The Xiaomi-backed ‘Black Shark’ is an absolute beast of a gaming phone

A phone specialized for gaming is an odd beast. We’ve seen the Razer Phone attempt to capture this market with mixed results — but the concept has its fans and it’s clear that focusing a phone toward gaming is going to score dividends with certain parts of the population.

It seems that Xiaomi is now ready to capture its own part of that pie with a new phone called Black Shark. The device certainly seems aimed at appealing to gamers — it’s powerful, features plenty of green lighting, and should be able to easily handle any mobile game you can throw at it. It’s important to note that the phone isn’t actually being built by Xiaomi, but rather a Xiaomi-backed company called Black Shark Technologies. Here’s everything you need to know about the new gaming phone

Design

The phone may not be as sleek or stylish as the iPhone or Samsung Galaxy S9, but the black-and-green styling also isn’t all that surprising given the fact that it’s a gaming phone and the fact that it’s targeted specifically at gamers.

The phone looks pretty rugged, but it also seems to be relatively thing — which is good news for those that don’t want an overly large device. Still, it is big enough to pack some pretty hefty features, including a relatively large battery. On the back of the phone, you will find green highlights and the phone’s logo, as well as a dual sensor camera at the top.

While plenty of manufacturers are moving the fingerprint sensor around to the back of the device, Black Shark has stuck with a fingerprint sensor right under the phone’s display. Speaking of the display, it sits in at 5.99-inches, with an aspect ratio of 18:9 and a Full HD+ resolution. Now, some may want a slightly higher resolution — but the good news is that the slightly lower resolution with help the phone last a little longer. Rumors indicated that the display would be OLED, but it’s not — the phone has stuck with LCD technology here.

Specs

If you’re going to push yourself as a phone for gamers, or even as a media-centered device, then you’re going to need the power to back those words up. Thankfully for the Black Shark, it seems that it won’t be lacking any punch. The phone features the latest and greatest Qualcomm processor, the Snapdragon 845, coupled with either 6GB or 8GB of RAM, depending on the model you go for. For storage, the 6GB RAM model boasts 64GB, while the 8GB RAM model has 128GB of storage. You will want to get the phone with as much storage as you need here — the device does not have a MicroSD card slot.

Unlike any other phone we have seen, this device has a multi-stage integrated liquid cooling system in an effort to help keep the phone performing flawlessly.

blackshark news rumors black shark 2

To help enhance the gaming experience, there is also the Black Shark Gamepad, which can attach to the phone and has a 340mAh battery of its own. The gamepad connects through Bluetooth and makes it a little easier to control many mobile games. If you want the gamepad for yourself, you better act quickly — the first 50,000 buyers get it for free.

When it comes to software, the phone comes with Android Oreo, along with Xiaomi’s JOY UI and some of Xiaomi’s apps.

Then there is the camera. The dual-facing camera offers a 12-megapixel primary sensor, along with a 20-megapixel secondary sensor. Both of the sensors have an f/1.75 aperture.

Release date and price

Looking to buy the phone? Unfortunately, it’s really only available in China right now, and we’re not yet sure if it’ll expand to other regions. Thankfully, it’s not overly expensive though. The phone is available for pre-order until April 20, after which it will be up for purchase in Polar Night Black or Sky Gray. The base model comes in at around $477. If you want to upgrade the RAM and storage, you will have to shell out around $557. That’s actually a very good price — it’s the least expensive phone with a Snapdragon 845 processor so far.

The Black Shark Gamepad is sold separately for around $28.

Updated on April 13: The Black Shark gaming phone is now available, and the story now includes official specs and release information.

Mobile

Sony's Xperia 10 smartphone boasts a 6-inch screen and is now available

Sony took the wraps off of three new phones at Mobile World Congress 2019, including the new Xperia 1, which is the company's new flagship phone and the first with a 4K OLED display with a 21:9 aspect ratio.
Mobile

The Black Shark 2’s Ludicrous Mode promises the smoothest mobile gaming

Xiaomi-backed Black Shark has a follow-up to last year's Black Shark gaming phone, complete with high specs and a low price. Here's everything we know about the Black Shark 2 gaming phone.
Gaming

How do Nintendo Switch, Xbox One X compare to each other? We find out

The Nintendo Switch is innovative enough to stand apart from traditional consoles, but could it become your primary gaming system? How does the Switch stack up against the Xbox One?
Gaming

How do the revised Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles stack up?

Microsoft's new Xbox One S and Sony's PlayStation 4 "Slim" have bucked the generational gaming console trend. But which of these stopgap systems is worth spending your paycheck on?
Deals

Get your hands (and ears) on Apple’s new AirPods — here’s where to find them

Apple's new AirPods with wireless charging are the latest version of the much-loved wireless earbuds. Unfortunately, they aren't widely available yet. Here's where you can find them right now, and where they will show up soon.
Mobile

You can now use the innovative Red Hydrogen One on Google Fi

The Red Hydrogen One was first announced in 2017 and has been delayed a few times since then. Now, the Red Hydrogen One is finally available, featuring a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage.
Product Review

There’s almost nothing bad to say about the Mi Mix 3, but you still shouldn’t buy it

The Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 is good-looking, really well made, packed with features, and is a powerful, modern, desirable smartphone. But you probably shouldn’t buy it. Why? Nothing wrong with the device itself, but Xiaomi itself is mostly to…
Mobile

Apple’s AirPower wireless charging mat may be coming soon

At its September event in 2017, Apple unveiled the AirPower, a new wireless charging mat that will allow you to charge multiple devices at one time. It has not yet been released. Here's everything we know about the device so far.
Deals

The best Apple AirPods alternatives for Android, Windows, and iOS devices

Apple AirPods might be new and improved, but they aren't the only game in town. Other makers are offering their own truly wireless earbuds, with attractive features. These are the best AirPod alternatives on the market today.
Deals

Here are 20 portable tech gadgets you’ll want to use every day

If you're looking for portable tech to keep you charged up while on the go (or for some great small gift ideas), we've rounded up 20 must-have gadgets. You'll find everything from a mini gaming controller to a folding Bluetooth keyboard.
Mobile

The latest Google Doodle lets you create Bach-like music of your own

Google is celebrating the life of German composer Johann Sebastian Bach, and to that end the company has released a new Google Doodle that allows you to create Bach-like melodies and harmonies of your own.
Mobile

Amazon’s new Kindle has an adjustable light and costs less than $100

Amazon has taken the wraps off of a new Kindle model, which boasts a number of great features and comes at a very affordable price. Perhaps the best thing about the new Kindle is that the device has an adjustable.
Mobile

Apple iPad Air vs. iPad (2018): Which Apple tablet is right for you?

The new iPad Air replaces the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, but it doesn't pack quite the same punch. It is a fair bit cheaper, starting at $500, but it's a lot more expensive than Apple's 9.7-inch iPad which starts at $330. If you're shopping for…
Social Media

Facebook Messenger adds quoted replies to better organize group chats

Facebook is rolling out a feature that should help make group chats a whole lot more organized. The feature allows you to reply to specific messages within a group chat, so others will be able to tell what you're replying to.