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A subtle startup for smartphone gaming

A subtle startup for smartphone gaming

With the continued increase in the complexity of mobile gaming going hand in hand with the increased capabilities of smartphones, the emergence of the “gaming smartphone” class of handsets allows manufacturers to focus on specific details that are important to gamers. It has led to some powerful phones with radical and varied choices to meet specific needs.

Black Shark, has taken a slightly different approach by building gaming phones that may not reach the bleeding edge, but offer above average gaming experiences in phones that are almost, but not unlike, regular smartphones.

I’ve spent time with the latest handset, the Black Shark 5 Pro, to find out how well subtle works as a power-up.

What I find interesting about the Black Shark 5 Pro is that even though it’s a gaming phone, it doesn’t go crazy with the gaming aspect. Instead, this is a sensible high-end phone that’s optimized for gaming, as opposed to a gaming phone that goes all out and sacrifices features that aren’t 100 percent game-focused.

To that end, you have specs that you’d expect to see in a gaming phone from the first half of the year. That means you have a SnapDragon 8 Gen 1 powering the system. With 8+ Gen 1 of new smartphones coming soon, the Black Shark 5 Pro is going to be a bit behind the processor curve starting next month… right now it’s one of the leading handsets.

The phone also uses Adreno 720 for its graphics. Pair these core specs with up to 16GB of RAM and up to 512GB of storage; you have a device that will comfortably offer 60 fps on demanding games like Genshin Impact, PUBG and Call of Duty Mobile.

Running these high-end games at high graphics output (which the 144Hz fast-refresh OLED screen can handle) comes with the usual cost of heat and power consumption.

On the former, Black Shark has added two vapor chambers to the Snapdragon chipset to help dissipate as much heat as possible. Unlike the hardcore gaming phones, which can offer more ventilation, fan-assisted airflows and brilliant surfaces inside the case, the Black Shark 5 Pro has turned away from the more esoteric options to stick with some proven methods.

Generally they work well, although the handset heats up and the heat is pushed out in the same place as your palms. With an offset camera island that unbalances the back of the smartphone, something doesn’t quite click when you hold the handset. It’s a bit difficult, which is magnified in a long gaming session.

The Black Shark 5 Pro makes small compromises throughout the system… you have an OLED screen and not an AMOLED screen, and the 720 Hz touch sampling is high, but not the highest. The cooling system remains subtle and mostly efficient, but not assisted by any active technology. The selfie camera and ultra-wide camera lens are fixed-focus lenses (although autofocus is oddly present in the macro camera.

The battery is slightly smaller than other handsets of this generation, at 4650 mAh, but the Black Shark 5 Pro has an advantage… it has impeccable fast charging and the 120W charger comes in the box with the phone. That gives an empty to 91% charge time of fifteen minutes and thirty minutes to go from empty to 100 percent.

Long gaming sessions will mean more access to the fast charger. Is that a deal breaker? It depends on how mobile you are when using the phone. If you’re out and about, commuting and far from a charge, the Black Shark 5 Pro may fall short. Games around the house shouldn’t be a problem.

Design-wise, this doesn’t look like a gaming phone. There are some nods to the excess and liveliness of the idea of ​​a gaming phone, but at close range this looks like a fine Android smartphone.

The most important concession, and one that many players will enjoy in the more action-based landscape-oriented games, are the two shoulder buttons. These shoulder buttons are located on the top right and top left of the handset when held in landscape mode, and remain hidden in the handset until you activate them with two switches – then they pop up and can be triggered as needed, usually by the index fingers.

They are programmable for each game, so you can adjust the settings you like, and during normal phone use you can assign specific functions to them, such as taking a photo, turning on the flashlight or opening a specific application.

Then there is the warning light. The back of the smartphone has some subtle ink that looks like wires around a circuit board, not in any large amount but enough to be seen. Some of these lines have an LED underneath that will glow a set of user-defined colors for a variety of defined actions such as playing music, ringing and incoming calls.

The Black Shark 5 Pro isn’t brash, and it doesn’t use its gaming credentials where it can be seen. But they are there. The hardcore professional gamers will look elsewhere, but for those who like “a good game” and want both the hardware to cope with these demands and provide a solid and reasonable smartphone experience for the rest of time, the Black Shark 5 Pro deserves consideration.. .albeit the kind of assessment that one would have on any handset that fits the ‘flagship killer’ mid-price genre.

Now read the latest smartphone headlines in Forbes’ weekly Apple Loop…

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