Black Shark 5 Pro review: A must-see for gamers who don t want to sacrifice…

The Black Shark 5 Pro delivers gaming goodness without the headaches

You know the drill by now. A new gaming phone launches, it has trigger buttons, some kind of cooling tech, below-average cameras, and a gigantic body that makes for an unwieldy daily driver. The Black Shark 5 Pro uses some of the same formula, but it’s more graceful with the triggers and has a 108MP camera, as well as a cooling system that actually works. After gaming on this smartphone for three days now, I’m impressed with the sheer amount of functionality it offers.

Impressive hardware across the board

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1-powered smartphone has a lot going for it apart from the flagship processor. For one, it features a top-notch OLED display with a 144Hz refresh rate and 720Hz touch-sampling rate. Secondly, the trigger buttons bring something new to pop-up buttons.

The Black Shark 5 Pro sports two magnetic pop-up triggers that are pretty responsive. When not in use, you can make them disappear with the help of the hardware toggles located right beside the two trigger buttons.

While playing Battlegrounds Mobile India (which is basically PUBG), I set up the left trigger to shoot and the right one to aim. As a result, I got more screen space to look at while aiming to shoot the enemies. The same was the case with Asphalt 9. I set up the left trigger for drift and the right one to boost. The gaming experience was more enjoyable because I had the whole screen for my eyes to look at with no intrusion of two fat thumbs.

While the ROG Phone 5 has the same functionality, its trigger buttons are flushed to the sides. By contrast, the two magnetic pop-up triggers on the Black Shark 5 Pro can be toggled on to rise above the sides — giving you a more intuitive experience. And when you want to use the Black Shark 5 Pro as a normal smartphone, you can toggle them off and discreetly hide them on the right edge.

You can put in all the gaming features you want in a smartphone, but it wouldn’t make a difference if the display looks bad. Fortunately, the Black Shark 5 Pro excels in this department. It touts a 6.67-inch OLED display with 10-bit color depth and 1080 x 2400 resolution. In other words, it’s a very sharp screen to look at.

You can choose from three refresh rates other than 144Hz – including 120Hz, 90Hz, and 60Hz — to suit your preferences. It’s also a pressure-sensitive display that makes it easy to get precise movements. The company calls it Magic Press, and it’s mappable to customize it how you see fit. The low touch delay of 8.3 milliseconds is another addition that keeps the display feeling as responsive as possible.

The Black Shark 5 Pro didn’t run too hot even on extended gaming sessions. While I could feel it getting warm, it was nothing to worry about thanks to the new liquid cooling system. You get 8GB, 12GB, and 16GB RAM options to choose from, alongside 128GB or 256GB of storage. The dual-symmetrical linear stereo speakers make for an intuitive gaming experience.

Gaming software that’s actually useful

The Black Shark 5 Pro runs JoyUI 13, which is based on MIUI 12, which is based on Android 11. It’s a bummer that the device doesn’t ship with the latest stable version of Android. In my brief usage, the phone didn’t slow down or have any hiccups with the interface. And while the outdated software is a shame, the suite of gaming features built into Shark Space 4.0 help make up for it.

You can access Shark Space by pressing and holding both shoulder trigger buttons at the same time. The software feature allows you to adjust the master touch settings, network status, performance, do not disturb function, and more.

While playing Battlegrounds Mobile India for the first time, the system notified me to swipe down from the top-right corner to access Shark Space. It then allowed me to assign functions to the two trigger buttons through Master Control. When you’re setting up Master Control, it pauses the game so you don’t miss out on important scenarios.

You also get Game Macros that can be programmed for specific scenes of the game, allowing repetitive actions to be done via one-key execution. Another feature I liked was motion sensing, which lets you control the game with the motion and movement of your smartphone. You can perform up to six gestures in total, which includes turning to the left or right, leaning to the left or right, and flipping forward or backward.

There are a plethora of other settings like Game Studio Setting (customize performance, display, touch, and audio settings), Ludicrous Mode (enables extreme performance), and more. The feature-rich gaming software makes the Black Shark 5 Pro a strong contender for one of the best gaming smartphones.

Non-gaming goodness

While the processor, display, and software are the most important specs, they aren’t the only aspects of the Black Shark 5 Pro. Starting with the cameras, which I couldn’t test in the scorching Delhi heat wave, the Black Shark 5 Pro comes equipped with a 108MP primary camera. It’s accompanied by a 13MP ultrawide-angle camera and a 5MP macro lens. The smartphone is capable of shooting 4K videos at 60 frames per second (fps) and a 1080p slow-mo at 120fps, 240fps, and 960fps. On the front lies a 16MP selfie shooter.

THE BLACK DEMON Trailer (2023) New Shark Movie Trailers 4K

black, shark, review, must-see, gamers, want

The Black Shark 5 Pro packs a 4,650mAh battery that supports 120-watt fast charging. It went from 10% to 100% within 20 minutes for me. There is a small group of lines on the right side of the camera module, which supports light effects. You can map it to different lights in the settings.

Black Shark 5 Pro price and availability

The Black Shark 5 Pro costs 799 for the base 8GB RAM and 128GB storage model. It goes up to 16GB RAM and 256GB storage for 999, with a 12GB RAM and 256GB storage model in the middle for 899. The Snapdragon 870-powered vanilla Black Shark 5 starts at 549 for the base variant that has the same amount of RAM and storage.

While we haven’t had enough time with the Black Shark 5 Pro to give it the full review treatment, there’s a strong foundation here for a solid gaming phone. From the capable chipset, excellent display, and gaming-focused software, Black Shark knows its target audience. If you’re interested, the Black Shark 5 Pro is available now from Black Sharks’ website and on Amazon.

Editors’ Recommendations

Prakhar writes news, reviews and features for Digital Trends. He is an independent tech journalist who has been a part of the…

The Magic is back at Honor, with not one but two new Magic-branded smartphones being revealed during MWC 2023. The Honor Magic 5 Pro joins the Honor Magic Vs folding smartphone and is the company’s latest “normal” non-folding flagship.

Like many Honor phones over the years, it’s all about the camera and an unusual design.

“Welcome to a shape-shifting, multitasking, head-turning, game-changing iPhone experience,” says the Apple website’s introduction to Dynamic Island. While it is a shape-shifting experience, it isn’t head-turning or game-changing in any sense. And it is in no way or form “multitasking.”

The Dynamic Island is good to look at when it’s working, but five months into its life span, the feature hasn’t caught up to the promises Apple made at launch. There’s plenty of potential for it, but we’re still waiting for something to actually come of it. The Dynamic Island still isn’t what I expected

For most of my life, I think I’ve had a pretty unique career path among my family and friends. Ever since I got the original iPhone, I’ve turned my love for writing into writing about technology, specifically mobile phones. Though I’ve pretty much been iPhone-only for most of my career, since I started at Digital Trends, I’ve been opening up to the world of Android.

Black Shark 5 Pro Long Term Review, My Gaming Device

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Black Shark 5 Pro review: ‘A must-see for gamers who don’t want to sacrifice photography’

The Black Shark 5 Pro is certainly a powerful device, with blitzing speeds and a gorgeous display up top. Not only that, but the 5 Pro also manages to balance this performance with a solid set of cameras (a rarity in the gaming phone space), making this a must-see for gamers who don’t want to sacrifice photography.


  • Extreme performance
  • Gorgeous OLED panel
  • An actually decent camera system
  • Physical pop-up triggers


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The Black Shark 5 Pro sits at the top of Xiaomi’s latest gaming phone pyramid, boasting the impressive Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset and bags of RAM to support it. With improvements in cooling, performance, and cameras, the 5 Pro tops out over the baseline Black Shark 5 and the RS model, but certainly carries the price tag to prove it.

The cheapest model packs 8GB RAM and 256GB of storage for 799, with increasing by 100 with every spec upgrade. That’s by no means as expensive as the Asus ROG Phone 6, but it’s certainly nearing the top-end of the market. However, there are a few key features here (and some stunning performance) that may make the leap worth it. We spent two weeks with the Black Shark 5 Pro to see exactly how the next generation is shaping up.

Black Shark 5 Pro Key Specs

16.3 x 76.5 x 9.5mm
6.67-inch OLED, 1080p, 144Hz
Qualcomm SM8450 Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
8GB / 12GB / 16GB
256GB / 512GB
Android 12
108MP Wide, 12MP Ultra-Wide, 5MP Macro (rear), 16MP Wide (front)

Black Shark 5 Pro Design

While gaming phones can generally get away with outlandish, sci-fi inspired designs, the Black Shark 5 Pro keeps things more subdued. Yes, you’re still getting subtle hints of angular lines and brand iconography, but set against a frosted two-tone back this phone doesn’t scream gamer.

I’m generally wary of these smoother backs, fearing the day it slips straight out of my hand, however there was just enough grip to keep things feeling secure. If you’re nervous, though, Black Shark also includes a surprisingly sturdy feeling slip case keeping the phone’s core design on top and leaving space for all your triggers and RGB lights. That RGB is reserved for a small logo on the back, shimmering with customizable LEDs which can be configured via the phone’s main settings.

There is one major design change over the previous Black Shark 4 Pro here, and that’s in the camera bump. The older model keeps things slick with a horizontal collection of lenses, but the 5 Pro steps slightly further into the realm of the mainstream smartphone, with a square array in the top left corner. It’s another nod to the more subtle design, maintaining a more business-like aesthetic.

The full-metal frame and OLED display mean that this is no superlight gaming phone, but it still manages to clock under the weight of the chunky RedMagic 7S Pro nicely.

Black Shark 5 Pro Features

There’s a lot to make a hardcore mobile gamer smile in this spec sheet. From the outstanding performance from the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip to the split storage system, Xiaomi has positioned the Black Shark 5 Pro as an all-in-one powerhouse.

That’s not to get too bogged down in the internal specs. there’s plenty worth celebrating above deck as well. that is aside from the lack of 3.5mm audio jack. The Black Shark 5 Pro swaps the AMOLED display featured on the cheaper models in the lineup for an OLED, but still packs a speedy 144Hz refresh rate (a factor that sometimes drops when making this shift). You’re also getting 720Hz touch sampling for an even smoother experience. I found all of that to run at excellent brightness, with full viewability during heat-wave level sunny days. Plus, the auto-brightness adjustments felt quick and responsive to boot.

Running along the right-hand side of the device, you’ll find two pop-out trigger buttons. I was initially sceptical of these clickers, having come from the touch-controlled pads of the RedMagic 7S Pro. I’ve used so many early variations of gaming phone trigger buttons to know that these pads often feel mushy, and actuate with varying degrees of reliability. However, these are sharp, satsifying, and protrude just enough to remain comfortable during longer periods of play. Not only that, but popping them out with the two adjacent sliders was quick and easy as well.

These triggers can also be assigned almost any command, even when you’re outside of gameplay. That’s a neat feature that not many other phones are offering right now, and it came in particularly handy as an extra shutter button or toggle to close an app.

Shark Space is still present here as well. Black Shark’s software isn’t the most comprehensive on the market, but it acts more as a library for all your games (and additional hardware add-ons) and making some lighter changes to refresh rates and turbo-power modes.

Black Shark 5 Pro Performance

Wild Life. Over scale

Wild Life Extreme. 2,532

All of that power combines to create some stunning performance on both a day to day basis and in more intense gaming sessions. Pushing regular use to the max, running multiple Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides Windows, zipping between emails, playing music from Spotify, and dipping in and out of YouTube, there was nothing that could faze this device. Of course, if I experienced anything less, then there would have been a serious problem. this phone is running some of the latest and greatest components after all.

Bumping everything up to full whack and switching into an overdrive preset, my experience with Call of Duty Mobile and PUBG was nothing short of sublime. I didn’t witness any crashes, framerates were solid, and load times were as snappy as I’ve ever seen on high-end gaming phones. Add all of that to the solid color representation and excellent motion handling and you’ve got yourself a luxury mobile gaming experience here.

Throttling only came into play when bumping things up to Ultra settings while in full brightness, and even then I only noticed the occasional smudge on the Black Shark 5 Pro’s unflappable record.

Black Shark 5 Pro review: Ahead of the game

We’ve been testing Black Shark’s fifth-generation gaming beast, and here’s what we’ve found.

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It’s not been all that long since we tested out the Black Shark 4 Pro, owing to a delay that saw the device launch in Europe nearly a year following its announcement.

A few months later, we have its follow-up, the 5 Pro. And it’s a fifth-generation model that entices, thanks to the inclusion of the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, a stylish redesign and the promise of an improved main camera.

With an increasing amount of competition in the gaming phone market, though, where does the Black Shark 5 Pro fit in?

We’ve been testing it for a few weeks, and here’s what we’ve found.

Black Shark 5 Pro

The Black Shark 5 Pro offers a top-tier gaming experience, but it’s easy to live with on daily basis, too. With the performance on offer here, as well as the novel features like the pop-up triggers, it’s easily one of our top picks for gamers on the go.

  • The best speakers on any smartphone
  • Excellent performance
  • Lovely and responsive display
  • Pop-up physical trigger buttons
  • Good main camera
  • No wireless charging
  • No headphone socket or expandable storage
  • Advertisements in system apps
  • Battery drains quite quickly when gaming

Black Shark 5 Pro

With top-tier performance, superb physical triggers and decent camera performance the Black Shark 5 Pro is easily one of our top picks.

black, shark, review, must-see, gamers, want


The Black Shark 5 Pro features a curved glass back panel with a matte fingerprint-resistant finish.

We’re testing the Stellar Black colourway, and it has a pretty striking look. especially when the light hits it. The colours shift between dark and light bluish-greys, with a graph-paper-like grid appearing in the lighter sections.

Across the rear panel are futuristic-looking glyphs and an angular, pronounced camera bump with a glossy black sheen. As usual, there’s a customisable RGB LED section, too.

It’s an unmistakably gaming-influenced design, but it’s not overly obnoxious, and we quite like the aesthetics.

It’s worth mentioning, as well, that the included TPU case is fairly nice looking. This tends to be important with gaming phones, where third-party options are severely limited.

There’s also a high-gloss metal frame around the edges, which is much more fingerprint-prone, but we think it’s attractive and gives the device a premium look and feel. The pop-up physical triggers and their respective sliders make an appearance here, and they seem largely unchanged from the previous model, but we loved them then and we continue to on the 5 Pro.

As before, the triggers are highly configurable whether you’re gaming or not. We liked using ours to toggle the torch on and off, as well as using one as a physical shutter button for the camera. Of course, they’re mainly intended for gaming use and they perform flawlessly in that regard.

We much prefer the physical triggers to their capacitive touch rivals. While both work well, there’s something about that physical feedback that makes them feel much more satisfying to use.

Just as the benefits prevail, so do the gripes, however. We found ourselves accidentally ejecting the triggers frequently on the Black Shark 4 Pro, and the same thing happens with the 5 Pro, too.

black, shark, review, must-see, gamers, want

It’s not a big deal, but it’s slightly annoying. especially when you accidentally trigger the torch and are walking around with a glowing all evening. Still, it’s a small price to pay for having one of the most satisfying fidget toys in your at all times.

The fingerprint scanner seems to have remained the same on this model, too. And, as before, it works well, but it’s still very easy to accidentally unlock your phone, and will sometimes register your palm as a failed fingerprint when pulling the phone from your

One thing that’s notably missing from this model is the 3.5mm audio socket. It’s not something that’s surprising on a modern smartphone, but, for a gaming-focused device, it’s pretty unusual. We’re just fine using Bluetooth earphones, but many hardcore gamers won’t want the added latency, so, for some, it might be a dealbreaker.

Display and speakers

The display is another area which seems to be unchanged from its predecessor. It’s big, smooth and can get exceptionally bright.

We loved using it for just about everything, but, of course, it excels when it comes to gaming and media consumption. One aspect that has improved since we reviewed the previous generation, is that we now have way more control over the colour rendering of the panel.

In the settings, you can select between standard, saturated and natural profiles, with the option of cool, warm or custom colour temperatures for each.

The speakers, meanwhile, are truly exceptional. We reckon they might be the best-sounding speakers ever to feature on a smartphone. and the fact that the Black Shark 5 Pro is ranked number one on DXOMark’s audio testing backs that up.

The soundstage is incredibly wide, and the positional accuracy is wonderful for games like PUBG Mobile. There’s plenty of low-end grunt and clean treble, with detailed mids.

Honestly, we’ve heard worse from low-end Bluetooth speakers. It can get louder than most would ever need, too.

Whether this impressive speaker performance matters to you is another story entirely, of course.

Most serious gaming or content consumption tends to be done with headphones, but, for the times when you’re using the phone speaker, it’s certainly nice to have.

Performance software

The Black Shark 5 Pro runs Android 12 with a JoyUI skin on top. As with previous Black Shark releases, it’s essentially a tweaked version of Xiaomi’s MIUI with added gaming features. So, anyone familiar with MIUI will be in for very few surprises.

On the whole, we found JoyUI to be reliable and easy to use, aside from a few minor niggles.

One of them, we feel, is that the system serves up too many notifications about clearing cache and deleting unnecessary files. This is the kind of thing that would come in handy later in the phone’s life, but when you have a brand new device with ample storage, it’s just a tad irritating.

We also didn’t like that some of Xiaomi’s default apps for essential things like managing files and video playback contain adverts. It’s the kind of thing we expect from an entry-level phone, but it shouldn’t be present on a flagship powerhouse like this. It’s easy enough to switch over to Google’s ad-free counterparts, of course, but it’s worth mentioning.

When it comes to gaming, the Shark Space menus are full of interesting and useful options for enhancing gameplay, as well as squeezing the most out of the SoC and internet connection. We thought ‘Magic Touch’ was particularly novel, allowing you to use a hard press on either side of the pressure-sensitive display as an additional macro trigger.

You can even map the physical tilting of the phone to on-screen button presses, which wasn’t especially useful for us, but cool nonetheless.

As you might expect with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 phone, gaming performance was solid throughout our testing. Despite the lack of active cooling, the phone never got uncomfortably hot, and Black Shark’s dual vapour-chamber design does an admirable job of limiting thermal throttling.

Great for competitive gamers, but with a few rough edges

TechRadar Verdict

For gaming, the Xiaomi Black Shark 5 Pro is a champ. It has a top-end processor, useful gaming mode and retractable triggers that will deliver a huge edge in competitive games. However, its rough edges emerge when you try to use it as an everyday mobile. Battery life is disappointing, it overheats frequently, and the cameras are nothing to write home about either.


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Two-minute review

If you’re reading this Xiaomi Black Shark 5 Pro review, we’re under the assumption that it’s because you’re in the market for a gaming phone. If you’re not looking for such a device, which comes with additional software and hardware tricks to make gaming a blast, then we advise you to look elsewhere.

This is because the Black Shark, like many other of the best gaming handsets, is great for playing mobile titles but suffers issues when used as an everyday smartphone. While this is a compromise that we’ve become used to, it’s best to avoid such devices if gaming isn’t a regular part of your life.

This is the most powerful member of the fifth generation of Black Shark phones. They’re manufactured by Xiaomi, although both the Chinese tech giant and its gaming sub-brand downplay the relationship between the two.

There’s a standard Black Shark 5, too, offering a lower-res main camera, slightly weaker chipset and lower storage and RAM configurations; but it costs less as a result.

As is the case with most gaming phones, the Xiaomi Black Shark 5 Pro’s performance power is its main selling point, since this ensures it can run top-end titles at their highest graphics settings without breaking a sweat. At the heart of the device sits a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, supported by up to 12GB of RAM – a combination that, in our experience, delivered outstanding gaming performance.

This is helped by the presence of pop-up physical triggers along the right edge of the phone, which can be assigned a function for your game, to turn your smartphone into a device that more resembles a gaming controller. This setup delivers quite an advantage in games.

The pop-up triggers return from the Black Shark 4 Pro, but what didn’t ascend generations is the 3.5mm jack for wired audio. That’s a shame, since wired headphones and microphones can offer better latency and audio quality for gaming over wireless units. However, buy a USB-C adapter and you’ll still be able to plug in a set via the sole remaining port.

Our mention earlier that the phone doesn’t break a sweat was with reference to the fact we experience no lag or stuttering. However, the Black Shark 5 Pro does suffer a few issues during intensive gaming. The main one is that, like other Snapdragon 8 phones, the device becomes incredibly hot – clearly, the built-in cooling system that Black Shark has gone with here isn’t sufficient to cope with the demands of intensive play. In addition, there’s significant battery drain from this top-end chipset; although the Black Shark Pro 5 didn’t last as long as we’d hoped for even with regular use.

So, the battery life on the Black Shark 5 Pro isn’t up to snuff; but there is a feature – another carry-over from the previous version – that makes up for it in part. This is 120W fast charging, which delivers the capability to power up the phone to full in just 15 minutes – which is incredibly impressive.

As we’ve alluded to in this two-minute review, the Black Shark 5 Pro is quite similar to its predecessor in a number of ways, but it does come with a few minor changes that we’d be remiss to ignore.

The new model sports a more understated, less “game-centric” design, as well as a better main camera, an improved macro camera and cleaner software – although there are some notable and curious downgrades, too, such as the 5 Pro’s use of an OLED display over the 4 Pro’s Super AMOLED and better range of storage and RAM options.

black, shark, review, must-see, gamers, want

So if you already own Xiaomi’s previous Black Shark gaming device, the 5 Pro doesn’t offer much of an upgrade – and if you can find the previous model for a decent price, it’s definitely worth considering. But for everyone else in the market for a gaming device, you’d do well to check out the Black Shark 5 Pro.

Xiaomi Black Shark 5 Pro price and availability

The Xiaomi Black Shark 5 Pro launched globally on June 8, with its sale date just one day after.

The handset starts at 799 / £639. that’s for 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. There are two other configurations: 12GB/256GB, which costs 899 / £729, and 16GB/256GB, which is priced at 999 / £809. We tested the middling option.

Given that the Black Shark 5 starts at just 549 / £439 for 8GB/128GB, and its max option of 12GB/256GB is just 649 / £529, we can’t help but feel that’s a better deal, since it has all the most important specs of its pricier sibling.

For context the Black Shark 4 Pro started at 579/£489. a lot cheaper. while the Nubia Red Magic 7 started at 629 / £529 / AU900. So the Black Shark is pricier than several other contemporary gaming phones.

Xiaomi Black Shark 5 Pro design

With every passing year, the new Black Shark phones have become less garish, with angular designs, LED patterns and hard edges making way for more understated features. The Black Shark 5 Pro is the next step in this evolution.

In fact, remove the rear decal and the small LED panel and you’d have what looks like a standard mid-range Android phone, with a raised rectangular camera bump on the back, volume rocker on the left, power button and fingerprint scanner combo on the right, and an USB-C port exactly in the same spot as it is on every other phone.

The exceptions are the two sliders that sit along the right edge of the device, one at the top and the other at the bottom. A flick will see little triggers pop out, ready for use in gaming (and a few other functions, such as a shutter for the camera).

These protruding and retractable physical triggers are probably the best iterations of the popular gaming-phone feature we’ve seen. Some devices opt for haptic spots that you tap with your finger; others with curved-edge screens that house trigger spots here instead. But Xiaomi has started down the road of physical triggers, as seen on certain Black Shark and Poco devices, and these feel incredibly natural to tap and, from a gaming perspective, deliver far more reliable results than other options.

The lack of a 3.5mm headphone jack for wired audio won’t upset everyone, since wireless headphones (or USB-C adapters) have now become commonplace. However, they will be missed by tech-heavy gamers, who like having wired headphones or microphones, for lower latency and better quality.

The Black Shark 5 Pro is a heavy phone, clocking in at 220g, and of its 163.9 x 76.5 x 9.5mm dimensions, its thickness stands out over many contemporary handsets. But given the design of many gaming phones, the device feels relatively lightweight.

Xiaomi Black Shark 5 Pro display

The Black Shark 5 Pro’s screen marks a surprising downgrade from both the non-Pro device and the 4th-generation models. This is because it’s “only” an OLED panel, not the Super AMOLED of the 4 series nor AMOLED of the type that features in the standard Black Shark 5.

In use this means that colors display slightly less punch, and contrast is a little worse – although, admittedly, the difference is minor. You’ll only really notice the differences if comparing the various handsets side-by-side, and we found the display fine for its purposes.

At 6.67 inches, the panel size is pretty standard for a gaming phone. However, because your fingers will be hovering over the triggers here, instead of over any on-screen buttons, the Black Shark Pro 5 display does deliver a little more viewable room for gaming. Note, though, this is broken up by a relatively small punch-hole cut-out for the front camera.

The display shares its 1080 x 2400 resolution with the vast majority of Android phones, but the 144Hz refresh rate (which means the image updates 144 times per second) is a little higher than most. As such, in games that support ultra-high frame rates, you’ll find that motion is smoother, which is also the case for navigating menus and certain non-gaming apps.

Xiaomi Black Shark 5 Pro cameras

You’re unlikely to be buying a gaming phone for its cameras, but these days it’s important for any smartphone to come with a decent set of snappers. In the past, we’ve been positively surprised by the photography experience delivered by some Black Shark phones – although we’ve been disappointed by other handsets, too.

The Black Shark 5 Pro features a 108-megapixel f/1.8 main sensor, 13-megapixel f/2.4 ultra-wide and a 5-megapixel f/2.5 telemacro camera. That last one uses a type of lens that only Xiaomi has so far embraced – it lets you take macro (close-up) shots from a distance, and we’re big fans of this type of camera.

Photos taken on the Xiaomi Black Shark 5 Pro are – drumroll, please – just fine. They’re not incredible, with the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra easily lapping the device from a camera perspective. However, the cameras will be just fine for pics for social media posts, scanning documents or taking the odd selfie.

We did have a little trouble with the autofocus, especially on the macro mode – which, on occasion, seemed dead-set against actually focusing on subjects; but a shot reset usually fixed this.

The front-facing camera has a resolution of 32 megapixels. Again, it performed fine, but we did find the images were a tad dim for our liking. Portrait mode offered a fix to a degree, although its artificial background blur was rather overzealous in blurring our hair.

Video recording is up to 4K at 60fps – there’s no 8K, even though the chipset does support that. However, you’re probably not picking up a gaming phone to shoot the next Avengers, so we can forgive that. The Black Shark 5 Pro does offer slow-motion functionality, which goes up to 960fps, which is comparable with the majority of slo-mo modes of other devices.

Note that the camera app offers a few extra modes such as Night, Time-lapse and Xiaomi’s Vlog video mode; but you don’t get as many software tools as you might find on another device. Again, the Black Shark is a phone designed specifically for gamers, and it would be unlikely to be priced as low as it is if it came with top-end camera features, too.