Black Shark 4 Pro from Xiaomi came out in 2021 and got the title of the killer of gaming smartphones. 12 months later, the Chinese giant has released a new “black shark” — Black Shark 5 Pro. We figured out how much the new product is more productive than the fourth version, what has changed in design and construction, how gaming flagships differ from Xiaomi.
Processor and performance
|Black Shark 4 Pro||Black Shark 5 Pro|
|release date||March 2021||March 2022|
|Screen||Super AMOLED, 6.67 inches, 1080 x 2400, HDR10+||OLED, 6.67 inches, 1080 x 2400, HDR10+|
|CPU||Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G 4 x 1.8 GHz Cortex-A55, 3 x 2.42 GHz Cortex-A78, 1 x 2.84 Cortex-X1||Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 14 x 1.8 GHz Cortex-A510, 3 x 2.5 GHz Cortex-A710, 1 x 3 GHz Cortex-X2|
|RAM||8, 12, 16 GB||8, 12, 16 GB|
|Battery||4500 mAh||4650 mAh|
|Operating system and shell||Android 11, Joy UI 12.5||Android 12, Joy UI 13|
|Camera||64 MP, f/1.8, 1/1.97″ sensor (CMOS) 8 MP f/2.2, 1/4.0″ sensor (CMOS) 5 MP, 1/5.0″ sensor (CMOS)||108 MP f/1.8, 1/1.52″ sensor Samsung S5KHM2 (ISOCELL Plus CMOS)13 MP f/2.4, 1/3.06″ sensor Omnivision OV13B10 (CMOS)5 MP f/2.4 1/5″ sensor Samsung S5K5E9 ( ISOCELL CMOS)|
|NFC||there is||there is|
The main updates affected the processor, camera and operating system. Black Shark 4 Pro, despite the powerful stuffing, is not a super-expensive device. In version 5, Xiaomi has raised the stakes — in hardware and price. What came of it — further in the material.
The Black Shark 4 Pro has a compromise style. The device has a premium glass design, an LED triangle indicator. The signature X‑shaped design of the back cover magically attracts the eye, in certain lighting it creates a 3D effect. The 4 Pro does not produce the impression of a “space” gaming smartphone: everything is concise and moderate.
Xiaomi has relied on the constructive know-how of the Black Shark series — magnetic triggers. These small additional buttons are called up by lightly pressing the side key. Triggers help to aim, switch functions in games. In non-game situations, the buttons are useful for taking screenshots, activating the camera, etc.
The developers also left the classic 3.5 mm headphone jack. The fashion for wireless systems is growing, but for a gamer, transmission of sound without delay is important for the gaming experience. Wired headphones can do just that. Wireless — only at a stretch and for a lot of money.
Black Shark 5 did not break the visual trends of the series. Design without pretentious and flashy ideas, but with a beautiful design. Satin-finish back cover with a sketchy pattern, branded RGB indicator — the new “shark” is discreetly spectacular. The design of the camera block has changed. In version 4, the modules were placed horizontally, in version 5, the designers returned to the classic square shape. A simple and rigorous solution.
Triggers have been improved. In version 5, their activation requires pressing with great effort. This has saved gamers from accidental advancement and unnecessary triggering.
The Black Shark 4 Pro features an advanced 6.67-inch Super AMOLED display with a 20:9 aspect ratio. The last parameter gave a big plus to ergonomics. The display is convenient to use with one hand, unlike models with a similar screen, but with an 18:9 ratio (for example, the iPhone 13 Pro Max).
The 720Hz sampling rate made the Black Shark 4’s display super responsive. Latency (time from touching the screen to response) is only 8.3 ms. This is a critical indicator for games where the result of the race (battles, tasks) depends on the reaction speed of the display. The maximum refresh rate of 144Hz added smoothness for comfortable gaming.
The display of the Black Shark 5 Pro is similar to the display of version 4. Similar resolution (1080 x 2400) and aspect ratio (20:9). The type of display has changed — OLED was installed instead of AMOLED. Technically, AMOLED is a little better, but in practice it does not affect anything. OLED screen Black Shark 5 Pro — with rich colors with the option of calibration.
The main difference between the displays is in brightness. The maximum performance of the Black Shark 5 Pro has increased by 14% compared to the Black Shark 4 Pro. On a smartphone, it is even more comfortable to play outdoors under the sun. The operation of the auto-brightness system causes a wow effect. In version 5, the backlight of the display reacts to changes in lighting very smoothly and gently, without a sharp transition.
Processor and performance
Released in March 2021, Black Shark 4 Pro is based on the cutting-edge processor of the time — Snapdragon 888 with a frequency of 2840 MHz and 8 cores. The power reserve was enough for the game in 2022. Demanding titles like Genshin Impact, ARK: Survival Evolved won’t go below 60 FPS on medium or medium-high settings. Everything works smoothly and playably. Cooling done right. Even after intense gaming, the Black Shark 4 Pro does not get hotter than 42 degrees.
In the popular Geekbench synthetic CPU test, the smartphone scores 1111 points in single-core and 3675 points in multi-core modes. In these terms, the Black Shark 4 Pro is almost as good as the One Plus 9 and Samsung S21, although these devices are more expensive.
Black Shark 5 Pro received the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor. The same 8 cores, but with a maximum frequency of 3000 MHz. A new Adreno 730 video accelerator was installed. Black Shark 5 Pro made a breakthrough: on average, a smartphone is 26% more powerful than its predecessor. With any game tasks, the “black shark” version 5 copes without hesitation. Genshin Impact, Call of Duty Mobile and other heavy games literally fly at high settings with a stable 60 FPS. Tests on ultra settings cause the processor to throttle a little (the picture shakes a little), but the FPS does not drop.
The cooling system of the Black Shark 5 Pro is based on dual liquid cooling plates. Copper elements successfully dissipate heat so that the smartphone does not experience overheating during games. The maximum temperature on the tests is 40 degrees.
In single-core and multi-core testing, the Black Shark 5 Pro outperforms the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. The gap from version 4 Pro is also clearly visible.
Black Shark 4 Pro is equipped with a 4500 mAh battery. The device lives on a single charge for 3–5 hours with active work. Charging speed is amazing: thanks to HyperCharge technology and 120W of power, the battery goes from 0 to 100% in just 19 minutes! In the process, the body heats up decently, but this is a price to pay for speed.
The battery of the Black Shark 5 Pro has changed slightly. The capacity increased to 4650 mAh accelerated charging up to 18 minutes, extended the operating time by 10–20 minutes.
The proprietary Joy UI 12.5 shell performed well on the Black Shark 4 Pro. Interesting features are built into the software and interface:
- Projection of the game processor to the TV with a delay of only 40 ms;
- game screen panel (overlay) with FPS counter, smartphone control buttons, battery charge indicator and Network signal strength indicator.
JoyUI 12.5 was developed based on Xiaomi’s MIUI 12: brand fans easily figured out the intricacies of customization. There is only one problem — out of the box Black Shark 4 Pro runs on Android 11 OS. The manufacturer promises to release an update.
Black Shark 5 Pro with Android 12 and Joy UI 13 has the same set of gaming features with slightly better performance. The pre-installed Shark Space app is a gaming portal that links your smartphone account with data from the Explore Feed (Playstation) or Dashboard (Xbox). Branded game overlay appears when you swipe your finger across the screen from any angle.
Black Shark 4 Pro is not a camera phone. The device has three lenses:
- main 64 MP, f/1.8;
- ultra wide-angle 8 MP, f/2.2;
- macro 5 MP.
Ultra wide angle and macro lenses do not provide enough detail and saturation. The pictures are not bad, but their overall quality is average. But the main camera shoots with high-quality detail, good bokeh and sharpness.
In the Black Shark 5 Pro model, the following was built into the square module:
- main camera 108 MP;
- 13 MP ultra wide-angle lens;
- macro lens 5 MP.
The main camera with a Samsung S5KHM2 sensor takes 12 MP images by default. Their quality is decent: realistic color reproduction, high frame detail. In the 108 MP mode, sharpness suffers a little, but this does not affect the overall perception. From a gaming smartphone for 70,000 rubles, it makes no sense to demand perfect shots.
Noticeable progress in the quality of ultra-wide-angle shots. Excellent detail and good dynamic range add another shooting option to Black Shark 5 Pro owners. The macro lens is not perfect, but it has accurate autofocus — the pictures are clear and clean.
In video mode, both devices are available in 4K formats (30 FPS / 60FPS). Version 5 Pro has a slightly better dynamic range, good color reproduction, no noise and other artifacts,
Design is a matter of taste. The technical comparison of the two smartphones is in favor of the Black Shark 5 Pro. The device will launch any game without any obvious weaknesses and take good photos. The power reserve for gaming tasks is at least one and a half to two years. Black Shark 5 Pro is optimal for connoisseurs of flagship solutions and purchases of the “take it and close the issue” format for a long time. For the best Xiaomi gaming smartphone, you need to pay about 75,000 rubles (price at the time of writing).
Black Shark 4 Pro costs almost 2 times cheaper and is inferior to its older brother only in performance and camera. The Quartet still handles top games and any day-to-day tasks. Approximately 80% of what gives Black Shark 5 Pro, the fourth version is within the power. Black Shark Pro 4 will technically become obsolete faster than the new flagship, but there is no more balanced model for economical gaming in 2022.