We’ve had a few weeks to examine the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra more closely, and we can confirm it is a barnstorming new device. It’s arguably too much phone for many users, and the price is high, but few of its competitors can match it when it comes to sheer power and number of features.
However, along comes a competitor to do just that, at a fraction of the price. Straight out of left field, gaming phone producer Black Shark, a gaming phone subsidiary of Xiaomi (opens in new tab), has unveiled its Black Shark 3 and Black Shark 3 Pro. Two premium handsets, the flagships could have what it takes to challenge the S20 Ultra at its own game, especially the Black Shark 3 Pro.
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Reported via GSMArena (opens in new tab), the powerful phones are packing a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 (the same chip as Samsung’s Galaxy S20 Utra) and both handsets also support 5G. Although the Black Sharks are marketed as gaming phones (they even come with physical button-style bumper triggers on them, which can be mapped to different in-game functions) there’s very little they won’t be able to do with this sort of processing power.
The Black Shark 3 comes with 8GB RAM, while the Pro comes outfitted with 16GB. The phone also incorporates a huge 64MP main camera, with a 13MP ultra-wide lens and 5MP time-of-flight depth sensor. It doesn’t quite rival the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra’s massive 108MP main lens, and neither does the phone’s 90Hz refresh rate, a little shy of the S20 Ultra’s impressive 120Hz option.
However, the Black Shark Pro also sports a 7.1” screen, even bigger than the S20 Ultra’s impressive 6.9” AMOLED display. Even though the phablet trend shows no sign of slowing down, to get a phone over 7” is still relatively rare. The basic Black Shark 3 model is 6.67”, which is still plenty big enough for most mobile gamers.
A magnetic charger, combined with top-of-the-line 65W wireless charging tech, ensures you can simply clip the charger to the back of the phone and carry on gaming with minimal interruptions. No need to stop and save in a coffee shop, on the train or just chilling out at home.
The devices retain their commitment to quality gaming by including a 3.5mm headphone jack. Some of the best audio experiences around come from wired, over-ear headphones (which are often cheaper than their Bluetooth counterparts, with no need to charge them) and serious gamers want the best audio, in addition to the best graphics around. Even the Galaxy S20 Ultra doesn’t pack the jack in its stable.
At the moment, the phones have only just been launched in China, but we hope the phones will eventually ship out to international markets. The best part? The Black Shark 3 Pro currently costs CNY4,699 (about £517). Compared to the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra’s hefty price tag (£1,199), that is quite simply stunning value. If the phone retains its slender price point during international release, we'll be hard-pressed to see a better value phone in 2020.