Xiaomi Black Shark

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Gaming phones are out of good ideas. Each one that I’ve tried is a slightly different take on an exorbitant design, of course. But it’s just a couple of companies making powerful yet very similar (and, apparently, sometimes very fragile) phones that aren’t really worth the effort of tracking down — even for the most die-hard of smartphone gamers. Yet so far Xiaomi’s đen Shark gaming brand may be the first that has resorted to titillation khổng lồ stand out.

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The đen Shark 4 Pro is the first phone I’ve seen that has a busty digital assistant packed inside that wants me to lớn engage with it in ways I never could (and never wanted to) with the Google Assistant, Siri, Alexa, or Cortana. Meant khổng lồ be a kind of assistant that helps with getting you acquainted with this phone’s many settings, the anime Shark Chan character is a feature that stands out on an otherwise ho-hum gaming phone. And, while I’m not a fan hâm mộ of the execution (more on that in a bit), it’s nice khổng lồ have a gaming phone that’s at least attempting khổng lồ have an identity — anything besides what’s already been done several times, like including high refresh rates panels, ludicrous amounts of RAM, and an extra USB-C port for connecting proprietary accessories, including controller grips or cooling fans.


Our reviews of Xiaomi black Shark 4 Pro


Verge Score 5 out of 10
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These sliders control the mechanical triggers, allowing them to pop up or retreat.
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The power nguồn button seems visually apparent, but it’s tough khổng lồ feel for with the phone in-hand.
Beyond in-game use, the switches are some of the most fidget-friendly mechanisms that I’ve used in years. Similarly satisfying is this device’s haptics, which provide the punchiest, perfectly delineated blips of vibration that I’ve ever felt on an apk phone. The hardware is, arguably, the only great thing about this phone.

Almost everything else about using this phone matches the ho-hum experience that I’ve had with other gaming phones. It uses JOYUI12 (based on Xiaomi’s MIUI12 twist on apk 11), và at the beating heart of the experience is a gaming dashboard tiện ích called Shark Space that acts as a home base for launching games from, tweaking overclock settings, & more. If you already know that games install into the phầm mềm drawer on app android by default, it can feel lượt thích relearning an unnecessarily obtuse way to access your content.

I’m used khổng lồ gaming phones having some odd touches lớn their software khổng lồ match the maximalist approach to hardware design, but this black Shark phone takes the cake with its built-in “Shark Chan” app. Shark Chan looks like an anime character ripped out of Genshin Impact, with a scantily clad look that leans all the way into being male-gazey. It’s essentially a busty Clippy, and its responsibility is to walk you through the phone’s mind-bogglingly numerous UI elements that can be accessed in-game with a diagonal swipe down from the right corner of the screen while in landscape mode.


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In case you want to listen to lớn Shark Chan’s soundboard of weird audio clips, you can.
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Or, you can mở cửa the off-putting mode where Shark Chan will respond as you cảm ứng it.
It’s helpful that xiaomi mi includes a tutorial for using the software, even if it’s all but required due to the added complexity of having so many features. In it, there are toggles that let you take advantage of this phone’s many impressive specs, lượt thích its 720Hz cảm biến sampling rate, or a “Ludicrous Mode,” that pushes the specs to lớn their limit. (It suggests that you buy an accessory khổng lồ help keep the phone cool while this mode is active).

Beyond being where you can adjust settings, Shark Chan can be a virtual butler, of sorts, offering congratulations for charging the phone and nagging you when an alarm goes off.

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Xiaomi should have stopped there because Shark Chan has a few other features that are just plain off-putting. I did a double-take when I noticed that the software includes a mention of Shark Chan’s bust, waist, và hip measurements, as if I’m playing a dating sim. There’s also a gallery mode where it wants you khổng lồ touch Shark Chan’s avatar. It’ll respond with dismissive or bashful responses depending on where you touch it, calling you “commander” with each line. I didn’t want or need a weird attempt at a dating sim meshed with a virtual assistant, and I’m not sure why mi thought that this would be a good idea.


I’d be willing lớn overlook some of these shortcomings if there weren’t already other powerful phones on the market. Samsung’s latest Galaxy S22 lineup, for instance, packs a lot of nguồn as well as a 240Hz touch sampling rate. That’s a fraction of the black Shark 4 Pro’s 720Hz spec, but I’d argue that the tangible difference probably isn’t perceptible lớn most people. And, at this point, the Snapdragon 8 ren 1 within the S22 series outpaces the Snapdragon 888 that’s in the 4 Pro. You can have most of the power nguồn that you need in a phone that looks far better than this one và works with many more US carriers. The black Shark 4 Pro won’t work with LTE or 5G networks on most carriers — at least reliably. It’s compatible with a smattering of bands for AT&T và T-Mobile, but it’s not broad support in the slightest.

The black Shark’s mechanical triggers are a neat idea, though it’s a feature that I’m far less likely lớn rely on than connecting something affordable, like a Razer Kishi that adds console-like controls lớn your phone (including USB-C passthrough) or even a DualSense controller connected wirelessly via Bluetooth. If you’re using an iPhone, you should get the excellent Backbone One controller khổng lồ attach to lớn your phone. To lớn each their own, though. I recognize that there’s an audience of thiết bị di động gamers who rely solely on cảm biến controls. Và for that one key area, gaming phones like this one can’t be beaten.


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In terms of running games at their best, gaming phones can’t be beat. But they aren’t great for much else.
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The black Shark 4 Pro features a RGB LED-backlit section on its rear that can flash to lớn indicate a pending notification.
At the core, there’s nothing wrong with the concept of gaming phones. They’re thicker than your average flagship phone due khổng lồ bigger batteries, a heat sink, và several other components that you probably won’t find in phones made by Google, Apple, or Samsung. They’re proofs of concept that you can get laptop-tier specs into a pocket-sized device. If only a company made a device with more focused software that doesn’t feel so pressured to lean (in đen Shark’s case, very awkwardly) into the stereotypical lane of what it thinks a gamer wants in phone software. It’s really not a good look.

For all of the power và high-end tech that’s bundled in gaming phones, they aren’t great all-around picks for people who want great software, boundary-pushing cameras, & a more appealing device around the edges.


Agree khổng lồ Continue: black Shark 4 Pro

Every smart device now requires you lớn agree to a series of terms & conditions before you can use it — contracts that no one actually reads. It’s impossible for us to lớn read & analyze every single one of these agreements. But we started counting exactly how many times you have to lớn hit “agree” to use devices when we reviews them since these are agreements most people don’t read và definitely can’t negotiate.

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To actually use the black Shark 4 Pro, you must accept several agreements:

Region locationLanguage selectionXiaomi’s JOYUI user agreement

You’ll have the option to agree lớn the following steps:

Back up lớn Google DriveUse locationAllow scanningSend usage và diagnostic dataYou can phối up Google Assistant Teach your Assistant to recognize your voiceAccess Assistant without unlocking your deviceConnect your Google account to a mày accountXiaomi requests that you enable additional settings, including location, diagnostic data, personalized ads, & a user experience program that collects usage data

In total, you have to lớn accept nine agreements và can bypass 12 when setting up the black Shark 4 Pro.