Our Opinion

The Xiaomi Black Shark 2 (6GB RAM, 128GB) is a significantly better phone than the Samsung Galaxy S9 64GB, and is also slightly better value for money. What should you buy? Go for the Xiaomi Black Shark 2 (6GB RAM, 128GB)!

Samsung Galaxy S9 64GB  Xiaomi Black Shark 2 (6GB RAM, 128GB) 
Samsung Galaxy S9 Xiaomi Black Shark 2
Buy Now Buy  not available currently
Excellence Score
52.4
69.4
Value for Money Score
60.1
60.3
Price ₹ 28,445 onwards ₹ 39,999 onwards
Launch Date (India) Mar, 2018 Jun, 2019
Expected Launch Date N/A N/A
Smartphone OS Android 8.0 Oreo, Upgradeable to Android 10Expected update to next Android version Android 9.0 PieExpected update to Android 10
Touchscreen Yes (Capacitive) Yes (Capacitive)
Screen Size 5.8 inches 6.39 inches
Screen Resolution 1440x2960 pixels (~ 568 pixels per inch) 1080x2340 pixels (~ 403 pixels per inch)
Tall Aspect Ratio / Minimal Bezels Yes Yes
Scratch Resistant Display Yes, Corning Gorilla Glass 5 Yes
Display Type AMOLED AMOLED
Display Features Super AMOLED, 3D Touch (home button only), Always-on Display, Infinity Display DCI-P3 Support, Always-on display, Eye Protection mode, Intelligent Motion Compensation, Image Enhancement
Full Physical QWERTY Keypad
Processor 2.8 GHz 2.84 GHz
Processor Type Octa Core Octa Core
Processor Name Exynos 9810Ranked #12 in Mobile Processor Benchmarks Qualcomm Snapdragon 855Ranked #7 in Mobile Processor Benchmarks
GPU Mali-G72 MP18 Adreno 640
RAM 4 GB 6 GB
3G Yes Yes
4G Yes Yes
VoLTE Yes Yes
WiFi Yes Yes
VoWiFi/WiFi-Calling Yes
GPS Yes Yes
Bluetooth Yes Yes
Connecting Port USB-C USB-C
Primary Camera 12.0MP 48MP + 12MP
Camera Auto-Focus Yes Yes
Camera Flash Yes Yes
HD Video Recording Yes (4K) Yes (4K)
Other Camera Features F/1.5-2.4 Aperture, 26mm Focal Length, 1/2.5" Sensor Size, 1.4µm Pixel Size, Dual Pixel PDAF, Phase Detection Autofocus (PDAF), Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS), Geo-tagging, Simultaneous 4K video and 9MP image recording, Touch focus, Face/Smile Detection, Auto HDR, Panorama, HDR, Dual-Video rec., Slow-motion Video 48MP: F/1.8 Aperture; 1/2" Sensor Size; 0.8um Pixel Size; PDAF, 12MP: F/2.2 Aperture; 1.0um Pixel Size; PDAF; 2x Optical Zoom, HDR, Panorama, Pro mode, Slow motion, AI Camera, Portrait Mode
Secondary Camera 8.0MP 20MP
Secondary Camera Features F/1.6 Aperture, Autofocus, Full HD+ Video Recording, Dual Video call, Auto HDR F/2.0 Aperture, 0.9um Pixel Size, HDR
Internal Memory 64 GB 128 GB
Expandable Memory Slot Yes, up to 400 GB
Contacts Storage Unlimited Unlimited
SMS Storage Unlimited Unlimited
Music Player Yes Yes
FM Radio
Dual SIM GSM+GSM (Hybrid SIM slot) GSM+GSM
Thickness 8.5 mmMedium 8.77 mmMedium
Weight 163 gmMedium 205 gmHeavy
Width 68.7 mmComfortable for one-handed use 75.0 mmOk for one-handed use
Audio Output 3.5mm jack USB-C
Water Resistant Yes, IP68 Rated (up to 1.5m for 30 mins)
Battery Capacity 3000 mAh 4000 mAh
Battery Standby N/A N/A
Battery Standby (3G) N/A N/A
Battery Talktime N/A N/A
Battery Talktime (3G) N/A N/A
Fast Charging Support Yes Yes, 27W Quick Charge 4.0
Included Fast Charger Yes Yes, 18.0W Fast Charger
Other Battery Parameters N/A N/A
Fingerprint sensor Yes Yes
Other Features Scratch Resistant Back (Corning Gorilla Glass 5); Samsung DeX (desktop experience support); Qi Wireless charging; Bixby; NFC; ANT+ support; Stereo Speakers; Noise Filtration; Samsung Pay In-display Fingerprint Sensor; WiFi Display; MIMO; Stereo Speakers; Noise Filtration
2-minute Review [Positives]
  • Absolutely luscious design, continuing the design language that was introduced with the Galaxy S8 series (which is not a bad thing at all) - and it has some really sizzling color options in purple and blue, which really helps those supple curves stand out - the body colors look deep, rich and ever-changing thanks to the way the glossy glass catches the light - you will be hard pressed to find anything remotely as elegant, and beautiful in the Android market
  • The S9's tall, narrow proportions fit your hand well - and it's significantly easier to handle than its larger cousin (S9+)
  • The biggest design change is on the back, where the fingerprint reader moves below the camera module - this corrects the worst design mistake of both Galaxy S8 phones and the Note 8
  • Water resistant body
  • The tall, 18:9, minimal bezel, 5.8-inch AMOLED screen is absolutely gorgeous and even brighter than last year's (15 percent brighter, in fact) - and the sexy dual-curved design adds to the charm
  • Samsung software on top of Android adds some useful extras, extending the core functionality of Android - it is one of the better, more refined UIs in the Android world
  • Whiplash-fast performance backed by the super powerful Samsung's Exynos 9810 (similar to the Snapdragon 845 in terms of performance) - performance is top-notch as expected under all use cases
  • Terrific camera - the first to bring a mechanical dual-aperture lens from DSLRs to the much tinier mobile phone, a feature that's designed to let in more light, reduce image noise and generally make your photos a lot better
  • The image quality in well lit situations is top-notch
  • Low light performance often borders on astounding - with the amount of brightness & lack of noise you will find in the shots (thanks to the dual aperture lens) - although its not very consistent (some low light photos are oddly washed out)
  • The super-slow motion video mode is pretty cool too, and when you frame the shot well, can give some incredible result
  • The selfie camera is good too, and has a new Selfie Focus mode, which uses software (and not a second lens) to create a depth effect with the front-facing camera, similar to the Pixel 2, or the iPhone X
  • On the whole the cameras on the Galaxy S9 compare well with the those on the other top camera phones - the Google Pixel 2, and the iPhone X - it's a toss up between these 3 - the Galaxy S9 can produce some truly exceptional shots especially in the dark, but perhaps the iPhone X and the Pixel 2 are just a bit more consistent all round, everything considered
  • Dual-speaker system is excellent, and makes for loud, rich audio - and results in one of the best speaker experience of any smartphone, ever
  • Call quality is fantastic too, with the AKG tuning really paying off
  • Also has the good old-fashioned headphone jack! (that's missing in a lot of other flagships now)
  • Good (though not exceptional) battery life - will definitely last the work day on a single charge
  • Supports fast charging (although it's not the fastest around)
  • Supports wireless charging
  • DeX Pad support is another cool feature that enhances the Desktop Experience Samsung introduced on last year’s flagship Galaxy phones
  • On the whole, while outside of the display, the S9 isn’t a class leader in any category, but it’s good enough in all of them that the whole package makes for a great flagship phone - it will compete with the Pixel 2/XL and the iPhone X for the title of the best smartphone - which one of these 3 you might choose will depend on what specific things you value
  • Powerful, unique, industrial 'gaming device' design
  • Slick 'gaming lights'
  • The Black Shark logo on the rear of the phone can be customized to glow and pulse in just about any color
  • The included case has two small ledges onto which you can latch your fingertips - the grippy material of the case and these ledges really help you take firm hold of the phone when gaming
  • The buttons (a short volume toggle, a small power and screen button, and dedicated Shark Key) have excellent profiles and perfect action
  • Fast, effective face unlock
  • Large, crisp, punchy OLED display - you are going to enjoy playing games and watching videos on this device
  • Contrast, and viewing angles are great
  • The display also supports a 'MagicTouch' feature, that relies on the phone’s pressure-sensitive display to let you reassign controls to a more convenient location on the screen - which can make playing games in landscape mode (like PUBG) much more fun
  • The UI is mostly stock Android, which keeps things nice and simple
  • The primary modification to the software is in terms of a number of options that help you optimize the gaming experience on the phone
  • The “Game Dock” and “Light Settings” found at the bottom of the settings menu let you adjust certain aspects of the gaming experience, such as notifications, frame rates, brightness, and the floating window that acts as a dashboard for all your key performance metrics (battery temp, CPU temp, CPU frequency, and so on)
  • The Shark Key on the right side grants entry to the phone’s gaming zone, called Shark Space that squashes notifications and will essentially help you focus 100 percent on gaming - it also dumps out the RAM to help boost speeds
  • Shark Space is also a central location for all your games - any titles you download from the Play Store are automatically loaded into the Shark Space launcher
  • You’ll also find controls for the optional gaming pads - if you purchase the pads you can customize the actions for each button here, as well as perform some baseline calibrations.
  • If you don’t have the controllers, you can map on-screen buttons to perform specific tasks
  • The display is also capable of 240Hz touch sensitivity with latency as low as 43.5ms - together, these translate to faster finger recognition and quicker response to your input
  • The performance as you would expect from a gaming device, is drool-worthy - the flagship Snapdragon 855, with oodles of RAM, and other modifications like liquid cooling, and a multi-layered heat dissipation system, means that this is simply one of the most powerful Androids you can get your hands on
  • From day-to-day use to complex games, the Black Shark 2 will chomp through everything, without batting an eyelid
  • Pretty good cameras for this price bracket
  • The dual-camera setup on the rear lets you shoot normal and telephoto images, as well as use the two lenses together for portrait/bokeh
  • The majority of photos show sharp focus, and even low light shots are better than average
  • The selfie camera does a decent job too
  • You can shoot video up to 4K - they generally come out clean, well exposed, and mostly free of noise
  • Overall, especially for a gaming-centered phone, the Black Shark 2 packs some pretty capable cameras
  • Good bunch of front-facing stereo speakers - can deliver 1W of audio output, which means the Black Shark 2 can get really loud
  • There is also a dedicated gaming mic on one side of the phone to ensure it isn’t covered by your hand while you play
  • Very good battery life with a 4000mAH battery, and some good optimization - with regular use, it can breeze through 48 hours and power to spare - and even with a lot of gaming time, you will comfortable get through a day
  • Fast charging support (Qualcomm Quick Charge 4.0) with some very good charging speeds - 30 min plugged into the included charger will provide a 60 percent boost in battery life
  • If you are into hardcore gaming, and spend a lot of your day engrossed in PUBG or Fortnite, this is the best value-for-money dedicated gaming phone you can get, period - it's big on both personality and performance - and the bang for buck it delivers is off the charts
2-minute Review [Negatives]
  • Fragile glass front and back means you should buy a case day 1
  • The new face-unlock tool is not particularly secure (it might have been better for Samsung to build out a more refined version before rushing in to compete with the similar feature on the iPhone X)
  • The 3D avatar software is again not that well executed - the AR Emojis track your expressions poorly and need far more customization options
  • There’s also still no compelling use case for Bixby, Samsung's AI agent (though of course you have no compulsion to use it, and can instead keep using the Google Assistant)
  • While the camera is great generally, it can sometime make low-light photos look blurry and lack detail - even though brightness levels is excellent and noise is minimal - so its sometimes a double edged sword
  • The S9 also lacks the second rear lens of the step-up S9 Plus that's dedicated to creating those depth-of-field portrait shots that blur the background to make people and objects pop
  • Battery life is good, but not exceptional - some of the competition is ahead here
  • Everything considered, S8 owners can skip the upgrade - the S9 is excellent all-round, and incrementally better - but it's not a monumental change from the S8
  • Apart from the iPhone X and the Pixel 2/XL, the S9 will also face tough competition now from lower priced flagships like the OnePlus 5T, which are almost as good on most of the important counts
  • While the front of the phone is all glass, the rest of the chassis is some seriously heavy metal - this is a big and heavy device, no 2 ways about it
  • No IP-rated waterproofing
  • The in-display fingerprint sensor only has average accuracy (you will be better off using the face unlock mostly)
  • The Black Shark 2, like all gaming device tend to be, is a sharp, aggressive-looking piece of hardware, and it may be too much for regular, non-hardcore-gaming folk
  • Unlike some other gaming phones (such as the Asus ROG phone), the screen refresh rate is limited to a standard 60Hz
  • Brightness levels peak at 430-nits - it could have been a bit higher for better outdoor visibility
  • No 3.5mm headphone jack - audio output is via USB-C, and there are no USB-C earphones included either - so you will need to get your own USB-C or wireless headphones
  • The Black Shark 2 is primarily for gamers thanks to its lights, aggressive design and gaming optimizations - having said all that though, it’s a good smartphone generally speaking, and anyone looking for a standout handset, who doesn’t mind a bit of ‘grrr’, can also check it out
Expert Reviews
  1. You can hardly find anything remotely as elegant, as advanced, and as polished, all in a single product, on the Android market
    phonearena.com in-depth Read Review »
  2. Thanks to blazing performance, solid cameras and long battery life, the Galaxy S9/S9+ continue to uphold the S series’ reputation for excellence
    engadget.com in-depth Read Review »
  3. If you're looking to upgrade your phone, especially if you're already a devoted Samsung customer, this one has everything you'd want.
    wired.com in-depth Read Review »
  4. Both Galaxy S9 and S9+ are solid, dependable workhorses with excellent displays, premium craftsmanship, and improved cameras
    gadgets.ndtv.com in-depth Read Review »
  5. Impressive, to say the least
    bgr.com in-depth Read Review »
  6. Samsung gets it exactly right
    mashable.com in-depth Read Review »
  7. The S9 and S9+ are probably the best Android phones for most users, and I’d have no problem recommending them to almost anyone
    androidauthority.com in-depth Read Review »
  8. gsmarena.com in-depth Read Review »
  9. cnet.com in-depth Read Review »
  10. theverge.com in-depth Read Review »
  11. techradar.com in-depth Read Review »
  12. independent.co.uk in-depth Read Review »
  13. telegraph.co.uk in-depth Read Review »
  14. bgr.in in-depth Read Review »
  15. alphr.com in-depth Read Review »
  16. expertreviews.co.uk in-depth Read Review »
  17. tomsguide.com in-depth Read Review »
  18. androidcentral.com in-depth Read Review »
  19. zdnet.com in-depth Read Review »
  20. slashgear.com in-depth Read Review »
  21. cnbc.com in-depth Read Review »
  22. indiatoday.in in-depth Read Review »
  23. thenextweb.com in-depth Read Review »
  24. pcworld.com in-depth Read Review »
  25. androidpolice.com in-depth Read Review »
  26. techadvisor.co.uk in-depth Read Review »
  27. gizmodo.com in-depth Read Review »
  28. digitaltrends.com hands-on Read Review »
  29. trustedreviews.com hands-on Read Review »
  30. news18.com hands-on Read Review »
  31. stuff.tv hands-on Read Review »
  32. t3.com hands-on Read Review »
  33. wired.co.uk hands-on Read Review »
  34. mirror.co.uk hands-on Read Review »
  1. A great phone, that we thoroughly liked..but one that we find surprisingly hard to recommend
    gsmarena.com in-depth Read Review »
  2. The Black Shark 2’s pressure-sensitive screen makes mobile gaming better
    theverge.com in-depth Read Review »
  3. A big, powerful bite at an affordable price
    techradar.com in-depth Read Review »
  4. Delivers on its key promise — excellent gaming performance..but feels slightly overpriced compared to a rival such as the Nubia Red Magic 3
    gadgets.ndtv.com in-depth Read Review »
  5. Ideal gaming smartphone
    bgr.in in-depth Read Review »
  6. Solid value for the money
    androidauthority.com in-depth Read Review »
  7. The new king of mobile gaming
    trustedreviews.com in-depth Read Review »
  8. If you are a person that loves to game on the go, this is the smartphone for you
    indianexpress.com in-depth Read Review »
  9. Quintessentially one of the best gaming smartphones out there
    news18.com in-depth Read Review »
  10. One of the best gaming phones you can buy
    androidcentral.com in-depth Read Review »
  11. A dependable option for gamers
    livemint.com in-depth Read Review »
  12. This gaming phone is a real killer
    stuff.tv in-depth Read Review »
  13. Well worth the money
    slashgear.com in-depth Read Review »
  14. A mighty phone with supreme gaming capabilities
    indiatoday.in in-depth Read Review »
  15. Consider this one if you need an all-round smartphone that also doubles up as a gaming device
    business-standard.com in-depth Read Review »
  16. tomsguide.com in-depth Read Review »
  17. t3.com in-depth Read Review »
  18. thenewsminute.com in-depth Read Review »
  19. pocket-lint.com in-depth Read Review »
  20. digitaltrends.com hands-on Read Review »
User Reviews
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Individual Review 2
  • Individual Review 2
Individual Review

Samsung Galaxy S9 review

The Verge

Top Pick

Individual Review

Black Shark 2 Review: Game on

Pocketnow

Top Pick

Full Review

Samsung Galaxy S9 review

The Verge

Full Review

Black Shark 2 Review: Game on

Pocketnow

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