Razer Phone’s rival is finally here in the shape of Xiaomi’s own Black Shark phone. The gaming focused phone comes with top of the line specifications all for a rock bottom price.
Design and Display
In terms of design there’s a lot going on here. The display is a 5.99 inch Full HD+ IPS LCD panel with an 18:9 aspect ratio and 97% compliance with DCI-P3, meaning it leans more on the color accurate side and less on saturation. It also supports HDR 10, so if you were in the market for an HDR supporting phone, you’re in luck.
Unfortunately Xiaomi did not mention anything about a 120 Hz display (like the Razer Phone) so the jury’s out on that.
It comes with stereo speakers with the earpiece working as the second speaker. Black Shark also has a dedicated “gaming-oriented” mic, which should provide uninterrupted voice calls and radio chatter while gaming.
It features a home button at the front, with a fingerprint sensor embedded underneath. The phone’s X-shaped frame improves grip on the phone while acting as an antenna as well.
Despite the looks and the liquid cooling, the phone is just 9.3mm thin.
Internals and Storage
Moving on Xiaomi has designed the phone for optimizing one particular thing: Gaming. Naturally, that means top of the line hardware. Black Shark comes with a Snapdragon 845 with 6/8 GB RAM as well as 64/128 GB storage. No memory card slot included.
Liquid cooling unit on Black Shark
Xiaomi has outfitted the Black Shark with a custom liquid cooling solution, which can bring the CPU’s temperature down by 8 degrees Celsius. Razer Phone also had featured liquid cooling, so it would be interesting to see how the two phones compare.
Another cool feature is the “Shark” button on the left side of the phone, which devotes all resources to the game you’re playing, thus increasing its performance.
It runs on Android 8.0 Oreo with JOY UI, an offshoot of Xiaomi’s MIUI.
Coming towards the conventional Smartphone features, the Black Shark has a dual camera setup on the back, with a 12 MP f/1.75 lens paired with a 20 MP f/1.75 shooter. There’s a dual LED flash on the back as well.
On the front is a single 20 MP f/2.2 camera.
What makes the Black Shark a better deal is the dedicated Nintendo Swich-esque controller it comes with. It covers the bases with a joystick and shoulder buttons on one side and the rest of the buttons on the other.
This should make the experience more immersive as compared to a regular PlayStation/Xbox type bluetooth controller.
Battery and Price
Lastly the battery on the Black Shark is a large 4,000 mAh unit with fast charging. The phone is currently available for pre-orders at JD.com, with an April 20th release date. It will be available in Polar Night Black or Sky Gray colors.
The 6 GB+64 GB version would cost CNY 2,999 (Rs. 55, 315) while the 8 GB+128 GB variant would come in at CNY 3 ,499 (Rs. 64, 537). The Black Shark Gamepad is available separately for CNY 179 (Rs. 3,300).
Xiaomi Black Shark Specifications
- CPU: 4x 2.8 GHz Kryo 385 Gold + 4x 1.8 GHz Kryo 385 Silver)
- GPU: Adreno 630
- Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
- OS: Android 8.0 Oreo with JOY UI
- Networks: 2G, 3G, 4G LTE; Dual SIM
- Dimensions: 161.6 x 75.4 x 9.3 mm
- Weight: 190g
- Stereo speakers (uses earpiece)
- Custom liquid cooling solution
- Specialized Black Shark Gamepad
- 5.99″ with Full HD+ IPS LCD (1080 x 2160) resolution (~403PPI)
- 97% DCI-P3 compliant
- HDR 10
- RAM: 6/8 GB
- Internal: 64/128 GB
- Card slot: no
- Primary: 12 MP (f/1.8, 1.25 µm) + 20 MP (f/1.8, 1.0 µm), 2x optical zoom, dual pixel phase detection autofocus, dual-LED dual-tone flash
- Secondary: 20 MP, (f/2.2, 1.0 µm), 1080p
- Connectivity: LTE, USB-C, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi ac, GPS, fingerprint scanner, NFC
- Battery: 4000 mAh;
- Price: ~Rs. 55,000 (64 GB), ~Rs. 65,000 (128 GB), ~Rs. 3,000 (controller)