Xiaomi Black Shark 2 announced with big focus on gaming and 12GB of RAM
Front-facing stereo speakers and a larger display
As expected, the new device is a blend of both the Xiaomi Black Shark and the Black Shark Helo. Over on the rear, the smartphone features a rather unique-looking panel that is carved out of aluminum and glass. This includes a large Black Shark logo towards the center and neon green highlights around the edges.
Up front, the Black Shark 2 is adorned with a new 6.4-inch AMOLED display manufactured by Samsung. Thanks to various optimizations, Xiaomi has reduced the input latency for the display by a significant margin, something that should improve responsiveness when gaming. The upgraded panel is also pressure sensitive and, through a new feature called Magic Press, users can press down harder on one side of the display to trigger a specific action.
Like the Black Shark Helo that it succeeds, the Black Shark 2 retains the 18:9 display aspect ratio. This is due to the front-facing stereo speakers which are housed within the top and bottom bezels.
The smartphone’s large display also integrates an optical in-screen fingerprint scanner like many other high-end devices these days.
The same processor as the Samsung Galaxy S10
Following in the footsteps of Xiaomi’s Mi 9 and Samsung’s Galaxy S10 series, the new Black Shark 2 is powered entirely by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855. As standard, the chip is paired with a respectable 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. However, this can be bumped to 8GB of RAM for a little extra.
If you aren’t satisfied with either of these configurations, a pricier version with double the storage and 8GB of RAM has been created too. And for those of you that simply want the best, an even more impressive version with a whopping 12GB of RAM will also be sold by Xiaomi.
In all cases, the Black Shark 2 benefits from a new Liquid Cool 3.0 vapor chamber cooling system. This promises chipset temperatures that are 14°C lower than usual. But once again, those of you looking for a little extra will be able to purchase a dedicated Cooling Case add on. This features a dedicated fan that dissipates even more heat, to the point of lowering the chipset temperature by a further 5°C.
As standard, the smartphone does throttle performance a little in order to guarantee optimal battery life. However, if this isn’t a concern to you, a special Ludicrous mode will boost everything to its maximum potential.
The Xiaomi Black Shark 2 unsurprisingly ships with Android 9 Pie straight out of the box. It’s paired with a large 4,000mAh battery that supports 27W fast charging.
Two cameras on the back, one up front
Despite the Black Shark 2’s focus on gaming, the new smartphone also includes a decent set of cameras.
The rear, on the one hand, features a primary 48-megapixel shooter which is paired with a secondary 12-megapixel sensor. The latter also features a telephoto lens capable of 2x optical zoom.
Also, for the selfie king and queens out there, Xiaomi has equipped the device with a 20-megapixel front-facing camera.
Xiaomi Black Shark 2 availability and pricing
In terms of availability, the Black Shark 2 is once again limited to Chinese consumers at the moment. An international release is possible eventually, but Xiaomi is yet to confirm any details.
As for pricing, the Black Shark 2 with 6GB of RAM starts at the equivalent of just $477 in China. This then rises to $521 for the 8/128GB model and $565 for the 8/256GB version. If, on the other hand, you are only interested in the 12/256GB version, you’ll have to spend the equivalent of $625 in the region.
If the smartphone does ever launch internationally, it’s worth noting that these price tags will probably be higher.
Lastly, as has been the case in the past, Xiaomi's Black Shark 2 is compatible with a range of accessories. This includes the GamePad 3.0 which adds gamepads to either side of the smartphone.