The Black Shark 2 Pro offers Snapdragon 855 Plus power for under $500

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Gaming phones are often built around their power, so it’s no surprise to see that Black Shark — the company behind the fittingly named Black Shark and Black Shark 2 gaming phones — have released a brand new smartphone to go with Qualcomm’s newest top-of-the-line mobile processor, the Snapdragon 855 Plus. It’s called the Black Shark 2 Pro, and it’s going to be one of the most powerful phones around when it releases.

Not to be confused with the Black Shark 2 Pro Kit, the Black Shark 2 Pro has been slightly restyled to match the new power on show. While the general design is the same as the Black Shark 2’s gaming chic, Black Shark has added an RGB lighting strip to the central spine of the phone — because it’s not a gaming phone if something somewhere doesn’t light up.

The 8GB variant has been stripped out, leaving only the option for a stupefyingly large 12GB of RAM and either 128GB or 256GB of internal storage. The upgraded processor is supported by the same multilayer cooling system we saw in the Black Shark 2, which should help to keep your phone cool to touch during long gaming sessions. There’s also a 4,000mAh battery which boasts a strong 27W charging rate.

The display has been slightly tweaked, too, with the response time having fallen by 7 milliseconds from 43.5ms to 34.7ms. If that sounds like a small improvement, well, you’re right. But it’s always good to see this tech pushed even further. The AMOLED display’s touch response rate has stayed at 240Hz, but it’s still rocking an unfortunate 60Hz refresh rate. A faster refresh rate like the Asus ROG Phone 2‘s 120Hz would have been nice.

The Black Shark 2 Pro is currently up for reservation from Black Shark’s website. It’s due to release in China first on an unspecified date, and there are plans for sales in “overseas markets”. As expected for Black Shark, prices are lower than you’d expect for this tech. The Black Shark 2 Pro is available in Shadow Black and Iceberg Grey, and it currently costs 2,999 Chinese yuan (around $436) for the version with 12GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. The version with 256GB of storage will only set you back 3,499 Chinese yuan (around $508). For the top-of-the-line specs, that’s absolutely a steal.

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