Since Razer unveiled the gaming-focused Razer Phone last year, manufacturers have started exploring opportunities in this niche segment. Xiaomi-backed Black Shark had been teasing such a smartphone for the past few months, which has finally broken the cover officially. Called the Black Shark, the smartphone is only available in China and starts at RMB 2999 (approximately Rs 31,960) for the base 6GB/64GB variant.
The Black Shark looks every bit of a gaming-focused device. The smartphone sports a specially-designed rear panel with green accents to give it a presence that no other premium smartphone can command. Xiaomi has even built-in a glowing logo at the rear, just to make it look cool. The design is functional too — the antennas are arranged in the form of an ‘X’ to aid network reception no matter how the phone is held. There’s also a dedicated ‘SHARK’ key to provide an immersive gaming experience.
Moving on to the nerdy stuff, the Black Shark is powered by Snapdragon 845 chipset, which is kept under check by liquid cooling when the gaming session heats up. Xiaomi claims that the phone can be kept up to eight degrees cooler with the liquid cooling system. The phone also features an independent image processing chip, which claimed to provide better graphics. Users can choose between two variants — the base variant comes with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage whereas the top-tier variant retails for 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. There’s an 18:9 5.99-inch LCD display that renders images at full HD+ resolution. The smartphone runs on Android 8.1 Oreo, although it’s not yet known whether it’s utilising Xiaomi’s MIUI OS or a different custom OS based on Android Oreo. There’s a 12MP + 20MP dual rear camera setup, both having an aperture of f/1.75. The front camera houses a 20MP sensor with f/2.0 aperture. It is kept alive by a 4000mAh battery.
To add to its appeal, Xiaomi has also given the Black Shark a special gaming accessory — a Gamepad. Costing $29, the Gamepad is detachable and consists of navigation buttons. It can connect to any smartphone using Bluetooth, provided they are running on Android 4.4 and above. The Gamepad has its own 150mAh battery that is claimed to last 30 hours on a single charge.
The Black Shark starts at RMB 2999 (approximately Rs 32,000) for the base 6GB/64GB variant and goes up to RMB 3299 (approximately Rs 36,375) for the top-end 8GB/128GB variant. Xiaomi hasn’t hinted any intention of bringing this one to the Indian market as of now.