Black Shark 2 review: the smartphone that whispered in the ear of the Nintendo Switch

by admin-kervin

The Black Shark 2 passes the second!

For several years now, many manufacturers have been trying to monopolize the “” market, by launching terminals specially dedicated to this practice. … Everything (or almost) is good for convincing the gamer. On the Xiaomi side, with the Black shark 2, we decided to take inspiration from a hybrid console that has had little success for a little over two years now, a certain Nintendo Switch.

Thus, this second version of the Black Shark 2 offers some notable improvements, especially in terms of compatible controllers. Indeed, like the Nintendo console, it is possible here to come graft two “” on either side of the smartphone, provided however to use the special shell, dedicated to this effect (and which guns access to the USB Type C port by the way…). In hand, the Black Shark 2 is rather pleasant, even if its weight is quickly felt.

On the look side, the Black Shark 2 clearly displays its ambitions, with a very marked rear face, adorned with a logo with an LED (which we can also customize), but we also notice the presence of LEDs each side of the smartphone, which can warn of a notification for example.

The front is a little less “gaming”, with a large 6.39 ″ AMOLED screen (2340 x 1080 pixels) and two borders on the upper part (no notch therefore) and lower. Obviously, the manufacturer has equipped its smartphone with a stereo system, an excellent thing.


BlackShark 2 test

Of course, the “gaming” side of the Black Shark 2 can also be found on the technical sheet of the smartphone, since we are taking advantage here of a terminal powered by a powerful Snapdragon 855 processor, coupled with 8 GB of RAM, an Adreno GPU 640 and 128 GB of internal memory. Everything runs on Android 9.0 in stock version, a particularly refined version. At the back of the terminal, a photo module composed of two 12 megapixel sensors. In short, a sacred racing beast.

And this side Nintendo Switch so ?

The side Nintendo Switch Black Shark 2 materializes therefore by the presence of two small controllers to be grafted on each side of the smartphone. For this, it is imperative to dress the smartphone with a dedicated protective shell, with the notches essential to maintain the controllers … a bit of a shame. Controllers that connect via Bluetooth to the smartphone, and which each have a USB Type-C charging port.

Black Shark 2 test

Once equipped with its controllers, the Black Shark 2 transforms immediately into a Nintendo Switch… Modern. Indeed, if the parentage between the two machines is impossible to deny, it must be admitted that the Black Shark 2 displays a certain modernity, with in particular its beautiful AMOLED Full HD + screen, its very fine borders (compared to the Nintendo Switch…) and its very successful controllers, both from a visual point of view and from an ergonomic point of view.

A small slider on the side of the smartphone allows you to switch it to mode, a hub for displaying the different games installed on the terminal. This mode also optimizes the performance of the smartphone, and automatically rejects calls and other messages, so that it is never disturbed during its gaming session. In use, apart from this imperative shell for grafting the joysticks, it must be admitted that playing on this Black Shark 2 is a real pleasure, and that the whole turns out to be very robust.

Black Shark 2 review: the smartphone that whispered in the ear of the Nintendo Switch 1

Of course, the system offers a “” function, making it very easy to configure the buttons on the joysticks. To do this, simply press the appropriate button, then assign the desired functions to each button on the touch screen. In the case of Sonic 2, you can assign the jump button to the buttons of your choice, by dragging them into the dedicated area on the touch interface. Ditto for the movement keys, the analog stick …

Black Shark 2 test

Practical therefore, but a pity however that the Android system does not recognize the controllers by default, and that it is therefore imperative to go through this mapping phase each time a new game is launched …

Black Shark 2 review: the smartphone that whispered in the ear of the Nintendo Switch 3

In short, if the Black Shark 2 is dedicated to gaming, the only big “” often comes from the games themselves, designed for a touch interface. Admittedly, a little bit of mapping generally does the trick, but it is enough that the touch controls change during the game, to gun down all the configuration of the controllers … Note to conclude that the controllers, like the gaming shell, are sold separately , for just under 100 euros.


Android stock, pure sensations

OS side, the Black Shark 2 is therefore powered by an Android 9 in stock version, which is simply dressed in an overlay. In use, we end up with a very sober, very light interface and those who use a Google Pixel or even a OnePlus latest generation will not be disoriented.

In this regard, the Black Shark 2 incorporates a fingerprint sensor located under the panel. Unlocking is fairly accurate overall, although I have encountered quite a few hiccups, more so than with my everyday OnePlus 6T. Similarly, navigation with the central button is not optimal here, and we tend to open the multitasking manager instead of the application drawer …

Black Shark 2 review: the smartphone that whispered in the ear of the Nintendo Switch 5

No problem, however, in terms of performance, with a remarkably fluid interface and absolutely impeccable application management. The Black Shark 2 literally overflows with power, and it shows. For its part, the autonomy is managed by a large battery of 4000 mAh, which allows you to enjoy a good day and a half of use overall. Note that the smartphone is compatible with Quick Charge 4.0 charging, provided you have an adequate charger, however.

The Black Shark 2 photo side

Equipped with a dual photo sensor module (2 x 12 megapixels), the Black Shark 2 makes it very easy to capture very successful shots, provided that the brightness is there. Certainly, there are a few small flaws here and there, but overall, the photos are perfectly clear, with lots of detail, naturalness and color, with the added bonus of an ultra-fast trigger.

On the video side, it is possible to make clips in 4K quality at 30 fps. However, at this level of quality, we will have to do without the (very practical) EIS stabilization system, so that we will quickly come back to this good old Full HD 1080p, which is much more stable and pleasing to the eye.

BlackShark 2

So does that make a phone call too?

Although the Black Shark 2 essentially focuses its communication on its “gaming” side, it can obviously be used like a completely classic smartphone. The terminal is compatible with the 4G network, and allows you to enjoy impeccable conversations of clarity. No worries also regarding web browsing, social networks, or even multimedia content, with the added bonus here of stereo audio rendering, which is not the case for all smartphones.

Android stocks require, the smartphone is particularly easy to use, and it comes without any unnecessary application (except those from Google). A quick tour in the options allows you to configure the different LEDs of the smartphone, which are not used for much, of course, but which remain quite stylish anyway … and which always have that little “wow” side to friends. In short, a very good “phone”, even if the size and (especially) the weight may pose some concerns.

My opinion on the Black Shark 2 smartphone

Mobile gaming lovers can only love the Black Shark 2. This second version is a real success in all respects, with fairly impeccable ergonomics and top performance. Unfortunately, we quickly regret games thought above all for tactile use, and whose playability at the joysticks is not always optimal… So certainly, the Black Shark 2 is a little heavy, a little too flashy for some, but it undeniably imposes itself as “the real gaming smartphone” as we understand it. Those who are not connected to “gaming” will prefer other more traditional terminals, with a similar configuration.

Black shark 2

€ 549

Value for money

8.5 / 10

WE love

  • The general interface
  • Performances
  • Superb screen
  • Stereo sound
  • This little side Nintendo Switch modern.

We like less

  • The compulsory gaming shell
  • A little heavy
  • Android games, not fond of joysticks …

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