The Black Shark 2 Review: A Gaming Phone's Existential Crisisby Andrei Frumusanu on September 25, 2019 8:00 AM EST
- Posted in
- Snapdragon 855
- Black Shark 2
The Black Shark 2 was among one of the devices we’ve included in our Snapdragon 855 device roundup, so we should be plenty familiar with the device’s performance.
The summary explanation of diverging performance between different smartphones with the same SoC chipset is that vendors can deploy the software and firmwares at different stages of their development cycle. Some vendors try to keep things up to date with what Qualcomm provides, while others base off their firmwares some time early in the R&D cycle of the phone and then never update it again until a major Android update a year or more later.
In PCMark, the Black Shark 2 preforms relatively average in relation to its other Snapdragon 855 siblings. The more interesting comparison here is against Xiaomi’s own Mi9; we’re seeing a few minor differences here and there but generally there isn’t too much divergence from its sister platform.
In the JS web browsing benchmarks, the Black Shark 2 actually performs well and in line with the better S855 platforms.
Overall, the performance of the Black Shark 2 is very good and in line with that of other Snapdragon 855 phones. It’s very similar to the Mi9 and that’s a good thing, albeit a bit short of the very best S855 tuned systems such as the Galaxy S10.
The more interesting aspect of performance is something we can’t really measure with benchmarks, and that’s the phone’s 240Hz touch input which does actually help quite a lot in terms of giving users a more fluid and less sluggish experience, something that’s especially visible in scrolling content.
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Jon Tseng - Wednesday, September 25, 2019 - linkThanks interesting. I guess that definitely answers the question as to whether the paid Qualcomm partnership had any impact on your ratings (not that it would, knowing AT, I know!).
PaulHoule - Wednesday, September 25, 2019 - linkWhat I found strange about the article is that, unlike most reviews of gaming hardware, there were not any benchmarks for games.
Maybe that's because nobody cares how many frames per second you can render Candy Crush which is why they pack it in with Windows so Intel can claim there is a "game" you can play with the integrated graphics.
If there aren't any games that need a gaming phone, why does a gaming phone have to exist? It's like the sound of one hand clapping. isn't it?
Death666Angel - Wednesday, September 25, 2019 - linkI mean, there area pretty intensive games for smartphones out there, think PUBG, Fortnite, racing games. I don't really know if they provide accurate/useful ingame benchmarks and I don't know if there are any FRAPS / FCAT like apps for Android. I don't think we get anything better than 3DMark and GFXBench right now. :) Everything else is non repeatable and therefore of little use.
PeachNCream - Wednesday, September 25, 2019 - linkPretty sure the decision to include Candy Crush is between Microsoft and King. It isn't a decision related to Intel. After all AMD based Windows systems ship with it preloaded as well.
crimson117 - Wednesday, September 25, 2019 - linkI think benchmarks were omitted because "the firmware detects benchmarks and disables thermal throttling in order to get better scores." So benchmarks would be meaningless and misleading.
s.yu - Wednesday, September 25, 2019 - linkGenerally Anandtech's benchmarks should be immune to detection, which is stated in the article.
Andrei Frumusanu - Thursday, September 26, 2019 - linkYes, we bypassed detection for the published scores.
raghusa - Wednesday, September 25, 2019 - linkAT was always one of my go to place to get in-depth analysis and reviews. Now that AT is going with PAID partnership route, my view of AT analysis is definitely going to change, will likely look for other reputable sources ....
Andrei Frumusanu - Thursday, September 26, 2019 - linkThe review content is still fully independently written, and the editorial team including myself have no contact with the sponsor in this regard. In any case this series will come to a closure on Monday.
Wardrive86 - Thursday, September 26, 2019 - linkI wish that it was not coming to an end! I very much enjoyed this series.