- 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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.