Xiaomi subsidiary Black Shark launched its first smartphone designed for mobile gaming this spring. Less than half a year later we have the follow-up.
The Xiaomi Black Shark Helo features a similar design but updated specs and… RGB lighting effects.
It goes up for pre-order in China starting today for 3,199 yuan ($460) and up.
Update: An earlier version of this article referred to the new phone as the Black Shark 2. It’s actually called the Black Shark Helo. The *actual* Black Shark 2 launched in March, 2019.
The Black Shark Helo features a 6 inch, 2160 x 1080 pixel AMOLED display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, up to 10GB of RAM, up to 256GB of UFS 2.1 storage, and a 4,000 mAh battery. There are dual cameras (16MP + 20MP) on the back of the phone, along with a fingerprint sensor. And the S logo lights up.
There are also RGB light bars on the left and right sides of the phone, and you can choose colors and adjust lighting effects using an app on your phone… or just disable the lights in order to extend the phone’s battery life.
While the Black Shark Helo doesn’t have a 90 Hz or 120 Hz display like the Asus ROG Phone or Razer Phone 2, but it does have a liquid cooling system to keep the phone from getting hot during marathon gaming sessions, and it’s designed to work with a game controller.
Still worried that the phone will get hot? The company will also offer an optional cooling case that puts a couple of fans on the back of the phone.
The controller connects to the phone by Bluetooth, but you can hold it firmly in place by sliding it into a slot on a bumper case that comes with the phone.
It comes with an 18W fast charger, a USB Type-C connector (but no headphone jack), and the phone features stereo front-facing speakers, supports Bluetooth 5.0 and 802.11ac WiFi.
The Black Shark Helo will come several different configuration:
- 6GB RAM and 128GB of storage for 3,199 yuan (~$460)
- 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage for 3,499 yuan (~$505)
- 10GB of RAM and 256GB of storage for 4,199 yuan (~$605)
Wondering how the Black Shark Helo stacks up against the competition? Dave 2D has a 10 minute video that compares the phone with its closest competitors: the aforementioned Asus ROG Phone and Razer Phone 2.
One key difference between the Black Shark Helo and the other options? It’s not likely to be widely available in the United States.