Xiaomi Black Shark 3 guide: is this the right gaming phone for you?

What does the Xiaomi Black Shark 3 have to offer?

Xiaomi Black Shark 3
(Image credit: Xiaomi)

Even more affordable handsets can play games on the go, but what about when you want to play the most graphically intensive games? Some phones simply don’t have the components you need to make those mobile experiences play as intended. 

Thankfully, some of the biggest manufacturers in the world of smartphones have been busy building handsets specifically designed with gaming in mind, and the very greatest of these get entered into T3's best gaming phones buying guide.

The Xiaomi Black Shark 3 is one such device, offering up all the usual mod cons you’d expect with a modern smartphone – including cameras, a high quality display and more – along with features and add-ons that help enhance the gaming experience on the go. Here are some of the reasons why you should buy the Xiaomi Black Shark 3.

Xiaomi Black Shark 3: should you buy it?

Xiaomi Black Shark 3

(Image credit: Xiaomi)

Absolutely, especially if you want your mobile device to be a gaming rig on the go, first and foremost. Xiaomi might not be as well-known or established as the likes of Samsung or Apple, but it’s making waves with its Black Shark range. Everything from its horizontally symmetrical design (making it perfectly balanced when played) right through to its Master Touch 3.0 system makes this an ideal purchase for gamers.

That Master Touch 3.0 system offers two extra pressure sensitive hot keys so you can assign repetitive actions – such as changing weapons in a shooter or pulling the handbrake in a racing game – instantly more accessible.  It’s a very sensitive system, even when you’re pressing down at the very edges of the display.

Xiaomi Black Shark 3: specs

Xiaomi Black Shark 3

(Image credit: Xiaomi)

The Black Shark 3 boasts a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor, one of the most powerful CPUs you can get in mobile form right now. The combination of this CPU, the GPU and its support for 5G, make this a beefy powerhouse that can handle even the most demanding of games, as well as all the usual streaming and app-based use.

The Black Shark 3 comes with 12GB maximum of RAM, 256GB maximum SSD storage, LPDDR5 next-gen RAM and UFS 3.0 flash storage. This means installing/loading games and switching between apps is faster than ever. It also features a 6.67-inch AMOLED display with Delta E<1 accuracy for clear and vibrant colours.

Xiaomi Black Shark 3: features

Xiaomi Black Shark 3

(Image credit: Xiaomi)

Gaming phones get very hot, very quickly, so they need a cooling system that keeps them from melting in your hands. The Black Shark 3 features the 4th generation of its own cooling system, which sandwiches a thermal graphite sheet, a pair of copper alloy shelters and a duo of liquid cooling pipes. This keeps the entire device evenly cooled, and improved cooling efficiency by 50%.

The Black Shark 3 also boasts 5G and Wi-Fi 6 connectivity with a Dual X Antenna. The antenna is spread out around the frame of the phone, so when you’re holding it in landscape mode your device has multiple opportunities to connect and remain connected to your cellular signal or local Wi-Fi network. That dual connection also means the device connects to both 5G and Wi-Fi simultaneously.

Xiaomi Black Shark 3: everything else to know

Xiaomi Black Shark 3

(Image credit: Xiaomi)

Gaming can be very demanding on your phone, so you need a battery that has the capacity to support longer play sessions. The Black Shark 3 features a 4720mAh dual battery which utilises series charging and parallel discharging to keep your device pumping with juice. It also supports 65W hyper charging for extra quick charging, so you can hit 50% charge in 12 minutes and a full charge in less than 40 minutes.

To back this up, the Black Shark 3 has four magnetic contacts on the back of the device, providing an extra means of charging. This provides 18W of fast charge, which frees up the Type-C port for other uses. However, to utilise this feature you’ll need to purchase a separate accessory.

Xiaomi Black Shark 3: alternative devices to check out

Xiaomi Black Shark 3

(Image credit: Xiaomi)

There are plenty of alternatives out there when you’re in the market for a new gaming-focused smartphone. The Nubia Red Magic 5G features a 6.65-inch 1080 x 2340 AMOLED display, an active liquid cooling system, 7.1 channel surround sound and support for a 144Hx refresh rate for extra smooth gaming on the go.

There’s also the Asus ROG Phone 3, one of the most powerful gaming smartphones on the market. It boasts one of the most powerful mobile processers on the market, an advanced cooling case, dedicated gaming buttons, support for 5G, an improved set of cameras, 16GB of RAM and much more. It’s premium package and one of the best ways to play even the most demanding mobile games.