Blog 14: September 21, 2020 at 07:00 pm By OTTO
There’s a difference between active cooling and passive cooling. Passive cooling is what we normally see inside of smartphones, like copper heat pipes or thermal paste…stuff that just allows the heat to flow or passively transfer from one place to another.
Active cooling systems, on the other hand, use energy to cool something down.
Hello guys, This Black Shark 3 Pro, gaming phone supposedly has quite a bit of both and I think we should test them out.
Let’s get started guys:
So all of the passive cooling, like I mentioned,\nis going to be inside of the phone with the double heat pipes and all that. But here on\nthe outside we can start checking out the active cooling.
This little package can supposedly get colder than ambient room temperatures, but there’s only one way to find out for sure.
Starting off we can see that right now the temperature is in the high 70s. As soon as I plug it in, the fan turns on and the multicolored LEDs start flashing, which of course always boosts HP FPS and the LOS of your HUD deterring an RPG, if you know what I mean.
Within 30 seconds of plugging in the Black Shark fan, already the temperature is magically dropping to the low 50s.
I’ll set it down for a second and let it cool off some more. And we can check out the other cool thing about this phone.
We’ve seen pop-up ameras before, but what about pop-up buttons? 43 degrees.
The Black Shark Pro has two motorized pop-up buttons, one at each end of the phone when you’re holding it horizontally.
They motor on up out of the phone and can be programmed as if you were physically touching any point on the screen.
The pop-up buttons can supposedly support rising out of the phone 300,000 times and can be used as a clicky button for more than a million times. That’s quite a lot of gaming.
Our active cooler is now down to 34 degrees which is pretty crazy.
That’s as cold as it gets inside of a household refrigerator. We’re definitely off to a good start with this guy.
The little mount expands to clamp on the exterior of the phone, and probably would work with more phones besides just this one.
And that cold surface of the active cooler can wick away the heat from the phone on a much larger scale than passive cooling could accomplish all by itself.
Especially if it’s located right on top of the processor which might, be here dead center in the middle of the phone.
Now obviously I’m curious as to how this works and you are too, or else we both wouldn’t be here….together…separately. So let’s see what makes this thing tick.
There are 3 screws inside of the fan, and then another two screws on both sides next to the expandable legs.
There’s a super thin rubber coating glued down over the massive copper heat sink, probably to protect the glass of the phone as they’re clamped together.
So far I’m pretty impressed with this thing. It’s definitely not designed to come apart, but after a little aggressive persuasion we can finally see the insides.
A large slab of copper with a temperature sensor on top. This temperature sensor communicates with the phone so you can physically see the temperature of the cooler while it’s running.
Six more screws hold the fan shroud to the base of the cooler, and this is where things start to get interesting.
The entire middle chunk is made from metal. Each single one of these little fins is acting like a heat sink for the top half of the cooler.
And you might think that this heat sink is for the phone, but it’s actually for the white square we saw underneath.
This white square is a thermoelectric cooler. It’s a solid state active cooler that uses lectricity to create a temperature difference between two conductors.
As one side is getting colder, it’s pulling the heat away and the heat has to go somewhere, so the other side of the white pad gets ridiculously hot and that’s why the metal heat sink has to be so large.
As long as the cool side of the electric cooler is against the phone, it should work very well at removing heat. We’ll have to check out that internal processor placement during the teardown.
Now though, I think we should continue the durability test.
Black Shark does make some of the more inexpensive gaming phones compared to the more expensive guys like Razr and ROG.
Fun fact: sometimes the screens of smartphones are also used to dissipate heat since usually, they’re pretty thin and right next to the metal frame.
Lucky for us the Black Shark 3 Pro starts seeing scratches at a level 6 with deeper grooves at a level 7. So far,
There’s 120 megapixel front facing camera up here in the top bezel, along with the top front facing stereo speaker.
There’s a plastic grill up here covering the earpiece, but it looks like it won’t ever be falling out on\nits own. We have another plastic grill down here at the bottom for the other front facing stereo speaker. No complaints yet.
The sides of the phone are made from metal, along with the dedicated gaming button slider which puts you in a do not disturb’ mode for playing solitaire or whatever the kids are playing these days.
Am I out of touch? I think we can all agree though that there is no more Pokemon Go until this corona thing is over.
The raising side buttons are made from plastic, on the top at least. I’m looking forward to the teardown to see how these work from the inside. And what is this? A gaming\nphone with the headphone jack?
I guess if an audience is loud enough, Black Shark does listen. And here it is again….back. The headphone jack. Thumbs up for that.
On the far side we have the volume rocker and SIM card tray. There is no water ingress protection rating on this phone, and it also does not have expandable memory.
There is USB-C charging at the bottom that’s capable of 65 watt fast charging, which I think is one of the more powerful chargers we’ve ever seen.
No gaming phone is complete though without a light-up logo on the back, and the glass is also textured. None of that smooth slippery business.
The glass portion of this phone doesn’t actually even cover the whole back
There are three sections of glass bracketed by portions of metal frame.
Super strange design which is going to make the teardown all the more complicated.
The top triangular piece of glass here has three\ncameras inside. A 64 megapixel main camera, a 13 megapixel ultra-wide, and a 5 megapixel depth camera.
Personally I would have exchanged that depth camera for a telephoto, but that’s just me. There’s only one flash.
Then down here at the bottom we have an attachment point for accessories, like a magnetic wireless Now normally I do a fingerprint scanner scratch test to make sure the fingerprint scanner can handle a bit of abuse.
But with this Black Shark 3 Pro, I would almost be finished registering my fingerprint and then it would quit. And this happened three times in a row.
So at least on my unit, the optical underscreen\nfingerprint scanner is unreliable, even without any damage done to the surface of the glass.
Now the Black Shark 3 Pro is a pretty big phone. It’s got a 7.1 inch 1440p AMOLED display, with a 90 Hertz refresh rate, which is quite\na bit faster than a normal non-gaming phone.
It makes calculating those Angry Bird trajectories all the quicker. Once again, I am unsure as to what games kids are playing these days. The screen did last about 30 seconds under the heat from my lighter, and then did not recover.
There is now a permanent white mark in the center of the screen. So if you’re ever sanitizing your phone, you’re fine to use alcohol wipes or Clorox wipes, but definitely not flame.
It took us 6 years and hundreds of phones and a worldwide pandemic, but we finally almost found a reason for the burn.
And now for the bend test. I would guess that gaming phones probably get abused a bit more than regular smartphones. But no matter what direction pressure gets applied to this phone,
from the front or the back, it remains solid. Probably in large part thanks to that massive
metal structure across the backside. I’m pretty impressed. This phone has a lot of things going for it. Unsure if they will ever be sold there in the United States.
But that active cooling system and motorized buttons are just icing on the cake for an already pretty cool smartphone.
It’ll be fun to see what Black Shark comes up with again next year. What do you think the ultimate gaming smartphone should have?
Let me know down in the comments. 😉