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Black Shark is a liquid-cooled gaming smartphone — Xiaomi’s challenger to the Razer Phone is priced starting from just RM1855!
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Black Shark is a liquid-cooled gaming smartphone — Xiaomi’s challenger to the Razer Phone is priced starting from just RM1855!

by Vyncent ChanApril 14, 2018
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We have a new challenger!

Well the gaming smartphone market is definitely heating up. Razer took a bold step into the ring, making a whole new niche for itself with the Razer Phone. Like any respectable business, Xiaomi isn’t going to stand around and look at Razer while they succeed. The Black Shark is the Chinese tech giant’s answer to the Razer Phone, while being a whole lot more affordable.

The Black Shark packs the latest Snapdragon 845 chipset, paired with up to 8GB of LPDDR4x RAM and 128GB of UFS 2.1 storage. Gaming is resource intensive, and is definitely heat up any ordinary smartphone. To tackle the heat, the Black Shark comes with a liquid cooling system. Xiaomi claims that this system drops the temperatures of the Snapdragon 845 by 8°C, which is really quite a lot.

Razer blew minds with the 120 Hz display they packed into the Razer Phone, which was a clear step up from the 60 Hz displays we see in lesser smartphones. There doesn’t seem to be a high refresh rate screen in the Black Shark, but it touts MEMC which stands for “motion estimation-motion compensation”, a technology we really enjoyed in the ASUS ZenFone 3 Ultra. It promises a more fluid viewing experience, but it still isn’t true 120 Hz. Xiaomi still tries to keep things interesting though, with the 5.99″ 18:9 display sporting 97% DCI-P3 coverage.

Shark Space is a great add-on to scroll through your games in style

What it lacks in a nice, quick display, it makes up with an analog stick attachment. It apparently connects over Bluetooth, and has its own 340 mAh battery which is claimed to offer more than 30 hours of gaming. Sounds good? Other gaming optimizations included JOY UI and a unique X-design for better reception and ergonomics. JOY UI works with the additional side button which optimizes the device for gaming, as well as opens up Shark Space, allowing you to scroll through games like Steam’s Big Picture mode. There is even a gaming dock, allowing you to toggle important functions as well as monitor the system parameters with a single swipe of the home button.

The cameras on the Razer Phone may not be so hot, but the Black Shark’s might be. It sports a 12MP + 20MP rear camera configuration, and a 20MP selfie camera. This is a camera for gamers AND their selfie addict girlfriends, which are really common in China, I must add.

The most attractive part of the Black Shark — at least to us — is the price. Priced at RMB 2999 (~RM1855) for the 6GB/64GB variant, this is definitely the most affordable device with the Snapdragon 845. There is a higher end variant with 8GB/128GB, and even that isn’t that expensive at just RMB 3499 (~RM2164). As if that isn’t sweet enough a deal, the first 50 000 buyers will get it the analog stick attachment (worth RMB 179 (~RM111)) for free. Now only if you can get it here…

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And oh, check out that sexy Black-Green color option. Definitely not inspired by any major gaming brand. The green logo on the back is actually backlit, and serves as a notification light, among other things.

Black Shark Specifications

CPU/Chipset:Snapdragon 845 (4 x Kryo 385 @ 2.8 GHz, 4 x Kryo 385 @ 1.7 GHz)
GPU:Adreno 630 @ 710 MHz
RAM:6GB / 8GB
Display:5.99″, FHD+ (2160 x 1080), 97% DCI-P3 coverage, MEMC technology
Storage:64GB / 128GB UFS 2.1
Camera:Main Camera(s)
12MP f/1.75, 1.25µm pixel pitch, 6P optics
20MP f/1.75, 1.0µm pixel pitch, 6P optics
Dual LED flash, portrait mode, HDR, PDAF, enhanced low light
Front Camera
20MP f/2.2, 1.0µm pixel pitch, 5P optics, Smart Beautify
OS:Joy UI based on Android 8.0 Oreo
Connectivity:Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/ac (2×2 MIMO)
Bluetooth 5.0 with aptX and aptX HD
FDD-LTE (Band 1/3/4/5/7/8/12)
TDD-LTE (Band 34/38/39/40/41)
SIM:Dual nanoSIM
Battery:Li-ion 4000 mAh (non-removable)
Dimensions:161.6 x 75.4 x 9.25 mm (5.1mm at thinnest point)
Weight:190 g

Pokdepinion: The backlight should be RGB, then this would be a through-and-through gamer phone.

About The Author
Vyncent Chan
Technology enthusiast, casual gamer, pharmacy graduate. Strongly opposes proprietary standards and always on the look out for incredible bang-for-buck.

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