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Black Shark 4 Pro arrives in the UK a year late

Black Shark, Xiaomi’s gaming subsidiary, today revealed that the Black Shark 4 is finally due for release in the UK – almost a year after the lineup was originally introduced in China. While the vanilla variant of Black Shark 4 was released internationally, the Black Shark 4 Pro hasn’t been seen for a long time.

However, the Black Shark 4 Pro is finally here, offering the top-tier specs and unique gamer-focused features that Black Shark devices are known for. This includes an impressive 6.67-inch AMOLED display with a 144Hz refresh rate to give gamers the smooth visuals they crave, custom-designed internals to facilitate cooling, and of course, customizable RGB lighting on the back.

The real highlight of the Black Shark 4 Pro are the magnetic triggers. The triggers fit snugly against the body of the smartphone when not in use, are held in place with magnets to stop rattling, and pop out with the flick of a switch.

The triggers mimic screen touch so you don’t need developers to add support, and that means you get console-like gameplay with physical triggers without the need for extra accessories. It’s a game-changer for first-person shooters like Call of Duty Mobile and PUBG Mobile on the go, helping gamers get an edge in competitive online gameplay and can be used for other shortcuts when they’re not playing.

As you’d expect, you’ll find competitive hardware under the hood, but that’s the problem with the delayed release.

You see, while the Black Shark 4 Pro is still a performance beast – you can find out more in our full Black Shark 4 Pro review – the specs aren’t as exciting as you might expect.

While the combination of Qualcomm Snapdragon 888, 8/12GB RAM and 128/256GB storage was a comfortable flagship in March 2021, there are cheaper mid-range smartphones (like the Motorola Moto G200) that also offer a 144Hz display and an even more powerful Snapdragon 888+ chipset in 2022, not to mention the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 touting the Red Magic 7, which is set to launch internationally next week.

You can see the full breakdown of the specs here:

  • 163.8 x 76.4 x 9.9mm
  • 220g
  • 67″ AMOLED display with 144Hz refresh rate, 720Hz touch sampling rate, HDR10+ support
  • FHD+ resolution (1080 x 2400)
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
  • 8GB/12GB LPDDR5 6400MHz RAM
  • 128/256GB UFS3.1 storage
  • 4500mAh battery with 120W Hyper Charge technology.
  • Rear camera: 64MP f/1.79 main, 8MP f/2.2 ultra wide and 5MP f/2.4 macro
  • Front camera: 20 MP f/2.45
  • Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.0 and NFC
  • Fingerprint scanner (power button)
  • Shark eye lighting effects
  • Magnetic pop up triggers

While Black Shark has tuned the internals of the Black Shark 4 Pro to deliver high performance for longer than Motorola smartphones, it doesn’t look good on paper, especially when you consider that most gamers like to have the best of everything. the best is at their fingertips.

Black Shark 4 Pro Announced

Things are better in other areas, though: the Black Shark 4’s 120W HyperCharge fully charges a 4,500mAh battery in just 15 minutes – and, unlike most competitors, the charger comes in the box.

There’s also high-end connectivity, including 5G and Wi-Fi 6E, and while it’s not quite flagship-level, the combination of a 64MP main, 8MP, and 5MP macro camera on the back should be sufficient for most users. The 20-megapixel selfie camera is also not noteworthy!

While the specs will be sufficient for most gamers, the problem is that the release is so delayed that the follow-up Black Shark 4S line is already available for purchase in China, and has been since October 2021, offering an updated Snapdragon 888+ in a similar chassis.

This means that if you buy the top-end Black Shark 4 Pro, it’s not even the fastest Black Shark available, let alone the fastest gaming phone, and that could hurt international sales. Judging by how delayed the release of the Black Shark 4 Pro is, we don’t expect the international release of the 4S line until Q4 2022, or possibly even early 2023.

With that in mind, if the Black Shark 4 Pro tempts you, the smartphone will be available to purchase directly from Black Shark and other third-party retailers from February 23, 2022 at UK, USA and Europe starting at £489 / $579 / €579.

If you want to better understand the competition before taking the plunge, we recommend taking a look at our selection of the best gaming phones.

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