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
6.39"
2340x1080
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
NFC Yes
LTE X24 Modem
Navigation  dual-band A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO, QZSS
Rear Camera 48 MP, f/1.75,
1/2-inch
0.8µm pixels, 
Laser/PDAF
  12 MP, f/2.2,
54mm (telephoto),
1.0µm pixels,
Laser/PDAF
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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  • Nikijs - Thursday, March 21, 2019 - link

    16 MP, f/2.2,13mm (ultrawide) is where? In renders i see only 2 cameras on back. Reply
  • GreenReaper - Thursday, March 21, 2019 - link

    Maybe they've found a way to switch the camera modules in the back while using the same lens? :-D Reply
  • flyingpants265 - Thursday, March 21, 2019 - link

    No front stereo speakers? No buy.

    I'm not going to rely on headphones or the crappy bottom/back speakers, that's for sure.
    Reply
  • Notmyusualid - Friday, March 22, 2019 - link

    Good obversation.

    What I'm finding is I'm using the phone for more voice, and less of everything else, as I dig out the tablet when I need to do web anything. The sound is way better, and the screen size incomparable.

    So what I want now, is a 5G dum-phone (for network compatability), and just keep the tablet. But all I see are high end offerings...
    Reply
  • uefi - Thursday, March 21, 2019 - link

    Audio: No 3.5-mm jack Reply
  • PeachNCream - Friday, March 22, 2019 - link

    Seriously? I missed that. WTF are they thinking? Reply
  • Inteli - Friday, March 22, 2019 - link

    When I read the headline I thought someone brought a phone with a 240Hz *refresh rate* to the market to one-up Razer. Without it, the only thing that sets this phone apart from what I can see is the 12 GB of RAM. I have no clue what a phone might run that needs more RAM than my laptop has, and I'm sort of scared to find out. Reply
  • PeachNCream - Friday, March 22, 2019 - link

    It runs Android so at least 7 of those 12GB will be needed to run Google's custom blend of phone-home spyware. The rest will support the many layers of leaky Java virtual machines between any given poorly coded Play Store, cash grab app and the out-of-date Linux kernel. Reply
  • Midwayman - Friday, March 22, 2019 - link

    I think you forgot the 2 GB for the state sponsored spyware phoning home to China. Reply
  • Lord of the Bored - Saturday, March 23, 2019 - link

    But at least it won't evict Pandora from memory when you open the web browser. Reply

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