The smartphone market is no longer growing as rapidly as it used to several years ago, but it is actively segmentizing as customers want their handsets to be tailored for their needs. This presents opportunities for companies with R&D capabilities as they can capitalize on special-purpose devices. A couple of years ago Xiaomi established its Black Shark subsidiary to address mobile gamers. Since then, Black Shark has introduced two gaming handsets. This week, the subsidiary introduced its third offering.

Relying on the platform that powers Xiaomi’s Mi9 smartphone, the Black Shark 2 handset is claimed to be re-designed for gaming both inside and the outside. The smartphone comes in a chassis that is not only tailored for a comfortable grip, but is also compatible with the company’s Gamepad 2.0 hardware add-on that connects to the phone using Bluetooth and adds 12 buttons, a physical joystick, and even a touchpad. The Black Shark 2 has a 6.39-inch AMOLED display featuring a 2340x1080 resolution, a 19.5:9 aspect ratio, 430 nits brightness, a 60,000:1 contrast ratio, force feedback, and a 240 Hz touchscreen polling rate/43.5 ms touch latency to ensure maximum performance when the screen is used to control games. The display covers 108.9% of the DCI-P3 color gamut and supports ‘Truview’ technology for optimal reproduction of colors depending on environments.

Xiaomi’s Black Shark 2 smartphone is based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 SoC that uses a special cooling system featuring a vapor chamber-like technology to ensure that the processor does not overheat and performs consistently even under high loads. Depending on the version of the smartphone, it can be equipped with 6, 8, or 12 GB of LPDDR4X memory, as well as 128 GB, 256 GB or 512 GB of UFS 2.1 storage.

Imaging capabilities of the Black Shark 2 smartphone include its main camera comprising of a 48 MP RGB sensor as well as a 12 MP telephoto sensor, which are accompanied by a dual-LED flash, as well as an HDR-enabled 20-MP sensor for selfies on the front.

When it comes to communication capabilities, the Black Shark 2 supports 4G/LTE with Carrier Aggregation (3CA for DL, 2CA for UL), 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO, and other advanced functionality of the Qualcomm platform.

The Black Shark 2 Smartphone
  Preliminary Specifications
Display AMOLED
Corning Gorilla Glass 6
SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
Adreno 640
RAM 6 or 8 or 12 GB LPDDR4X
Storage 128 or 256 GB of UFS 2.1 NAND flash
Local Connectivity Wi-Fi  802.11ac Wi-Fi
Bluetooth Bluetooth 5.0
Data/Charging USB 2.0 Type-C
Audio No 3.5-mm jack
LTE X24 Modem
Navigation  dual-band A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO, QZSS
Rear Camera 48 MP, f/1.75,
0.8µm pixels, 
  12 MP, f/2.2,
54mm (telephoto),
1.0µm pixels,
Front Camera 20 MP, f/2.0, 0.9µm
Battery Capacity 4000 mAh
Expected Life ?
SIM Size Nano SIM + Nano Sim
Sensors accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
Biometric Security Fingerprint ?
Facial Recognition -
Dimensions Height 163.6 mm | 6.44 inches
Width 75 mm | 2.95 inches
Thickness 8.8 mm | 0.35 inches
Weight 205 grams | 7.23 ounces
Colors Black, Silver
Protection Drop ?
OS Google Android 9.0
Launch Countries China initially, NA/EU launch later
Price €449+

The Black Shark 2 smartphone will be available in Black, and Silver chassis in China shortly. Other markets will see the handset a bit later. Pricing is unknown, but expect it to be comparable to that of the Mi9, so think north of €449 for the entry-level model in Europe.

Related Reading:

Sources: GSMArena, Xiaomi, PC Watch, LiliPuting

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  • PeachNCream - Friday, March 22, 2019 - link

    Does the 4th image from the top show a cooling fan option? That seems exotic yet the text in the article doesn't mention anything about it.
  • Dragonstongue - Friday, March 22, 2019 - link

    yeh sadly no matter how good the specs appear to be, when you are talking about gaming especially on a phone you generally would prefer at some point to want or need privacy I do not know about anyone else but when I am playing games or watching movies I do not watch them in silence, they need sound, to get sound they need proper speaker setup what is offered certainly does not match that requirement, no 3.5mm absolute solid pass.

    3.5mm jack is one of the simplest ports in every respect that phone maker etc can add to the device, it makes the user happy, just like DL-DVI HDMI, the little things mean so much, like using 4000Mah size battery on a gaming phone when there are others out there offering many times larger battery.

    Solid pass
  • Maxpower2727 - Tuesday, March 26, 2019 - link

    What phones have a battery "many times larger" than 4000mah other than that Energizer monstrosity? This is on par with other gaming-focused phones in terms of the battery size.
  • HollyDOL - Friday, March 22, 2019 - link

    When seeing the topmost picture in the article my first idea was "is this nVidia thing?"
  • Valis - Sunday, March 24, 2019 - link

    Why on earth would you get a gaming phone named Black Shark in any other color than black, like the silver they are offering? O.o Holy Shizzle.
  • pugster - Monday, March 25, 2019 - link

    I don't see point of gaming phones like this. The problem is not the hardware but rather the software. Every year there is a new phone but there are not alot of games which takes advantage of this hardware.
  • rishi1298 - Thursday, August 15, 2019 - link

    Xiaomi's haptic response is as fast the rog phone 2. However, the most powerful chipset is coming with a rog phone 2 and I'm not sure about its build quality.
  • rishi1298 - Thursday, August 15, 2019 - link

    Dams the specs are amusing me

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