Skip to main content

Battery life

  • 4,000mAh battery
  • Holds up very well in our battery test

With its 4,000mAh of battery, the Black Shark 2 has a hefty cell inside, and paired with its efficient AMOLED screen tech and well-reviewed Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset, things are looking good.

Indeed, 90 minutes of Full HD video playback at maximum brightness drained just 8% battery power. This is surprising, given the fact the phone has a bigger screen, a more powerful processor and an identically sized battery to its predecessor, yet totally outperforms it.

What that translates to is over a day of use, whether you’re a gamer or a more casual smartphone user.

Black Shark 2 review

Image Credit: TechRadar

There’s no wireless charging, though you do get fast charging, and with Android 9, power-saving optimizations are available, including alerts when apps go rogue, as well as a Battery Saver mode that limits vibration, location services, and most background data.

Camera

  • Dual-lens rear camera
  • 48MP main lens and 12MP telephoto lens

Loaded up with a 48MP primary camera with an f/1.8 aperture, and a secondary 12MP, f/2.2 camera with a 2x zoom, the pixel count blows the original out of the water and competes closely with or trumps most other flagships on the market.

There is a standard array of shooting modes on board, including Slow Motion, Video, Photo, Portrait, Square Photo, Panorama and Pro Mode, and there’s Auto HDR as well to help with high-contrast scenes.

Despite a great big 48MP resolution, pictures are taken on the Black Shark 2 at 12MP, and they look great by comparison to those taken on its predecessor.

Black Shark 2 review

Image Credit: TechRadar

In good lighting, results deliver a really pleasing, almost Instagram-ready look. There’s a fair bit of sharpening and contrast applied, so while you don’t get much wiggle room for editing your snaps after, the results are solid. Probably the weakest area is definition in the black areas - these can look a bit flat.

What’s even better about the camera on the Black Shark 2 is that you can dial back the sharpening in the settings, as well as the saturation and contrast. While results aren’t Huawei P30 Pro or Google Pixel 3 good therefore, for the price, it’s great and it was a joy to use over a sunny, long weekend in London.

Even when the lights dropped, the Black Shark 2’s camera copes admirably. Noticeable noise comes in earlier than it does on phones like the Samsung Galaxy S10, but images also don’t look as softened or brightened up, which some might prefer.

Black Shark 2 review

Image Credit: TechRadar

As for selfies, the 20MP, f/2.0 front shooter is a solid snapper. The default beauty mode isn’t overbearing, and can be dialled up or down at will. Shots taken on it pack a healthy amount of detail too, and, it also has a party trick up its sleeve - it can guess your age.

Dynamic range isn’t the best and there’s no front flash, so it isn’t perfect, but results were more than adequate nonetheless.

Video is recorded at up to 4K resolution, with electronic image stabilization kicking in across resolutions. Video quality looks great in good light, though it doesn’t seem like the telephoto camera is engaged when zooming. It isn’t bad in low light either, though noticeable grain and crackling takes over darker areas.

Camera samples

Image 1 of 10

The BlackShark's auto HDR mode doesn't stack up to the likes of the Pixel 3, however still manages to cope well with a bright background, pulling up discernible detail in the foreground.

The BlackShark's auto HDR mode doesn't stack up to the likes of the Pixel 3, however still manages to cope well with a bright background, pulling up discernible detail in the foreground.

Click here to see the full resolution image

Image 2 of 10

The Black Shark 2 showcases strong levels of detail, though we weren't able to force it into a 40MP+ resolution in the settings. Instead, despite its high-res sensor, it defaults at 12MP.

The Black Shark 2 showcases strong levels of detail, though we weren't able to force it into a 40MP+ resolution in the settings. Instead, despite its high-res sensor, it defaults at 12MP.

Click here to see the full resolution image

Image 3 of 10

Indoor shots can look a little on the blander side when it comes to colors. This is also where the lack of OIS becomes apparent, with slightly softer levels of detail than OIS-packing rivals.

Indoor shots can look a little on the blander side when it comes to colors. This is also where the lack of OIS becomes apparent, with slightly softer levels of detail than OIS-packing rivals.

Click here to see the full resolution image

Image 4 of 10

As pleasing as shots taken on the Black Shark 2 are, in high contrast scenes, nuance is lost in the darks and the lights due to high contrast applied in processing.

As pleasing as shots taken on the Black Shark 2 are, in high contrast scenes, nuance is lost in the darks and the lights due to high contrast applied in processing.

Click here to see the full resolution image

Image 5 of 10

The 20MP selfie camera can't handle high dynamic range situations as well as the P30 Pro, however, detail in the foreground is fair and the phone's beauty mode isn't too aggressive.

The 20MP selfie camera can't handle high dynamic range situations as well as the P30 Pro, however, detail in the foreground is fair and the phone's beauty mode isn't too aggressive.

Click here to see the full resolution image

Image 6 of 10

Detail in macro shots on the Black Shark 2 is strong.

Detail in macro shots on the Black Shark 2 is strong.

Click here to see the full resolution image

Image 7 of 10

Even with visible processing, the punchy colors and fair detail reproduced in images shot on the Black Shark 2 impresses.

Even with visible processing, the punchy colors and fair detail reproduced in images shot on the Black Shark 2 impresses.

Click here to see the full resolution image

Image 8 of 10

The Black Shark 2 handles variable lighting significantly better than its predecessor, even coping well in back-lit environments.

The Black Shark 2 handles variable lighting significantly better than its predecessor, even coping well in back-lit environments.

Click here to see the full resolution image

Image 9 of 10

In good light, the Black Shark 2 is able to create depth even in automatic mode when shooting macro.

In good light, the Black Shark 2 is able to create depth even in automatic mode when shooting macro.

Click here to see the full resolution image

Image 10 of 10

Shots taken on the Black Shark 2 look rich and Instagram ready, but they are also clearly processed to a point pros might wish was dialed back. Luckily, there's a manual mode for keen photographers.

Shots taken on the Black Shark 2 look rich and Instagram ready, but they are also clearly processed to a point pros might wish was dialed back. Luckily, there's a manual mode for keen photographers.

Click here to see the full resolution image