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.
Post Your CommentPlease log in or sign up to comment.
View All Comments
eastcoast_pete - Wednesday, September 25, 2019 - linkThanks Andrei, also and especially for calling a (now major) manufacturer -Xiaomi- out for having benchmark cheating built into their software! The hardware side is just as bad - why all style, no substance? The aluminum case almost screams for use as a heat sink, especially now that phones are all closed up.
Regarding gaming phones: will you have a chance to test the ASUS ROG2? Might tell us if all these "gaming" phones are all smoke and mirrors. The ROG 2 is even more expensive, so it'd better be spectacular.
Andrei Frumusanu - Wednesday, September 25, 2019 - linkWe'll have a ROG2 review out next week.
s.yu - Wednesday, September 25, 2019 - linkAndrei, please be sure to dig into Mate30P's slo-mo with detail, now that the 1-to-4 frame interpolation is confirmed, I'm not the only one suspecting that the 720P is also interpolated from an inferior readout that skips even more lines!
isthisavailable - Thursday, September 26, 2019 - linkThe Rog phone 2's size and weight look huge. Can you please include it's everyday usability in your review? I'm tempted to buy but 77cm wide and 9mm thicc phone looks a bit too much. And 240g weight!
brucethemoose - Wednesday, September 25, 2019 - linkI can tell you the Razer Phone 2 is the real deal. Performance is fine, but holy heck, the screen! Im not even a phone gamer, but 120hz is like night and day, and you couldn't pay me to go back to a phone with a 60hz display.
s.yu - Wednesday, September 25, 2019 - linkWhat do you think of 240Hz then? A phone with that was just released by Sharp.
Mediocre phone by other metrics though.
brucethemoose - Wednesday, September 25, 2019 - linkIts probably pretty similar, as Razer uses the same Sharp LCD line those Aquos phones use.
But on 120hz vs 240hz specifically... I don't know? I've never even laid eyes on 240hz anything. I'd guess that you need more tightly integrated VRR support from base Android and something faster than an LCD to really make use of it, but what do I know?
Also, for a $400 phone, the RP2 is suprisingly good by other metrics. Its not perfect (no 3.5mm, no OLED, 845 instead of 855), but I don't feel like I traded much off to get 120hz.
hemedans - Wednesday, September 25, 2019 - linkRoG 2 is around $500 base model with 128GB/8GB memory, probably best Gaming phone for now, waiting for Review too.
s.yu - Wednesday, September 25, 2019 - linkI thought that was the Chinese "Tencent special edition" price, yet I checked and at least India gets the same price...it seems US customers get ripped off...or is only the top tier available there?
$500 sounds good but 128GB really doesn't last.
Tams80 - Thursday, September 26, 2019 - linkWell, the Tencent thing is a deal between ASUS and Tencent (I'm guessing mainly subsidised by Tencent). I'm guessing India is a mix of a deal with some company and lower variation due to India having lower household incomes.