After numerous leaks and rumors, it’s finally here! Xiaomi has taken the wraps off its first gaming smartphone. Dubbed Xiaomi Black Shark, the mobile device sports an extremely rad-looking design, beastly hardware specifications, and some really nifty goodies.
Launched at an event in China, the Black Shark features a pretty-rugged chassis that, at least in the images, appears to be made of some sort of rubberized plastic.
Having a matte finish, the curved back panel is accentuated by thick, glossy bars that run horizontally across its top and bottom. While the top Black bar has the dual-camera setup and LED flash module, the bottom Black bar has the Black Shark logo stamped in the middle. The ends of the two bars make a turn at about 65-degrees, tapering and extending a little towards the center of the back panel, where the the left and right ends of the respective bars are joined together by straight lines. This lends the back panel a rather distinct design. A Green-colored, stylized ‘S’ logo in the center of the back panel further enhances its overall aesthetics. What’s more, the X shape design of the frame also works as an antenna.
The overall Black & Green color scheme of Xiaomi Black Shark looks great, but it does seem inspired by the Razer Phone, which launched late last year. That said, there’s a Grey colored variant as well.
Moving to the front, it’s home to the Black Shark’s 5.99-inch FullHD+ display. With a resolution of 1080x2160pixels, the display is claimed to have up to 550nits of brightness and supports 97% of DCI-P3 color gamut.
Given how demanding today’s mobile gaming titles can be, a ‘gaming smartphone’ needs to have the best hardware, in order to be able to provide the best experience. To that end, Xiaomi Black Shark is powered by Qualcomm’s top-of-the-line Snapdragon 845 chipset, having a CPU with eight Kryo cores and an Adreno 630 GPU. This is helped by 6GB/8GB of RAM, and 64GB/128GB of UFS 2.1 on-board storage. As you would expect, all modern connectivity options are included.
For imaging duties, the Black Shark comes with a dual-camera system at the back. It’s comprised of two 12MP modules with f/1.7 aperture. There’s also a 20MP front-facing snapper thrown into the mix.
Backing up the Xiaomi Black Shark is a 4,000mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 support.
The Black Shark runs Android Oreo, with a custom touch interface called ‘Joy UI’.
These are all great, but Xiaomi’s first gaming smartphone also comes with some really cool features that are sure to make gaming-on-the-go an enjoyable experience.
First off, the Black Shark is equipped with a multi-stage liquid cooling system that can reduce the CPU temperature by up to 8 degrees, so you can play your favorite titles without worries.
Then there’s audio. While it’s true that Xiaomi Black Shark has a single speaker, its earpiece also doubles up as a speaker, thus making for stereo sound output.
Lastly, there’s a dedicated ‘Shark’ button on the left side of the smartphone that channels all the hardware resources to the game currently being played, maximizing performance.
In addition to the smartphone, Xiaomi has launched the Black Shark Gamepad. Featuring a 340mAh battery of its own, it connects with the smartphone via Bluetooth and can make gaming sessions much more fun. When fully charged, the Gamepad can be used for about 30 hours.
Xiaomi Black Shark will be available for pre-order on JD.com until April 20. The 6GB RAM/64GB variant is priced at CNY 2,999 (about $477), and the 8GB RAM/128GB storage version has a price tag of CNY 3,499 (around $557). For CNY 179 (roughly $28), you can get the Black Shark Gamepad.
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