightness of 1300 nits and a frequency of 720 Hz touch sampling.

Black Shark 5 Pro gaming review Xiaomi powerful performance display price discount features italy

In reality, however, this is not the case: in the Black Shark 5 Pro the company ditched the E3 panels, in favor of the newer A4. In a nutshell, assuming that the actual display quality of OLED screens largely depends on the organic materials applied, E4 materials are significantly optimized in terms of peak brightness, power consumption, but above all in terms of dynamic range management. .

Black Shark 5 Pro gaming review Xiaomi powerful performance display price discount features italy

And ok, the peak 1300 nits might seem low compared to the 1500 of the Xiaomi Mi 12 Pro (here the review), but the contrast of 5000000: 1 and the pixel density per inch of almost 400 ppi, make the images reproduced on this smartphone visually almost perfect, and perfectly visible even in the center of the Sahara desert with the sun pointing directly on the screen .

However, there is a note to make: when companies talk about peak brightness, you shouldn't fall into the trap of thinking that when you use your smartphone you really get to the nits they are talking about. Actually in everyday life things are very different, but I tell you one thing: in my tests I recorded a maximum brightness of 682 nits, which is not bad.

Black Shark 5 Pro gaming review Xiaomi powerful performance display price discount features italy

However, even in the Black Shark 5 Pro it is possible to choose between 3 different modes of management of the refresh rate but, personally, I have always used the device by setting it to 144 Hz: in this mode the fluidity of the images is evident, but the battery drain is equally evident, which is much more pronounced.

Hardware and Performance

As for hardware and performance, we will do a very quick overview of the technical characteristics of the Black Shark 5 Pro, because there is something much more interesting to talk about. Snap 8 Gen. 1, RAM from 12 or 16 GB of LPDDR5 type, memories that reach up to 512 GB and are of UFS 3.1 and NVMe type. In short, in terms of characteristics we are talking about the absolute top, and it goes without saying that everything turns beautifully: both in everyday use and in the most extreme gaming, Black Shark 5 Pro it never shows the slightest lag. And God forbid, with this data sheet.

What I would like to discuss though, is a more technical thing that has left me stunned. Here above you will find all the results of the benchmarks we have performed, performance tests that have actually produced very high scores, especially in AnTuTu.

But the graph on which I would like you to focus your attention is the one relating to the AnTuTu stress test: as you will notice, with the Black Shark 5 Pro, for the first time you have CPU performance super constant and practically always fixed at values ​​around 100%.

Black Shark 5 Pro gaming review Xiaomi powerful performance display price discount features italy

Performance that I have deliberately compared to those of the Xiaomi 12 Pro, which uses the same SoC but which does it in a completely different way. While I was running the tests, however, I also noticed a huge overheating of the rear body which, let's face it, under the stress test becomes really on fire.

And thinking about the double steam chamber, which extends over an area of ​​well 5.320 mm2, I did 2 + 2 and I came to a conclusion: the meaning of this new passive dissipation technology is not to keep the scorching temperatures of the Snap 8 Gen. 1 at bay, but to dissipate them towards the outside, so as not to damage the SoC when it reaches certain levels.

Black Shark 5 Pro gaming review Xiaomi powerful performance display price discount features italy

Put simply, the Black Shark 5 Pro it is the only one that manages to make the Snapdragon 8 Gen. 1 go practically to the maximum, and it does so without having to worry too much about the temperatures because it manages to transfer the heat to the outside of the body. In a nutshell it goes a bomb, but it becomes fire.

And, thinking about it, it is quite normal: in a smartphone the heat cannot be made to disappear as if by magic (or as is done with liquid cooling systems) and the only way to "remove" it from the internal components is to to let it go outside the body, heating it, in fact.

Black Shark 5 Pro gaming review Xiaomi powerful performance display price discount features italy

That said, let's get back to more "normal" things. Good capsule audio and cellular network reception, but the integrated stereo speaker system is really excellent: the position of the speakers is right, as well as the frequency balance that manages - strange but true - to reproduce not only the highs and the mids, but also the bass. From this point of view, the solution integrated into the Black Shark 5 Pro it is superior to the Xiaomi 12 Pro. What is missing, however, is an input for the 3.5mm headphone jack, which is a real shame considering that real gamers use wired headphones to avoid lag.

Camera

As with the 4 Pro, the camera compartment of the Black Shark 5 Pro it's one of those factors you don't expect from a gaming smartphone. Ok, it is certainly not able to compete with the most famous top of the range, but it is probably among the best solutions in a smartphone designed for gaming. There are three optics, and the resolution doubles compared to the previous generation: the main camera uses a 108 megapixel sensor (which is a Samsung S5KHM2 1 / 1.52 ″ 0.7 µm) not optically stabilized, which is flanked by an ultra wide camera 13 megapixel (with Samsung OmniVision sensor, 1 / 3.06 ″, 1.12 µm sensor) and a 5 megapixel telemacro sensor (with a Samsung ISOCELL 5E9, 1/5 ″, 1.12µm sensor).

Now, leaving out the total uselessness of the macro camera, it must be said that the photographs taken with the main camera are not bad: the dynamic range is well managed, the contrast is present and all the photos are taken with a good saturation, despite the presence of artificial intelligence that could risk accentuating too much contrast and sharpness of the shots.

And the quality of the main camera is also noticeable in night photography: this mode can only be used with this lens and is able to produce rather clean and well managed shots, even with very dark frames.

Things change when you use the ultra-wide-angle camera which, remember, it is not possible to use in night mode and which - even in conditions of good brightness - tends to generate rather poor shots in terms of sharpness and characterized by chromatic aberration. quite noticeable along the edges of the photos.

Black Shark 5 Pro gaming review Xiaomi powerful performance display price discount features italy

So so are the selfies made by the 16 megapixel front camera (always with Samsung OmniVision sensor) which, even if they can be taken with HDR in my opinion, have a bad management of the dynamic range, good videos that can be recorded at maximum resolution. 4K at 60 fps (both with the main one and with the ultra-wide one) but which tend to suffer a little from the lack of optical stabilization in all cameras.

Software

What I like least of the Black Shark 5 Pro it's the software, but that's because I don't particularly love Xiaomi's MIUI. Sure, the new gaming smartphone comes with the JOY UI 13 that personalizes Android 13, but basically we're there. The biggest difference with the more traditional version of the Chinese company's GUI lies in the presence of the “Shark Space”, a tool dedicated to the game in which it is possible to modify and customize a whole series of settings for each of the installed games.

In games for example, you can choose to push processor performance to the maximum and limit background processes in order to obtain an experience as high as possible, while with lighter titles instead you can choose not to push to the maximum in in order to improve autonomy.

Black Shark 5 Pro gaming review Xiaomi powerful performance display price discount features italy

For the rest, in essence, the rest of the graphical interface integrates everything that could be expected from Xiaomi's MIUI, with all its strengths and defects, but which runs in the most fluid way with a 144 Hz display. and fast as possible.

Battery life

Black Shark 5 Pro comes with a battery of poco larger than the one seen in the previous generation: it goes to 4650 mAh against the 4500 mAh of the 4 Pro. And yes, I would have liked to see at least 5000 mAh in the new Xiaomi gaming smartphone, also because in terms of autonomy we are not really there , especially when stressed.

Black Shark 5 Pro gaming review Xiaomi powerful performance display price discount features italy

I'll make it simple: with normal use of the device you can get to the end of the night without too many problems, but when you start playing and start squeezing the hardware, you can get over it by poco the 2 hours of autonomy.

Poco bad though, why Black Shark 5 Pro it recharges from 0% to 100% in about 15 minutes thanks to the 120w fast charger included in the package, but unfortunately once again no wireless charging technology has been integrated.

Price and considerations

The price of Black Shark 5 Pro part from €799 (8/128 GB) and then go up to €899 e €999 for the super 12/256 GB and 16/256 GB variants. And without too many words, we are talking about yes of a gaming smartphone, but of one those specimens that do not disappoint in substantially in any sector. Sure it's big, it's heavy, and it actually competes heavily with the Poco F4 GT (here the review) which, on paper, has broadly the same hardware.

Black Shark 5 Pro gaming review Xiaomi powerful performance display price discount features italy

However, compared to the poco, the fact that the Snap 8 Gen. 1 runs better on the Black Shark 5 Pro it is practically obvious. In short, if you want to exploit Qualcomm's SoC to its full potential, the choice is only one.



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Sold and shipped from the official Black Shark store

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from € 549
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http://Black%20Shark%205%20Pro%20|%20Store%20ufficiale

Sold and shipped from the official Black Shark store

More Less
from € 799
LinkedIn