When the first gaming phone, the Razer Phone was announced plenty of people started paying attention to a new segment in the smartphone market, the gaming smartphone market. It was not just normal consumers though, mass smartphone manufacturers like ASUS started looking into the gaming smartphone segment. Then one plucky smartphone manufacturer in China jumped the gun and released the first ever gaming smartphone available for the China market, the Black Shark.
The Black Shark smartphone was proven to be quite successful at its launch. It was one of the first devices to introduce an integrated liquid cooling capability in a smartphone and one of the first smartphones that packs an HDR capable processor. It packed a super power in the latest of processors at the time. With clever cooling solution heat on the device is kept in check at all times and helps in a sustained stress on the processors of the device. That translates to bigger performance in a sustained period of time. That allows you to game smoother and longer.
In the same case, the Black Shark at that time was all types of overkill for a common smartphone. There is no wonder to why the smartphone was successful and popular.
Following up on the Black Shark smartphone is a tall order though, It has to be an even bigger overkill. The Black Shark II though, is up to the job.
Let us start with the normal smartphone stuff; its processor, RAM, storage, battery. The first thing that catches you when you pick up the device is the 6.39-inch AMOLED Full HD+ display. Underneath that display is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, the first ever in Malaysia, running Android’s latest 9.0 Pie. That processor is packed with the Adreno 640 for maximum attack power for anything that you can throw at it. It packs up to 12GB of RAM too; this is where overkill is, and 256GB of storage; which is quite sensible. It packs 4,000mAh battery to keep everything running until sundown.
Just because the Black Shark II is a gaming smartphone it does not mean that they have forgotten that a smartphone still need cameras though. The Black Shark II puts a 48-Megapixel main sensor paired to a 12-Megapixel shooter in their dual-camera set up. While that is already no slouch, they go with a 20-Megapixel sensor out in front. Yes, overkill is the name of the game. But if you think of gaming PCs, they usually are overkill PCs.
This being a smartphone made for gamers though, the hardware fitted to the device is not ordinary hardware. The processors are regular; yes, the RAM and storage is quite regular too; yes. The display though is really made for gamers.
Black Shark has not bothered with a 120Hz display. Instead they are more concerned with response time, so they fit a 240Hz touch response receiver on the touch display. That allows the device to process touch to action in less time than, say an Apple iPhone XS. Black Shark claims that it reacts in about 43 Milliseconds compared to iPhone’s 60. To a gamer, that came make plenty of difference in games like PlayerUnknown’s BattelGrounds. It is the small difference of getting killed in game or getting kills.
Just like the Air Triggers on the ASUS ROG Phone too, the Black Shark II packs a force-touch type buttons on the left and right side of the device when you hold it horizontally. As we found on the ASUS ROG Phone, this is a massive advantage because you can use more fingers for all the same actions in certain games. You can get a gamepad accessory anyway to free up even more screen real-estate so you can see even more on the display, which you really might want to.
It packs a True Clarity MEMC technology to reduce things like motion blur and juddering during intense gaming session. That way, the display feels a lot smoother than 60Hz. It is also the world’s first DSP technology packed smartphone that allows the Black Shark II to perform at its best in any situations. Then there is the TrueView technology to continuously adapt the display’s colour tone and brightness to ensure the best possible viewing experience from the smartphone. To make it even better when you game, there is HDR Gaming View, you know what HDR is. For even more immersion, the speakers are facing you instead of the sides and is 25% larger than usual smartphones giving it a wide audio dynamic.
To ensure your games run nicely and smoothly you can even temporarily overclock the Black Shark II. They call it the Ludicrous mode, and liken it to a car’s sports mode. That puts the whole power of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 in your palms. Of course that is going to produce some heat. The Black Shark II handles those heat with their brand new Direct Touch Liquid Cooling System 3.0 directing heat from all over the place to the middle part of the smartphone to spread the heat and in return cool the device even faster. Because they know it is important, you get a 27W fast charging technology on the device. The best part is you can still fast-charge it even while you are gaming. If you want to isolate yourself while gaming, just turn on Shark Space mode and all the distractions in the world like message notification and even calls will be blocked, because nothing else other than the kill matters.
It packs a whole lot more than just super powerful hardware for gaming though. It has accessories and features that would cater to streamers and even families. You can plug it to a TV for a whole family to enjoy and play with a gamepad. The Black Shark II comes in the box with a Live Stream software out-of-the-box for the streamer’s convenience. The small issue now is that it does not have a 3.5mm jack thanks to all the modules that is packed in this device to make it the most powerful gaming smartphone in the world.
The Black Shark II will be available in Malaysia from Maxis and exclusively on Shopee for the time being. The Back Shark II comes in two flavours, an 8GB + 128GB which is already available today onward, and the 12GB + 256GB variant which is also available in plain Black colour and Frosted Silver. The Black Shark II will start at MYR2,499 for the 8GB + 128GB and MYR2,999 for the 12GB + 256GB version. The top-of-the-line Black Shark II is now available for pre-order until the 5th of April. If you get yours on Shopee and are fast enough to be the first 200 buyers, you get an MYR100 voucher to go with it and a Fujitsu E210BT Bluetooh headphone worth MYR399.