As promised, Xiaomi just introduced the follow-up of its Black Shark gaming smartphone - the Black Shark Helo. And just like its predecessor, this one aims to impress with powerful internals and plenty of features at a competitive price.
The main difference between the two generations is the screen. The new Black Shark Helo swaps the LCD panel for an AMOLED one but still notch-less, 6.01" in diagonal and with FHD+ (1080 x 2160) resolution. Refresh rate stays at 60Hz so if you are looking for smoother experience, you should wait for the considerably more expensive Asus ROG Phone and Razer Phone 2.
Naturally, the device is powered by a Snapdragon 845 paired with either 6GB or 8GB of RAM while storage remains constant - 128GB. However, a third premium option now joins the ranks, boasting 10GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage. No word on microSD card support, though.
According to the specs sheet, the camera department isn't too shabby as well - we've got a 12MP + 20MP camera combo with the main 12MP sensor sitting behind a fast f/1.75 lens and featuring big 1.25μm pixels. The front-facing shooter delivers 20MP resolution and f/2.2 aperture.
The Xiaomi Black Shark Helo is powered by a 4,000 mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 standard support, but we are not sure of the software version for now. Our educated guess would be Android 8.1 Oreo running out of the box with Xiaomi's MIUI 10 on top.
But what about the gaming experience? Well, Xiaomi has got you covered on that one with better accessories than last year. The 6GB and 8GB versions ship with one analog stick attachment while the 10GB model gets you two controllers - one for each side of the phone. There's also a hardware button that puts the phone into gaming mode on the fly.
The Gamer Studio app lets you tweak the CPU, display, network, etc., so you can create different gaming profiles for each game. These profiles can even be shared via the "Shark Code" feature.
But it doesn't end there. The handset boasts front-facing stereo speakers, RGB LED-illuminated back logo and side strips, vapor chamber for cooling and HDR10-compliant screen. A dedicated mobile chip by Pixelworks helps converting SDR content to HDR in real-time much like the recently announced Nokia 7.1. Unfortunately, the headphone jack is missing from the equation, which is a rather odd decision to make when creating a gaming-centric smartphone.
The 6GB Black Shark Halo will cost CNY3,199 ($460) while the 8GB alteration will sell for CNY3,499 ($505). Initially, the Black Shark Helo will be made available only in China starting November 10. The 10GB/256GB version's price and availability are yet to be confirmed.
Source (in Chinese)
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