Xiaomi Black Shark 2 revealed: Snapdragon 855, and so much RAM (Update: Now in India)


Update, May 27, 2019 (4:28AM ET): The BlackShark 2 is now available in India as well. Exclusive to Flipkart, the phone goes on sale starting June 4, 2019.

The two variants are priced at 39,999 rupees (~$575) for the 6GB RAM/128GB storage version while the variant with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage will cost 49,999 rupees (~$720).

The Black Shark 2 India launch also comes just over a month after the gaming phone landed in the U.K. Users in this market can expect to pay 479 pounds (~$627) for the 8GB/128GB model, and 559 pounds (~$731) for the 12GB/256GB variant.

Original, March 18, 2019 (1:38PM ET): Xiaomi has just announced the Black Shark 2 at an event in China. The follow-up to 2018’s Black Shark and Black Shark Helo, the Black Shark 2 is Xiaomi’s latest gaming-centric smartphone.

In terms of design, the Black Shark 2 doesn’t separate itself from its predecessors all that much. That means it has a rear panel with aggressive angles and RGB for the Black Shark logo and side strips.

Elsewhere, the Black Shark 2 features a 6.39-inch AMOLED display with Full HD+ (2,340 x 1,080) resolution and an in-display fingerprint sensor. Xiaomi claims that the display features the world’s lowest phone display latency of 43.5ms. A higher latency makes gameplay feel sluggish and unresponsive, though we’re not sure how much smartphone gamers will care about something like that.

Black Shark 2 design render on black and white background.
Black Shark 2 phone design render on white background.

Flanking the display on the top and bottom are stereo speakers, with a 20-megapixel camera also found around front. Around back are a 48MP camera and a second 12MP telephoto camera.

Under the hood are the more significant changes, starting with the cooling system. For the Black Shark 2, Xiaomi uses dual-layered vapor chambers — the top is used during gameplay, while the bottom is used when you’re charging the phone and playing games at the same time.

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The Black Shark 2 also features a 4,000mAh battery that supports 27W fast charging through the USB-C port. According to Xiaomi, that means 30 minutes of gameplay with a five-minute charge and one hour of gameplay with a 10-minute charge.

Rounding out the Black Shark 2’s specs, we have the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, 6GB, 8GB, or 12GB of RAM, 128GB or 256GB of storage, and Android 9 Pie underneath Black Shark OS.

The RAM and storage options allow for four variants — 6GB/128GB for 3,199 yuan (~$476), 8GB/128GB for 3,499 yuan (~$521), 8GB/256GB for 3,799 yuan (~$566), and 12GB/256GB for 4,199 yuan (~$626). All four variants are now available for pre-order in China. The BlackShark 2 is available in Europe as well with prices ranging between 479 and 559 pounds (~$609 and $711) for the two variants. The phone goes on sale in India starting June 4, 2019, and is priced between 39,999 rupees (~$575) and 49,999 rupees (~$720).

What’s your take on gaming phones? Is there any merit in going for dedicated gaming-centric hardware or are regular high-end phones good enough?

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