The Razer Phone may have just met its match and the big surprise is that the salvo is fired from Xiaomi. The Black Shark is Xiaomi’s purposeful gaming smartphone just launched in its home market of China.
Xiaomi has been doing some interesting things lately. The unexpected Mi Gaming Laptop comes to mind almost instantly, and the Mi Wireless Charger isn’t far behind. Sure, Xiaomi makes great phones — from the Redmi for the masses, to trendsetting desirables like the Mi MIX series. It even makes intriguing household items like the Mi Rice Cooker and Mi Air Purifier.
And, it looks like the China tech giant isn’t standing still.
In fact, you could mistake the Black Shark for something from the Razer factory, thanks to its over-the-top styling and neon green accents.
It’s certainly unlike any other phone in the market, and if attention is what you’re seeking, the rugged exterior, green accents and glowing green logo have got you covered.
No holds barred gaming
Specs wise, it’s all top billing. It rocks a 5.99-inch FHD+ resolution (2160×1080) 18:9 display that tops 550 nits with support for DCI-P3, boasting a colour gamut of up to 97 percent.
Beneath its rugged exterior is where things start to look cool.
The Black Shark is powered by the top-of-the-line Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset with the gaming-ready Adreno 630 graphics processor in tow, mated to 8GB of superfast LPDDR4x RAM and 128GB of UFS 2.1 storage.
What’s really cool (pun intended) is the multi-stage liquid cooling system, that Xiaomi claims is 20 times more efficient than a smartphone without integrated cooling. This lets you run at maximum performance for longer while keeping the phone running cool.
A Pixelworks independent image processing chip supports intelligent motion compensation technology delivering enhanced images, smooth jitter- and tear-free gaming quality.
So far so good.
The Black Shark also has the audio department covered. It has dual speakers and a third microphone on the front of the phone – a “game dedicated mic.”
A game mode on a smartphone isn’t entirely new, you’ll find that on the Galaxy flagships, ASUS ZenFone series, even the gaming-focused honor 8 Pro. The Black Shark has a game mode aptly called “SHARK mode” invoked by pressing the green SHARK key.
This is complemented by a Game Dock that has 10 different settings when you’re in game. You can disable notifications and more, for an uninterrupted, immersive gaming experience.
And we’re not done yet. There’s a Black Shark GamePad that gives you tactile controls. It connects via Bluetooth and comes with an integrated 340mAh battery.
Xiaomi is bundling the game pad for pre-order customers.
Right, let’s head to the more run-of-the-mill stuff.
The device packs a 12MP f/1.75 + 20MP f/1.75 dual-camera system that comes with a dual-LED flash. No, not shabby at all. On the front, it gets a 20MP f/2.2 shooter.
Pricing and availability
The gaming-focused smartphone is available only in China, offered in two configurations: 6GB RAM + 64GB storage for CNY2,999 (MYR1,850) and 8GB RAM + 128GB of storage for CNY3,499 (MYR2,159).
No chicken dinner for those outside of China, but that doesn’t stop grey importers does it?
Both variants offer Black and Silver (high spec version only) colour options.