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Xiaomi Black Shark 4 Review

Xiaomi has released yet another gaming smartphone it is Shark’s line of smartphones and its dubbed the Xiaomi Black Shark 4, a successor to the Xiaomi Black Shark 3 which was released in March 2020. As a successor, the Black shark 4 brings to the table a more capable smartphone hardware wrapped in a chassis with a different design.

Xiaomi Black Shark 4

Xiaomi Black Shark 4

Xiaomi Black Shark 4 Key Specs & Features

  • 6.67 inches AMOLED Display, 1080 x 2400 Pixels, 20:9 Aspect Ratio (~395 PPI)
  • Android 11, Joy UI 12.5
  • Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G (7 nm)
  • 6GB / 8GB RAM / 12GB RAM
  • 128GB / 256GB Built-in Storage
  • 48MP + 8MP + 5MP Triple Rear Camera
  • 20MP Front Camera
  • 5G Support
  • Physical Pop-up Gaming Triggers
  • Fingerprint Scanner (side-mounted)
  • Fast Charging (120W Capacity)
  • 4500 mAh Non-Removable Li-Po Battery

Design and Display

Xiaomi chose to go a bit of the trend this year, by imbibing a design that shows the variance in the theme we have seen on predecessors in the Shark series. The Xiaomi Black Shark 4 designs tend to fall in the regular smartphone design category, with little clues to tell its gaming smartphone.

This move to having a more subtle smartphone design can be seen as Xiaomi trying to make smartphones in the Shark series become suiting for both gamers and regular users who desire top-shelf performance from an Android smartphone.

Taking scrutiny of the Black shark 4’s rear panel reveals the absence of the sections which pretty much hinted at the Black Shark 3’s gaming capabilities. This year we have a near plain rear covering with a gradient design, on which you will find a camera module with triple cameras, the Shark emblem, and the black shark branding.

Moving up front, we find a 6.7 inch AMOLED display bearing a punch-hole camera in the top center position, with dual front cameras on the top and bottom bezels of the display.

The highlights of the display include a resolution of 1080 x 2400, a density of approximately 395 PPI, a 720Hz touch sampling rate, and a 144Hz refresh rate like we also saw on the Asus Rog Phone 5.

Ergonomics

Already we have smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra which bear top-of-the-shelf specs, however, what separates ordinary smartphones from gaming smartphones, is the extras they feature, extras that make them more suitable for gaming. These extras fall under ergonomics.

Much like we have seen on the Shark releases in the past, the Black Shark 4 features shoulder buttons which can be mapped to the game controls, give you more screen estate. Xiaomi announced improved the shoulder buttons by featuring a magnetic power lift tech, which makes the buttons more tactile.  Aside from the shoulder buttons, we also have a pressure-sensitive display.

In addition to the shoulder buttons, we have a pressure-sensitive display that I really liked in the Black Shark 2. With the shoulder buttons and a screen like this, you can re-map the controls of a mobile game to be a little more comfortable.

The Cameras

Putting the Xiaomi Black Shark 3 cameras into consideration places the Xiaomi Black Shark 4 in a non-spectacular position. Which is due to the drop in pixels on the rear cameras and also the reminisce of the front camera setup.

On the rear, we have a 48MP primary camera with an aperture of f/1.8 as opposed to the 64MP camera on the Black shark 3, we also have an 8MP ultrawide camera with an aperture of f/2.2 and a 120˚ field of view as opposed to the 13MP ultrawide on black shark 3.

Lastly, we have a 5MP macro camera with an aperture of f/2.4 which is smaller than the f/2.2 aperture on the Macro camera of its predecessor. Video recording with the rear camera setup is capped at 4k @ 60fps.

Moving upfront to examine the front camera setup, we have a single 20MP camera with an aperture of f/2.0. The video record on this camera is capped at 1080 @ 30fps.

Hardware and Software

Moving on to the Xiaomi black shark 4’s performance train, we have the Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 processor as the chief facilitator. It may not be the same as the top-of-the-line Snapdragon 888, however, it’s an upgrade over the Snapdragon 888 processor seen on the Black Shark 3.

The other members of the performance train include an Adreno 650 GPU, RAM options of 6GB / 8GB and 12GB, storage options of 128GB / 256GB, and a non-removable  4500mAh Li-Po battery. Enthusiasts will also be served the luxury of a 120W fast-charge mechanism, which claims can go from 0% to 100% in about 14 minutes and 50 seconds.

In order to reduce the heat that goes with heaving gaming and charging, Xiaomi employed a two-layer liquid cooling system

Also like that Asus phone, Black Shark announced that a fan accessory called the FunCooler 2 Pro can be attached to keep it cooler. The price for that is 199 yuan (about $30).

On the software side, the Black Shark 4 runs the Joy UI 12.5 user interface on top of the Android 11 operating system.

Connectivity

The Xiaomi BlackShark 4 features a 3.5mm headphone jack, a USB Type-C 2.0 port, NFC support, low-energy Bluetooth 5.2, and WiFi.

Internet connectivity here is capped at 5G, which means enthusiasts can utilize 5G connectivity for downloads, uploads, and streaming.

Xiaomi Black Shark 4 Price and Availability

Xiaomi Black Shark 4 price starts at around $399 for the 6GB / 128GB variant, which translates to about 145,540 Naira in Nigeria, 42,044 KSH in Kenya, and 2,199 GHC in Ghana.

Enthusiasts who choose to go for the 8GB / 128GB variant will have to about $415, while those who decide to go for the 12GB / 128GB variant will have to pay $460 and lastly if you decide to go for the top of the line 12GB / 256Gb variant, you will have to pay about $505.

The Black Shark 4 comes in three colours and they include Magic Black, Black, Blue, and Silver. The announcement of this device was on the 23rd of March and the release date is set for later in March.

Xiaomi Black Shark 4 Specs

Here are a few specs of the Xiaomi Black Shark 4:

General Features

  • Platform: Android 11, Joy UI 12.5
  • Processor: Qualcomm SM8250-AC Snapdragon 870 5G (7 nm) (Octa-core 1×3.2 GHz Kryo 585 & 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 585 & 4×1.80 GHz Kryo 585)
  • GPU: Adreno 650
  • Memory: 6GB / 8GB / 12GB
  • Colours: Magic Black, Black, Blue, Silver
  • Dimension: 163.8 x 76.4 x 9.9 mm
  • Weight: 210 g
  • SIM Type: Nano-SIM
  • SIM Count: Dual SIM

Display

  • Display: 6.67 inches Super AMOLED, 1080 x 2400 Pixels, ~395 PPI,  HDR10+, 144Hz Refresh Rate,
  • Screen Protection: –
  • Foldable Display: No

Camera

Storage

  • Built-in Storage: 128GB / 256GB
  • Memory Card Support: No
  • Bundled Cloud Storage: –

Network Support

  • 2G GSM: 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
  • 2G CDMA 1X: 800 & TD-SCDMA
  • 3G WCDMA: 800 / 850 / 900 / 1700(AWS) / 1900 / 2100
  • 3G CDMA EVDO: CDMA2000 1xEV-DO
  • 4G LTE: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 18, 19, 20, 26, 28, 34, 38, 39, 40, 41
  • 5G: 1, 3, 8, 28, 41, 77, 78, 79 SA/NSA

Internet & Connectivity

  • GPRS: Yes
  • EDGE: Yes
  • 3G/WCDMA/HSPA: Yes
  • HSPA+: Yes
  • CDMA EVDO: Yes
  • 4G LTE: Yes
  • 5G: Yes
  • WLAN: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct
  • Wi-Fi Hotspot: Yes
  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth 5.2, A2DP, LE, aptX HD, aptX Adaptive
  • NFC: Yes
  • Infrared Blaster: –
  • USB Port: USB Type-C 2.0

Messaging

  • SMS/MMS: Yes
  • Instant Messaging: –
  • Push Emails: –
  • Email Protocol: Yes

Entertainment

  • Music Player: Yes
  • Video Player: Yes
  • FM Radio: No
  • Loudspeaker: Yes, with stereo speakers
  • 3.5mm Jack: Yes

Navigation

  • Navigation: A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, QZSS, BDS
  • Maps: Yes

Sensors & Control

  • Digital Compass: Yes
  • Accelerometer: Yes
  • Proximity Sensor: Yes
  • Light Sensor: –
  • Barometer: –
  • SpO2: –
  • Pedometer: –
  • Heart Rate Monitor: No
  • Gyroscope: –
  • Fingerprint Scanner: Yes (Side-Mounted)
  • Iris Scanner: –
  • Face Unlock: –
  • Stylus Pen: No
  • Intelligent Digital Assistant: Yes
  • Motion Sensing / Gesture Control: –
  • Voice Control: Yes

Other Features

  • Video Streaming: Yes
  • Active Noise Cancellation: Yes
  • Wireless Charging: No
  • Built-in Mobile Payment: –
  • Water Resistant: –
  • Dust Resistant: –
  • Image Editor: –
  • Video Editor: –
  • Document Viewer: –
  • Document Editor: –

Battery

  • Battery: non-removable 4000mAh Li-Po Battery
  • Talktime: –
  • Standby Time: –
  • Fast Charging: Yes (120W Capacity)
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