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Xiaomi Black Shark 4 review

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On the cheap, you can get an uncompromised gaming experience. That’s what Xiaomi Black Shark 4, its second-best gaming phone, is going for. It includes almost all of the same features as the Pro edition, but with a Snapdragon 870 CPU and a 48MP camera instead of the primary 64MP camera. Although it may appear to be a substantial downgrade, the low price of €500 may be enough to persuade you to take the plunge. And there are two of them on the Black Shark 4.

Xiaomi has integrated other gaming-specific features like as tactile shoulder triggers in addition to the already standard 144Hz OLED display. Given that Asus and Nubia are already doing it, it may not seem like much, but these are tangible, clickable buttons. When it comes to gaming, nothing compares to them.

Xiaomi Black Shark 4 specs at a glance

  • Body: 163.8×76.4×9.9mm, 210g; Glass front and back, metal frame.
  • Display: 6.67″ Super AMOLED, 144Hz, HDR10+, 1300 nits (peak), 1080x2400px resolution, 20:9 aspect ratio, 395ppi; Always-on display.
  • Chipset: 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); Adreno 650.
  • Memory: 128GB 6GB RAM, 128GB 8GB RAM, 128GB 12GB RAM, 256GB 12GB RAM; UFS 3.1.
  • OS/Software: Android 11, Joy UI 12.5.
  • Rear camera: Wide (main): 48 MP, f/1.8, 1/2.0″, 0.8µm, PDAF; Ultra wide angle: 8 MP, f/2.2, 120˚, 1/4.0″, 1.12µm; Macro: 5 MP, f/2.4, AF.
  • Front camera: 20 MP, f/2.0, (wide), 0.8µm.
  • Video capture: Rear camera: 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/240fps, 1080p@960fps; Front camera: 1080p@30fps.
  • Battery: 4500mAh; Fast charging 120W, 100% in 17 min (advertised).
  • Misc: Fingerprint reader (side-mounted); NFC; 3.5mm jack; Physical pop-up shoulder triggers.

The handset also has a set of strong loudspeakers as well as a robust cooling system to ensure long-term functionality. The camera arrangement, on the other hand, merely covers the basic minimum. However, if you’ve come to read a gaming phone review, that’s probably not what you’re looking for.

The lower-than-average battery capacity of 4,500 mAh is what worries us the most. Hopefully, the 120W charging speed will ensure that charging sessions be as brief as possible. Xiaomi claims that a full charge takes only 17 minutes.

It’s also worth noting that if you live outside of China, the Pro model is definitely beyond of your price range, thus this is the best Black Shark has to offer. Because the 4 Pro is now a China-only exclusive, the non-Pro variant has an uphill battle against the Snapdragon 888-equipped nubia Red Magic 6, which is priced similarly.

So, in our review, we’ll examine if the Snapdragon 870’s trade-off is worthwhile, given the competition and cost. We’ll also examine if Xiaomi’s gaming phone can saturate the 144Hz screen with the necessary framerates by testing several games from the Play Store. Modern gaming cellphones’ Achilles heel is gaming optimization, and Asus currently leads the pack with the most HRR games supported.

Unboxing the Xiaomi Black Shark 4

The Xiaomi Black Shark 4 is packaged in a conventional retail box that is slightly heavier than expected, owing to the large 120W charger. A USB-A to USB-C connection is included for charging and data transmission, as well as a durable, plastic, semi-transparent casing.

We can’t claim that the case wraps around the entire phone and gives a solid grip. On the plus side, it doesn’t add to the phone’s bulkiness.

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