Gaming phones seem to be getting very popular these days. And one of the latest entrants to this segment is the Chinese brand, Black Shark, which has released the Black Shark 2 in the Indian market. But does this new player have what it takes to make a mark in a market that could not be dented by the likes of the Asus ROG and the Nubia Red Magic 3? We could have gone the normal spec and description way but felt that this phone merited a bit more. So here’s our review of the Black Shark 2. In verse.

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The clouds must have high-end smartphones,
For in the Indian market they are raining,
And one of the latest to hit the stores,
Is also rather focused on gaming.

This one is called the Black Shark
And it is the second of its kind
Its name may conjure images of Jaws
But it is meant for the gaming part of humankind

For those who come from another planet
Black Shark is a company with links to Xiaomi
The brand has indeed invested in Black Shark.
But in India, it’s on its own, like watches from Huami.

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If you think this is just “another budget flagship”
We will definitely accuse you of dreaming
For, right from its 6.39 AMOLED HD front
To its patterned metal and glass back
This smartphone does scream “gaming!”

(The display incidentally has a refresh rate of Hz sixty,
But take it from us, content on it looks nifty)

In terms of design, it certainly stands out
Trimmed bezels, no notch, a slight forehead and chin
Reflecting panels on sides, metal and a glowing S on the back
Hey, this is not for those who wanna blend in!

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It is a slim but big phone, one that often needs both hands
To use it as best as one should.
And then it has Snapdragon 855, lots of storage and RAM
(6 GB/ 128 GB was what we got.
Although the storage could be expanded…not)
As well as a massive 4000 mAh battery beneath the hood.

All of which pretty much makes it a heavyweight
Capable of handling whatever at it you throw
Multiple apps, numerous Chrome tabs, HD video
And every hefty mobile task of which you know.

But it is in gaming that the phone really shines
From PUBG to Asphalt, from Subway Surfers to Angry Birds
The sheer smoothness of the action was impressive,
With great sound (dual speakers) and the display excelling beyond words

Yes, we found the absence of a 3.5 mm jack a puzzle
Although there is a type C to 3.5 mm adaptor in the box
But when it came to delivering great graphics, great sound
The Black Shark not just matched,
But knocked most phones out of their socks.

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It is not just about the hardware, though.
In that Android 9.0 software, a number of neat touches dwell,
There is a dedicated “Shark Mode” optimized for gaming (with its own button)
And a 3D-Touch like “Magic Touch” that responds to pressure as well.

But of course, that level of performance was expected
When you considered the level of hardware that was on board
What pleasantly surprised us was the level of color and detail
The 48 megapixel and 5 megapixel rear sensors scored.

(In most gaming phones
The cameras are slightly better than zeroes
On the Black Shark 2?
The shooters are the heroes)

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(More pics on our Flickr album)

What was also most impressive
Was no matter how much it was tasked
The phone never really heated up
No matter which gaming question we asked.

All this comes with great battery life
Considering this is a phone for play
That 4000 mAh biggie might weigh a bit
But can keep you going comfortably for a day.

You can get all this goodness, gaming and otherwise
For a price that at Rs 39,999 begins
Which seems a rather tempting deal
For those tempted by gaming wins.

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Yes, there are others in the field
Whose presence one needs to factor
The OnePlus 7, its Pro brother, the Nubia Red Magic 3
The Redmi K20 Pro, even the Asus 6z
In the phone-y drama, they are all worthy actors.

So should one consider the Black Shark 2?
Considering the competition has such worthy names
The answer to that, my friend
Is how much you value victory in your games

For most of the other worthies
That are going up against the Shark
Are well specced and well priced, true,
But generally come minus its gaming spark.

(The Nubia Red Magic 3 might be an exception,
But alas, Nubia has not sent us one yet for the review section)

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They will have a super processor
That at a dragon will joyfully snap
And lots of memory, and lovely displays
But it’s not just gaming that’s on their map

The Black Shark on the other hand
Can do everything pretty well
And although some might whine for a 3.5 mm audio jack
When it comes to gaming, it’s smarter than hell!

We are not saying other phones are not an option
The OnePlus Sevens in particular spring to mind
With similar processors and loads of RAM
But not in the Black Shark 2’s league, which is the gaming kind!

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The Black Shark 2 is a heck of a good phone,
And worth a lot of fuss
But it is mainly meant for gaming,
Not to compete with any OnePlus.

So if you are in the market
For a phone designed for gaming
With heavenly specs and an earthy price
The Black Shark 2’s one of the best worth naming.

Buy Black Shark 2 on Flipkart

  • Very distinct design
  • Adept at handling games
  • Decent battery life
  • Good cameras
  • Competitive pricing
  • No 3.5 mm audio jack
  • No expandable memory
Review Overview
Build and design

Can you review a phone in verse? Would it better or would it be...verse? Well, when our reviewers hit a rhythm with the Black Shark 2, the review turned out to be more poetry than prose. Here’s our look at the latest gaming device in the Indian market. In rhyme.

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