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 - Friday, September 27, 2019 - linkNo I checked and only the top tier is available in the US, which explains the price there.
Though I haven't been keeping track of the base tier price elsewhere.
Tams80 - Thursday, September 26, 2019 - linkThe ROG Phone II at least has a lot more going for it. It has specs that are actually nice to have outside of gaming. A bit like a top-end PC build that isn't all 'gaming' flash and you can enjoy your films in HDR on, FLAC files on, edit videos on, etc.
masteiffy - Wednesday, September 25, 2019 - linkHello Andrei, when are we getting the new iPhone reviews, I’ve been waiting for the review to decide which to buy. Thanks!
Andrei Frumusanu - Wednesday, September 25, 2019 - linkNext week.
imaheadcase - Wednesday, September 25, 2019 - linkI don't think i know anyone who games on a phone outside of simple games that don't require anything but a low end smartphone. We don't need gaming phones.
StormyParis - Wednesday, September 25, 2019 - linkYou're old ;-p and not old enough to have (pre-)teen kids !
PeachNCream - Wednesday, September 25, 2019 - linkPlaying video games is more than just parking it at a desk behind a 1990's-style box. At least 50% of my gaming is now on a phone and some of the highest grossing titles are mobile ones.
Wardrive86 - Wednesday, September 25, 2019 - linkThere is a lot of really high end games on android now (Shadowgun, Ark, PUBG, CoD) high end emulation (Dolphin @1080p+, Citra) To each their own though, personally I do 100% of my gaming on a phone.
s.yu - Thursday, September 26, 2019 - linkSometimes gaming on a phone is fine, but sometimes ports don't work as intended, for example some achievements of RPGs become near impossible on a touchscreen as opposed to a keyboard.
PeachNCream - Thursday, September 26, 2019 - linkI don't think the attainment of an achievement would move the bar at all on what platform I use to play a game. Those things never really struck me as very important so I admit that I'm surprised someone would even mention them as a factor that influences their decision.