This video won’t be a review of the Black Shark 5 Pro only, but we’re also going to compare it a little with the Black Shark 5. I think that Black Shark did such a good job in making the Black Shark 5, why should you pay extra to get the Black Shark 5 Pro?
That is the main question I want to answer today.
Now, let’s start off with the biggest difference – specs. The Black Shark 5 Pro comes with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip and also 8GB RAM and 128GB of storage. I don’t think ours is a Malaysian retail unit since the distributor only brought in the 12GB and 16GB RAM models.
Either way, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is able to perform really well on this phone. We used Genshin Impact version 2.7, which improved the performance by a lot, and this phone manages to achieve smooth and consistent 60fps at the maximum graphical settings with no issues. It doesn’t even heat up as much – but still considerably hot.
You see, the Black Shark 5 Pro has something called the “anti-gravity dual vapor chamber liquid cooling” but from what I have tested, the heat of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is still way too much as we measured about 44°C on the hottest spot at the back and front, whereby the frame is 46°C. The overall surface temperature of the Black Shark 5 Pro is also 2°C higher than the Black Shark 5, yet they are both able to play Genshin Impact at the highest graphical settings at 60fps.
The inputs available on the Black Shark 5 Pro are also identical to the Black Shark 5. We have the signature magnetic triggers that I love so much, and we also have the pressure-sensitive screen that Black Shark is calling the “Magic Press”. It also has motion sensors that act as “triggers” but I don’t want to use that since it is rather disorienting.
With that said though, the battery life. That 4,650mAh battery in the Black Shark 5 Pro with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is just horrible. At 100 nits of brightness and tested using the PCMark battery life test, its battery life lasts for just shy of 7 hours. That also coincides with our finding – playing Genshin Impact at the highest settings at 60fps would only last for about 2-3 hours at most.
Similarities between the Black Shark 5 Pro and the Black Shark 5
Up till this point, you might say – wow, the Black Shark 5 Pro is very similar to the Black Shark 5. Why should anyone buy the Black Shark 5 Pro then? They both can run the most demanding game (as of now) – Genshin Impact at the highest graphical settings at a consistent 60fps without overheating, they both have the same magnetic triggers, pressure-sensitive screen, and also the motion sensor inputs.
They’re both also using the exact same 6.67-inch OLED screen with 2400×1080 pixels in resolution and 144Hz refresh rate and have more or less the same color accuracy. If you’re worried about the touch-sampling rate, that is a piece of information that Black Shark did not publish on their website.
As for the color accuracies of both phones, they’re within the margin of error – so I can call them identical.
Now I know some of you may ask – hey, maybe their speakers are different since the Black Shark 5 Pro is ranked number 1 in the DxOMark Audio – to which I’ll say, you should never trust DxOMark on any of their rankings regarding smartphones.
I personally don’t hear any difference at all – and I also recorded an audio comparison in our video at the top of this review.
Let’s not forget about the charger – the Black Shark 5 Pro also comes with a 120W inside the box and since we enabled the fastest possible charging speeds in the settings menu, it charges from 9% to 100% battery in about 15 minutes too – just like the Black Shark 5.
The one big difference is that the Black Shark 5 Pro has HDMI signal via the USB 3.0 Type-C port at the bottom of the phone.
But, no audio jack.
So why pay extra for the Black Shark 5 Pro instead of buying the Black Shark 5?
Of course, one big notable difference is the aesthetic. The back panel has been changed from a glossy glass to a frosted glass finish. It feels nice to touch and it wouldn’t catch any fingerprints – just like the Black Shark 4 Pro.
The other big difference is the cameras. You see, even though it has a triple camera setup, both the main and macro cameras have been upgraded. The main camera – well it can obviously take some good pics so no problems there. What I’m interested though, is the telephoto-macro camera. I have a fascination with the miniature world and this camera enables me to explore that world and it fits in my pocket. Smartphone manufacturers, if you want a macro camera on your phone, this is the way to do it.
To have a look at all the pictures taken with the Black Shark 5 Pro, watch our video at the top of this review.
One more difference that I found out is the vibration motor. The Black Shark 5 felt looser, whereby the Black Shark 5 Pro felt tighter. I’m not sure if you can hear it – but where is what I mean.
For us here in Malaysia, we’ll have to pay RM3,699 for the base model of the Black Shark 5 Pro – which is RM1,400 higher than the base model of the Black Shark 5. That is a very tough pill to swallow. However, I think that if you want to “future-proof” your smartphone, then getting the Black Shark 5 Pro might be worth it.
Through the 3DMark stress test, we can see that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 definitely has a lot more headroom in terms of performance – but whether or not the game uses the extra performance is also another question.
Imagine this – a hot new game drops on the Google Play Store tomorrow and all of a sudden, the Black Shark 5’s Snapdragon 870 is unable to run it at the best graphical setting. That is where the power of the Black Shark 5 Pro’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 comes in.
However, the problem with futureproofing is that no one knows how much you are actually “futureproofing” since no one can predict the future.
Maybe that hypothetical hot new game also chokes the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. Who knows. Either way, I really can’t justify spending so much on getting the Black Shark 5 Pro. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a fantastic gaming phone – but it’s just too similar to the Black Shark 5.