While there’s no actual release date yet, previous Black Shark's previous release dates present a pattern when introducing new products, as you can see from this list:
- Black Shark 1: April 2018
- Black Shark 2: March 2019
- Black Shark 2 Pro: Oct 2019
- Black Shark 3: March 2020
- Black Shark 3 Pro: March 2020
With this in mind, it looks highly likely that the Black Shark 4 will appear sometime in March 2021. US customers should also be able to buy the new device since Black Shark started selling directly to North America with the Black Shark 3, depending on how far-reaching the effects of parent company Xiaomi's US government blacklisting are.
How much will the Black Shark 4 cost?
Again, we’re yet to hear what the official cost of the new gaming phone, but here’s what the past models cost as a guide:
- Black Shark 2: £479/€549
- Black Shark 2 Pro: £539/€599
- Black Shark 3: £539/$599/€599
- Black Shark 3 Pro: £799/$899/€899
Setting aside the Pro tier, which is always more expensive, it seems likely that the Black Shark 4 will occupy that sub-£600/$600 bracket when it does finally arrive.
What new features will be included in the Black Shark 4?
When Yuzhou posted that the new model would arrive soon, he used an image that also outlined some of the features you can expect. These include 120W charging speeds, a 4500mAh battery and a 0% to 100% recharge time of 15 minutes.
The Red Magic 6 was also revealed in a similar fashion recently, also boasting 120W wired charging and a 4500mAh of its own, albeit without any formal promise of rapid recharge times like the Black Shark 4.
It’s expected that the Black Shark 4 will have the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor, as it is a gaming phone, after all. These suspicions were given a boost recently when GSMArena posted a report that a Black Shark 4 prototype had just attained the highest benchmark scores on AuTuTu, clocking up 788,505 points. So, whatever hardware it comes equipped with, you can be sure it will be fast.
We've since seen a new Black Shark device pop up in a Google Play listing, revealing a few more potential specs. The device, codenamed 'kaiser', packs 8GB of RAM and an FHD+ 20:9 display, along with Android 11 support.
The only confusing wrinkle is that the chipset is listed as the 'SDM835' - aka the Snapdragon 835. At first, we thought that was a mix-up with the Snapdragon 888 model number - SM8350 - but the mention of the Kryo 280 CPU and Adreno 540 GPU match the older 835. This is presumably an error, but it does throw doubt on the veracity of the whole leak.
You may be disappointed to see an FHD+ panel, rather than a jump to a higher resolution, but that'll likely be offset by Black Shark upping the display's refresh rate from the 90Hz of the Black Shark 3 to 144Hz, as seen on the likes of the Red Magic 5S.
Two phones have also shown up on Chinese certification system TENAA too, with one sporting the model name 'SHARK KSR-A0' - likely in reference to the 'Kaiser' codename. The listing makes mention of 5G, dimensions of 163.83mm x 76.35mm x 10.3mm, a 6.67in display, a 4500mAh battery and (again) Android 11.
As for the second TENAA listing - model name 'SHARK PRS-A0' - the included photos reveal a visible dewdrop front-facing camera notch and side-mounted fingerprint sensor/power button (in place of an in-display fingerprint sensor), suggesting that this is the more modest Black Shark 4, while 'Kaiser' and the specs tied to it mentioned above are likely the Black Shark 4 Pro.
There’s not much else known about the Black Shark 4 line at the moment, but looking at the previous entries, we think it’s likely that they'll also feature options for 8 or 12GB of RAM, 128 or 256GB of storage, an optical in-display fingerprint sensor (in the case of the Pro), at least three cameras and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
We’ll be updating this article as more news becomes available, but in the meantime check out our best gaming phones roundup to see what alternatives are available.