The Black Shark stands out with its unique design. It does look more futuristic, like something you would use for gaming.

While the leading phone makers are racing towards bezel-less display and dual camera (or triple camera setup), Xiaomi is heading towards another direction – gaming. We are starting to see many other phone makers adding in some high-end, high-powered processors in their devices. Most of them are capable of high resolution graphic gaming. So what’s the deal with Xiaomi’s new “subrand” Black Shark?

Xiaomi Black Shark

The specifications for Xiaomi’s new Black Shark is by all means great. It surpassed most of the newest phones in terms of hardware specifications. And it is specially made for gaming in mind.

Let’s have a look at the key specifications and features.

  • Chipset: Latest Snapdragon 845 Octa-core (4 x 2.8 GHz Kryo 385 Gold & 4 x 1.8 GHz Kryo 385 Silver)
  • GPU: Adreno 630
  • Memory: 128 GB + 8 GB RAM or 64 GB + 6 GB RAM
  • OS: Android Oreo 8.0
  • Display: 5.99″, 1080 x 2160 pixels, 18:9 ratio (~403 ppi density)
  • Primary Camera: Dual 12 MP (f/1.8, 1.25µm) + 20 MP (f/1.8, 1.0µm), 2x optical zoom, dual pixel phase detection autofocus, dual-LED dual-tone flash
  • Video: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]
  • Secondary camera: 20 MP, (f/2.2, 1.0µm), 1080p

Since the Black Shark is made for gaming, we shall skip the camera abilities. After all, Xiaomi has been making good phones with above par photo qualities so far. So my guess is that the dual camera setup on the Black Shark should be good.

Xiaomi Black Shark

We are going to look at the core hardwares for this one. Snapdragon 845 is the latest chipset by Qualcomm and it supposedly is the current best. Performance and speed is great.

Snapdragon 845 is the first to employ ARM’s DynamiQ CPU cluster organization. DynamIQ enables the various different CPU cores within an SoC to be hosted within the same cluster and cache hierarchy, as opposed to having separate discrete clusters with no shared cache between them, allowing for finer-grained and more efficient approaches to when and how various clusters are powered up.

Xiaomi Black Shark

Meanwhile on the GPU side, the notoriously tight-lipped GPU group over at Qualcomm has confirmed that the Snapdragon 845 implements the first Adreno 600 series GPU, which in turn is the first new GPU architecture from Qualcomm in a couple of years and promises some significant performance improvements.

We are already seeing some SD845 based devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Sony Xperia XZ Pro, to name a few. Both shows great improvements in speed and power. But the design of the two said phones are pretty familiar.

Black Shark stands out with its unique design. It does look more futuristic, like something you would use for gaming. The Razer phone is also made for gaming and entertainment, but falls short with it’s familiar looking design. If you put the Razer and the Black Shark together side by side, I would pick up the Black Shark if or when I feel like playing some games.

The back of the Black Shark is something we haven’t seen before on a smartphone. It also includes a new cooling system. For optimal performance, Xiaomi equipped the phone with a multi-stage integrated liquid cooling system that brings the CPU temperature 8° C lower than the other SD845 based phones.

Xiaomi Black Shark

Unlike the Razer, the Black Shark comes only with one speaker but the earpiece acts as a second speaker for a Biso stereo sound. The mic of the phone is gaming-oriented with the ability to provide simple usage of voice calls and radio chat during the game without interfering with the gameplay.

The massive 4,000mAh battery is a good thing to have with the Black Shark because gamers may want to continue playing for long hours on this beasty device.

Xiaomi Black Shark Gamepad

Another perk for gamers who buys this phone early is the Black Shark Gamepad that came together with it and free for the first 50,000 buyers. It has a 340 mAh battery on its own and can connect via Bluetooth. There is also a dedicated “Shark” button on the left side that lets you devote all hardware resources to your game so you get all the available performance.

Xiaomi Black Shark Gamepad

The phone is available for pre-order on JD.com until April 20. So if you wish to be an early-bird and get the free Black Shark Gamepad along with the device itself, you better hurry and pre-order one fast.

The question is, will it be worth it?