After plenty of leaks and some teasers, Xiaomi finally unveiled its much-awaited gaming smartphone for the China market at a starting price of 2,999 yuan. The smartphone has gone on pre-order in China through Xiaomi Mall, Jingdong and Mi Japan and will be available from 20 April.
Called Black Shark gaming phone, the name comes from a Xiaomi-backed gaming company called Black Shark and features a radical design and impressive internal hardware.
Also announced alongside the gaming smartphone was a Bluetooth gaming controller, priced at 179 yuan that would allow the user to take advantage of the mobile gaming experience offered by the device. The first 50,000 orders will get this GamePad for free.
As reported by GizmoChina, the smartphone measures 161.6 x 75.4 x 9.25 mm and weighs in at a hefty 190 grams. While the front features a rounded, almost pebble-like appearance, the back features an aggressive and angular design that gives it a sporty, gaming laptop-like look and feel.
The smartphone will be available in a Polar Night Black and a Sky Gray finish.
On the left side of the device is a dedicated button called the “Shark Key” that allows users to access the Shark zone (game manager) directly, similar to what we have on most portable gaming consoles. The fingerprint reader sits at the bottom part of the bezel and also acts as a home button.
The angular X-shaped design on the back also contains a new X-shaped antenna design which according to Xiaomi ensures that users do not lose signal when holding the device horizontally and vertically.
While the device looks fancy from the outside there’s plenty of interesting bits inside as well.
The device’s internal temperature is controlled by a multi-layer cooling system that includes a high thermal conductivity copper alloy substrate, nano-composite graphite, a heat pipe and a liquid cooling system, good enough to bring the device’s temperature down by 8 degrees improving the CPU cooling efficiency by 20 times!
Delving into the specifications, there’s a 5.99-inch Full HD Plus display with an 18:9 aspect ratio with support for the DCI-P3 colour gamut.
Inside, there’s a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC paired with 6 GB RAM and 64 GB of UFS 2.1 storage and another high end configuration with 8 GB RAM and 128 GB storage.
The handset features a dual camera setup at the back with an f/1.75 aperture 12-megapixel primary sensor and an f/1.75 aperture 20-megapixel secondary sensor. There’s a 20 MP camera on the front for selfies.
Connectivity options include USB-C, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, 2 x 2 MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0, 4G VoLTE, dual-SIM support, GPS, AGPS and GLONASS.
Powering all of the above is a 4,000 mAh battery. The Black Shark gaming phone runs a customized gaming-centric JOY UI with Android Oreo underneath with a sprinkle of some MIUI features.
Xiaomi’s Black Shark gaming smartphone will be available in two variants a 6 GB RAM and 64 GB storage variant available in Polar Night Black at 2,999 yuan and a 8 GB RAM and 128 GB storage variant at 3,499 yuan, available in Sky Gray. As of writing this article, there are no details about Xiaomi’s plans to sell this smartphone in markets outside China.