You may have already heard about Xiaomi launching a gaming smartphone as a competitor to Razer Phone, Nubia Red Magic, and the Asus ROG phone. The device has been launched as Black Shark 3 with attractive specs and designs made by Xiaomi itself. This is my review of the brand new Xiaomi Black Shark after using it for a month. Let’s start with a video…
As you can see in the video, the Xiaomi Black Shark 3 is indeed a very good-looking device. The glass back and metal sides remind me of Oneplus 6T but this one has been designed from scratch by Xiaomi’s subsidiary, Black Shark. If I have to compare it with other gaming smartphones launched earlier, I would say it is a mixture of Razer Phone and Nubia Red Magic with a premium design.
The Black Shark 3 features a huge 6.01-inch 18:9 display which is perfect for gaming sessions with its Full HD+ resolution and 544ppi of pixel density. It has an aspect ratio of 18:9 with 1080 x 2160 pixels or FHD+. The panel comes from Samsung and it is one of the best in market right now along with Razer Phone and Asus ROG phone. The colors, sharpness and contrast levels are excellent in the Xiaomi Black Shark 3. There is no mention of Gorilla Glass protection in the specification sheet which means you may need to use a case when it falls from your hand.
The display glass curves on all four sides and that gives it a premium look. The glass has been rounded on the top and bottom edges as well which looks good but they also make the device more vulnerable to damages when it falls from your hand.
The Xiaomi Black Shark 3 is powered by the flagship Snapdragon 845 processor with 10nm technology. The chipset is mated with Adreno 630 GPU which is perfect for intensive gaming sessions. I have been using the Xiaomi Black Shark 3 for nearly a month now and I haven’t faced any issue related to gaming, multitasking or camera.
Xiaomi has added 6GB of RAM in the base variant while there are two internal storage options of 64GB and 128GB. The storage can be further expanded up to another 256GB via the micro-sd card slot available on the device. As far as connectivity is concerned, it has Bluetooth 5.0, Dual 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, USB Type C port, GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS and a 3.5mm audio jack. Xiaomi has also added NFC which is missing in the Razer Phone, Asus ROG phone and Nubia Red Magic.
The device runs on Android Oreo 8.1 with its own custom skin called JOY UI on top. The JOY UI runs very smoothly on the Xiaomi Black Shark 3. I haven’t faced any lags or app crashes while using it for a month. On the top of the home screen, you will get shortcuts to Game Center, screenshots and more. There are also LED lights on the back along with fingerprint scanner which is placed in an optimal location to reach it easily.
The Xiaomi Black Shark 3 has an excellent gaming mode which can be accessed by swiping up from the bottom of the screen. It lets you prioritize data for games, block calls and manage notification effectively. The device is also backed by a 4000mAh battery but unfortunately there is no support for fast charging. It takes nearly 2 hours to completely charge the device from 0 to 100%.
The Xiaomi Black Shark 3 has a dual-camera setup on the back with a 12MP primary sensor and 20MP secondary sensor. The primary sensor has 1.25um large pixels along with an f/1.75 aperture while the second sensor is used for depth sensing. The 20MP secondary sensor can capture portrait shots with blurring the background which looks good.
The device comes with multiple shooting modes like HDR, Portrait, Slo-mo and time-lapse as well as a manual mode to adjust ISO, white balance and exposure manually. On the front side, there is a 20MP selfie shooter with f/2.2 aperture and an LED flash which is pretty good for taking selfies in low-light conditions. Just like most of the Xiaomi smartphones, it comes with AI features to recognize scenes and objects automatically.