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Xiaomi Black Shark 4 smartphone review - Mobile gaming with 144 Hz display

Gambling extraordinaire? The Xiaomi Black Shark 4 is not quite as extravagantly designed as other gaming phones and comparatively cheap. However, it has a lot to offer with a 144 Hz display, 5G and mechanical shoulder keys. Read our review to find out whether the gaming phone is worth it.
Florian Schmitt, 👁 Florian Schmitt, Brian Burriston (translated by DeepL / Ninh Duy), 🇩🇪 🇮🇹 ...
Xiaomi Black Shark 4
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Xiaomi Black Shark 4 (Black Shark Series)
Processor
Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G 8 x 2.4 - 3.2 GHz, Cortex-A77 / A55 (Kryo 585)
Graphics adapter
Memory
6144 MB 
Display
6.67 inch 20:9, 2400 x 1080 pixel 395 PPI, capacitive touchscreen, Super AMOLED, 720 Hz sampling rate, MEMC, glossy: yes, HDR, 144 Hz
Storage
128 GB UFS 3.1 Flash, 128 GB 
, 110 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, USB-C Power Delivery (PD), Audio Connections: 3.5mm audio jack , 1 Fingerprint Reader, NFC, Sensors: Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer
Networking
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax (a/b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4/ac = Wi-Fi 5/ax = Wi-Fi 6), Bluetooth 5.2, 2G, 3G, 4G (B1/​B2/​B3/​B4/​B5/​B7/​B8/​B18/​B19/​B20/​B26/​B28/​B34/​B38/​B39/​B40/​B41), 5G , Dual SIM, LTE, 5G, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 10.4 x 163.8 x 76.4 ( = 0.41 x 6.45 x 3.01 in)
Battery
4500 mAh Lithium-Polymer
Charging
fast charging / Quickcharge
Operating System
Android 11
Camera
Primary Camera: 48 MPix f/​1.79, phase comparison-AF, LED-flash, Videos @2160p/​60fps (Cam 1); 8.0MP, f/​2.2, wide angle lens (Cam 2); 5.0MP, f/​2.2, depth of field (Cam 3)
Secondary Camera: 20 MPix f/​2.45, Videos @1080p/​30fps
Additional features
Speakers: stereo speakers, Keyboard: virtual keyboard, bumper, USB cable, SIM tool, charger, 24 Months Warranty, SAR: 1.29 W/kg (head), 1.6 W/kg (body); shoulder buttons (mechanical), fanless
Weight
210 g ( = 7.41 oz / 0.46 pounds) ( = 0 oz / 0 pounds)
Price
429 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Possible competitors in comparison

Rating
Rating Version
Date
Model
Weight
Drive
Size
Resolution
Price from
86 %7
07/2021
Xiaomi Black Shark 4
SD 870, Adreno 650
210 g128 GB UFS 3.1 Flash6.67"2400x1080
85 %7
07/2020
Xiaomi Black Shark 3
SD 865, Adreno 650
222 g128 GB UFS 3.0 Flash6.67"2400x1080
87.8 %7
04/2021
Asus ROG Phone 5
SD 888 5G, Adreno 660
239 g256 GB UFS 3.1 Flash6.78"2448x1080
87.4 %7
04/2021
Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2
SD 888 5G, Adreno 660
259 g512 GB UFS 3.1 Flash6.92"2460x1080

Case, equipment and operation - Restrained gaming design

Several versions of the Xiaomi Black Shark 4 are available for purchase on the Internet:

  • 6 GB RAM / 128 GB data storage starting at 429 Euros (~$507)
  • 8 GB RAM / 128 GB data storage from 489 Euro (~$578)
  • 12 GB RAM / 256 GB data storage from 579 Euro (~$684)

In addition, there is also a Black Shark 4 Pro with a Snapdragon 888, but it is hardly available in Central Europe.

The casing is available in two colors, but only Mirror Black is really available or affordable in Central Europe. The smartphone offers a relatively restrained design, if you compare, for example, the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 as a comparison. Nevertheless, there are some special features: The surface on the back refracts the light so that it is reflected in the shape of an "X". The camera module sits in a hexagonal bezel. At 210 grams (~7.4 oz), the Black Shark 4 is pleasingly light for a gaming phone.

However, you have to do without LED effects. Instead, there are two mechanical triggers that are extended via sliders on the right cross side. When the device is turned on, a sound is heard when the triggers are activated for the first time, as if you were reloading a pistol. Whether you find this martial or cool is up to you.

In terms of Wi-Fi, the Black Shark 4 is on a good level and is on par with other gaming phones thanks to Wi-Fi 6 support. Of course, 5G reception is supported.

The software Android 11 is preinstalled, and Xiaomi adds its own gaming interface JoyUI on top. Games and special settings for gamers can be managed in the so-called Shark Space.

Xiaomi Black Shark 4
Xiaomi Black Shark 4
Xiaomi Black Shark 4
Xiaomi Black Shark 4
Xiaomi Black Shark 4
Xiaomi Black Shark 4

Size comparison

176 mm / 6.93 inch 78.5 mm / 3.09 inch 9.9 mm / 0.3898 inch 259 g0.571 lbs172.83 mm / 6.8 inch 77.25 mm / 3.04 inch 9.9 mm / 0.3898 inch 239 g0.527 lbs168.7 mm / 6.64 inch 77.3 mm / 3.04 inch 10.4 mm / 0.4094 inch 222 g0.4894 lbs163.8 mm / 6.45 inch 76.4 mm / 3.01 inch 10.4 mm / 0.4094 inch 210 g0.463 lbs
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Networking
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Asus ROG Phone 5
Wi-Fi 6E
1238 (643min - 1325max) MBit/s ∼100% +89%
Xiaomi Black Shark 3
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
923 (783min - 956max) MBit/s ∼75% +41%
Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
680 (620min - 697max) MBit/s ∼55% +4%
Xiaomi Black Shark 4
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
656 (613min - 676max) MBit/s ∼53%
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Xiaomi Black Shark 4
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
811 (771min - 835max) MBit/s ∼100%
Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
789 (660min - 853max) MBit/s ∼97% -3%
Asus ROG Phone 5
Wi-Fi 6E
788 (735min - 867max) MBit/s ∼97% -3%
Xiaomi Black Shark 3
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
679 (601min - 733max) MBit/s ∼84% -16%
04590135180225270315360405450495540585630675720765810794796815818771816824805787806829799804806824809800801834823810823835814817821824782812831794796815818771816824805787806829799804806824809800801834823810823835814817821824782812831625674662676671657647662670650666668664664672660675648647660637646613651667643660647640672Tooltip
; iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10; iperf 3.1.3: Ø811 (771-835)
; iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10; iperf 3.1.3: Ø656 (613-676)

Cameras - Wide-angle camera on board

Recording front camera
Recording front camera

Three camera lenses are found on the back, although only two can be used for actual pictures: A 48-megapixel main camera, as well as an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens. There is also the 5-megapixel depth-of-field camera, which is only for support.

48-megapixel pictures can be recorded with the main camera, but only in a special mode. Usually, 12-megapixel images are created, which means 4 pixels are combined into one to increase the light yield. The camera takes decent pictures in normal lighting conditions, but the details could often be a bit more accurate. The wide-angle lens is also decent in its shots at first glance, but details are often no longer visible when looking closely.

The smartphone does well in low light and high contrasts. However, the image becomes a bit pixelated in only one lux of brightness, but colors and the image content can still be recognized in general.

The main camera can also record videos in 4K and with 60 fps if desired. The picture quality is good here as well. Exposure changes are quite fast and without large visible gradations, and the autofocus usually works reliably.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Main camera flowerMain camera environmentMain camera Low LightWide angle
ColorChecker
15.2 ∆E
11.1 ∆E
16.8 ∆E
18.2 ∆E
15.9 ∆E
9.6 ∆E
12.4 ∆E
14.4 ∆E
11.7 ∆E
6.5 ∆E
9.9 ∆E
7.8 ∆E
9.3 ∆E
11.3 ∆E
11.3 ∆E
4 ∆E
12.3 ∆E
14.4 ∆E
5.2 ∆E
6 ∆E
10.1 ∆E
12.6 ∆E
6.5 ∆E
3.6 ∆E
ColorChecker Xiaomi Black Shark 4: 10.67 ∆E min: 3.58 - max: 18.23 ∆E
ColorChecker
5.8 ∆E
3.7 ∆E
10.8 ∆E
10.3 ∆E
11.5 ∆E
8.8 ∆E
5.8 ∆E
7.8 ∆E
5.5 ∆E
10.7 ∆E
3.9 ∆E
6.1 ∆E
8.7 ∆E
7.3 ∆E
3.6 ∆E
14.4 ∆E
9.5 ∆E
13.1 ∆E
23 ∆E
13.1 ∆E
9.3 ∆E
11.5 ∆E
11.8 ∆E
11.7 ∆E
ColorChecker Xiaomi Black Shark 4: 9.49 ∆E min: 3.62 - max: 22.96 ∆E

Display - 144 Hz AMOLED in the Black Shark 4

Subpixel image
Subpixel image

A fairly bright AMOLED screen with 1080p resolution is installed in Xiaomi's gaming phone. The even brightness distribution on the screen is good, but the color accuracy is rather mediocre. Thus, users who are looking for a display for professional applications will have to recalibrate the display with suitable software or look elsewhere.

Of course, the refresh rate is especially important for gamers: It has a maximum of 144 Hz. However, this cannot be used in all mobile games by any means. We tested it with PUBG Mobile and only achieved a maximum of 60 Hz, although at least 90 Hz would definitely be possible. Not only the game designer is responsible here, the phone manufacturer has to adjust certain things as well. However, high frame rates are often avoided by the manufacturers with the reference to high battery usage.

A quite strong OLED flickering is visible at brightness levels below 100%, but this is also common for this screen type. Before buying, you should try out whether you feel disturbed by it at low brightness.

664
cd/m²
665
cd/m²
666
cd/m²
674
cd/m²
676
cd/m²
671
cd/m²
676
cd/m²
667
cd/m²
666
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 676 cd/m² (Nits) Average: 669.4 cd/m² Minimum: 2.1 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 98 %
Center on Battery: 676 cd/m²
Contrast: ∞:1 (Black: 0 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 5.77 | 0.59-29.43 Ø5.5
ΔE Greyscale 3.7 | 0.64-98 Ø5.7
100% sRGB (Calman 2D)
Gamma: 1.959
Xiaomi Black Shark 4
Super AMOLED, 2400x1080, 6.67
Xiaomi Black Shark 3
AMOLED, 2400x1080, 6.67
Asus ROG Phone 5
AMOLED, 2448x1080, 6.78
Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2
AMOLED, 2460x1080, 6.92
Response Times
8%
129%
92%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
11 ?(5, 6)
9 ?(5, 4)
18%
2.4 ?(1.2, 1.2)
78%
8 ?(5, 3)
27%
Response Time Black / White *
6 ?(3, 3)
8 ?(5, 3)
-33%
2.4 ?(1.2, 1.2)
60%
6 ?(3, 3)
-0%
PWM Frequency
162.3
227.3
40%
568.2 ?(22)
250%
568.2
250%
Screen
14%
39%
1%
Brightness middle
676
619
-8%
789
17%
463
-32%
Brightness
669
616
-8%
795
19%
466
-30%
Brightness Distribution
98
90
-8%
98
0%
98
0%
Black Level *
Colorchecker dE 2000 *
5.77
3.74
35%
1.4
76%
3.24
44%
Colorchecker dE 2000 max. *
9.81
7.94
19%
3
69%
5.75
41%
Greyscale dE 2000 *
3.7
1.7
54%
1.7
54%
4.4
-19%
Gamma
1.959 112%
2.188 101%
2.27 97%
2.201 100%
CCT
6584 99%
6662 98%
6596 99%
7273 89%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
11% / 12%
84% / 69%
47% / 31%

* ... smaller is better

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 3 ms rise
↘ 3 ms fall
The screen shows very fast response rates in our tests and should be very well suited for fast-paced gaming.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 7 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (23.8 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
11 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 5 ms rise
↘ 6 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 13 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (37.6 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 162.3 Hz

The display backlight flickers at 162.3 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) .

The frequency of 162.3 Hz is relatively low, so sensitive users will likely notice flickering and experience eyestrain at the stated brightness setting and below.

In comparison: 52 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 21061 (minimum: 5 - maximum: 3846000) Hz was measured.

CalMAN Grayscale
CalMAN Grayscale
CalMAN color accuracy
CalMAN color accuracy
CalMAN Saturation
CalMAN Saturation
CalMAN color space
CalMAN color space

Performance, emissions and battery life - Fast, but not top class

In terms of performance, the Snapdragon 870 is used as the SoC, so it is not the absolute top league in terms of performance, but it is still a powerful processor. Thus, the review sample is superior to its predecessor Black Shark 3 by about 10% in some areas in terms of performance. You should hardly notice the difference in practice. The graphics performance is also slightly higher, and a few additional frames in games are certainly welcome.

The memory is quite fast thanks to the UFS 3.1 memory and proves to be reliable and fast in our benchmarks.

Warming is on the usual level for high-performance smartphones and should hardly cause any problems under everyday conditions.

The stereo speakers clearly show more low mids and even a bit of bass in our measurements. The smartphone stands out with good sound in everyday use, which is not completely convincing, but still sounds better than many other smartphones in this price range.

The battery runtimes have to be limited a bit: At 4,500 mAh the battery is slightly smaller than in other smartphones in the price range; 5,000 mAh are now standard. Thus, the device achieves 11:50 hours in our WLAN test. That is a good result, but you can still get more elsewhere. The smartphone can be charged with up to 120 watts. The available charger does not provide this power, but only 67 watts and manages to recharge the device in just over an hour. You already have enough power for a few hours of use after a few minutes.

Geekbench 5.3
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Xiaomi Black Shark 4
Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G, Adreno 650, 6144
1002 Points ∼89%
Xiaomi Black Shark 3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, Adreno 650, 8192
924 Points ∼82% -8%
Asus ROG Phone 5
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 16384
1124 Points ∼99% +12%
Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 16384
1132 Points ∼100% +13%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G
  (967 - 1046, n=9)
997 Points ∼88% 0%
Average of class Smartphone
  (58 - 1755, n=257, last 2 years)
613 Points ∼54% -39%
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Xiaomi Black Shark 4
Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G, Adreno 650, 6144
3394 Points ∼91%
Xiaomi Black Shark 3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, Adreno 650, 8192
3449 Points ∼93% +2%
Asus ROG Phone 5
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 16384
3717 Points ∼100% +10%
Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 16384
3702 Points ∼100% +9%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G
  (2870 - 4455, n=9)
3309 Points ∼89% -3%
Average of class Smartphone
  (248 - 4914, n=257, last 2 years)
2073 Points ∼56% -39%
PCMark for Android
Work 3.0 (sort by value)
Xiaomi Black Shark 4
Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G, Adreno 650, 6144
16054 Points ∼98%
Asus ROG Phone 5
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 16384
16391 Points ∼100% +2%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G
  (10829 - 16054, n=8)
12896 Points ∼79% -20%
Average of class Smartphone
  (4436 - 17085, n=79, last 2 years)
10313 Points ∼63% -36%
Work 2.0 performance score (sort by value)
Xiaomi Black Shark 4
Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G, Adreno 650, 6144
14315 Points ∼95%
Xiaomi Black Shark 3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, Adreno 650, 8192
9822 Points ∼65% -31%
Asus ROG Phone 5
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 16384
15027 Points ∼100% +5%
Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 16384
13586 Points ∼90% -5%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G
  (10060 - 14315, n=4)
11995 Points ∼80% -16%
Average of class Smartphone
  (82 - 15299, n=224, last 2 years)
8160 Points ∼54% -43%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Unlimited (sort by value)
Xiaomi Black Shark 4
Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G, Adreno 650, 6144
11064 Points ∼98%
Xiaomi Black Shark 3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, Adreno 650, 8192
10090 Points ∼89% -9%
Asus ROG Phone 5
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 16384
10273 Points ∼91% -7%
Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 16384
11302 Points ∼100% +2%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G
  (7970 - 11064, n=5)
9560 Points ∼85% -14%
Average of class Smartphone
  (149 - 11895, n=253, last 2 years)
4401 Points ∼39% -60%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Unlimited Graphics (sort by value)
Xiaomi Black Shark 4
Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G, Adreno 650, 6144
14968 Points ∼90%
Xiaomi Black Shark 3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, Adreno 650, 8192
12843 Points ∼77% -14%
Asus ROG Phone 5
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 16384
15263 Points ∼92% +2%
Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 16384
16586 Points ∼100% +11%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G
  (12033 - 14968, n=5)
13671 Points ∼82% -9%
Average of class Smartphone
  (122 - 31940, n=253, last 2 years)
5690 Points ∼34% -62%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Xiaomi Black Shark 4
Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G, Adreno 650, 6144
5784 Points ∼100%
Xiaomi Black Shark 3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, Adreno 650, 8192
5765 Points ∼100% 0%
Asus ROG Phone 5
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 16384
4791 Points ∼83% -17%
Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 16384
5344 Points ∼92% -8%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G
  (3318 - 5784, n=5)
4742 Points ∼82% -18%
Average of class Smartphone
  (640 - 5784, n=251, last 2 years)
3086 Points ∼53% -47%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited (sort by value)
Xiaomi Black Shark 4
Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G, Adreno 650, 6144
8975 Points ∼91%
Xiaomi Black Shark 3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, Adreno 650, 8192
8105 Points ∼82% -10%
Asus ROG Phone 5
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 16384
9620 Points ∼98% +7%
Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 16384
9839 Points ∼100% +10%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G
  (6960 - 8975, n=5)
8141 Points ∼83% -9%
Average of class Smartphone
  (91 - 9839, n=255, last 2 years)
3618 Points ∼37% -60%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited Graphics (sort by value)
Xiaomi Black Shark 4
Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G, Adreno 650, 6144
10646 Points ∼82%
Xiaomi Black Shark 3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, Adreno 650, 8192
9157 Points ∼71% -14%
Asus ROG Phone 5
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 16384
12616 Points ∼98% +19%
Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 16384
12914 Points ∼100% +21%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G
  (9498 - 10646, n=5)
10231 Points ∼79% -4%
Average of class Smartphone
  (73 - 16221, n=255, last 2 years)
4235 Points ∼33% -60%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Xiaomi Black Shark 4
Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G, Adreno 650, 6144
5793 Points ∼100%
Xiaomi Black Shark 3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, Adreno 650, 8192
5780 Points ∼100% 0%
Asus ROG Phone 5
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 16384
5254 Points ∼91% -9%
Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 16384
5366 Points ∼93% -7%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G
  (3296 - 5793, n=5)
4854 Points ∼84% -16%
Average of class Smartphone
  (626 - 5793, n=255, last 2 years)
3120 Points ∼54% -46%
Wild Life Score (sort by value)
Xiaomi Black Shark 4
Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G, Adreno 650, 6144
4351 Points ∼74%
Asus ROG Phone 5
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 16384
5722 Points ∼97% +32%
Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 16384
5887 Points ∼100% +35%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G
  (4166 - 4351, n=9)
4250 Points ∼72% -2%
Average of class Smartphone
  (153 - 9680, n=125, last 2 years)
3087 Points ∼52% -29%
Wild Life Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Xiaomi Black Shark 4
Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G, Adreno 650, 6144
4352 Points ∼74%
Asus ROG Phone 5
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 16384
5703 Points ∼97% +31%
Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 16384
5876 Points ∼100% +35%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G
  (4152 - 4352, n=9)
4238 Points ∼72% -3%
Average of class Smartphone
  (174 - 11700, n=122, last 2 years)
3203 Points ∼55% -26%
Wild Life Extreme (sort by value)
Xiaomi Black Shark 4
Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G, Adreno 650, 6144
1234 Points ∼82%
Asus ROG Phone 5
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 16384
1511 Points ∼100% +22%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G
  (1203 - 1243, n=8)
1229 Points ∼81% 0%
Average of class Smartphone
  (102 - 3080, n=73, last 2 years)
992 Points ∼66% -20%
Wild Life Extreme Unlimited (sort by value)
Xiaomi Black Shark 4
Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G, Adreno 650, 6144
1246 Points ∼78%
Asus ROG Phone 5
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 16384
1501 Points ∼94% +20%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G
  (1195 - 4236, n=8)
1600 Points ∼100% +28%
Average of class Smartphone
  (101 - 4236, n=72, last 2 years)
1015 Points ∼63% -19%
GFXBench
on screen Aztec Ruins Normal Tier Onscreen (sort by value)
Xiaomi Black Shark 4
Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G, Adreno 650, 6144
53 fps ∼80%
Xiaomi Black Shark 3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, Adreno 650, 8192
45 fps ∼68% -15%
Asus ROG Phone 5
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 16384
66 fps ∼100% +25%
Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 16384
60 fps ∼91% +13%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G
  (33 - 54, n=9)
48 fps ∼73% -9%
Average of class Smartphone
  (1.5 - 73, n=266, last 2 years)
25.4 fps ∼38% -52%
1920x1080 Aztec Ruins Normal Tier Offscreen (sort by value)
Xiaomi Black Shark 4
Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G, Adreno 650, 6144
61 fps ∼76%
Xiaomi Black Shark 3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, Adreno 650, 8192
52 fps ∼65% -15%
Asus ROG Phone 5
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 16384
80 fps ∼100% +31%
Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 16384
71 fps ∼89% +16%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G
  (57 - 62, n=9)
59.2 fps ∼74% -3%
Average of class Smartphone
  (0.95 - 257, n=266, last 2 years)
29.8 fps ∼37% -51%
on screen Aztec Ruins High Tier Onscreen (sort by value)
Xiaomi Black Shark 4
Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G, Adreno 650, 6144
34 fps ∼83%
Xiaomi Black Shark 3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, Adreno 650, 8192
30 fps ∼73% -12%
Asus ROG Phone 5
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 16384
41 fps ∼100% +21%
Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 16384
40 fps ∼98% +18%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G
  (21 - 34, n=9)
30.3 fps ∼74% -11%
Average of class Smartphone
  (1.2 - 60, n=267, last 2 years)
17 fps ∼41% -50%
2560x1440 Aztec Ruins High Tier Offscreen (sort by value)
Xiaomi Black Shark 4
Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G, Adreno 650, 6144
23 fps ∼72%
Xiaomi Black Shark 3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, Adreno 650, 8192
20 fps ∼63% -13%
Asus ROG Phone 5
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 16384
32 fps ∼100% +39%
Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, Adreno 660, 16384
27 fps ∼84% +17%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G
  (22 - 23, n=9)
22.3 fps ∼70% -3%
Average of class Smartphone
  (0.35 - 101, n=267, last 2 years)
11.5 fps ∼36% -50%
Xiaomi Black Shark 4Xiaomi Black Shark 3Asus ROG Phone 5Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2Average 128 GB UFS 3.1 FlashAverage of class Smartphone
AndroBench 3-5
-9%
6%
3%
-9%
-49%
Sequential Read 256KB
1662.9
1692.2
2%
1778.64
7%
1999
20%
1585 ?(1330 - 1790, n=25)
-5%
843 ?(45.6 - 2037, n=270, last 2 years)
-49%
Sequential Write 256KB
760.3
679.6
-11%
794.64
5%
754.3
-1%
740 ?(233 - 1095, n=25)
-3%
382 ?(11.9 - 1321, n=270, last 2 years)
-50%
Random Read 4KB
283.1
238.3
-16%
291.38
3%
262.6
-7%
232 ?(126 - 317, n=25)
-18%
148 ?(13.5 - 325, n=270, last 2 years)
-48%
Random Write 4KB
259.9
227.8
-12%
278.05
7%
261.5
1%
231 ?(121 - 306, n=25)
-11%
138 ?(5.5 - 330, n=270, last 2 years)
-47%

Temperature

Max. Load
 42 °C
108 F
41.7 °C
107 F
37.9 °C
100 F
 
 40.8 °C
105 F
41.8 °C
107 F
37.9 °C
100 F
 
 41.8 °C
107 F
41.7 °C
107 F
37.9 °C
100 F
 
Maximum: 42 °C = 108 F
Average: 40.4 °C = 105 F
35.6 °C
96 F
37.3 °C
99 F
41.5 °C
107 F
35.3 °C
96 F
37.9 °C
100 F
41.4 °C
107 F
35.3 °C
96 F
38.1 °C
101 F
41.8 °C
107 F
Maximum: 41.8 °C = 107 F
Average: 38.2 °C = 101 F
Power Supply (max.)  41.2 °C = 106 F | Room Temperature 21.6 °C = 71 F | Fluke t3000FC (calibrated), Voltcraft IR-260
(-) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 40.4 °C / 105 F, compared to the average of 32.9 °C / 91 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(±) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 42 °C / 108 F, compared to the average of 35.2 °C / 95 F, ranging from 22 to 52.9 °C for the class Smartphone.
(±) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 41.8 °C / 107 F, compared to the average of 33.8 °C / 93 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 27.9 °C / 82 F, compared to the device average of 32.9 °C / 91 F.


Heatmap Front
Heatmap Front
Heatmap back side
Heatmap back side

Speaker

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2033.736.22536.138.23126.929.44032.435.25034.332.1632725.88018.922.510018.434.512517.842.516015.146.620014.548.725012.349.931511.353.44009.758.550011.565.463014.571.180015.173.2100015.371.9125012.472.8160011.868.5200010.966.6250011.266.6315015.271.3400017.774.150002069.2630018.664.6800017.163.81000018.163.31250018.353.21600021.845.3SPL28.282N0.952.1median 15.1median 64.6Delta3.110.136.840.639.940.531.935.638.938.743.740.329.83425.924.726.325.724.92721.634.91940.918.94618.152.616.660.216.263.514.967.61568.615.668.414.968.914.970.915.669.414.668.314.273.214.170.314.467.314.659.714.961.315.261.915.462.715.75468.76666.36470.627.580.822.418.319.715.825.3146.9median 15.4median 62.72.110.4hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseXiaomi Black Shark 4Xiaomi Black Shark 3
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Xiaomi Black Shark 4 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (82 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 18.7% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (10.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 5.4% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (7.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 3.6% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (5.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (18.5% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 12% of all tested devices in this class were better, 7% similar, 81% worse
» The best had a delta of 12%, average was 24%, worst was 65%
Compared to all devices tested
» 38% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 55% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 20%, worst was 65%

Xiaomi Black Shark 3 audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (80.8 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 24.9% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (9.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 5.1% higher than median
(+) | mids are linear (5.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 4.8% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (6.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (21.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 31% of all tested devices in this class were better, 12% similar, 57% worse
» The best had a delta of 12%, average was 24%, worst was 65%
Compared to all devices tested
» 56% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 36% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 20%, worst was 65%

Battery life

Xiaomi Black Shark 4
4500 mAh
Xiaomi Black Shark 3
4720 mAh
Asus ROG Phone 5
6000 mAh
Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2
5500 mAh
Average of class Smartphone
 
Battery Runtime
WiFi Websurfing 1.3
710
703
-1%
754
6%
907
28%
903 ?(442 - 1953, n=276, last 2 years)
27%
Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
11h 50min

Pros

+ a lot of performance for the money
+ 144 Hz display
+ decent camera
+ 5G and fast WLAN
+ fast charging

Cons

- no IP certification
- no wireless charging
- Runtimes could be better

Verdict - Good gaming phone with NFC

In review: Xiaomi Black Shark 4.
In review: Xiaomi Black Shark 4.

The Xiaomi Black Shark 4 is again a solid gaming phone and also has a goodie up its sleeve with mechanical triggers: The buttons work more reliably than in other gaming smartphones with touch solutions. The phone's design is comparatively restrained and doesn't offer LED lighting effects like other gaming phones.

The camera delivers good pictures, the speakers can even convey a bit of bass feeling and the smartphone is relatively light. The battery runtimes could be longer, but it is sufficient for everyday use.

Finally, you also get NFC, but you still have to do without wireless charging and IP certification.

Xiaomi has successfully developed its gaming smartphone further with the Black Shark 4 and delivers a good gamer phone in a comparatively discreet design.

Overall, the Black Shark 4 is a successful evolution compared to the predecessor. It is a good gaming phone for those who want to save money, but if you really want the highest gaming power currently available, you should, for example, go for the Asus ROG Phone 5 or the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2.

Price and availability

The gaming smartphone is available from $679.99 at Amazon with 12 GB RAM / 256 GB mass storage. The versions with more storage are also available there. On the website of Black Shark you can currently only get the version with 12 GB / 256 GB for €599 (~$708).

Xiaomi Black Shark 4 - 07/16/2021 v7
Florian Schmitt

Chassis
84%
Keyboard
92 / 75 → 100%
Pointing Device
96%
Connectivity
46 / 70 → 66%
Weight
88%
Battery
89%
Display
84%
Games Performance
65 / 64 → 100%
Application Performance
92 / 86 → 100%
Temperature
88%
Noise
100%
Audio
76 / 90 → 85%
Camera
71%
Average
82%
86%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

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Florian Schmitt
Editor of the original article: Florian Schmitt - Managing Editor Mobile - 890 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2009
I initially wrote about gaming laptops when I joined Notebookcheck in 2009. I was then involved with the setup of the comparison portal Notebookinfo and worked with social media concepts for large companies like BMW and Adidas, while also returning to work for Notebookcheck in 2012. Nowadays, I focus on smartphones, tablets, and future technologies. Since 2018 I have been Managing Editor for mobile device reviews, working alongside my colleague Daniel Schmidt.
contact me via: @FloSchmi26, LinkedIn, Xing
Ninh Duy
Translator: Ninh Duy - Editorial Assistant - 207612 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2008
My main responsibility as an editorial assistant is maintaining the Library section, which aggregates reviews from other publications and channels. In addition, my daily breakfast is Notebookcheck's long list of new content, which I comb through to select the most interesting topics for translation from English to French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Dutch."
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Xiaomi Black Shark 4 smartphone review - Mobile gaming with 144 Hz display
Florian Schmitt, 2021-07-19 (Update: 2021-07-19)