Xiaomi has today decided to follow suit to the Razer Phone and has unveiled its first-ever gaming-centric smartphone under the Black Shark brand at an event in Beijing. This device starts at 2,999 yuan (Approx Rs 32,000) and will go on sale in China starting April 20.
Design and Build
The Black Shark gaming phone sports a 5.99-inch Full HD+ LCD panel, with an 18:9 aspect ratio. While you get the taller screen, Xiaomi has still left the bezels on the top and bottom to make it simpler for the users to hold the device in landscape mode for gaming sessions. You also get a home button with a fingerprint scanner in the bottom bezel.
As for the rear panel of the device, it has been crafted to give it a gritty look that helps it represent the Black Shark brand. The rounded corners and the matte-finish curved panels on the rear should make the phone comfortable to grip, and less slippery on sloping surfaces. You also get a dedicated microphone and surround sound for an enhanced audio experience.
The thing that you’ll adore the most is that the green Black Shark logo lights up and breathes when you play games. Xiaomi has pulled a Razer with this feature.
One of the stand-out features of is the inclusion of a smart X-shaped antenna design. Xiaomi boasts that it’s the first-ever device with a Wi-Fi 2×2 MIMO multiple antenna design, which makes it capable of supporting 5G network-like speeds with ease.
If you’re unaware, Black Shark is the gaming sub-brand of Xiaomi. The company is backed by Xiaomi and will be dedicated to building gaming-related products going forward.
The Black Shark is powered by the Snapdragon 845 chipset, coupled with Adreno 630 GPU and two different RAM and storage configurations. You can pick between 6GB or 8GB RAM and 64 GB or 128 GB internal storage.
The phone also has a multi-core AI Engine that allocates resources to maximize efficiency. It brings along support for DCI-P3, video HDR, and MEMC intelligent motion compensation technology as well.
If you’re someone who cares for benchmarks, then the AnTuTu score for this device comes at a whopping 279,464.
Another highlight of the Black Shark phone is that it comes with a multi-stage direct-touch integrated liquid cooling system for dissipating heat. It comprises of four different components, namely heat module, liquid cooling, heat sink, and multi-layer graphite.
The Black Shark is running Android 8.0 Oreo out-of-the-box, with a skinned Joy UI on top. And the best thing about it is that it’s dark-themed from the get-go to match the aesthetics of the hardware design.
The device also has a huge 4000 mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 support (which might be disappointing for some, as QC 4.0 is already available).
Other software additions include Shark Space, an immersive phone mode that brings all your games in one folder, and blocks calls or notifications during gameplay.
As for the optics department, Xiaomi’s Black Shark phone follows the trend and features a 12MP and 20MP dual-lens setup on the rear. Both the lenses have a f/1.75 aperture, with a pixel size of 1.25 µm and 1 µm respectively. It also includes an identical 20MP lens on the front, which should be enough for your selfie needs.
Black Shark DOCK
The announcement wouldn’t have been complete without the much-rumoured controller dock for the Black Shark. It’s an analog controller that can be attached to the phone with ease.
This controller features a joystick and a trigger button at the top, making it possible for users to control gameplay for some titles. If you have been sucked into the battle royale trend on mobile, then you’ll soon be able to use this controller to improve your chances of winning.
The controller enables you to customize controls and assign specific functions to the buttons. Black Shark says its controller has reduced latency, makes aiming and movements faster for gamers. This controller is going to run you 179 yuan (Rs 1,800), but one of these will be bundled with the Black Shark device.
Price and Availability
The Black Shark phone has been launched at a starting price of 2,999 yuan (approx Rs 32,000) in China, for the 6GB RAM + 64GB storage variant. You will, however, have to shell out 3,499 yuan (Approx Rs 37,000) for the 8GB+128GB variant. You have the choice to pick between two color options, namely black and sky gray.
With this launch, Xiaomi is showing it’s not afraid to experiment and dip its toes into new categories. The Chinese giant now seems ready to build up its presence in the gaming market, with the Black Shark phone coming after the surprise announcement of the Mi Gaming laptop earlier last month.
The Black Shark gaming phone will currently be available only in China. There’s no official word yet on whether it will find its way to India anytime soon. But we wouldn’t bet against it.
What are your thoughts on the Black Shark? Does it meet your expectations? Tell us in the comments down below.