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Xiaomi Black Shark 2 revealed: Snapdragon 855, and so much RAM (Update: Now in India)

Looking for a capable gaming phone? The Black Shark 2 is now available in China, India, Europe, and the U.K.

Published onMay 27, 2019


Update, May 27, 2019 (4:28AM ET): The BlackShark 2 is now available in India as well. Exclusive to Flipkart, the phone goes on sale starting June 4, 2019.

The two variants are priced at 39,999 rupees (~$575) for the 6GB RAM/128GB storage version while the variant with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage will cost 49,999 rupees (~$720).

The Black Shark 2 India launch also comes just over a month after the gaming phone landed in the U.K. Users in this market can expect to pay 479 pounds (~$627) for the 8GB/128GB model, and 559 pounds (~$731) for the 12GB/256GB variant.

Original, March 18, 2019 (1:38PM ET): Xiaomi has just announced the Black Shark 2 at an event in China. The follow-up to 2018’s Black Shark and Black Shark Helo, the Black Shark 2 is Xiaomi’s latest gaming-centric smartphone.

In terms of design, the Black Shark 2 doesn’t separate itself from its predecessors all that much. That means it has a rear panel with aggressive angles and RGB for the Black Shark logo and side strips.

Elsewhere, the Black Shark 2 features a 6.39-inch AMOLED display with Full HD+ (2,340 x 1,080) resolution and an in-display fingerprint sensor. Xiaomi claims that the display features the world’s lowest phone display latency of 43.5ms. A higher latency makes gameplay feel sluggish and unresponsive, though we’re not sure how much smartphone gamers will care about something like that.

Flanking the display on the top and bottom are stereo speakers, with a 20-megapixel camera also found around front. Around back are a 48MP camera and a second 12MP telephoto camera.

Under the hood are the more significant changes, starting with the cooling system. For the Black Shark 2, Xiaomi uses dual-layered vapor chambers — the top is used during gameplay, while the bottom is used when you’re charging the phone and playing games at the same time.

The Black Shark 2 also features a 4,000mAh battery that supports 27W fast charging through the USB-C port. According to Xiaomi, that means 30 minutes of gameplay with a five-minute charge and one hour of gameplay with a 10-minute charge.

Rounding out the Black Shark 2’s specs, we have the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, 6GB, 8GB, or 12GB of RAM, 128GB or 256GB of storage, and Android 9 Pie underneath Black Shark OS.

The RAM and storage options allow for four variants — 6GB/128GB for 3,199 yuan (~$476), 8GB/128GB for 3,499 yuan (~$521), 8GB/256GB for 3,799 yuan (~$566), and 12GB/256GB for 4,199 yuan (~$626). All four variants are now available for pre-order in China. The BlackShark 2 is available in Europe as well with prices ranging between 479 and 559 pounds (~$609 and $711) for the two variants. The phone goes on sale in India starting June 4, 2019, and is priced between 39,999 rupees (~$575) and 49,999 rupees (~$720).

What’s your take on gaming phones? Is there any merit in going for dedicated gaming-centric hardware or are regular high-end phones good enough?

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