It is another spring. The spring of 2020 seems to have not slowed down because of the epidemic situation. Instead, the model of Internet marketing and online live broadcast has rekindled the war. Black Shark, as the vanguard of gaming smartphones, chose this Zodiac Day on March 3 and released the brand new Black Shark 3. Oh no, it should be called Tencent Black Shark Gaming Phone 3. Yes, this time Black Shark has cooperated with Tencent Games. Does it sound like you know each other? What can this cooperation bring to our consumers?
Also Read: Black Shark 3 and Black Shark 3 Pro Released
We have got the basic model with black color and 12GB + 128GB storage combination. The black packaging is full of stripe patterns suggesting details on the back of the phone. It is indeed the Black Shark style. However, in addition to the conspicuous crystal gloss Black Shark logo on the front, it also has a Tencent Games logo.
What’s more interesting is that this year’s smartphone manufacturers seem to be very enthusiastic about the small gold label of Hi-Res AUDIO certification. If they don’t post this, they are embarrassed to say that they are flagships.
Appearance and Design
Once we open the package, at the top is a declaration of war and paper bag. This small paper bag contains the card retrieval pin, a translucent black soft phone case, a Black Shark sticker, as well as an instruction manual and a three-pack voucher.
There is also a Black Shark ancestral propaganda card under the phone with some features of the phone printed on it. The standard charging head of the 8GB + 128GB version is 30W instead of 65W.
The charger and data cable are not black frosted power + nylon braided wire in the imagination of water, but simple white style.
The body of the Tencent Black Shark Gaming Phone 3 in the hand provides a big and thick feeling. According to the official data and the actual measurement results, its dimensions are 168.72×77.33×10.42mm, and its weight is 222g. This weight is fine for gaming phones. The texture of the Black Shark phone has always been complicated, because different elements of the fuselage are mixed with smooth glossy glass and matte sandblasted metal, such as the middle frame, camera module and magnetic charging module. The edges of the perimeter and the trapezoidal decorative bands on the left and right sides are all matte metal, while the main body part on the back, the camera module and magnetic charging module, and the edge areas on the left and right sides are bright glass. So it will feel slippery and inevitably leave fingerprints.
Visually, the rear shell maintains absolute symmetry, except for the green color of the logo, and no Black Shark green elements.
The most special is the two triangular modules that are symmetrically placed on the upper and lower parts. There are three rear lenses in the upper triangle, which are 64MP main sensor, 13MP 120-degree ultra-wide-angle sub camera, and 5MP depth of field lens. There is also a square fill light underneath. The main camera lens uses a 6P lens group with a unit pixel area of 0.8µm and an aperture of f/1.8. It supports PDAF phase focus, dark light enhancement, HDR, portrait mode, panorama mode and night scene mode.
The lower triangle is a magnetic contact for connecting charging accessories, and the other areas are filled by 5G, Tencent Games and the Black Shark logos.
In the middle frame part, the Tencent Black Shark Gaming Phone 3 has a slightly raised ‘crease’ design, which can improve the grip feel to a certain extent. Imagine if the 10.42mm thick frame is completely flat, how you will hold it. The most elements appearing on the frame are the antennas. If you look closely, you will find that these antennas are distributed in an ‘X’ shape. So the fuselage is completely covered with 5G / 4G and Wi-Fi signals, ensuring that the signals in various holding positions have no dead ends, avoiding the death grip during the game, and minimizing the impact of game network fluctuations.
The extremely advanced 3.5mm headphone jack is finally back. The top of the left is the Sim card slot and volume button. The top of the right is a power button. The bottom is the Black Shark game space exclusive one-button self-closing switch. The bottom of the middle frame has a USB-C interface. In addition, there are three pickup microphones on the bottom, right and camera modules of the phone.
There is a 1217 super linear stereo speaker on the top and bottom of the front. The top speaker also functions as a handset. Theoretically, the quality of the two speakers should be similar. But just looking at the size of the openings, it is not that simple. After listening to the water, the feeling is that the overall sound effect is good. The sound of the top speaker is slightly thinner, and the bass of the bottom speaker is fuller.
In terms of sound effects, the Tencent Black Shark Gaming Phone 3 does not provide complicated adjustment options. It only adds a Biso sound switch to the sound and vibration settings, and it can be turned on without plugging in headphones.
When playing games, the Tencent Black Shark Gaming Mobile Phone 3 provides a very interesting game voice control function. The first batch of 9 voice commands supporting Honor of Kings and Peace Elite can be controlled by default voice commands. When calling ‘Offensive Attack’, the phone will automatically click the King’s offensive voice button to call the companion to attack together; while calling ‘Grenade Grenade’ in the Peace Elite, you can automatically pull out the grenade. These voice commands are triggered by the button-like mapping of the handle. Players can customize DIY by themselves. If set properly, they may change from hanging teammates to hanging team opponents.
At the same time, the black screen’s classic screen pressure-sensing function has been upgraded again. Not only the setting menu of pressure-sensitive key mapping has been completely upgraded, it has become more intuitive and clear. The large virtual pressing area combined with the vibration feedback of the linear motor and the software optimization of the tactile simulation algorithm for pressure feedback make the player have a more immersive experience.
The screen of Tencent’s Black Shark Gaming Mobile Phone 3 is a place where the material is piled up. Although the screen is lit, it does not use the ultimate full-screen design. But the upper, lower, left, and right borders are completely symmetrical. The screen size has reached 6.67 inches (7.1 inches for the Pro version), and the field of view is very wide. The quality of this screen is not simple. It has a refresh rate of 90Hz, a touch sampling rate of 270Hz, a single-finger touch response delay as low as 24ms, and a multi-finger touch response delay as low as 28ms. There are also 10Bit color depth, HDR10+ and TUV low blue light certification, and the screen is calibrated at the factory to make the screen color standard Delta E <1 in the standard color mode. In terms of function, this screen not only supports hardware-level independent display DC dimming, MEMC motion compensation technology can also fill 25 frames of video through interpolation and algorithms to fill 60 frames. And some games that were originally 60 frames can further raise to 90 frames.
In general, the Tencent Black Shark Game Phone 3 does have its own features in appearance and design, but this thickness seems to be a little self-reliant.
Configuration and Performance
When it comes to gaming phones, the hardware is generally not bad. After all, the premise of playing the game is the performance of core components and the stacking of the cooling system. Tencent’s Black Shark gaming phone 3 uses the latest Qualcomm flagship Soc Snapdragon 865. Compared with the previous generation, the CPU and GPU performance have been improved by 25%, and the power consumption has also been reduced by 25% and 30%, respectively. In terms of flash memory and storage specifications, it is comes with a combination of UFS3.0 + LPDDR5. The maximum memory is 12GB, which is basically the latest and fastest generation.
At the software level, the phone supports TurboWrite and HPB2.0 technology. The ‘Black Shark Exclusive Performance Engine’ and ‘Tencent Game SolarCore’ dual engines are used to optimize the segmentation of the game’s startup, loading, hot update, and team battles to ensure that continuous and stable performance output during game. From the running point of view, the overall performance of the Snapdragon 865 is indeed significantly improved compared to the previous generation, and the sequential read and write speeds are also very fast. In actual use, it benefits from the 12GB large storage of LPDDR5. Compared with Snapdragon in the first load speed of the game, the Snapdragon 855 has increased by about 35%.
This year’s mainstream flagship smartphones have begun to pay attention to the heat dissipation structure and materials. The Tencent Black Shark Game Phone 3 also sacrificed the heat dissipation design, that is, the front and back double-sided liquid cooling pipes are covered. So the internal motherboard and heat sink use the ‘sandwich’ three-dimensional liquid-cooled heat dissipation structure, thereby increasing the heat dissipation area of the heat source by 100%, and ultimately improving the overall heat dissipation capacity. The main area of the main board is centered along the central axis, and the two sides are narrowed inward as a whole.
What’s more, Black Shark also brought a new ice-cooled cooling back clip Pro to continue the secondary cooling from the outside of the phone. The design of this cooling armor is inspired by Iron Man’s Ark reactor. The clip-on symmetrical structure can be easily fixed on most mainstream mobile phones.
The front of the back clip carries a fan containing 12 RGB lamp beads. There is a switch and a USB-C interface at the bottom. Once the fan is turned on, it will start to run and emit cool RGB light effects. The material on the other side that is close to the phone is a heat-dissipating aluminum sheet, which cooperates with the cooling semiconductor inside the back clip to quickly absorb the heat on the surface of the smartphone. And finally, it radiates into the air through the high-speed rotation of the fan.
In fact, we have always been skeptical of this type of cooling accessories, but this time we were really scared by it. In just 10 seconds after the power was turned on, the surface of the cooling aluminum sheet became the same as the inner wall of the refrigerator. Black Shark has also launched a special app for this back clip, which can be set to three gears for cooling. They are work gear, extreme cold party, and ice seal gear. It can also adjust RGB lighting effects to further improve performance.
Since cooperating with Tencent, support for the first high-frame-rate games is naturally indispensable. Currently officially supported games include: Peace Elite, QQ Speed, CFM, Ace Fighter, etc.
Of course, the performance of these games under the highest picture quality and performance is still very good. After the start of Honor of Kings, the HDR picture quality that stimulates the battlefield can be stabilized at 58 frames, and the average frame rate of Collapse 3 is 56 frames. In the three games, when the ice-cooled back clip is not used, the highest temperature on the surface of the smartphone does not exceed 40 degrees, and the ice-cooled back clip makes it below 35 degrees.
While the hardware has been fully upgraded, the Tencent Black Shark Gaming Phone 3 has further improved the functions and details of the gaming space.
First, the homepage of Game Center is more simple and intuitive, and the UI is more comfortable. The main function points are divided into two parts. The left side of the top is the Black Shark Moment Community, which can upload wonderful game videos to interact with other players. The top right is in turn the dive mode, peripheral accessories management, game management, and global settings menu.
At the same time, the peripheral management and global settings menu are also provided at the bottom, which is convenient for players with different habits to quickly call up. Among them are some new features, such as the enhancement of HDR, hue and saturation of the game screen in the display settings; the sensitivity, followability, stability, and accuracy options can be individually adjusted in the touch settings, as well as error prevention. You can also turn on the game lights and sound effects in a multi-dimensional experience to enhance the interactive experience of the game in an all-round way. These settings are built on the condition that the hardware is powerful enough to see that Black Shark has worked hard. The toolbar in the game will not be introduced too much, after all, many smartphones now have these functions. The difference is mainly the UI and small details.
Endurance and Charging
Finally, let’s take a look at its charging and battery life. Tencent’s Black Shark gaming phone 3 is equipped with 4720mAh, and we have conducted a system endurance test for daily use scenarios. The test environment is: the system brightness is 50%, the volume is 50%, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are turned on. The test content and results are as follows:
- Talk for 30 minutes and consume 5% of power;
- Visit various websites for 30 minutes in Wi-Fi environment, power consumption is 8%;
- Spending time on social media for 30 minutes under Wi-Fi environment, consuming 6% of power;
- Using various apps for 30 minutes, 6% of power consumption;
- Listen to music online with headphones for 30 minutes (screen display), 6% power consumption;
- Play the 1080P video online for 60 minutes and consume 10% of power;
- Play ‘Peace Elite’ for 30 minutes and consume 11% of power;
- Taking pictures for 30 minutes consumes 6% of power.
- 8 hours standby time, 2% power consumption
40% remaining power
Judging from the endurance test results, the Tencent Black Shark Gaming Phone 3 in terms of games and video does not seem to be significantly different from the smartphone with about 4000mAh battery. So if you want to experience games and entertainment with high performance, you must also consider battery life and increase battery capacity. It seems to be the most direct solution at the moment.
In terms of charging, Tencent Black Shark Gaming Phone 3 supports the new SQC fast charge protocol, up to 65W fast charge specifications, and the standard charging head also supports up to 66W output. In addition, a dual-battery series connection option is used. Two batteries are charged at the same time, and the partial voltage is connected in series. The charging voltage is 50% lower than that of a single battery. It’s fully charged in 42 minutes, and it looks like this year’s flagship phone will be able to enter less than 1 hour in terms of charging time. In addition, Tencent’s Black Shark gaming phone 3 also supports fast charging for games. It can also charge 30% of the power while charging for 10 minutes while playing games.
The Bottom Line
The upgrade of Tencent Black Shark Game Phone 3 is quite large, especially in terms of optimizing product details and improving user experience, not a regular hardware upgrade. It has begun to cooperate with Tencent Games to discover the game’s own experience and feature upgrades, such as escort 90Hz refresh rate games, game voice instructions, the Pro version of the physical pressure-sensitive side keys, and the new ice-cooled back clip Pro peripheral accessories is also a highlight. Focusing on the gaming experience, Tencent’s Black Shark gaming mobile phone 3 is a little more pragmatic, and cooperation with the existing strong mobile games, is also a leap forward for Shark’s emphasis on service upgrades. There are still many things for manufacturers to do, but Shark has taken the first step.