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Xiaomi Black Shark 2: The Good, The Bad, And The X Factor
Xiaomi has announced the launch of the Black Shark 2 at a starting price of Rs 39,999.
Well, better late than never, Xiaomi's gaming smartphone company - Black Shark has finally forayed into the Indian market. The company has announced the launch of the Black Shark 2 at a starting price of Rs 39,999. The device will lock horns with the Asus ROG Phone which was launched earlier this year.
The smartphone is powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset and improves on the audio by using dual front-firing speakers instead of a mono speaker. All this is complemented by a smooth LCD panel with some punchy AMOLED.
It features a dual camera setup comprising of a 48MP primary sensor and 12MP 2x telephoto sensor. For selfies, you get a 20MP sensor, f/2.0 aperture.
We can safely say that this is a much better device than its predecessor, but is it the best gaming smartphone around? Let's break it down for you.
Design that screams gaming
Well, in a time where the smartphones are getting slimmer and lighter, the Black Shark 2 breaks the trend and does the complete opposite. Up front, you get a Full HD+ display with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio and a fingerprint sensor that embedded within the screen which also shows a futuristic animation while unlocking the device. The front panel also has dual front-firing speakers and a 20MP selfie camera.
The device borrows a few of its looks from its precursor, with a similar Batmobile-like armored aesthetics. The device mixes matte aluminum and mirrored glass very neatly, making it a stand out product in its class. The left edge has the volume rockers, while the right side has the power key and toggle to switch to Shark Space, the dedicated gaming center.
As for the grip, we found the smartphone pretty handy despite a slippery chassis. And just like any other gaming product, the device packs RGB lighting that lights up the logo placed on the rear panel, but in a subtle manner. You also get the RGB strips on either edge, which glow when you get a notification.
Overall, the Black Shark 2 qualifies as a well-rounded device in terms of design and offers an aesthetically pleasing look that might lure a lot of gamers and suckers for cool stuff.
Zingy AMOLED display
The Black Shark 2 also saw an upgrade in the display department. The device now uses a 6.4-inch AMOLED panel with an HD+ resolution that makes it a good alternative for gaming and consuming multimedia.
Honestly, it's not the brightest screens out there, but it is bright enough to make for a good viewing and gaming experience. It also doesn't feature high screen refresh rates as its contemporaries, however, it is touted as the most responsive touchscreen, with a 240Hz touch report rate, and a 43.5ms response time.
You also get modes such as Cinema mode, an Eye Comfort mode, which increases the warmth and reduces the blue light. Additionally, the device has a Video HDR mode that enhances the standard dynamic range of video content.
The company might have trimmed down a few corners to make the device cost-effective, but it doesn't compromise one bit when it comes to the performance. The smartphone is powered by the zippy Snapdragon 855 processor backed by 6GB / 12GB of RAM.
During our brief time with the device, we fired up a few graphics-hungry games and noticed that the device showed no sign of lag or stutter even at maximum graphics settings.
The device did get a bit toasty, but not uncomfortably so.
The Black Shark 2 also comes with a slew of performance-boosting features. For instance, the liquid cooling system has a multi-layer heat dissipation that takes the thermal energy away from the cores of the CPU. The system comprises a heat-conducting copper shield and a multi-layer graphite film.
The new gaming phone packs a massive 4000mAh battery similar to the ROG Phone. However, the Black Shark 2 gets more juice out of its compared to its contemporaries. The company also claims to have optimized the battery in a way that it drains at a slower pace.
You do miss out on the wireless charging tech on this one, but you do get fast charging which shouldn't be dealbreaker at this price. You also get power-saving optimizations, thanks to Android 9 Pie OS.
No expandable storage
The smartphones come in 128GB and 256GB storage options, however, there's no way you can expand the storage. This is a bit of a letdown as the users will have to buy the pricier variant if they wish to have more space. The bigger variant is around 10k costlier than the standard variant.
No IP rating
Despite the heavy armored looks of the Black Shark 2, please note that the device doesn't come with an IP rating. So you might want to be cautious while taking your device near a swimming pool.
This could be one of those moves where companies don't spend extra money on getting a certification for the phone's water and dust resisting capabilities but do offer protection against water and dust to some extent.
The X factor
Gaming on a budget
The USP of the Black Shark 2 is its top-of-the-line spec sheet at a really aggressive price. The device offers excellent performance and carries an optimized battery reservoir that can keep the phone running through long gaming sessions.
The device is a blend of impressive innards, dedicated gaming modes, and decent of cameras, making it a tough competitor for other players out there. The phone sure has it flaws, but if look beyond them, this could be a great alternative to satisfy the gaming within you.
Black Shark 2 is an affordable gaming smartphone that gives you the best of both worlds. Its design might not fit the bill for a daily driver, but if you are someone who appreciates these over the top aesthetics, you know where to look.
We will be using the device further and pushing it to the limits before we pass the final judgment. However, our first impression of the device is very impressive.
Hit or a miss?
Starting at a price of Rs 39,999, the Black Shark 2 has already suggested that it means business. it might not be the best in all categories, it still manages to deliver hardcore performance in areas such as raw power and battery life.
If you are gamer but do not wish to shell out huge sums on gaming smartphones, there's every reason to go for the Black Shark 2, as it brings everything that one would expect from a gaming-centric phone. In addition, you can also purchase different accessories to enhance your gaming experience.
In our opinion, the Black Shark 2 is probably the best deal for people looking for something similar to what a flagship can offer, but at a much lower price.