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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip Preview : Unfolding With Style!

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip Preview : Unfolding With Style!

We had the opportunity to get our hands on the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, and here is our up-close and personal look at Samsung’s second foldable smartphone!

 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip Preview : Unfolding With Style!

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip is the second Samsung foldable smartphone, and the first from their new Z series with a different folding design.

Foldable Glass Display with Ultra Thin Glass

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip features an Infinity Flex display, with bendable Ultra Thin Glass (UTG).

There have been suggestions that it’s really plastic, but that’s not true. There is simply a plastic film over the Ultra Thin Glass.

Hideaway Hinge with Sweeper Technology

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip has a Hideaway Hinge that is backed by a dual CAM mechanism to ensure a smooth and stable folding and unfolding process.

This Hideaway Hinge also lets the Z Flip stay open at any angle you want, and comes with Sweeper technology – nylon fibres designed to repel dirt and dust!

New Flex Mode

Leveraging its forward folding form factor, the Galaxy Z Flip will switch to the Flex mode when it is in the free standing mode.

The display automatically splits into two 4-inch screens, so you can view photos or videos in the top half, and control them or perform actions on the bottom half!

Performance, RAM + Storage

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+, which is a higher-clocked version of the Snapdragon 855 offering better CPU and graphics performance.

  • its single prime Kryo 485 Gold CPU core has a slightly faster clock speed of 2.96 GHz
  • its Adreno 640 GPU is clocked at 672 MHz, instead of 585 MHz

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip comes with 8 GB LPDDR4 memory, and 256 GB of internal storage.

Recommended : The Snapdragon 855 Plus vs Snapdragon 855 Comparison!

Cameras!

In the front, it has a 10 MP selfie camera with f/2.4 aperture. In the back, it has a dual camera system that consists of :

  • 12 MP Dual Pixel main camera, with f/1.8 aperture and OIS
  • 12 MP ultra-wide camera with f/2.2 aperture

Its foldable form factor also allows you to use it for low-angle shots, and have it stand without a tripod!

 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip : Specifications

Specifications Samsung Galaxy Z Flip
Main Display 6.7-inch Infinity Flex display
– Dynamic AMOLED panel
– 1080 x 2636 pixels (425 ppi)
Cover Display 1.1-inch Dynamic AMOLED display
– 300 x 112 pixels (303 ppi)
Protection NA
Operating System Android 10
System Platform Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+
CPU 1 x Kryo 485 Gold core (2.95 GHz)
3 x Kryo 485 Gold cores (2.41 GHz)
4 x Kryo 485 Silver cores (1.78 GHz)
GPU Qualcomm Adreno 640
RAM 8 GB LPDDR4x
Storage 256 GB internal storage
No microSD card slot
Front Camera 10 MP sensor with f/2.4 aperture
Rear Cameras Dual Camera System
12 MP main camera with f/1.8 aperture, OIS, HDR10+
12 MP ultra-wide camera with f/2.2 aperture
Connectivity 4G : LTE
Cat16 DL : 1 Gbps / LTE Cat13 UL : 150 Mbps
Wi-Fi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
(2.4 / 5 GHz)
Bluetooth : BT5.0
USB : USB Type C 2.0
SIM Support Single nano SIM + eSIM
Fingerprint Sensor Capacitive, Side-Mounted
Other Sensors Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyro,
Geomagnetic, Hall, Proximity, RGB Light
Battery 3,300 mAh LiPo battery
Dimensions
(Unfolded)
73.6 mm wide
167.3 mm tall
7.2 mm thick
Dimensions
(Folded)
73.6 mm wide
87.4 mm tall
17.3 mm thick
Weight 183 g
Colour Options Mirror Purple / Mirror Black / Mirror Gold

 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip : Price + Availability

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip will be available in limited quantities in the Mirror Purple and Mirror Black colours, starting in the US and Korea from 14 February 2020 onwards. That will be followed by Mirror Gold in select countries.

It has a recommended retail price of US$1,379.99 / 1.65 million won globally, which is approximately SGD 1,919 / £1,059 / A$2,049. It is available in Malaysia for RM 5,888.

Here are some online purchase options :

 

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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip : EVERYTHING You Need To Know!

Together with the Samsung Galaxy S20 series, Samsung also unveiled the Galaxy Z Flip – their second foldable smartphone.

Let’s take a quick look at the important stuff you need to know about the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip!

 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip : EVERYTHING You Need To Know!

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip is the second Samsung foldable smartphone, and the first from their new Z series with a different folding design.

Foldable Glass Display with Ultra Thin Glass

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip features an Infinity Flex display, with bendable Ultra Thin Glass (UTG).

There have been suggestions that it’s really plastic, but that’s not true. There is simply a plastic film over the Ultra Thin Glass.

Hideaway Hinge with Sweeper Technology

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip has a Hideaway Hinge that is backed by a dual CAM mechanism to ensure a smooth and stable folding and unfolding process.

This Hideaway Hinge also lets the Z Flip stay open at any angle you want, and comes with Sweeper technology – nylon fibres designed to repel dirt and dust!

New Flex Mode

Leveraging its forward folding form factor, the Galaxy Z Flip will switch to the Flex mode when it is in the free standing mode.

The display automatically splits into two 4-inch screens, so you can view photos or videos in the top half, and control them or perform actions on the bottom half!

Performance, RAM + Storage

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+, which is a higher-clocked version of the Snapdragon 855 offering better CPU and graphics performance.

  • its single prime Kryo 485 Gold CPU core has a slightly faster clock speed of 2.96 GHz
  • its Adreno 640 GPU is clocked at 672 MHz, instead of 585 MHz

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip comes with 8 GB LPDDR4 memory, and 256 GB of internal storage.

Recommended : The Snapdragon 855 Plus vs Snapdragon 855 Comparison!

Cameras!

In the front, it has a 10 MP selfie camera with f/2.4 aperture. In the back, it has a dual camera system that consists of :

  • 12 MP Dual Pixel main camera, with f/1.8 aperture and OIS
  • 12 MP ultra-wide camera with f/2.2 aperture

Its foldable form factor also allows you to use it for low-angle shots, and have it stand without a tripod!

 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip : Specifications

Specifications Samsung Galaxy Z Flip
Main Display 6.7-inch Infinity Flex display
– Dynamic AMOLED panel
– 1080 x 2636 pixels (425 ppi)
Cover Display 1.1-inch Dynamic AMOLED display
– 300 x 112 pixels (303 ppi)
Protection NA
Operating System Android 10
System Platform Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+
CPU 1 x Kryo 485 Gold core (2.95 GHz)
3 x Kryo 485 Gold cores (2.41 GHz)
4 x Kryo 485 Silver cores (1.78 GHz)
GPU Qualcomm Adreno 640
RAM 8 GB LPDDR4x
Storage 256 GB internal storage
Front Camera 10 MP sensor with f/2.4 aperture
Rear Cameras Dual Camera System
– 12 MP main camera with f/1.8 aperture, OIS, HDR10+
– 12 MP ultra-wide camera with f/2.2 aperture
Connectivity 4G : LTE
Cat16 DL : 1 Gbps / LTE Cat13 UL : 150 Mbps
Wi-Fi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
(2.4 / 5 GHz)
Bluetooth : BT5.0
USB : USB Type C 2.0
Fingerprint Sensor Capacitive, Side-Mounted
Other Sensors Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyro, Geomagnetic, Hall, Proximity, RGB Light
Battery 3,300 mAh LiPo battery
Dimensions
(Unfolded)
73.6 mm wide
167.3 mm tall
7.2 mm thick
Dimensions
(Folded)
73.6 mm wide
87.4 mm tall
17.3 mm thick
Weight 183 g
Colour Options Mirror Purple / Mirror Black / Mirror Gold

 

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip : Price + Availability

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip has a recommended retail price of US$1,379.99 / 1.65 million won, which is approximately RM 5,699 / SGD 1,919 / £1,059 / A$2,049.

It will be available in limited quantities in the Mirror Purple and Mirror Black colours, starting in the US and Korea from 14 February 2020 onwards. That will be followed by Mirror Gold in select countries.

 

Recommended Reading

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ASUS ROG Phone 2 Global vs Tencent Edition Comparison!

Worried that gamers are swarming for the highly-affordable ROG Phone 2 Tencent Edition, ASUS urgently touted the advantages of the delayed ROG Phone 2 Global Edition.

Let’s compare the specifications of the ROG Phone 2 Tencent Edition against the ROG Phone 2 Global Edition model!

Note : ASUS has since renamed the Global Edition as the Elite Edition, with a STRIX Edition as the “global version” of the Tencent Edition, with a 1TB Ultimate Edition.

 

ROG Phone 2 – Super Fast Phone, Super Slow Rollout

ASUS launched the ROG Phone last year, calling it the world’s first smartphone designed for mobile gaming. Unfortunately, they squandered that advantage with an ultra-slow rollout in a fast-moving industry.

More nimble, new competitors like Black Shark not only introduced their own gaming smartphones, they literally surged past them.

The Black Shark 2, for example, launched way back in April 2019 with the Snapdragon 855, and they launched the Black Shark 2 PRO that is powered by the same Snapdragon 855+ that the ROG Phone 2 uses… in JULY 2019.

Of course, the ROG Phone 2 boasts a 120 Hz display, with a 1 ms response time that totally crushes the likes of Black Shark 2 and Black Shark 2 PRO, and should guarantee silky-smooth gameplay, albeit at the expense of battery life.

That’s why ASUS gave it a massive 6,000 mAh battery – so it will last for quite a few rounds. The downside? It weighs almost a quarter of a kilo and is almost a full cm thick.

Of course, Black Shark has publicly pooh-poohed the usefulness of a 120 Hz display in this recent Q&A session :

Instead of a higher refresh rate, they opted to use DC dimming to reduce eyestrain, and an integrated DSP with MEMC (Motion Estimation, Motion Compensation) capabilities to eliminate unwanted judder and blur.

There is also the issue of ASUS quietly setting the ROG Phone 2 to use a 60Hz refresh rate instead, to improve battery life.

Recommended : ROG Phone 2 : How To Turn On 90Hz / 120Hz Refresh Rate!

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ASUS ROG Phone 2 Global vs Tencent Edition

Back in August 2019, ASUS and Tencent revealed the ROG Phone 2 Tencent Edition in China, powered by the Snapdragon 855 Plus platform.

However, ASUS did NOT want anyone to think or talk about the Tencent Edition because it is MUCH CHEAPER, and is a darn better deal than the Global Edition that they only introduced in October 2019.

They urged their media friends to talk up the ROG Phone 2 Global Edition instead. But in our honest opinion, the Tencent version is a better deal for gamers. Here’s why!

Recommended : Why ROG Phone II Tencent Is Better Than The Global Edition!

For your convenience, we compare the specifications of both models in this table :

Specifications ASUS ROG Phone 2
Global Edition
ASUS ROG Phone 2
Tencent Edition
Display 6.59-inch AMOLED display (1080 x 2340 pixels)
– 108% DCI-P3 colour gamut, 10,000:1 contrast ratio
– up to 120 Hz refresh rate, 1 ms response time
Chassis Glass Back Cover Glass + Metal Back Cover
System Platform Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus
Processor 1 x Qualcomm Kryo 485 Gold core (2.96 GHz)
3 x Qualcomm Kryo 485 Gold cores (2.42 GHz)
4 x Qualcomm Kryo 485 Silver cores (1.8 GHz)
GPU Qualcomm Adreno 640 (672 MHz)
RAM 12 GB LPDDR4X 8 GB LPDDR4X
Storage 512 GB / 1 TB UFS 3.0 128 GB UFS 3.0
Front Camera 24 MP front camera
Rear Cameras 48 MP main camera, with Sony IMX586 sensor, f/1.79 lens
13 MP ultra-wide camera, with 125-degree field of view
4G Network LTE Cat18
– 211 Mbps UL, 1.2 Gbps DL
LTE Cat16
– 150 Mbps UL, 1.0 Gbps DL
Connectivity WiFi : 802.11ad, 4×4 MIMO
Bluetooth : BT 5.0
WiFi : 802.11ac, 2×2 MIMO
Bluetooth : BT 5.0
Sensors Accelerometer, E-Compass, proximity sensor, Hall sensor, ambient light sensor, in-display fingerprint sensor, gyro, ultrasonic AirTrigger shoulder buttons
Audio Dual front-facing speakers with DTS:X Ultra
Battery 6,000 mAh battery
Charger 30 watt 18 watt
AeroActive Cooler Yes No
Bundled Case Aero Case Bumper Case
Box Type Six Prism Box Square Box
Dimensions 77.6 mm wide x 170.99 mm tall x 9.78 mm thick
Weight 240 g

 

Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus

In case you are wondering, the Snapdragon 855 Plus is just a speed-binned version of the regular Snapdragon 855. They are virtually identical.

The only differences are the clock speeds of two parts in the Snapdragon 855 Plus :

  • its single high-performance Kryo 485 Gold core is clocked at 2.96 GHz, instead of 2.84 GHz.
  • its Adreno 640 GPU is clocked at 672 MHz, instead of 585 MHz.

In other words, its advantage in mobile gaming is a 4% increase in the short boost performance of the CPU, and a 14.9% increase in peak GPU performance.

Recommended : The Snapdragon 855 Plus vs Snapdragon 855 Comparison!

 

ROG Phone 2 Global vs Tencent : Price + Availability

ASUS finally released the Global Edition (now renamed Elite Edition) in the US and India in September 2019, with other countries like Malaysia receiving a limited number in mid-October 2019.

Based on the US, European and Chinese launch prices of $899, €899 and RMB 5,999, it is a whopping 23% more expensive than the Black Shark 2 PRO – an extra RM 700 / ~US$240 / ~£136 / ~A$249!

The ROG Phone 2 Tencent Edition is much cheaper, of course. Its RMB 3,499 retail price in China translates into approximately RM 2,059 / ~US$499 / ~£399 / ~A$724!

That is 80% off the cost of the Global Edition, and 31% cheaper than the Black Shark 2 PRO!

Recommended : ASUS ROG Phone 2 vs Black Shark 2 PRO : Who Wins?

In the beginning, it was only available officially in China and India… and while you can purchase one off the grey market, you would not receive any warranty or even OTA updates for them.

But the good news is ASUS has finally released the STRIX Edition, which is basically the global version of the Tencent Edition.

Recommended : Why ROG Phone 2 STRIX Is BETTER Than Elite / Ultimate!

 

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Black Shark 2 PRO In-Depth Review : A Real Gaming Beast!

The Black Shark 2 Pro really impressed us when it came out, and we finally had the chance to try it out for ourselves.

In this review, we will take an in-depth look at its performance and capabilities. Find out why we gave it our Reviewer’s Choice Award!

 

Black Shark 2 Pro Colour Options

Black Shark offers five colour options globally :

  • Myth Ray
  • Racing
  • Gulf Blue (aka Racing)
  • Iceberg Grey (aka Freezing Blade)
  • Shadow Black (aka Black Bolt)

However, only these three colours will be available in Malaysia :

  • Shadow Black / Black Bolt
  • Iceberg Grey / Freezing Blade
  • Gulf Blue / Racing

 

Black Shark 2 Pro Price + Availability

It comes in two variants, with these recommended retail prices :

  • 8 GB + 128 GB : RM 2,499 / ~US$599 / £545 / ~A$879 / S$739
  • 12 GB + 256 GB : RM 2,999 / ~US$709 / £635 / ~A$1,059 / S$869

Here are some online purchase options :

Malaysia

Singapore

United Kingdom

Australia

 

Unboxing The Black Shark 2 Pro

It comes in a premium black box that really looks luxurious. Let’s take a quick look and unbox it!

Once you fully unbox it, you will find the following items :

  • Black Shark 2 Pro smartphone
  • Hard and clear TPU bumper case
  • Black Shark 2 Pro User Guide
  • 27W fast charger
  • USB Type C data and power cable
  • USB Type C to 3.5 mm audio jack adapter
  • Left-Side Gamepad + Stand

Next Page > Black Shark 2 Pro Up Close | Specifications | Setting It Up

 

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The Black Shark 2 Pro Gaming Smartphone

Black Shark 2 Pro (MY | SG | AU | UK) is a mid-cycle update of the excellent Black Shark 2 gaming smartphone that launched in April.

Like the ASUS ROG Phone 2, it mainly features an upgrade to the Snapdragon 855 Plus mobile platform.

The Volume control buttons are on the left side, with an LED light strip.

On the right side is another LED light strip, with the Power button, and the Shark Key switch.

The top is clean, with a second microphone located at the top of the back.

The SIM tray is located at the bottom, next to the USB Type C port. You will note, by now, that there is no 3.5 mm audio jack.

But fortunately, unlike the Samsung Galaxy Note10 and Note10+, Black Shark provides a USB-C to 3.5 mm adapter in the package! So you can still use your existing 3.5 mm earphones with it.

 

Black Shark 2 Pro Specifications

For your convenience, we compare its specifications against the Black Shark 2.

Specifications Black Shark 2 Pro Black Shark 2
Display 6.39-inch AMOLED display (1080 x 2340 pixels, 403 ppi)
– 108.9% DCI-P3 colour gamut, 430 nits max brightness
System Platform Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
Processor 1 x Kryo 485 Gold core (2.96 GHz)
3 x Kryo 485 Gold cores (2.42 GHz)
4 x Kryo 485 Silver cores (1.8 GHz)
1 x Kryo 485 Gold core (2.84 GHz)
3 x Kryo 485 Gold cores (2.42 GHz)
4 x Kryo 485 Silver cores (1.8 GHz)
GPU Qualcomm Adreno 640 (672 MHz) Qualcomm Adreno 640 (585 MHz)
RAM 8 GB / 12 GB LPDDR4X-2133 (Dual Channel)
Storage 128 GB / 256 GB UFS 3.0 128 GB / 256 GB UFS 2.1
Front Camera 20 MP front camera with f/2.0 aperture
Rear Cameras 48 MP Sony IMX586 sensor with f/1.75 aperture
12 MP telephoto camera with f/2.2 aperture
Connectivity 4G : LTE Cat18 – 211 Mbps UL, 1.2 Gbps DL
WiFi : 802.11ac, 4×4 MIMO
Bluetooth : BT 5.0
Audio Dual, front facing speakers
Vibration Sense Yes
Fingerprint Sensor Yes, In-Display Optical Sensor
Other Sensors Gyroscope, geomagnetism, gravity, distance, ambient light and ForceTouch sensors
Battery 4,000 mAh battery
Charger 27 watt, with USB-C cable
Dimensions 75.01 mm wide x 163.61 mm tall x 8.77 mm thick
Weight 205 g

 

Setting Up The Black Shark 2 Pro

The Black Shark 2 Pro (MY | SG | AU | UK) runs on Android 9.0 Pie out of the box, and is very easy to set-up. If you are setting it up as a new device, it should take you only 5-7 minutes to finish the setup process.

Next Page > Black Shark 2 Pro Performance + Gaming Features 

 

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Black Shark 2 Pro Performance Features

Now, let’s go through its key features, and see why it’s designed to deliver the best possible mobile gaming experience.

Flagship Class Performance

The Black Shark 2 Pro (MY | SG | AU | UK) runs on the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus mobile platform, which delivers a 4% boost in CPU performance and a 15% boost in GPU performance over the “regular” Snapdragon 855.

  • its single prime Kryo 485 Gold CPU core has a slightly faster clock speed of 2.96 GHz
  • its Adreno 640 GPU is clocked at 672 MHz, instead of 585 MHz

Recommended : The Snapdragon 855 Plus vs Snapdragon 855 Comparison!

Ludicrous Mode

If you are a professional gamer who cannot abide even the possibility of dropped frames, you can turn on the Ludicrous Mode, which locks the CPU and GPU into their maximum clock speeds.

This delivers the best-possible gaming performance, at the expense of battery life and greater heat output.

Mille-Feuille Full Area Liquid Cooling System

The Black Shark 2 Pro (MY | SG | AU | UK) features a Mille-Feuille full area liquid cooling system that keeps the entire device cool, as opposed to just cooling the CPU and GPU.

The Black Shark team claims this is far superior to that of the ROG Phone 2.

Device CPU Temp. GPU Temp. RAM Temp. Chassis Temp.
Black Shark 2 PRO 65.7 °C 51.2 °C 52.0 °C 35.7 °C
ASUS ROG Phone 2 77.5 °C 54.6 °C 55.0 °C 47.1 °C
Difference + 11.8 °C + 3.4 °C + 3.0 °C + 11.4 °C

AMOLED Display With DC Dimming

The Black Shark 2 Pro (MY | SG | AU | UK) eschewed the 120 Hz display of the ROG Phone 2, opting instead to use DC dimming for its large 6.38-inch AMOLED display to reduce eyestrain.

It also boasts an integrated DSP with MEMC (Motion Estimation, Motion Compensation) capabilities to eliminate unwanted judder and blur.

Low Latency Touch Screen

Black Shark also focused on reducing the latency of the touch screen display, with 240 Hz report rate even with three fingers.

In fact, they claim it has the “world’s lowest latency touch screen“, with a response time of only 43.5 ms, slightly less than the iPhone XS at 45 ms and the Galaxy S10 at 60 ms.

This is, arguably, far more important for competitive gaming than a 120 Hz display.

Touch Report Rate Black Shark 2 PRO ASUS ROG Phone 2 Difference
1 Finger 240 Hz 195 Hz – 45 Hz / 18.75 %
2 Fingers 240 Hz 145 Hz – 95 Hz / 39.58 %
3 Fingers 240 Hz 135 Hz – 105 Hz / 43.75%

They also claim that the Black Shark 2 Pro  has a significantly lower touch latency than the ROG Phone 2.

Touch Latency Black Shark 2 PRO ASUS ROG Phone 2 Difference
Not Shooting 30.7 ms 41.6 ms + 10.9 ms / 35.5 %
Shooting 48.6 ms 70.0 ms + 21.4 ms / 44.0 %

4D Gaming Experience

Unlike regular smartphones, it can recognise different environments, weapons, movements and actions (e.g. hits), and can automatically vibrate itself to create a 4D gaming experience.

Black Shark 2 Pro Host Mode

If you want to play on a larger display, you can connect it to a TV or monitor using a HDMI cable. Play your games like a console with the optional GamePad 3.0 accessory.

Next Page > Black Shark 2 Pro Camera, Audio, Memory + Storage, Battery + Storage

 

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Black Shark 2 Pro Rear Cameras

The Black Shark 2 Pro (MY | SG | AU | UK) is not just a gaming smartphone. Like any other flagship-class smartphone, it comes with a great set of high-resolution cameras.

At the back, it has two cameras supported by a single LED flash :

  • 48 MP main camera, with f/1.75 aperture and 6p lens
  • 12 MP 2X telephoto camera, with f/2.2 aperture and 6p lens

The main camera uses the Sony IMX586 sensor, which is used in the Xiaomi Mi 9 and Mi 9T Pro smartphones as well.

This 48 MP sensor defaults to 12 MP, combining 4 pixels into a large pixel for better low-light performance. But you can switch to 48 MP whenever you need the higher resolution.

Recommended : Sony IMX586 vs Sony IMX582 Comparison – Which Is Better?

Black Shark 2 Pro Front Camera

In the front, it boasts a 20 MP front camera, with a wide f/2.0 aperture and 5P lens.

Its sensor has 0.9 µm pixels, with the ability to combine four pixels to create a larger pixel for significantly better low-light photos and videos.

Black Shark 2 Pro Gaming Audio

Its audio system is designed specifically for gamers, with dual front-facing speakers. They are also 25% larger than speakers of a standard smartphone.

It also comes with three gaming microphones – two of them noise-cancelling microphones in the front to  ensure clear in-game voice chats.

Dual Nano SIM Cards

The Black Shark 2 Pro (MY | SG | AU | UK) comes with a SIM tray that supports two nano SIM cards. However, it does NOT come with a microSD card tray, so you cannot add storage.

Black Shark 2 Pro Memory + Storage

Our review sample came with 8 GB of LPDDR4x memory, of which 5.9 GB (74%) is available for use. That’s really more than enough for even the most serious of gamers.

After all, high-end mobile games like PUBG Mobile and Asphalt 9 use less than 1.2 GB of RAM!

Our unit also came with just 128 GB of UFS 3.0 storage, which is about 2X faster than the UFS 2.1 storage in Black Shark 2. Just over 113 GB is available for your use – more than enough for most users.

Unless you are using it to take lots of photos and videos, it’s enough to install 50-60 large games. Even PUBG Mobile only takes up 1.54 GB of space.

5-Hour Battery Life?

Despite its powerful components, the Black Shark 2 Pro (MY | SG | AU | UK) only comes with a 4,000 mAh battery, which Black Shark claims will let you game for up to 5 hours.

Fast Charging While Gaming

It supports 27 watt fast charging, which gives you 30 minutes playing time with a quick 5-minute charge, and one full hour of gaming with just 10 minutes of charging.

You don’t even have to stop playing. Even if, for example, you are playing PUBG, it will recharge to 50% in just 30 minutes.

Next Page > Black Shark 2 Pro Camera Performance

 

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Black Shark 2 Pro Camera Performance

The Black Shark 2 Pro (MY | SG | AU | UK) uses the Sony IMX586 sensor, which is notable for its high resolution of 48 MP.

But it defaults to 12 MP – combining four pixels into one for better image quality, especially in low-light conditions.

The maximum 12 MP resolution is attained with the 4:3 aspect ratio, with 4000 x 3000 pixels, and a file size of between 4 MB and 6 MB.

Here are 10 high-resolution unedited samples for you to check out. Click on them to load the full-sized photos, which you can also download to examine.

The Sony IMX586 sensor is good, almost as good as the 12 MP Samsung ISOCELL Fast SAK2L4 used in the Samsung Galaxy Note10 and Note10+ smartphones.

However, its main camera has a very narrow depth-of-field, and a problem focusing on objects that are too close.

You can tap on the display to “focus”, and it’s quite slow in this aspect, taking a second or two. But while it looks sharp in the preview, the actual picture appears out-of-focus. So try not to take macro shots with this camera.

Take a closer look at the broccoli picture, for example. Look at how only a narrow section of florets are in focus, with the rest quickly going out-of-focus.

But otherwise – the Black Shark 2 Pro can take pretty good photos. Just don’t bother with the 48 MP mode. It works best in the default 12 MP mode.

Recommended : HUAWEI Mate 30 Pro Photo Showcase : Macau!

Next Page > Black Shark 2 Pro Video Recording Performance

 

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Black Shark 2 Pro Video Recording Performance

The Black Shark 2 Pro (MY | SG | AU | UK) is capable of recording 4K from its 48 MP main camera, but curiously does not record video from its telephoto camera at all.

That means you do not have the ability to switch from the main camera to the telephoto camera. You can only record videos with the main camera.

Also odd is the fact that while the front 20 MP camera is more than capable of recording 4K videos, it’s limited to 1080p video recording.

Well, let’s take a look at some 1080p and 4K video samples from the main camera!

Video Sample #1 : Piano (1080p)

The image quality at 1080p is very good, and while its exposure is a little too dim, it has good control – allowing you to see right to the back of the store in the background.

It also appears to use electronic image stabilisation to get rid of hand shake, and keep everything steady.

Its noise cancellation was pretty good, but it was marred by an overly bright audio recording. It also seems to be recording some wind noise.

Video Sample #2 : Piano (4K)

Its 4K image quality is very good, and it actually seems to have better exposure control. However, the image is no longer stabilised at 4K. You can see the hand shake very clearly.

Yet again, its audio recording is way, way too bright. Which is a shame, because it seems to have very good noise cancelling capability.

Video Sample #3 : Street Market (1080p)

In this test of its image stabilisation capabilities, you can see that at 1080p, it does a pretty good job of cancelling out hand shake as we walked.

The Black Shark 2 Pro (MY | SG | AU | UK) appears to be optimised for recording voices – you can clearly people’s voices even as we walk past them.

Video Sample #4 : Street Market (4K)

Again, there was no image stabilisation at 4K – so you get to see and experience every shake and jerk. We definitely do NOT advise you recording videos at 4K when you are on-the-move.

Next Page > Black Shark 2 Pro Work + Gaming Performance

 

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Black Shark 2 Pro Work Performance

We tested its performance using PCMark, which simulates work applications like web browsing, playing video, writing text and editing photos.

Why work performance? Because even though it’s designed to be a gaming smartphone – you can actually use it like, well, a regular smartphone for work too! 🙂

Work 2.0 Xiaomi Mi 9 Samsung
Galaxy Note10+
Black Shark 2 Pro Samsung
Galaxy S10+
Mobile Platform Snapdragon 855 Exynos 9825 Snapdragon 855+ Exynos 9820
Performance Score
(Average)
9471 8981 8384 7846
Web Browsing 7792 8293 6768 8583
Video Editing 6038 9166 5948 5524
Writing 10919 9579 9226 9076
Photo Editing 20161 19376 17595 10710
Data Manipulation 7356 6155 6339 6450
Review Links Xiaomi Mi 9 Galaxy Note10+ Galaxy S10+
Price Check US | UK | MY USUKMY UKMY | SG | AU US | UK | MY

Surprisingly, the Black Shark 2 Pro (MY | SG | AU | UK) has a lower work performance than the Xiaomi Mi 9 and the Samsung Galaxy Note10+.

 

Black Shark 2 Pro Gaming Performance

We tested the its gaming performance using 3DMark, with these results.

Work 2.0 Black Shark 2 Pro Xiaomi Mi 9 Samsung
Galaxy Note10+
Samsung
Galaxy S10+
Mobile Platform Snapdragon 855+ Snapdragon 855 Exynos 9825 Exynos 9820
Sling Shot Extreme (OpenGL) 6258 5487 5037 4470
Sling Shot Extreme (Vulkan) 5386 4808 4794 4314
Sling Shot 8127 7241 4883 4343
Review Links Xiaomi Mi 9 Galaxy Note10+ Galaxy S10+
Price Check UKMY | SG | AU US | UK | MY USUKMY US | UK | MY

There is no doubt that the Black Shark 2 Pro (MY | SG | AU | UK) has a distinct performance advantage over its competitors, including the Xiaomi Mi 9, which uses the Snapdragon 855.

  • 14% faster in Sling Shot Extreme (OpenGL)
  • 12% faster in Sling Shot Extreme (Vulkan)
  • 12% faster in Sling Shot

 

Black Shark 2 Pro Battery Life

We then tested the its battery performance using PCMark. It basically ran the PCMark work tests until its battery capacity dropped to 20%.

Work 2.0 Black Shark 2 Pro Xiaomi Mi 9 Samsung
Galaxy Note10+
Samsung
Galaxy S10+
Battery Capacity 4,000 mAh 3,300 mAh 4,300 mAh 4,100 mAh
Battery Life 12 hours 25 mins 12 hours 12 mins 10 hours 32 mins 10 hours 17 mins
Battery Utilisation 4.30 mAh / min. 3.61 mAh / min. 5.44 mAh / min. 5.32 mAh / min.
Review Links Xiaomi Mi 9 Galaxy Note10+ Galaxy S10+
Price Check UKMY | SG | AU US | UK | MY USUKMY US | UK | MY

The Black Shark 2 Pro (MY | SG | AU | UK) did well, lasting almost 12.5 hours of non-stop work, just ahead of the Xiaomi Mi 9.

It actually lasted about two hours longer than the Galaxy Note10+ and Galaxy S10+ smartphones!

 

Black Shark 2 Pro Battery Recharging Speed

The Black Shark 2 Pro (MY | SG | AU | UK) comes with a 27 watt fast charger. Let’s find out just how fast it recharges its 4,000 mAh battery.

Work 2.0 Samsung
Galaxy Note10+
Black Shark 2 Pro Samsung
Galaxy S10+
Xiaomi Mi 9
Battery Capacity 4,300 mAh 4,000 mAh 4,100 mAh 3,300 mAh
Charger Output 25 watts 27 watts 15 watts 18 watts
Recharging Time 63 minutes 67 minutes 91.6 minutes 84.5 minutes
Recharging Speed 54.6 mAh / min. 47.8 mAh / min. 35.8 mAh / min. 31.2 mAh / min.
Review Links Galaxy Note10+ Galaxy S10+ Xiaomi Mi 9
Price Check USUKMY UKMY | SG | AU US | UK | MY US | UK | MY

Thanks to its 27W faster charger, the Black Shark 2 Pro fully recharged its battery from 20% to 100% in just 67 minutes. That is 27% faster than the Galaxy S10+, which has a similar-sized battery, but uses a 15W charger.

But it didn’t do as well as the Galaxy Note10+, which actually recharged 14% faster using its 25W charger.

It has an excellent battery life : recharging ratio of 11:1. A general rule of thumb – for one of hour battery life, you just need to charge it for 9 minutes.

The fastest recharging happened up to the 80% level. This took just 33.5 minutes. Then the recharging speed slowed down, and it took a further 33.5 minutes to top up the last 20%.

Next Page > Black Shark 2 Pro : Verdict + Award | Where To Buy

 

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Black Shark 2 Pro : Our Verdict + Award

We have been pretty effusive about the Black Shark 2 PRO, after it was launched. And why not?

It offered flagship-class performance, memory and storage with gaming-specific features at an affordable price point.

We were initially worried about its size and weight, and while it was not easy to fit into small pockets, it was definitely a good size for playing mobile games.

Some argue that the Black Shark 2 Pro (MY | SG | AU | UK) is not as good a gaming platform as the ROG Phone 2, because of its 60 Hz display.

Now we do not deny that a 90 Hz or 120 Hz display would look smoother than a 60 Hz display, when they are placed side-by-side. But is it a “necessary” feature for mobile gaming?

The fact is a higher refresh rate looks better but plays no role in your gaming performance. More critically – high refresh displays suck up a lot of power, which has resulted in some gamers turning off the higher refresh rate.

But that brings us to the Ludicrous Mode. While it looks good for marketing purposes, it does nothing for your gaming performance and only wastes power and increase the heat output.

We also have to point out that while the Black Shark 2 Pro is a gaming device, it is also a smartphone. Therefore, we should comment a little on how useful it is for non-gaming tasks.

Its large display is great for work (emails, texting, etc.), but you will definitely feel its weight when you use it on the go. And despite its less than stellar work performance results, it feels just as fast as any other flagship smartphone.

It has a good set of cameras, and we like that Black Shark did not throw in useless cameras just to make up the numbers. Its 48 MP main camera is excellent, although it has a very narrow depth-of-field and a slow focus.

What we cannot understand though is why they would not allow video recording from the telephoto camera, or 4K video recording from the front camera.

It was also a shame that the Black Shark 2 Pro (MY | SG | AU | UK) does not perform image stabilisation for 4K video recordings. So was the tuning of its microphones to optimise for voice, causing everything to appear too bright (too much treble).

On the other hand, Black Shark did well with its battery, delivering more battery life that we would expect with just a high-performing smartphone. And we especially like that they made it so affordable.

This brings us to the final point – value for money. The Black Shark team appears to be more focused on what’s important for gaming performance, delivering a whole package that is significantly cheaper and offers more value for your money than its competitors.

This is why we gladly award the Black Shark 2 Pro our Reviewer’s Choice Award. Keep it up!

 

Black Shark 2 Pro Price + Availability

It comes in two variants, with these recommended retail prices :

  • 8 GB + 128 GB : RM 2,499 / ~US$599 / £545 / ~A$879 / S$739
  • 12 GB + 256 GB : RM 2,999 / ~US$709 / £635 / ~A$1,059 / S$869

Here are some online purchase options :

Malaysia

Singapore

United Kingdom

Australia

 

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Black Shark 2 PRO – EVERYTHING You Need To Know!

The Black Shark 2 PRO really impressed us when it came out, offering a great set of mobile gaming features at an affordable price point!

Here is everything you need to know about the Black Shark 2 PRO!

 

The Black Shark 2 Pro Gaming Smartphone

Black Shark 2 Pro (MY | SG | AU | UK) is a mid-cycle update of the Black Shark 2 gaming smartphone that launched back in April.

Like the recently announced ASUS ROG Phone 2, it mainly features an upgrade to the Snapdragon 855 Plus mobile platform.

Flagship Class Performance

The Black Shark 2 Pro (MY | SG | AU | UK) runs on the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus mobile platform, and comes with either 8 GB RAM and 128 GB of storage, or 12 GB RAM and 256 GB of storage.

Notably, it comes with UFS 3.0 storage, which is about 2X faster than the UFS 2.1 storage in Black Shark 2.

Recommended : The Snapdragon 855 Plus vs Snapdragon 855 Comparison!

Ludicrous Mode

To guarantee maximum gaming performance with no dropped frames, the Ludicrous Mode locks the CPU into its maximum clock speed.

Mille-Feuille Full Area Liquid Cooling System

The Black Shark 2 Pro (MY | SG | AU | UK) features a Mille-Feuille full area liquid cooling system that keeps the entire device cool, as opposed to just cooling the CPU and GPU.

AMOLED Display With DC Dimming

Black Shark 2 Pro (MY | SG | AU | UK) comes with a large 6.38-inch AMOLED display with DC dimming to reduce strain on the eyes.

It also boasts an integrated DSP with MEMC (Motion Estimation, Motion Compensation) capabilities to eliminate unwanted judder and blur.

Low Latency Touch Screen

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It claims to have the “world’s lowest latency touch screen“, with a response time of only 43.5 ms, slightly less than the iPhone XS at 45 ms and the Galaxy S10 at 60 ms.

Black Shark 2 Pro Has 5-Hour Battery Life

Despite its size, it only comes with a 4,000 mAh battery.  However, they assure us that it will let you game for up to 5 hours before it needs a recharge.

X+2 Antenna

To ensure maximum wireless connectivity, it features an enhanced X+2 antenna design.

The two additional side antennas help the X-type smart antenna transfer data wirelessly no matter how you grip the phone.

Black Shark 2 Pro Gaming Audio

Its audio system is designed specifically for gamers, with dual front-facing speakers. They are also 25% larger than speakers of a standard smartphone.

It also comes with three gaming microphones – two of them noise-cancelling microphones in the front to  ensure clear in-game voice chats.

4D Gaming Experience

Unlike regular smartphones, it can recognise different environments, weapons, movements and actions (e.g. hits), and can automatically vibrate itself to create a 4D gaming experience.

Black Shark 2 Pro Host Mode

If you want to play on a larger display, you can connect Black Shark 2 Pro (MY | SG | AU | UK) to a TV or monitor using a HDMI cable. Then you can play your games like a console with the optional GamePad 3.0 accessory.

Fast Charging While Gaming

It supports 27 watt fast charging, which gives you 30 minutes playing time with a quick 5-minute charge, and one full hour of gaming with just 10 minutes of charging.

You don’t even have to stop playing. Even if, for example, you are playing PUBG, it will recharge to 15% in just 30 minutes.

Recommended : Black Shark 2 PRO In-Depth Review : A Real Gaming Beast!

 

Black Shark 2 Pro Specifications

For your convenience, we compare its specifications against the Black Shark 2.

Specifications Black Shark 2 Pro Black Shark 2
Display 6.39-inch AMOLED display (1080 x 2340 pixels, 403 ppi)
– 108.9% DCI-P3 colour gamut, 430 nits max brightness
System Platform Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
Processor 1 x Kryo 485 Gold core (2.96 GHz)
3 x Kryo 485 Gold cores (2.42 GHz)
4 x Kryo 485 Silver cores (1.8 GHz)
1 x Kryo 485 Gold core (2.84 GHz)
3 x Kryo 485 Gold cores (2.42 GHz)
4 x Kryo 485 Silver cores (1.8 GHz)
GPU Qualcomm Adreno 640 (672 MHz) Qualcomm Adreno 640 (585 MHz)
RAM 8 GB / 12 GB LPDDR4X-2133 (Dual Channel)
Storage 128 GB / 256 GB UFS 3.0 128 GB / 256 GB UFS 2.1
Front Camera 20 MP front camera with f/2.0 aperture
Rear Cameras 48 MP Sony IMX586 sensor with f/1.75 aperture
12 MP telephoto camera with f/2.2 aperture
Connectivity 4G : LTE Cat18 – 211 Mbps UL, 1.2 Gbps DL
WiFi : 802.11ac, 4×4 MIMO
Bluetooth : BT 5.0
Audio Dual, front facing speakers
Vibration Sense Yes
Fingerprint Sensor Yes, In-Display Optical Sensor
Other Sensors Gyroscope, geomagnetism, gravity, distance, ambient light and ForceTouch sensors
Battery 4,000 mAh battery
Charger 27 watt, with USB-C cable
Dimensions 75.01 mm wide x 163.61 mm tall x 8.77 mm thick
Weight 205 g

 

Black Shark 2 Pro Colour Options

Black Shark offers five colour options globally :

  • Myth Ray
  • Racing
  • Gulf Blue (aka Racing)
  • Iceberg Grey (aka Freezing Blade)
  • Shadow Black (aka Black Bolt)

However, only these three colours will be available in Malaysia :

  • Shadow Black / Black Bolt
  • Iceberg Grey / Freezing Blade
  • Gulf Blue / Racing

 

Black Shark 2 Pro Price + Availability

It comes in two variants, with these recommended retail prices :

  • 8 GB + 128 GB : RM 2,499 / ~US$599 / £545 / ~A$879 / S$739
  • 12 GB + 256 GB : RM 2,999 / ~US$709 / £635 / ~A$1,059 / S$869

Here are some online purchase options :

Malaysia

Singapore

United Kingdom

Australia

 

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realme X2 Pro : Cheapest 90Hz Gaming Smartphone?

realme today launched the realme X2 Pro with a 64 MP camera, and the Snapdragon 855 Plus processor!

Here is EVERYTHING you need to know about the realme X2 Pro smartphone. Find out if this is the smartphone for you!

 

realme X2 Pro : Everything But The Kitchen Sink

The new realme X2 Pro (MY) seems designed to be realme’s highlight of the year, with everything thrown but the kitchen sink.

In fact, it has all of the hallmarks of a gaming smartphone – large display, high-performance and a long battery life!

90 Hz Super AMOLED Display

The realme X2 Pro (MY) has a large 6.5-inch Super AMOLED display, with a Full HD+ resolution of 1080 x 2400 pixels.

In addition, it features a 90 Hz refresh rate, which promises silky-smooth graphics at the expense of battery life.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+

The realme X2 Pro (MY) is built around the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+, which is just a speed-binned version of the regular Snapdragon 855. They are otherwise identical.

This is the same mobile platform used in the ASUS ROG Phone 2 and the Black Shark 2 Pro gaming smartphones.

The only differences are the clock speeds of two parts in the Snapdragon 855 Plus :

  • its single high-performance Kryo 485 Gold core is clocked at 2.96 GHz, instead of 2.84 GHz.
  • its Adreno 640 GPU is clocked at 672 MHz, instead of 585 MHz.

In other words, its advantage in mobile gaming is a 4% increase in the short boost performance of the CPU, and a 14.9% increase in peak GPU performance.

Recommended : The Snapdragon 855+ vs Snapdragon 855 Comparison!

Cameras Galore!

In the front, the realme X2 Pro (MY) has a 16 MP selfie camera with f/2.0 aperture, while at the back, it has four cameras :

  • a 64 MP main camera with 20X hybrid zoom (f/1.72 aperture)
  • a 8 MP wide-angle camera
  • a 13 MP telephoto camera
  • a 2 MP portrait camera

Large RAM + Storage + Battery!

The realme X2 Pro (MY) comes with a whopping 12 GB of LPDDR4X memory, and 256 GB of fast UFS 3.0 storage.

To power it all, it has a large 4,000 mAh battery, which supports 50W SuperVOOC Flash Charge – letting you go from 0% to 100% in just 35 minutes!

Recommended : realme X2 Pro Master Edition : The Full Details + Preview!

 

realme X2 Pro Specifications

Specifications Realme X2 Pro
Display 6.5-inch Super AMOLED display
– 1080 x 2400 pixels (~402 ppi), 90 Hz refresh rate
– 1000 nits max brightness, 100% DCI-P3
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass 5
Operating System Android P with ColorOS 6.1
System Platform Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+
CPU 1 x Qualcomm Kryo 485 Gold core (2.96 GHz)
3 x Qualcomm Kryo 485 Gold core (2.42 GHz)
4 x Qualcomm Kryo 485 Silver cores (1.8 GHz)
GPU Qualcomm Adreno 640 (672 MHz)
RAM 12 GB LPDDR4x
Storage 256 GB UFS 3.0 storage
Front Camera 16 MP camera with f/2.0 lens
Rear Cameras 64 MP Samsung ISOCELL Bright GW1 main camera (f/1.72)
8 MP wide-angle camera (f/2.2)
13 MP telephoto camera (f/2.5)
2 MP portrait camera (f/2.4)
Connectivity 4G : LTE
Wi-Fi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth : BT5.0
USB : USB 2.0 Type C
Fingerprint Sensor Yes, In-Display
Other Sensors Light, Proximity, Magnetic induction, Gyro-meter, Acceleration
Battery 4,000 mAh
50 W SuperVOOC
flash charging
Dimensions 75.7 mm wide
161.0 mm tall
8.7 mm thick
Weight 199 g
Colour Options Neptune Blue / Lunar White

 

realme X2 Pro : Price + Deals In Malaysia!

The realme X2 Pro (MY) is available in two colour options – Neptune Blue and Polar White.

It will be offered in a single variant, with 12 GB RAM and 256 GB storage, with a recommended retail price of RM 2,399 / ~US$574 / ~£445 / ~A$846 / ~S$786.

Here is the official online pre-order / sale page in Malaysia :

  • Realme X2 Pro (12GB + 256GB) : RM 2,399

Chup Dulu Lazada Deal

If you pre-order the Realme X2 Pro at 12 AM on 5 December 2019, you will receive these freebies :

  • realme Buds wireless earphones
  • realme Power Bank
  • realme Backpack

DirectD is also organising a special midnight sale at 12 AM on 7 December 2019 at their PJ Mega Store, with these freebies :

  • 2 x realme Buds wireless earphones
  • realme Power Bank
  • realme Backpack

Finally, the online sale will kick off at 12 AM on 12 December 2019, but there’s no word on what freebies realme Malaysia will throw in.

 

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The Samsung Galaxy Fold Guide For First Time Users!

The Samsung Galaxy Fold introduces a new concept – a foldable design, with a foldable display. To showcase what you can do with it, here is our Samsung Galaxy Fold guide for first time users!

With some help from Samsung, we will take you from the moment of unboxing the Samsung Galaxy Fold, through its various usage possibilities.

 

Samsung Galaxy Fold Guide Part 1 : Unboxing

Samsung promises a premium and eco-friendly experience from the get-go. The packaging for the Samsung Galaxy Fold is not only premium, it is made entirely from eco-friendly materials.

Before you start using it though, Samsung strongly advises you to read the User Guide and Care Instruction inside the box.

They will provide you with an introduction to the Galaxy Fold’s folding display mechanism, and teach you how to use it properly to avoid damage.

 

Samsung Galaxy Fold Guide Part 2 : Getting A Grip

The Samsung Galaxy Fold is designed with an identical volume on all four sides of the device to provide the best grip possible.

When folded, Samsung points out that the Galaxy Fold is narrower than conventional smartphones at just 62.8 mm, which should allow for easier one-handed usage.

You will notice that Samsung placed the Volume and Power buttons as well as the fingerprint sensor on the right side of the Galaxy Fold.

These buttons can be customised according to your preference through Settings > Advanced Features, but by default :

  • pressing the Power button twice launches the Camera app
  • a long press of the Power button launches Bixby

One advantage of having two displays in one device is that you can set two custom home screens – one for the cover display, and one for the main display.

This allows you to select the most useful apps for one-handed use, and a different set of apps when you need to multitask on the big main display.

You can also set the navigation bar in the main display to the middle, left-side or right-side through Settings > Display > My Navigation Bar > Adjustment.

 

Samsung Galaxy Fold Guide Part 3 : Switching Seamlessly

Samsung developed a new UX for the Galaxy Fold, which includes App Continuity.

App Continuity allows you to check an email notification on the cover display, and have it display automatically with a virtual keyboard, when you unfold the main display to respond.

It works both ways – after you plan a trip on Google Maps (for example) on the main display, you can fold the phone and have Google Maps display your route on the cover display automatically.

To enable App Continuity, go to Settings > Display > Continue apps on the cover display.

 

Samsung Galaxy Fold Guide Part 4 : Using The Cameras

The Samsung Galaxy Fold comes with SIX cameras – three for selfies, and three at the back.

The cover display has a dedicated camera for tracking a quick selfie. But if you open up the main display, you gain access to dual cameras that let you capture a wider-angle with Live Focus capability.

The Galaxy Fold’s main display allows for an expansive view of subject when you are using the rear triple cameras.

You can also take photos in any orientation – the Galaxy Fold will automatically move the shutter button to an optimised position, as you switch to landscape or portrait mode.

You can also press and drag the shutter button to move it to a preferred location!

 

Samsung Galaxy Fold Guide Part 5 : Harnessing The Large Display

The main appeal of foldable phones is they allow for a much larger display in a smaller form factor.

Unfortunately, we were not amongst the lucky few to get some hands-on time with the improved Galaxy Fold, but Samsung assured us that users will be impressed with the large 7.3-inch display.

Beyond its size, the main display uses a Dynamic AMOLED panel – the best in the industry, with HDR10+ colour and Dynamic Tone Mapping. It is also a TÜV Rheinland-certified Eye Comfort display with reduced blue light emissions.

To enjoy a cinematic viewing experience, don’t forget to drag down the upper notification window to turn on the Dolby Atmos feature. You can then enjoy an expanded soundscape through its AKG-tune stereo speakers.

 

Samsung Galaxy Fold Guide Part 6 : Multitasking

To help you multitask, Samsung Galaxy Fold has a Multi-Active Window feature that lets you use multiple active apps simultaneously.

Swipe the right-hand side of the main display to access the Multi Window Tray. It lists both your recently-used apps, as well as a View All button to see all apps that support Multi Window.

You can customise your favourite Multi Window apps within the tray using Settings > Advanced Features > Multi Window Tray.

You can then drag and drop up to three apps into the desired position and order on the display.

Furthermore, once you launch those apps, you can adjust the size of the app’s window by pressing the handle at the top of each window.

The Galaxy Fold supports up to three Multi Windows, as well as five pop-up windows. That means you can actually launch and use up to eight applications simultaneously!

To access pop-up windows, open the Multi Window Tray, and drag the app you need to the centre of the main display. It will become a pop-up window!

These pop-up windows can also be made transparent, so you can see and make use of the Multi-Active Windows behind.

 

Samsung Galaxy Fold Guide Part 6 : Next-Level Productivity

For greater productivity, power users can try out the Dual Messenger feature, which lets you keep your work and personal messages in separate windows using the Multi Window option.

You can also respond to alarms and notifications – when a notification message appears, you can drag it down into a Multi-Active Window to seamlessly respond or reply without interrupting your other apps.

To enable this Smart Pop-Up View feature, go to Settings > Advanced Features > Smart Pop-Up View.

Samsung would like us to remind all Galaxy Fold users that you need not worry about its multitasking performance.

Powered by the fast Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 mobile platform with 12 GB of RAM, it is more than capable of handling multiple apps – all running at the same time!

Recommended : The Tech ARP Samsung Galaxy Fold Care Guide!

 

Samsung Galaxy Fold Price + Availability

If you have not purchased your Samsung Galaxy Fold yet, here are their official launch prices :

  • South Korea : ₩ 2,398,000 (5G model)
  • United States : US$ 1,980
  • United Kingdom : £ 1,799
  • Malaysia : RM 8,388

And here are some direct purchase links :

Recommended : Samsung Galaxy Fold Price + Pre-Order For Malaysia!

 

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Samsung Galaxy Fold Price + Pre-Order For Malaysia!

After launching the re-engineered Galaxy Fold foldable smartphone in several countries around the world, Samsung is now launching it here in Malaysia!

Here is everything you need to know about the improved Samsung Galaxy Fold, including its price and pre-order for Malaysia!

 

Samsung Galaxy Fold Price + Availability For Malaysia!

Samsung today officially announced these price and availability details for the Galaxy Fold in Malaysia :

  • Available colours : Cosmos Black and Space Silver
  • Recommended retail price : RM 8,388 / ~US$1,999 / ~£1,629 / ~A$2,959

 

Samsung Galaxy Fold Pre-Order Details For Malaysia!

Malaysian residents will be able to pre-order the Galaxy Fold starting 9 October 2019.

Step 1 : Walk into your preferred participating Samsung outlet

Step 2 : Make a RM 800 deposit (not refundable and not transferrable)

Step 3 : Collect your pre-ordered Samsung Galaxy Fold from Wednesday, 16 October 2019 until Thursday, 31 October 2019.

Every pre-ordered unit will come with a One-Time Screen Crack Replacement for 12 months, but to qualify, you must register for this benefit using the Samsung Members app.

 

Samsung Galaxy Fold Re-Engineered

Samsung spent the last 4.5 months re-engineering the Infinity Flex display, making it tough enough to handle not only the abuse of regular use, but also the natural follies of human nature.

The top protective layer of the Infinity Flex Display has been extended beyond the bezel, making it apparent that it is an integral part of the display structure and not meant to be removed.

Galaxy Fold features additional reinforcements to better protect the device from external particles while maintaining its signature foldable experience.

The top and bottom of the hinge area have been strengthened with newly added protection caps.

Additional metal layers underneath the Infinity Flex Display have been included to reinforce the protection of the display.

The space between the hinge and body of Galaxy Fold has been reduced.

Samsung has reintroduced the improved Galaxy Fold to South Korea, followed by the UK, France, Germany and Singapore… and now, Malaysia!

 

Samsung Galaxy Fold Premier Service

Samsung will also introduce a new Galaxy Fold Premier Service in Malaysia, which will give you exclusive access to specialised customer care :

  • one-to-one access to Samsung experts,
  • access to a 24/7 support hub online or over the phone
  • Express Repair Service with door-to-door delivery

We presume that the one-to-one session will be made somewhat mandatory, so that Samsung experts can teach users how to use and maintain the Infinity Flex display.

 

Samsung Galaxy Fold Specifications

SpecificationsSamsung Galaxy Fold
DisplayMain Display
- 7.3-inch Dynamic AMOLED Infinity Flex display
- 1536 x 2152 pixels (362 ppi)
Cover Display
-4.6-inch Super AMOLED display
- 720 x 1680 pixels (399 ppi)
Operating SystemAndroid 9.0 Pie
System PlatformQualcomm Snapdragon 855
Processor1 x Qualcomm Kryo 485 Gold (2.84 GHz)
3 x Qualcomm Kryo 485 Gold (2.42 GHz)
4 x Qualcomm Kryo 485 Silver (1.78 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorQualcomm Adreno 640
Memory12 GB LPDDR4X-4266
Storage512 GB (UFS 3.0)
Front CamerasDual Lens Camera
- 10 MP selfie camera with f/2.2 aperture
- 8 MP depth sensor with f/1.9 aperture
Rear CamerasTriple Camera System
- 12 MP Dual Aperture camera with f/1.5 and f/2.4 apertures
- 12 MP telephoto camera with f/2.4 aperture
- 16 MP ultra-wide camera with f/2.2 aperture
SIM CapabilityLTE : One eSIM + one nano SIM
5G : One nano SIM
NetworkLTE : 2x2 MIMO, 6CA, Cat18
- up to 1.2 Gbps DL, 150 Mbps UL
5G : Non-Standalone (NSA), Sub-6 GHz
ConnectivityWiFi : 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz + 5 GHz)
Bluetooth : BT 5.0
USB : USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type C
BatteryLTE : 4,380 mAh dual battery
5G : 4,235 mAh dual battery
Fingerprint SensorYes, integrated into Power button
Other SensorsAccelerometer, Barometer, Gyro sensor, Geomagnetic sensor, Hall sensor, Proximity sensor, RGB Light sensor
NFC / Samsung PayYes / Yes
DimensionsFolded : 62.8 mm x 160.9 mm x 15.7 to 17.1 mm
Unfolded : 117.9 mm x 160.9 mm x 7.6 mm
Weight276 grams
Colour OptionsCosmos Black / Space Silver

 

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Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 – Everything You Need To Know!

Samsung just unveiled the Galaxy Tab S6a new premium 10.5-inch tablet with a redesigned Bluetooth S Pen!

Here is everything you need to know about the new Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 – its key features, specifications, colour options, and more!

 

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 (SM-T860) Tablet

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is a new premium tablet with a brilliant 10.5-inch Super AMOLED display, and a redesigned Bluetooth S Pen that now attaches magnetically to its back.

Despite packing in flagship-class performance and capabilities, Samsung actually made it thinner at just 5.7 mm, and lighter at just 420 grams!

Samsung is also introducing a Book Cover case, a Book Cover Keyboard, and a POGO Charging Dock as optional accessories for the Galaxy Tab S6.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Performance

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8150 mobile SoC, which is almost the performance equal of the Snapdragon 855 used in their Galaxy S10 flagship smartphones!

It also comes with either 6 GB or 8 GB of LPDDR4x memory, which makes it a breeze to use multiple apps at the same time.

Storage is also plentiful. The 6 GB model comes with 128 GB of storage, while the 8 GB model comes with 256 GB of storage.

If that’s not enough, there is a microSD card slot that supports up to 1 TB of additional storage!

Complete Redesigned S Pen!

Its S Pen has been completely redesigned. Like the Galaxy Note9‘s groundbreaking S Pen, it offers remote control functionality, and wireless charging capability.

It now magnetically locks to the back of the Tab S6, and  has a built-in battery that delivers 10 hours of battery life with just ten minutes of charging.

Improved Samsung DeX Capability

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 comes with a new, improved version of Samsung DeX, which creates a desktop-like work experience.

The optional Book Cover Keyboard even comes with a DeX function key, so you can launch and close DeX with a tap of the key.

 

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 (SM-T860) Specifications

SpecificationsSamsung Galaxy Tab S6
Operating SystemAndroid Pie 9
Display10.5-inch Super AMOLED display
- WQXGA resolution (1600 x 2560 pixels, 287 ppi)
System PlatformQualcomm Snapdragon 8150
Processor1 x Qualcomm Kryo 485 Gold core (2.8 GHz)
3 x Qualcomm Kryo 485 Gold cores (2.4 GHz)
4 x Qualcomm Kryo 485 Silver cores (1.7 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorQualcomm Adreno 640 GPU (600 MHz)
Memory6 GB / 8 GB LPDDR4x
Storage128 GB / 256 GB internal flash storage
MicroSD card slot (up to 1 TB)
Front Camera8 MP sensor with f/2.0 aperture
Rear CamerasMain Camera
- 13 MP sensor with f/2.0 aperture

Ultra-Wide Camera
- 5 MP sensor with f/2.2 aperture
S PenYes, 4,096 pressure levels
0.35 mAh battery capacity
Last up to 10 hours
ConnectivityLTE : Cat.20 (DL up to 2.0 Gbps, UL up to 150 Mbps)
WiFi : 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (dual-band)
Bluetooth : BT 5.0
USB : USB Type C
GPSGPS + GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo
AudioQuad speakers
- optimised by AKG
- supports Dolby Atmos
Dual microphones
SensorsPressure, Gyroscope, RGB light, Geomagnetic, Hall
Fingerprint SensorYes, In-Display Optical Sensor
Battery7,040 mAh lithium-ion
Dimensions159.5 mm wide
244.5 mm tall
5.7 mm thick
Weight420 g
Colour OptionsCloud Blue / Rose Blush / Mountain Grey

 

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Colour Options

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is available in three colour options – Cloud Blue, Rose Blush and Mountain Grey.

 

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Price + Availability

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 is available right now at these recommended retail prices :

Wi-Fi Only

4G + Wi-Fi

Book Cover Keyboard

 

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Deals

Here in Malaysia, Samsung is offering a RM 499 discount on the Book Cover Keyboard, if you purchase a unit by 31 October 2019.

 

In the United States, Samsung is offering 50% off the Book Cover Keyboard, plus a free 4-month subscription to YouTube Premium.

In the United Kingdom and Australia, Samsung is only offering free delivery nationwide and 0% financing for up to 24 months.

 

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The Snapdragon 855 Plus vs Snapdragon 855 Comparison!

With brands trying to pitch gaming smartphones based on the Snapdragon 855 Plus mobile platform, the question arises – is the Snapdragon 855 Plus really necessary for mobile gaming?

Find out what the Snapdragon 855 Plus offers over the “regular” Snapdragon 855, and if they will really affect your gaming experience!

 

Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus

Announced in December 2018, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus is a mid-cycle refresh of the flagship Snapdragon 855 mobile platform.

Since it started shipping in the first quarter of 2019, some smartphone brands have been promoting it as a “must-have” feature for the ultimate mobile gaming experience.

The ASUS ROG Phone 2, for example, boasts of it as a key selling point. As does the upcoming Black Shark 2 Pro.

 

Snapdragon 855 Plus vs Snapdragon 855 : What’s Different?

In Qualcomm’s product brief, they even claimed that it would deliver “incredible gains” in performance, and that your gaming experience will take on “a new dimension“.

WOW… That’s some pitch…

But as bombastic as it sounds, the Snapdragon 855 Plus only differs from the Qualcomm 855 in two aspects :

  • its single prime Kryo 485 Gold CPU core has a slightly faster clock speed of 2.96 GHz
  • its Adreno 640 GPU is clocked at 672 MHz, instead of 585 MHz

Its other features are completely identical to the “regular” Snapdragon 855, as you can see in our comparison table :

Specifications Snapdragon 855 Plus Snapdragon 855
Fabrication Process 7 nm FinFET
Prime CPU Core 1 x Kryo 485 Gold (2.96 GHz) 1 x Kryo 485 Gold (2.84 GHz)
Performance CPU Cores 3 x Kryo 485 Gold (2.42 GHz)
Low-Power CPU Cores 4 x Kryo 485 Silver (1.8 GHz)
Graphics Processor Adreno 640 (672 MHz) Adreno 640 (585 MHz)
Modem Snapdragon X24 LTE Modem
LTE Peak Download Speed 2 Gbps (7 x 20 MHz carrier aggregation)
LTE Peak Download Speed 316 Mbps (3 x 20 MHz carrier aggregation)
Image Signal Processor Spectra 380 + Dual 14-bit CV-ISPs

 

The Snapdragon 855 Plus CPU Performance Explained

The Snapdragon 855 Plus has eight CPU cores, but only its single prime Kryo 485 Gold core has a 4.2% higher clock speed.

This gives single-threaded workloads a small 4% boost in performance. However, you should expect to see the performance difference only in benchmarks.

With multi-threaded workloads, the effect will be even more insignificant and definitely not noticeable.

 

The Snapdragon 855 Plus GPU Performance Explained

Its Adreno 640 GPU, on the other hand, received a significant 15% boost in clock speed. This will improve its graphics performance significantly.

However, whether you can actually feel a difference highly depends on the smartphone.

  • If it’s being used to drive a 4K and/or 120 Hz display, it could mean the difference between silky-smooth and occasionally jerky gameplay.
  • But if it’s just driving a Full HD and/or 60 Hz display… then it’s probably being used for marketing purposes because you won’t be able to tell the difference.

Remember – the regular Snapdragon 855 is a gaming powerhouse in its own right. You haven’t heard anyone complaining about its gaming performance, have you?

 

Is It Worth Paying Extra For The Snapdragon 855 Plus?

That would be like asking if it’s worth paying extra for a Lamborghini.

For the ultra-rich, they will probably settle for nothing less than the very best money can buy.

But for the rest of us – the economic hoi polloi, it really depends on how much extra brands want you to pay for an 855 Plus smartphone.

Recommended : ROG Phone 2 : Tencent vs MY / Global Edition Compared!

If you want to use your smartphone primarily as a gaming device, you should logically not pay more than a 15% premium. After all, the most you can expect is a 15% boost in graphics performance.

We personally wouldn’t pay more than a 5% price premium for what’s really an overclocked Snapdragon 855.

But take note too the other features of the gaming smartphone, like a high frame rate or HDR display. It may be worth paying a higher price premium for those features…

 

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Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro (Redmi K20 Pro) Preview + Colour Options!

Xiaomi launched the Mi 9T (Redmi K20) in June, and now they finally launched the Mi 9T Pro, also known as the Redmi K20 Pro!

Here is our hands-on preview of the new Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro, as well as our comparison of all three colour options!

 

Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro (Redmi K20 Pro) Preview

We had the opportunity to get some hands-on time with the Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro (Redmi K20 Pro) before its launch. Here is our preview of all three colour options!

The Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro is, in many respects, very similar to the Mi 9T (Redmi K20). In fact, there are only three key aspects in which they differ…

Flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Platform

The Xiaomi Mi 9T (Redmi K20) is powered by the mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 730 platform, while the Mi 9T Pro (Redmi K20 Pro) is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 flagship platform.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 has a triple-cluster CPU architecture, that consists of :

  • a prime Qualcomm Kryo 485 Gold core (2.84 GHz)
  • three performance Qualcomm Kryo 485 Gold cores (2.42 GHz)
  • four low-power Qualcomm Kryo 485 Silver cores (1.8 GHz)

It also has an Qualcomm Adreno 640 GPU, with a clock speed of 585 MHz.

Xiaomi took great pains to point out to us that it has great gaming performance, even though it is not the Snapdragon 855 Plus that will power some “gaming smartphones” like the ROG Phone 2, and the upcoming Black Shark 2 Pro.

To ensure sustained performance, the Snapdragon 855 is kept cool by an 8-layer graphite stack, and a bi-directional cooling system.

Xiaomi only let us test the Mi 9T Pro for two rounds of PUBG Mobile. It had no problem (of course) running PUBG Mobile with all the graphics features turned on, but it will get pretty toasty.

Recommended : Xiaomi Mi 9T (Redmi K20) – Everything You Need To Know!

A Better Front Camera

Both models have a 20 MP front camera. But they differ in two aspects :

  • the Mi 9T Pro has a larger sensor, with much larger 1.6 μm pixels (versus 0.9 μm pixels)
  • the Mi 9T‘s front camera has a slightly larger f/2.0 aperture (versus f/2.2)

What this means is the Mi 9T Pro’s front camera will give you better picture quality with less noise. And even though it has a slightly smaller aperture, it will still deliver better low-light performance because it has 78% larger pixels.

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Better Video Recording Capability

The Mi 9T (Redmi K20) uses the Sony IMX582 sensor, while the Mi 9T Pro (Redmi K20 Pro) uses the Sony IMX586 sensor.

However, they are both virtually the same – with the same sensor size, pixel size and 48 MP resolution.

The only difference – the IMX582 can only record 4K videos at up to 30 fps, while the IMX586 can record 4K videos at up to 60 fps.

Recommended : Sony IMX586 vs Sony IMX582 Comparison – Which Is Better?

 

Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro (Redmi K20 Pro) Specifications

We now compare the specifications of both models.

SpecificationsXiaomi Mi 9T ProXiaomi Mi 9T
Display6.39-inch AMOLED display
- 1080 x 2340 pixels (403 ppi)
6.39-inch AMOLED display
- 1080 x 2340 pixels (403 ppi)
- 103.8% NTSC colour gamut
ProtectionCorning Gorilla Glass 5Corning Gorilla Glass 5
Operating SystemAndroid 9.0 PieAndroid 9.0 Pie
PlatformQualcomm Snapdragon 855Qualcomm Snapdragon 730
Processor1 x Kryo 485 Gold core (2.84 GHz)
3 x Kryo 485 Gold cores (2.42 GHz)
4 x Kryo 485 Silver cores (1.8 GHz)
2 x Kryo 470 Gold (2.2 GHz)
6 x Kryo 470 Silver (1.8 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorQualcomm Adreno 640 (585 MHz)Qualcomm Adreno 618 (610 MHz)
Memory6 GB LPDDR4x-3733 memory6 GB LPDDR4x-3733 memory
Storage64 GB / 128 GB (UFS 2.1)
No microSD card slot
64 GB / 128 GB (UFS 2.1)
No microSD card slot
Front Camera20 MP sensor with 1.6 μm pixels, and f/2.2 aperture20 MP sensor with 0.9 μm pixels, and f/2.0 aperture
Rear CamerasTriple Camera System
- 48 MP Sony IMX586 camera with f/1.75 aperture
- 8 MP telephoto camera with f/2.4 aperture
- 13 MP ultra-wide angle camera with f/2.4 aperture
Triple Camera System
- 48 MP Sony IMX582 camera with f/1.75 aperture
- 8 MP telephoto camera with f/2.4 aperture
- 13 MP ultra-wide angle camera with f/2.4 aperture
ConnectivityWiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (dual band)
Bluetooth : BT 5.0
USB : USB 2.0 Type C
WiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (dual band)
Bluetooth : BT 5.0
USB : USB 2.0 Type C
SIM Support2 x nano SIM cards
Dual SIM, Dual Standby capable
2 x nano SIM cards
Dual SIM, Dual Standby capable
NFCYesYes
IR EmitterYesYes
Fingerprint SensorIn-Display SensorIn-Display Sensor
Other SensorsDistance sensor, In-screen ambient light sensor, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Electronic compassDistance sensor, In-screen ambient light sensor, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Electronic compass
Battery4,000 mAh lithium-ion battery
- supports 27 W fast charging
4,000 mAh lithium-ion battery
- supports 18 W fast charging
Dimensions74.3 mm wide
156.7 mm tall
8.8 mm thick
74.3 mm wide
156.7 mm tall
8.7 mm thick
Weight191 grams191 grams
Colour OptionsCarbon Black / Glacier Blue / Flame RedCarbon Black / Glacier Blue / Flame Red

 

Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro (Redmi K20 Pro) Price + Availability

The Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro / Redmi K20 Pro is available in two variants, at these recommended retail prices starting 30 August 2019 :

  • 6 GB + 64 GB : RM 1,599 / ~$379 / ~£313 / ~A564
  • 6 GB + 128 GB : RM 1,799 / ~$429 / ~£349 / ~A635

They will also be available all three colours – Carbon Black, Glacier Blue, Flame Red for both variants.

Xiaomi is also introducing the Pearl White colour, but it is only available in the 6 GB + 64 GB version, at Authorised Mi Stores only.

It will only be available starting 30 August 2019, but you can pre-order it now – 6GB + 64GB | 6GB + 128GB.

 

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The Xiaomi Mi 9 In-Depth Review – 48MP Flagship FTW!

Right after Xiaomi introduced the Redmi Note 7 with a 48MP shooter, they released the flagship Mi 9 model, also with a 48MP camera.

But the Redmi Note 7 and the Mi 9 are as different as different can be.

Find out what the Mi 9 offers over the Redmi Note 7, and why we gave it our coveted Editor’s Choice Award!

 

Xiaomi Mi 9 Models + Prices

Xiaomi is offering two Mi 9 models in most countries…

But globally, there are two other models :

  • 8 GB RAM + 128 GB storage : RMB 3,299 / ~US$478 / ~£380 / ~RM 1,995
  • 12 GB RAM + 256 GB storage : RMB 3,999 / ~US$579 / ~£461 / ~RM 2,419 (Cancelled)

There are three colour options (from left to right) – Piano Black, Ocean Blue and Lavender Violet.

 

Mi 9 vs. Redmi Note 7

For those who are wondering how the Mi 9 compares against the Redmi Note 7, we created this comparison table :

SpecificationsXiaomi Mi 9Xiaomi Redmi Note 7
Display6.39-inch AMOLED display
- 1080 x 2340 pixels (403 ppi)
- 103.8% NTSC colour gamut
6.3-inch IPS display
- 1080 x 2340 pixels (409 ppi)
- 84% NTSC colour gamut
ProtectionCorning Gorilla Glass 6Corning Gorilla Glass 5
Operating SystemAndroid 9.0 PieAndroid 9.0 Pie
PlatformQualcomm Snapdragon 855Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 AIE
Processor1 x Kryo 485 Gold (2.84 GHz)
3 x Kryo 485 Gold (2.42 GHz)
4 x Kryo 485 Silver (1.8 GHz)
4 x Kryo 260 Gold (2.2 GHz)
4 x Kryo 260 Silver (1.8 GHz)
Graphics ProcessorQualcomm Adreno 640Qualcomm Adreno 512
Memory6 GB LPDDR4x-4266 memory3 GB / 4 GB LPDDR4x memory
Storage64 GB / 128 GB (UFS 2.1)
No microSD card slot
32 GB / 64 GB / 128 GB
microSD card slot (share with SIM2)
Front Camera20 MP sensor with 0.9 μm pixels, and f/2.0 aperture13 MP sensor
Rear CamerasTriple Camera System
- 48 MP Sony IMX586 camera with f/1.75 aperture
- 12 MP telephoto camera with f/2.2 aperture
- 16 MP ultra-wide angle camera with f/2.2 aperture
Dual Lens Camera
- 48 MP camera with f/1.8 aperture
- 5 MP depth sensor
- single LED flash
ConnectivityWiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (dual band)
Bluetooth : BT 5.0
USB : USB 2.0 Type C
WiFi : 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (dual band)
Bluetooth : BT 5.0
USB : USB 2.0 Type C
SIM Support2 x nano SIM cards
Dual SIM, Dual Standby capable
2 x nano SIM cards
Dual SIM, Dual Standby capable
Hybrid SIM tray
NFCYesNo
IR EmitterYesYes
Fingerprint SensorIn-Display SensorYes, Rear Mounted
Other SensorsUltrasonic proximity sensor, In-screen ambient light sensor, Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Electronic compass, Linear motorGyroscope, Accelerometer, Distance, E-Compass, Ambient Light
Battery3,300 mAh lithium-ion battery
- supports 27 W fast charging / 20 W wireless fast charging
4,000 mAh lithium-ion battery
- supports 10 W fast charging
Dimensions74.67 mm wide
157.5 mm tall
7.61 mm thick
75.21 mm wide
159.21 mm tall
8.1 mm thick
Weight173 grams186 grams
Colour OptionsPiano Black / Ocean Blue / Lavender VioletSpace Black / Neptune Blue / Nebula Red

As you can see, they are really quite different smartphones, even though they both have a 48 MP main camera.

 

Unboxing The Xiaomi Mi 9

The Xiaomi Mi 9 (64GB : US / UK / MY | 128GB : US / UK / MY) comes in a premium pearl white box. Let’s unbox it, and see what we find inside!

When you fully unbox it, you will find the following items :

  • One Xiaomi Mi 9 smartphone
  • One Xiaomi Mi 9 clear TPU bumper case
  • One set of Xiaomi Mi 9 documents
  • One Xiaomi MDY-08-E1 USB charger (18 watt)
  • One USB Type C data and power cable
  • One USB Type C to 3.5 mm audio adaptor
  • One SIM tray extractor pin

While we always like it when brands include a bumper case, this bumper case falls short of our expectations. We will explain it in our close-up look at the Xiaomi Mi 9 (64GB : US / UK / MY | 128GB : US / UK / MY) and its bumper case.

Next Page > Xiaomi Mi 9 – Up Close, Key Features

 

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The Xiaomi Mi 9 Up Close!

The Xiaomi Mi 9 (64GB : US / UK / MY | 128GB : US / UK / MY) is built around a large 6.39-inch Dot Drop display.

Like the Redmi Note 7, the Mi 9 display has a Full HD+ resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels, but it has a superior Samsung AMOLED panel that delivers a 60,000:1 contrast ratio and 103.8% of the NTSC colour gamut!

The Mi 9 is protected in the front and back by Corning Gorilla Glass 6, which offers 2X the damage resistance than Gorilla Glass 5 used to protect Redmi Note 7.

Disappointingly, the bundled TPU bumper case was not well-designed. It does not protect the display or the camera bump at all. It can only protect against falls on the sides of the phone…

Fortunately, the camera bump is protected by sapphire glass, which is tougher and less likely to scratch than Gorilla Glass.

On the left side, you will find the SIM tray and a Google Assistant button (like the Bixby button on Samsung smartphones).

The Power and Volume control buttons are both located on the right side.

Even though the Mi 9 (64GB : US / UK / MY | 128GB : US / UK / MY) is thick enough to support a 3.5 mm audio port, Xiaomi removed it.

So you will only find a second microphone at the top, together with an IR emitter (which lets you use the Mi 9 as a remote control).

At the bottom, you will only find a bi-directional USB Type C port flanked by the speaker and microphone ports.

The Mi 9 (64GB : US / UK / MY | 128GB : US / UK / MY) comes with a USB-C to 3.5 mm adaptor cable. It allows you to hook up your earphone or an external microphone to the USB-C port.

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Dot Drop Display

At the top of the 6.39-inch AMOLED display is what Xiaomi calls a “dot drop” notch.

This dot drop notch allows for a larger display area, specifically space for more notifications. Barring the complete removal of the notch, this is about as good as it gets!

Thanks to this small notch and thin bezels, the Xiaomi Mi 9 (64GB : US / UK / MY | 128GB : US / UK / MY) has a 90.7% screen-to-body ratio.

 

In-Display Fingerprint Sensor

The Xiaomi Mi 9 (64GB : US / UK / MY | 128GB : US / UK / MY) boasts an in-display fingerprint sensor.

This is an improved optical fingerprint sensor made by Goodix, that promises to detect your fingerprints about 25% faster.

While this is not as accurate or reliable as the ultrasonic sensor on the Samsung Galaxy S10 smartphones, it works quite well as long as your finger isn’t wet.

 

Double SIM Tray

The Xiaomi Mi 9 (64GB : US / UK / MY | 128GB : US / UK / MY) has Dual SIM, Dual Standby capability. Its SIM tray supports two nano SIM cards for this very purpose.

However, Xiaomi chose to eliminate the option for expandable memory using a microSD card. You must rely solely on the internal flash storage.

Therefore, we highly recommend you opt for the most amount of storage possible, which is usually 128 GB.

Next Page > Xiaomi Mi 9 – Processor, Memory + Storage, Setup, Battery Life + Recharging Speed

 

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Qualcomm Snapdragon 855

Launched in February 2019, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 is a very powerful mobile SoC for flagship smartphones.

It combines eight Qualcomm Kryo 485 processor cores, with an Adreno 640 GPU, a Snapdragon X24 and X50 modems, a Spectra 380 camera ISP and a Hexagon 690 DSP.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 uses a 1+3+4 cluster architecture :

  • one turbo-speed Kryo 485 Gold core running at 2.84 GHz,
  • three high-speed Kryo 485 Gold cores running at 2.42 GHz, and
  • four Kryo 485 Silver cores running at 1.8 GHz

In addition to an X24 LTE mode, the Snapdragon 855 also features the X50 modem, which allows it to deliver 5G mmWave connectivity.

 

Memory + Storage

The Xiaomi Mi 9 (64GB : US / UK / MY | 128GB : US / UK / MY) generally comes with 6 GB of LPDDR4x memory, with an 8 GB model in China.

Xiaomi does not allow anyone to check the amount of free memory, not even in Developer mode. But we used AIDA64 to confirm that with a clean system, it has 2.5 GB (42%) of free memory.

The Mi 9 comes with either 64 GB or 128 GB of internal flash storage. Our review sample came with 128 GB of storage, of which just over 115 GB (90%) is available for use.

This is enough space to store about 31,000 photos, or 16.5 hours of 1080p videos, or 6 hours of 4K videos.

We highly recommend you get the 128 GB model, because the Mi 9 does not offer expandable storage using a microSD card.

 

Setting Up The Xiaomi Mi 9

The Xiaomi Mi 9 (64GB : US / UK / MY | 128GB : US / UK / MY) runs on Android 9.0 Pie, so it is really easy to setup. It should take you no more than 7 minutes to set it up as a new device.

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Battery Life

We tested the Xiaomi Mi 9’s battery performance using PCMark. It basically ran the PCMark work tests until its battery capacity dropped to 20%.

Work 2.0 Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Xiaomi Mi 9 OPPO R17 Pro Samsung Galaxy S10+
Battery Capacity 4,000 mAh 3,300 mAh 3,700 mAh 4,100 mAh
Battery Life 12 hours 19 mins 12 hours 12 mins 11 hours 54 mins 10 hours 17 mins
Battery Utilisation 4.33 mAh / min. 3.61 mAh / min. 4.15 mAh / min. 5.32 mAh / min.
Review Links Redmi Note 7
Review
OPPO R17 Pro
Review
Galaxy S10+
Review
Price Check MY US | UK | MY MY | US US | UK | MY

IMPRESSIVE! Even with a relatively small 3,300 mAh battery, the Xiaomi Mi 9 (64GB : US / UK / MY | 128GB : US / UK / MY) lasted almost as long as the Redmi Note 7, which has a much larger 4,000 mAh battery.

This is not just screen-on time. It’s running the Work 2.0 benchmark over, and over again, for almost 12.25 hours!

 

Battery Recharging Performance

The Xiaomi Mi 9 (64GB : US / UK / MY | 128GB : US / UK / MY) supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 4, and up to 27 watts fast charging.

However, it only comes bundled with an 18-watt MDY-08-E1 fast charger. Well, let’s see how fast it recharges the 3,300 mAh battery!

Recharging Speed OPPO R17 Pro Xiaomi Mi 9 Samsung Galaxy S10+ Xiaomi Redmi Note 7
Battery Capacity 3,700 mAh 3,300 mAh 4,100 mAh 4,000 mAh
Charger Output 50 Watts 18 Watts 15 Watts 10 Watts
Recharging Time 33 Minutes 84.5 minutes 91.6 minutes 133 mins
Recharging Speed 90 mAh / min. 31.2 mAh / min. 35.8 mAh / min. 24.0 mAh / min.
Review Links R17 Pro
Review
Galaxy S10+
Review
Redmi Note 7
Review
Price Check MY | US US | UK | MY US | UK | MY MY

The Xiaomi Mi 9 (64GB : US / UK / MY | 128GB : US / UK / MY) took just over 1 hour 24 minutes (84.5 minutes) to recharge its battery from 20% to 100%.

This is good performance for its 18 watt charger, but falls short of the Samsung’s 15 watt charger that delivers 15% more juice with 16.7% less power consumption.

Thanks to its long battery life, it has a phenomenal battery life : recharging ratio of 8.7 : 1. A rule of thumb – for one hour of battery life, you only need to charge it for 7 minutes.

Next Page > Xiaomi Mi 9 Cameras, Triple Camera Comparison

 

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Xiaomi Mi 9 Cameras

The Xiaomi Mi 9 (64GB : US / UK / MY | 128GB : US / UK / MY) has a high-resolution 20 MP front camera hidden in its dot drop notch.

The image sensor has relatively large 0.9 μm pixels. Coupled with a wide, bright f/2.0 aperture, it should allow for pretty good low-light performance.

Despite its high resolution, this front camera only supports 720p or 1080p video recording at 30 fps.

However, selfie lovers will enjoy its many beautification features – AI Beautify, AI Feature Adjustment, AI Makeup, AI Portrait Mode, AI Scene Detection, AI Studio Lighting, and AI Lens Flare.

Its killer photography feature though is at the back – a triple camera system that is made up of :

  • Main Camera : 48 MP Sony IMX586 sensor (0.8 μm pixels) with f/1.75 aperture
  • Telephoto Camera : 12 MP sensor (1.0 μm pixels) with 2X zoom and f/2.2 aperture
  • Ultra-Wide Angle Camera : 16 MP sensor (1.0 μm pixels) with 117° angle, and f/2.2 aperture

This triple camera system supports electronic image stabilisation for jerk-free videos at up to 4K resolution. It can also record ultra-slow motion videos at up to 960 fps (720p or 1080p only).

The Sony IMX586 sensor supports the Super Pixel technology, allowing it to merge four pixels into one large 1.6 μm pixel. This greatly increases its light sensitivity in low-light conditions, delivering 12 MP pictures that are much brighter and clearer.

By default, the main camera uses the Super Pixel mode, both to increase light sensitivity, as well as to keep the picture sizes small.

 

Triple Camera Comparison

You may be wondering just how useful is it to have three cameras, instead of just two, or even one. Let us show you using these two comparisons :

While the telephoto camera is useful in bringing distant objects closer, there can be no doubt that the ultra-wide angle is really useful.

We are also glad to see Xiaomi give the ultra-wide angle camera a high-resolution 16 MP sensor, instead of 8 MP or even 5 MP in other smartphones.

Next Page > Xiaomi Mi 9 Photo + Video Samples & Analysis

 

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Xiaomi Mi 9 Camera Performance – Photo Samples

The Xiaomi Mi 9 (64GB : US / UK / MY | 128GB : US / UK / MY) pairs the 48 MP Sony IMX586 image sensor with a very wide and bright f/1.75 aperture.

The ultra-high resolution sensor has pretty small pixels – just 0.8 µm in size, so by default, Xiaomi combines them to form a very large 1.6 µm pixel for a reduced 12 MP photo resolution.

At the default 12 MP resolution, the photos are 4000 x 3000 pixels in size, with file sizes between 5 MB and 7.5 MB.

Here are 10 high-resolution unedited photo samples for you to check out. Click on them to load the full-sized photos. You can also download them to examine up close.

The image quality was superb – the details captured were crisp and clean. However, note again that they were taken at the default 12 MP resolution.

There are some caveats though. The wide f/1.75 aperture naturally creates a very narrow depth of field, with a nice bokeh effect. But in many cases, you will end up with an out-of-focus subject because of two issues :

  • trouble autofocusing on the subject in some cases, and
  • the inability to focus at short distances

Look at the last two pictures in particular – mushrooms and star anise. You can clearly see how narrow the depth of field is, with the main camera.

In other words, it will be quite a challenge to take macro or close-up shots. You need to put some distance between the camera and your subject.

Alternatively, switch to the telephoto camera which supports macro photography.

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Xiaomi Mi 9 Camera Performance – Video Samples

Unlike the Redmi Note 7 which also has a 48 MP camera, the Xiaomi Mi 9 (64GB : US / UK / MY | 128GB : US / UK / MY) can record 4K videos. Here are four video samples :

Video Sample #1 : Piano Performance (1080p)

The video is a little under-exposed, and has a yellowish tinge. However, it demonstrated excellent control of the highlights – you can see right to the back of the shop in the background!

The image stabilisation was also very good, and our hand shake was smoothened out very nicely.

The audio recording was a little too bright for our tastes, and we would expected a wider audio range. But it had pretty decent noise cancellation capability.

Video Sample #2 : Piano Performance (4K)

The resolution at 4K is amazing, and what’s really impressive is that the Mi 9 maintained its excellent image stabilisation at this resolution.

It also delivered good control of the highlights and exposure control was actually better at this resolution.

Video Sample #3 : Auto Show (1080p)

In this walk-through of a small auto show, you can see just how effective its image stabilisation is.

Generally, the Mi 9 has excellent image stabilisation performance. It is noticeably better at correcting vertical jerks, than horizontal movement – it jerks a little when you pan.

Video Sample #4 : Auto Show (4K)

Increasing the resolution to 4K appears to slightly impact its image stabilisation. The video is slightly more jerky. But overall, good image stabilisation performance.

Next Page > Xiaomi Mi 9 Work + Game Performance, Our Verdict + Award

 

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Xiaomi Mi 9 Work + Gaming Performance

In this section, we tested the Mi 9’s performance using PCMark, which simulates work applications like web browsing, playing video, writing text and editing photos.

We then tested the Mi 9’s gaming performance using 3DMark, using the Ice Storm Unlimited test.

 

Work Performance – PCMark

Work 2.0 Xiaomi Mi 9 Samsung Galaxy S10+ OPPO R17 Pro Xiaomi Redmi Note 7
Performance Score 9471 7846 6475 6145
Web Browsing 7792 8583 6572 5684
Video Editing 6038 5524 5387 5099
Writing 10919 9076 5617 6433
Photo Editing 20161 10710 10740 11091
Data Manipulation 7356 6450 5331 5255
Review Links Galaxy S10+
Review
R17 Pro
Review
Redmi Note 7
Review
Price Check US | UK | MY US | UK | MY MY | US MY

There is no doubt that when it comes to work performance, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 is superior to the Samsung Exynos 9820 used in the Samsung Galaxy S10+.

It is also incumbent upon us to point out that the Xiaomi Mi 9 (64GB : US / UK / MY | 128GB : US / UK / MY) is offering a top-of-the-line flagship-class processor at a fraction of the cost of the OPPO R17 Pro which uses a mid-range processor.

 

Gaming Performance – 3DMark

Ice Storm Unlimited Xiaomi Mi 9 Samsung Galaxy S10+ Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 OPPO R17 Pro
Gaming Score 65518 56808 26746 15354
Graphics 106388 73362 29525 15788
Physics 27945 31741 20118 14005
Graphics Test 1 585.4 fps 397.5 fps 164.1 fps 136.5 fps
Graphics Test 2 382.3 fps 266.3 fps 105.4 fps 45.8 fps
Physics Test 88.7 fps 100.8 fps 63.9 fps 44.5 fps
Review Links Galaxy S10+
Review
Redmi Note 7
Review
R17 Pro
Review
Price Check US | UK | MY US | UK | MY MY MY | US

The Mi 9’s Snapdragon 855 proved to be 15% faster than the Samsung Galaxy S10+‘s Exynos 9820 in games.

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Our Verdict + Award

Xiaomi has always had the reputation for creating smartphones with exceptional value, and excellent design. While they stumbled with the Redmi Note 7, they hit jackpot with the Mi 9.

The Xiaomi Mi 9 (64GB : US / UK / MY | 128GB : US / UK / MY) exudes class, with a premium look and feel. It definitely looks like it costs a ton more than you paid!

But more importantly – this is a flagship-class smartphone with a ton of class-leading features.

We cannot emphasise enough that this is literally the cheapest smartphone in the world to feature the class-leading Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 platform, and a triple camera system with a 48 MP main camera!

Its large 6.39-inch display may not have the super-high resolution of the Samsung Galaxy S10+, but it boasts the similar AMOLED panel, with a very high contrast ratio of 60,000:1 and 103.8% of the NTSC colour gamut!

Impressively, the Xiaomi Mi 9 manages its power consumption so well, it is able to deliver battery life in excess of 12 hours with a small 3,300 mAh battery!

Now, the 48 MP main camera works as advertised, but in 99.9% of the time, you will end up using it in the 12 MP Super Pixel mode. In fact, Xiaomi recognises this fact, and set the camera to default to 12 MP.

What we found far more useful is the addition of the ultra-wide angle camera. It is extremely useful for taking photos, especially while you are travelling. And we love the fact that Xiaomi gave it a 16 MP sensor, instead of an 8 MP or 5 MP sensor.

Now, the Xiaomi Mi 9 (64GB : US / UK / MY | 128GB : US / UK / MY) is not perfect. Its bundle bumper case, in particular, was poorly designed and should only be used if you cannot find something better.

We are also disappointed that Xiaomi removed the 3.5 mm audio port, and even worse – removed the microSD card expansion option.

While the Mi 9 comes with a lot of internal storage, we always recommend storing your photos and videos in a microSD card, as a form of insurance. Doing so allows you to recover your media files in the event your Mi 9 is physically damaged.

 

Xiaomi Mi 9 Price + Availability

Here are the common Mi 9 models, and their prices (and direct purchase links) :

 

Recommended Reading

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The Black Shark 2 Tech Briefing, Price + Deals Revealed!

Coming just two weeks after its global launch in Beijing, the Black Shark 2 is here to take down the ROG Phone and the Razer Phone 2!

Here is everything you need to know about Black Shark 2 – the official tech briefing, as well as its price and deals!

 

The Black Shark 2 Gaming Smartphone

Black Shark 2 (8GB | 12GB) is a gaming-optimised smartphone, very similar to the ROG Phone and the Razer Phone 2. It was designed to take both its competitors down in five key aspects of mobile gaming – gaming performance, gaming control, vision, hearing and vibration.

Flagship Class

The Black Shark 2 (8GB | 12GB) runs on the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 mobile platform, and comes with either 8 GB RAM and 128 GB of storage, or 12 GB RAM and 256 GB of storage.

Direct Touch Liquid Cooling System 3.0

The Black Shark 2 (8GB | 12GB) features a direct touch liquid cooling system that keeps the entire device cool, as opposed to just cooling the CPU and GPU.

Ludicrous Mode

To guarantee maximum gaming performance with no dropped frames, the Ludicrous Mode locks the CPU into its maximum clock speed.

5-Hour Gaming Battery Life

Despite its size, the Black Shark 2 (8GB | 12GB) only comes with a 4,000 mAh battery.  However, they assure us that it will let you game for up to 5 hours before it needs a recharge.

Fast Charging While Gaming

The Black Shark 2 (8GB | 12GB) supports 27 watt fast charging, which gives you 30 minutes playing time with a quick 5-minute charge, and one full hour of gaming with just 10 minutes of charging.

You don’t even have to stop playing. Even if, for example, you are playing PUBG, it will recharge to 15% in just 30 minutes.

X+2 Antenna

To ensure maximum wireless connectivity, the Black Shark 2 (8GB | 12GB) features an enhanced X+2 antenna design. The two additional side antennas help the X-type smart antenna transfer data wirelessly no matter how you grip the phone.

Low Latency Touch Screen

It claims to have the “world’s lowest latency touch screen“, with a response time of only 43.5 ms, slightly less than the iPhone XS at 45 ms and the Galaxy S10 at 60 ms.

AMOLED Display With DC Dimming

The Black Shark 2 (8GB | 12GB) has a large 6.38-inch AMOLED display with DC dimming to reduce strain on the eyes.

It also boasts an integrated DSP with MEMC (Motion Estimation, Motion Compensation) capabilities to eliminate unwanted judder and blur.

Gaming Audio

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Its audio system is designed specifically for gamers, with dual front-facing speakers. They are also 25% larger than speakers of a standard smartphone.

It also comes with three gaming microphones – two of them noise-cancelling microphones in the front to  ensure clear in-game voice chats.

4D Gaming Experience

The Black Shark 2 (8GB | 12GB) can recognise different environments, weapons, movements and actions (e.g. hits), and can automatically vibrate itself to create a 4D gaming experience.

Host Mode

If you want to play on a larger display, you can connect it to a TV or monitor using a HDMI cable. Play your games like a console with the optional GamePad 3.0 accessory.

 

Black Shark 2 Price + Deals Revealed!

The Black Shark 2 (8GB | 12GB) is available in two variants, and two colour options :

  • 8 GB + 128 GB (Only Shadow Black) : RM 2,499 / ~US$ 612.50 / ~£ 467
  • 12 GB + 256 GB (Shadow Black or Frosted Silver) : RM 2,999 / ~US$ 735 / ~£ 560

The 8 GB model is available for purchase with immediate effect. The 12 GB model is available for pre-order from 1 April to 5 April, 2019.

 

Recommended Reading

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