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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s.yu - Thursday, September 26, 2019 - linkI'm quite aware of people who never go for the achievements. When my cousin plays Kingdom Rush he DOESN'T EVEN GO FOR ALL 3 STARS.
The horror! It's like eating an apple with two or three random bites then throwing away all the rest!
StormyParis - Wednesday, September 25, 2019 - linkReviewing stuff as part of a for-pay arrangement must require very high-level mental, ethics, ... jiu-jitsu. I'm not sure how long the partnership w/Qualcomm will last, but, as a reader, thanks for the heads up.
IUU - Wednesday, September 25, 2019 - linkThey are trying to imitate Apple. Too much fluff, so people believe they buy a superior device(it is the price too).
So they hope they can make some profit out of thin air.
I hope you should be critical of the iphones in this fashion as well.
They allocate a bigger amount of transistors to the faster cores , so they
can claim supremacy, no matter the fact that on general cpu performance
they are about the same.
No matter that their gpu is anemic and nowhere near snapdragons.
melgross - Thursday, September 26, 2019 - linkExactly what fluff are you talking about?
You really are deliberately ignorant.
edsib1 - Wednesday, September 25, 2019 - linkAnother phone review where the benchmarks are all wrong. Put the phone in game mode - it is easily in the top 5 855 based phones in terms of gaming performance.
cfenton - Wednesday, September 25, 2019 - linkBut is that because it cheats and runs without any thermal limitations when it's in game mode? Personally, I don't want my phone getting hot enough to be uncomfortable to hold.
edsib1 - Wednesday, September 25, 2019 - linkBut it doesnt get hot. They run at full tilt and dont throttle.
Read the other reviews on the internet about these phones. It is Anandtech that is out of step with the other sites.
The gaming phones are basically running in saver mode - unless you turn game mode on.
Exactly the same problem with the review of the Oppo Reno 10x zoom....
Andrei Frumusanu - Wednesday, September 25, 2019 - link> But it doesnt get hot. They run at full tilt and dont throttle.
I already demonstrated that's not what happens.
> Exactly the same problem with the review of the Oppo Reno 10x zoom....
What's the problem? That phone didn't throttle. It had a performance mode but that's essentially just a cheating button and running all frequencies pegged at max.
edsib1 - Thursday, September 26, 2019 - linkGame mode is not a cheating mode if the phone can maintain that speed. If you run CPU throttle on the Oppo for over 10mins the phone maintains a very high score with game mode engaged (around 15% higher than without).
The Exynos 9820 on the other hard throttles hard after a couple of minutes losing about 25% performance.
So why would the game mode that doesnt throttle be more of a cheat mode than the 9820 which throttles hard?
edsib1 - Thursday, September 26, 2019 - linkReviewing a gaming phone without using gaming mode is like testing an Audi RS6 without putting it into sport mode - pointless.