Mobile and video games, that combination condemned to be understood … If you already liked to play with your smartphone, you will love doing it with a Black Shark !!

The mobiles gaming they get older in a market still somewhat skeptical with them, which is still debating whether they make sense between raw powers, liquid cooling systems and colored LED lights, but has willingly accepted the work of firms Asus ROG, Red Magic and Black Shark for begin to value seriously this almost necessary symbiosis between video games and mobiles, that it was only a matter of time and that TechVote has also tested these days.

In fact, it is that we have finally been able to play with the new Black Shark 3 for a couple of weeks, to bring you first-hand the experience and in-depth analysis of a brown beast of smartphones such as this third iteration of the black shark, which combines the maximum technical capabilities of the market with its pertinent aggressive design and a clear orientation to gaming on mobile platforms.

Playing with Black Shark 3

The perfect symbiosis between smartphones and video games is much closer

The third iteration of the black shark, which Now seek more versatility by better hybridizing the concept of a high-performance Android mobile that wants you to play with the best of experiences, adding a large collection of essential and important accessories to create a Black Shark ecosystem that begins to make us understand this about mobiles so gamers.

Not surprisingly, we will see how the smartphone can be accompanied by its own gamepad with Bluetooth joystick, also wireless keyboard, active coolers, a magnetic charging cable that plugs into your back, headphones, or even a clear silicone case included with the mobile itself and that also allows us to enjoy its peculiar design.

The experience has been pleasant and now we describe it more in depth, but sincerely I like this way of making mobiles better gamingwhich are actually normal mobiles although more gross but accompanied by accessories to play, and that they also need an Android and some titles that do their part to complete the circle, starting for example with quality games inherited from consoles like these from PlayStation 2.

So I do begin to understand the ‘gaming’ mobiles, high-performance phones usable daily, but configured to their maximum power and accompanied by a curious endowment of accessories, all well designed to complete a gaming experience at the best level

Index of contents:

Black Shark 3, analysis with specifications, features, opinion and prices

A brown beast, but usable on a daily basis and that would finally go through any other high-end … At least ahead!

Data sheet

Black Shark 3
Features and technical specifications
Dimensions and weight 168.7 x 77.3 x 10.4 (mm) 222 (g)
screen 6.67-inch AMOLED FHD + (2,400 x 1,080 pixels), 20: 9 format, 395 ppi HDR10 +, 90 Hz, 500 nits
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 SM8250 Octa-core (1x Kryo 585 @ 2.84 GHz & 3x Kryo 585 @ 2.42 GHz & 4x Kryo 585 @ 1.80 GHz) Adreno 650 GPU
RAM 8GB LPDDR4x
Storage 128GB UFS 3.0
Operating system Android 10 (customized with JoyUI 11)
Connectivity 5G SA / NSALTE with dual active SIM Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac / 6, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot Bluetooth 5.0 LEaGPS + GLONASS + GALILEO + QZSS + BDSUSB Type-C v2.0Audio- 3.5mm jack
Rear camera Triple with 64 MP (wide) f / 1.8 + 13 MP (ultrawide) f / 2.3 + 5 MP (depth) f / 2.2, PDAF autofocus, HDR, LED flash, 4K video @ 30 / 60fps
Frontal camera 20 MP (wide) f / 2.2, HDR, FHD video @ 30fps
Battery 4,720 mAh (non-removable) Fast charge up to 65W Wireless fast charge 18W
Others On-screen fingerprint reader (optical) Configurable RGB rear LED Liquid cooling Stereo sound
Black Shark 3, analysis with specifications, features, opinion and prices

Behind the wolf takes off the lamb costume: metal, glass, colored LEDs and a very muscular finish

The best of Black Shark 3

Simplify design and improve finishes, hit Black Shark with “less is more”

If for some reason mobile phones always stood out gaming it’s for their raucous designsand there is an unwritten rule that any device intended for the video game sector must mix striking colors with dark shades, plus LED light trimmings and an unmistakable gross look.

And the Black Shark 3 has not renounced all this inheritance, keeping its pertinent Configurable RGB LEDs on a very characteristic rear, with two glass triangles where the camera and the magnetic connector are located in a symmetrical pattern that sometimes confuses, making you take the device upside down if you do not pay attention to the position of the cameras. Completing the set, we have backlit Black Shark logo presiding over a stylish finish, obviously very distinguishable.

Beyond this, the mobile has a metal chassis with crimped glass and a more classic finish within what gaming, and saving an enormous size and weight that clearly anticipate their intentions with respect to the rest of the high-end Android, making it clear that it is an aggressive, robust and exceedingly powerful device at first glance.

Black Shark 3, analysis with specifications, features, opinion and prices

Aluminum, glass and plastic for a characteristic rear, unmistakable at first glance

In hand is quite comfortable for what to expect from a 168.7 x 77.3 x 10.4 millimeter smartphone weighing 222 grams, although its size is obviously gigantic and its rear finish is prone to slipping and fingerprints on the glass, being able to partially solve both things thanks to the clear silicone housing included as standard in the sales package.

On the front there are no cutouts, no holes, no notches, or anything similar … Again the less is more, with a symmetrical design that hides the front camera in the upper frame, in addition to stereo speakers up and down in the best possible position to play or consume multimedia content in a horizontal position.

And even so, the 20: 9 format of the AMOLED panel allows Black Shark to take advantage of the ratio between screen and front size, improving the ergonomics of the components and making it more comfortable to look at, taking into account that it is a smartphone designed for continuous use.

Black Shark 3, analysis with specifications, features, opinion and prices

In hand it is giant, but at the same time comfortable to play or watch content, and its panel denotes quality

In the side frames we find straight cuts and a more industrial type finish according to the product, with a slider that activates access to the Shark Space, a complete suite of video games that is undoubtedly the center of attention of this Black Shark 3, and from where you can manage both installed video games and accessories and all smartphone parameters while we are playing, from notifications to the response of the RGB LEDs or the power of the chipset.

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It also has physical buttons for power and volume, placed for my taste a little above but with a good touch, and unfortunately in the nano-SIM slot we will find space for two cards, but not a microSD memory expansion port It would have been useful if we are going to install dozens of sweet tooth games in memory. Yes we have headphone jack, something that was already being forgotten in the high range and that we continue to be very grateful for, and below we will see a port USB Type-C for charging and synchronization.

The Black Shark 3 is without a doubt a robust, impressive mobile with a good hand feeling, which allows us to perceive an unquestionable quality of finishes despite its perhaps excessive size, which will keep you away from those who are looking for a more comfortable mobile for everyday life, although Black Shark certainly has tried to bring his mobile closer gaming to “normal” use with a less strident but just as striking design.

The quality of the Black Shark 3 is visible to the eye and the touch, but it is an equally impressive smartphone as well as a giant, and just as comfortable to play and consume content as it is exaggerated in size and weight to carry daily in the tiny pockets of a modern cowboy

Black Shark 3, analysis with specifications, features, opinion and prices

Black Shark looks for that iconic look, and you will surely know that it is a different mobile

Power to spare, reminiscences of Xiaomi in the software and a remarkably high _Shark Space_

As you will have already seen in the complete datasheet that started the analysis, the new Black Shark 3 has plenty of power on all sides, starting with its Next-gen Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset with eight-core processor up to 2.84 GHz, in one configuration Big-Small-Tiny with a core at maximum power, three at 2.42 GHz and four at 1.80 GHz dedicated to the most basic tasks saving energy.

Dispose of 8 GB of LPDDR4x RAM, 128 GB of high-performance UFS 3.0 storage that we will not be able to expand, while its Adreno 650 GPU works up to 587 MHz and has support for OpenGL ES 3.2, OpenCL 2.0, DirectX 12 and Vulkan 1.1, ready to offer the highest quality with almost any title in the current mobile market, in addition to a performance and fluidity beyond doubt when moving the software.

An operating system Android 10 that comes masked with clear reminiscences to Xiaomi -which participates in the Black Shark shareholding, also serving as a technological partner- and its MIUI customization, but which in this case It is called JoyUI 11 and it is adapted to the Black Shark style, adding the mentioned section Shark space to manage the entire video game section from one suite room specific software.

The appearance of JoyUI will not seem unfamiliar to you, although it is a rather intrusive customization in the purest Chinese style, something that the truth I’ve never really liked it. Wouldn’t it have been easier to start from AOSP and integrate el Shark Space ’into a more recognizable Android?

In any case the work with the software section is remarkable, and already during our tests we received at least one important update that revised some texts still in Chinese in Shark space, and that has improved the stability of a hardware / software package more than capable for everything you can ask a high-end mobile.

In fact, since Shark space you can find more games, check the ones you have installed, configure the hardware section individually for each title, as well as the behavior of the smartphone while playing with available do not disturb modes, and you can also manage all accessories of the Black Shark ecosystem to connect them, map buttons on the gamepad if necessary or configure its operation.

This is how a Shark space with graphics very in the style of the Chinese firm, and that delve deep into the experience gaming so you can have everything under control when it comes to enjoying your favorite games:

JoyUI is something like a kind of MIUI with the mask of a black shark, but it is that all the magic is in a ‘Shark Space’ that will allow you to configure everything around the gaming experience

As for the screen, there is nothing else to highlight the benefits of a very attractive AMOLED technology, which allows a way always-on-display less gluttonous in energy and this time it goes up to 6.67 inches diagonal with FHD + resolution (2,400 x 1,080 pixels) in 20: 9 format, and support for HDR10 + with 500 nits of brightness that ensure its response outdoors, tested and compliant, in addition to a 90Hz refresh rate you don’t want to miss once you have tried it.

Not all games will be enabled to run at 90 Hz, but those that are will allow you to make the most of a sublime experience, seasoned by a multi-touch digitizer that includes type pressure sensors Force Touch and minimal latency with rates up to 270 Hz in response to touch, plus a haptic system that impresses for its operation already from the first vibration.

This allows you to better introduce yourself to the experience of any game, along with stereo sound with dual front speakers, and the quality of the panel completes this feeling of being in front of an excellent smartphone to consume content and play until you grip your fingers. Not only that, because the fingerprint reader is optical And it is also located under the screen, in a comfortable place with fast and precise operation.

Black Shark 3, analysis with specifications, features, opinion and prices

Without a doubt, Black Shark has achieved one of the best ‘gaming’ experiences in the mobile market.

In terms of power there is no doubt, and the battery of synthetic tests that you will see below yield only the results that we were already waiting for: Black Shark 3 is a brown beast And hardware is not going to be in trouble for at least a couple of years.

Everyone main benchmarks from the Google Play catalog They place it in privileged positions, both in the process section and in the graphic or memory part, highlighting for example in PCMark, a software that tests basic tasks where it exceeds 10,000 points in length:

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Its battery deserves a special mention, already from the factory with a generous capacity up to 4,720 mAh taking full advantage of the huge proportions of the set, offering fast charging up to 65W, Qi wireless up to 18W and including a 65W charger as standard that no other manufacturer sells together with their mobile phones but as an extra accessory.

This fixture is actually a little off-white, but offers 20 volts at 3.25 amps in maximum power for fully charge Black Shark 3 in under 40 minutes. Be careful here, because the temperature of the battery rises integers, and it is not recommended to play and charge this power at the same time, unless we use the FunCooler that we now present to you.

Regarding autonomy we also have good news, because the battery is wide and although playing will run out much earlier, in about 6 hours or so I have calculated, the truth is that PCMark doing basic tasks such as surfing the Internet, retouching photos or playing videos has kept Black Shark 3 alive for up to 15 hours, with the brightness calibrated at 50% and the screen always on. The figure is good, there are no palliatives here.

The Black Shark 3 lasts up to 15 hours alive with a screen calibrated at 50% brightness, and performing basic tasks, but if you run dry from autonomy when playing, the manufacturer includes an ultrafast 65W charger as standard

Black Shark 3, analysis with specifications, features, opinion and prices

The 65W charger is included as standard, good for Black Shark!

is able to keep

The Black Shark ecosystem grows, and accessories are now essential

And delving further into that impression I have always had that a smartphone gaming is any high-end with a good supply of accessories, the truth is that I am pleased that Black Shark has simplified the design of the smartphone, without extra keypads or strange things, for give greater importance to the ecosystem of accesories.

In fact, the Chinese firm itself sent us along with the device several of its star accessories to test it together, and I can only add at least two of them to the Black Shark experience basic package. The first is the gamedpad, and the second is the FunCooler refrigerator that keeps the Snapdragon 865’s maximum cooking temperature at bay.

Black Shark 3, analysis with specifications, features, opinion and prices

The must-have pack: Black Shark 3, Black Shark FunCooler Pro and Black Shark Gamepad 3

He Black Shark GamePad 3 (L) It is a curious device, halfway between an accessory that needs to be attached to the smartphone and a JoyCon of the Nintendo Switch, because this time Allows us to use it both as a separate Bluetooth remote control, and as an attachment to the accessory that connects it to the mobile as a joystick with additional keypads to play.

This command is also configurable from the Shark space, and you can get the most out of most titles available on Google Play, not so in some like eFootball PES 2020: Mobile that refuses to be compatible with wireless gamepads.

With respect to Black Shark FunCooler, say that it is a universal external fan, attachable by a spring hook system and finished in metal in the part of contact with the smartphone, allowing the greatest possible transfer of cold / heat between both devices.

Black Shark 3, analysis with specifications, features, opinion and prices

Cooler and gamepad connected to the Black Shark 3, and ready for battle

This fan is available in normal flavor and white color or in edition Pro, more powerful the latter, in black and with attractive configurable RGB LEDs that give you a look great to the set as well as a cool needed in highly demanding games.

There is more, like a magnetic charging cable that connects to the pogo connector on the back, thus facilitating charging while you play, some wireless headphones, others with a cable and a standard audio-jack connector, a 2-in-1 adapter base for audio and charging, a full bluetooth gamepad and some more surprise available in the official Black Shark store.

Black Shark 3, analysis with specifications, features, opinion and prices

The gamepad can be used almost like a Nintendo Switch JoyCon

The not so good thing about Black Shark 3

The software and the details, the cross: JoyUI does not convince me and the inexplicable fall of the NFC

Few bad things I can highlight about a Black Shark 3 that has left a very good taste in my mouth, but without a doubt one of these more negative aspects is JoyUI, something that I already commented a few paragraphs above.

Such intrusive customizations make me as uneasy as I suppose they will a Google unable to maintain Android consistency between different manufacturers, who take the experience to their field completely masking what you expect from an Android phone.

The simplicity of the interface is nowhere to be found pure google and here we stay closer to the iOS experience that Chinese people like so much, in search of a MIUI interface that Black Shark has chosen to disguise with its graphics. Yes added Shark space And I loved the video game software, but this dedicated space could also be integrated into a cleaner Android without bloatware.

In fact, it is that Black Shark also leaves room for CleanMaster “cleaning” apps that even Google has removed from the Play Store for doubts with the data collected by Cheetah Mobile. Bad business this.

Black Shark 3, analysis with specifications, features, opinion and prices

It would have been better if ‘Shark Space’ was integrated into a cleaner Android

It has also fallen from datasheet inexplicably the NFC chip, and this detail seems to me sincerely inadmissible on a high-end smartphone in 2020, because it directly leaves us without mobile payments from the starting box.

Some will say that it is a mobile gaming and I did not need it, others who prefer a concession like this in exchange for 65W load and 90 Hz panel, but it is that the NFC chip costs nothing – and allows for necessary improvements such as quick sync with accessories, plus now almost essential mobile payments in these days when physical money begins to say goodbye to our lives.

For me this detail, inexplicable and exclusive; although for many others it will be a lesser evil that will be allowed in exchange for one of the best experiences gaming of the mobile market

Black Shark 3, analysis with specifications, features, opinion and prices

Known interface for the photographic system, which here was not so important

This is the cameras of the Black Shark 3

It is not the most important thing in a mobile to gamers, than rather they will want to record themselves playing games using the front camera and the streaming of the game, before going to take photos of monuments to any part of the world.

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In any case a gamer who wants a above average photographic performance You will also find your site here, with a triple camera system for its rear that ensures versatility and advanced possibilities When capturing moments in any situation:

  • 64 MP angle sensor with f / 1.8 aperture, PDAF autofocus
  • 13MP wide-angle sensor with f / 2.3, 13mm aperture
  • 5 megapixel depth sensor with f / 2.2 aperture

This system has auto-HDR, LED flash and the possibility of recording video in 4K resolution up to 60 frames per second, leaving for the front camera a 20 megapixel sensor with an angular lens, f / 2.2 aperture and video recording at FullHD resolution up to 30 fps.

The camera interface is inherited from AOSP and already known to all, so here there is no learning curve and we will not have to be virtuous photography to achieve acceptable results, ignoring that here nor will we find the excellence of a high range that already plays another league in the photography part. In any case, let’s go for the results!

Black Shark 3, analysis with specifications, features, opinion and prices

The three sensors of the Black Shark 3, in a triangular arrangement

The camera of the Black Shark 3, when the lighting accompanies …

The general answer of the Black Shark 3 is remarkable when the light is with you, It is usually like this in almost all mobiles but it is that here we also have a 64 megapixel sensor that offers sharp sharpness and detail, with a fairly fast phase detection approach and a good overall result:

Example of photography with the Black Shark 3

This is also helped by the availability of a sensor capable of measuring the depth of the scene, which improves focus and allows bokeh higher level, also adding a good dynamic range, natural colors and an acceptable response in almost any condition.

The zoom is also digital since there is no telephoto, and as usually happens it’s not too acceptable if we want to get too close, loading the detail with really blurry images:

Example of photography with the Black Shark 3

Example of photography with the Black Shark 3

Otherwise the portrait modes are very usable, and HDR compensates well for lighting differences in complex scenes, and the system AI is available to self-configure based on detected scene, with a tendency to saturate excessively looking for bright colors.

Here we leave you a complete gallery with different shots taken with this Black Shark 3, because one image -or several- are worth more than a thousand words:

… and at night or indoors, also as an experience

When the lighting lowers the results suffer, but in general the Black Shark 3 is an off-road mobile phone in photography that doesn’t clash at night, with a night mode that sometimes excessively illuminates the shots but in general saves them with remarkable.

With patience you can also take very good photos even if the lighting is not the most appropriate, no excess grain or apparent noise, although having to keep the terminal longer I want to give the sensor room to capture all the possible information. Isn’t this something strange to us, and also the device compensates very well for excess light from luminaires and other elements that could spoil beautiful night scenes.

And speaking of interiors, the detail is still good, without noise in the shots and well focused on close-ups even without a macro sensor in a very well compensated photographic system.

Again, we leave you right here a few photos taken at night, indoors or in poorly lit areas so you can assess the results for yourself:

Black Shark 3: conclusions and opinion

You will have already read it during the analysis, but in these conclusions it is worth confirming that I was one of the skeptical users of mobile phones myself gaming, and yet this third iteration of Black Shark they have convinced me enough.

Probably not as a bedside phone, because it’s true that this Black Shark 3 has a huge size and considerable weight, both aspects that penalize mobility with the device in the pockets, but at home and to consume multimedia content I doubt that there are many with this quality / price ratio in the current android catalog.

The device flies thanks to a next-generation, high-performance hardware, including the 5G SA / NSA modem, but it is also its AMOLED panel offers a very good experience without the need for holes or notches, leaving space on the front for two stereo speakers that surround you introducing you more to the experience.

Black Shark 3, analysis with specifications, features, opinion and prices

The mobile to play, along with the console to carry

It is also a very robust mobile, and to the good feeling it helps without a doubt its haptic system, impressive in response, only falling incomprehensibly an NFC chip that leaves us without mobile payments in a 2020 terminal. This will detract from your attractiveness and safe sales, at least in our markets.

In any case it is a highly recommended mobile to play and that costs a very fair price, although to get the best experience we need to buy some extra accessory that will add costs to the final set.

As for cameras, it comes prepared with a more off-road concept that superlative, and also in the software part we will find MIUI masked by JoyUI with Black Shark graphics and a Shark zone very complete to manage the video games section.

At this price the truth is that we can not ask for much more, and I just miss the NFC chip that is almost a ‘must have’ at this point … Otherwise we can not stop recommending it to you if you like video games!

Black Shark 3, analysis with specifications, features, opinion and prices

The Black Shark 3, ready to play with all its accessories

Black Shark 3 price and where to buy

Fortunately and if you liked it, the new Black Shark 3 is now available in Spain and also in the rest of the main markets of the Chinese manufacturer, which include countries in Europe, North America and Asia, although not yet Latin America, unless you are looking through importers or similar stores on the Internet.

Black Shark actually has a official store in all the markets in which it operates through its website, and also sells in the main retailers on-line like Amazon, where you can already get Black Shark 3 with a discount:

The terminal is available at your Basic configuration with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage not expandable, which seems to be priced at 579 euros as recommended retail price. In addition, there is also a model with 12 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage that rises significantly in price, and that you can buy on Amazon for 719 euros:

Black Shark 3, TechVote’s opinion and note
Should I buy the Black Shark 3?
In favor
  • Top speed, including 5G NSA / SA
  • One of the best multimedia experiences on the market
  • Good autonomy for a set like this, and load of 65W
Against
  • It is huge, and not comfortable to wear
  • No NFC in 2020, no mobile payments
Conclusions The Black Shark experience grows around a consistent catalog of accessories and a mobile closer to any other high-end, which nevertheless maintains an unmistakable ‘gamer’ smartphone aspect.
Punctuation

8.25Black Shark 3

The phone has been loaned for testing by Black Shark Spain, you can check all the information about the terminal on its official website.

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