Black Shark 5 Pro review

GSMArena Team, 09 June 2022.

Introduction

Xiaomi's Black Shark gaming series has been around for quite some time now and has carved out a good reputation for itself. The latest addition to the proud family is the Black Shark 5 lineup, unveiled back in March with a total of three models so far. What we have for review today is the top-tier Black Shark 5 Pro with all of the bells and whistles, and there are quite a few of those.

Its siblings are the vanilla Black Shark 5 and the Black Shark 5 RS. Those two are a bit hard to position in the lineup, but both include downgrades in the chipset, display and camera departments, compared to the Black Shark 5 Pro.

Xiaomi Black Shark 5 Pro review

The Black Shark 5 Pro is a flagship device through and through. A Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 sits at its core, which at least until the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 starts appearing in actual retail devices is currently dominating smartphone performance charts. Xiaomi has that cooled with the help of not one but a pair of vapor chambers, one on each side (4,323 mm + 997 mm). And that's not the only internal piece that has been "doubled" either.

The Black Shark 5 Pro comes with a total of 512GB of storage, but it is split between 256GB UFS 3.1 and 256GB of NVMe SSD storage. Using the so-called DM Cache technology, Black Shark has allegedly managed to improve the random read and write performance significantly. Also, the fast LPDDR5 (6,400 Mbps) RAM can be used to create a RAM disk for occasions when even faster storage is required.

Xiaomi Black Shark 5 Pro specs at a glance:

  • Body: 163.9x76.5x9.5mm, 220g; metal frame, glass back; Physical pop-up gaming triggers.
  • Display: 6.67" OLED, 1B colors, 144Hz, HDR10+, 1080x2400px resolution, 20:9 aspect ratio, 395ppi; Always-on display.
  • Chipset: Qualcomm SM8450 Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (4 nm): Octa-core (1x3.00 GHz Cortex-X2 & 3x2.40 GHz Cortex-A710 & 4x1.70 GHz Cortex-A510); Adreno 730.
  • Memory: 256GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 12GB RAM, 512GB 16GB RAM; UFS 3.1/NVMe SSD.
  • OS/Software: Android 12, Joy UI 13.
  • Rear camera: Wide (main): 108 MP, f/1.8, 1/1.52", 0.7µm, PDAF; Ultra wide angle: 13 MP, f/2.4, 120-degree; Telephoto macro: 5 MP, f/2.4, AF.
  • Front camera: 16 MP, (wide).
  • Video capture: Rear camera: 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/240fps, 1080p@960fps; HDR10+; Front camera: 1080p@30fps.
  • Battery: 4650mAh; Fast charging 120W, 100% in 15 min (advertised).
  • Misc: Fingerprint reader (side-mounted); NFC.

The internal battery also boasts beefy specs, like a decent 4,650 mAh capacity and 120W Fast charging support. At full speed, that can take the battery from zero to full in just 15 minutes, but a more sparing temperature control mode slows charging down to around 24 minutes. Also, the phone features a battery bypass mode for gaming while external power is plugged in. These are the kind of little features that elevate the user experience, especially on a gaming device.

While on the topic of hardware in pairs, the Black Shark 5 Pro has symmetrical speakers with 1.5 cc cavities. The 5 Pro is currently the top phone in DxOMark's audio chart with 86 points (beating its predecessors by 5 points). There are also four mics on the device and two ambient light sensors - one on the front and one on the back to perfectly control display brightness.

The display is top-of-the-line hardware as well. The 6.67-inch AMOLED panel has a 144Hz refresh rate and 720Hz touch sampling. It is also a 10-bit panel with support for HDR10+ and promises excellent DCI-P3 color accuracy and coverage.

Xiaomi Black Shark 5 Pro review

Skimping a bit on the camera setup has been a rather typical practice on gaming phones in the past, but at least on paper, it seems that's not the case with the Black Shark 5 Pro. It has a big 108MP main cam with a 1/1.52" sensor, plus a 13 MP ultra wide-angle camera (120-degree) and a 5 MP telephoto macro lens. It focuses from as close as 3-7 cm of distance for some close-up action.

All of this starting at a reasonable domestic MSRP of CNY 4,200 ($660/€595). A global release is also planned for a later date.

Unboxing

The Black Shark 5 Pro ships inside a sturdy two-piece box with plenty of green color accents and aggressive geometric shapes all over. Everything is secure, and there is even a plastic cradle for the phone on the inside, so we are happy with it.

The accessory package is actually abundant by modern standards. First and foremost, you get a 120W charger. It is very much a proprietary Xiaomi brick that is a bit heavier than your average wall ward but not that big, making it feel "dense". It uses GaN tech.

Xiaomi Black Shark 5 Pro review

The model is formally known as the MDY-13-EE and is rated for the following outputs: 5V@3A (15W), 9V@3A (27W), 11V@6A (66W), 20V@5A (120W).

A couple of interesting details here. First, this particular brick can only deliver 120W with a power grid of around 220 volts, like in Europe. If 110V is what you have, then the total max output would be 20V@4.8A (96W). Second, the brick still relies on a USB Type-A to Type-C cable. One that is rated for 6A, which is proprietary, so you better hold on to it.

Xiaomi Black Shark 5 Pro review

Aside from the charger and cable, our Black Shark 5 Pro also came with a sturdy and great quality plastic case in the box. Also, some "gamer" stickers.

Unfortunately, there is no Type-C to 3.5mm dongle, which would have been appreciated in the absence of a 3.5mm jack on the phone.

This seems like the proper place to mention that there are several additional, optional accessories on offer for the Black Shark 5 Pro. Things like a new version of the Black Shark active external cooler, plus a special case to optimize its efficiency. Also, some beefier button attachments for the pair of pop-out side triggers on the Black Shark 5.

Xiaomi Black Shark 5 Pro review

We didn't get any of these toys in our review kit, though, so we couldn't test them just yet.

Reader comments

  • ImaB1tch
  • 29 Jun 2022
  • y6V

You sure about that? Watch Heat and CPU stress tests on YT and you'll see even the DM9000 is also heating up. Plus Adreno is far more superior vs that DM9000's Mali GPU in actual usage and in benchmarks. Don't get too hype yet sin...

Does anyone know what's the length of the original charging cable that comes with the phone? I can't find it anywhere

  • VNGEL
  • 24 Jun 2022
  • mFd

Asus Rog 5s You'll love it