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 looking to capture its own part of that pie, with a phone code-named “Blackshark.” Apparently being made by Black Shark Technology, Xiaomi is quietly backing this phone from the wings. But will the shark sink or swim? Here’s everything we know about the Blackshark.
Sources for the phone reveal intermittent usage of “Blackshark” and “Black Shark” when referring to the phone, and it’s most likely named after the company making the phone — the aforementioned Black Shark Tech. However, it’s highly possible that the phone will have a different name when it’s officially revealed.
We don’t have much to go on with regard to the looks of the Blackshark, but what we do have shows a very interesting and unique design. In a world of glass and metal smartphones, it seems that the Blackshark will be looking to stand out with a rugged-looking design that resembles a protective case from UAG or Otterbox.
It’s clear this won’t be a stylish trend-setter like the Huawei Mate 10 Pro or the iPhone X, and given the rubberized look and chunky looking sides, it’s likely that it’s not going to be the thinnest and lightest phone around either.
A dual-lens camera can be seen on the back of the device, alongside an LED flash unit. The top section appears to be some sort of ergonomic attachment — possibly some sort of controller accessory designed to aid in gaming. There’s no Xiaomi logo on the back, in keeping with the company’s seeming hands-off approach — but there is a large green “S” reminiscent of the Razer Phone’s branding.
According to the source, the Blackshark will be packing an OLED screen, stereo speakers, and — excitingly — a fingerprint sensor inside the screen. Under-display fingerprint sensors are something of a holy grail in mobile tech right now, with only one company having done it correctly so far — if Black Shark can pull this off then it will be a massive slam dunk for the phone.
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 Blackshark, it seems that it won’t be lacking any punch. Some of the first leaks around this device showcased some exceptionally high specifications well on a par with the flagship phones of the moment. An AnTuTu listing for the phone shows the new and exceptionally powerful Snapdragon 845, 8GB of RAM, Android 8.0 Oreo, but a slightly disappointing 32GB of onboard storage. Hopefully it will come with expandable storage to boost that up a little.
According to another source, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 inside the phone seems to be shaping up to be an exceptional performer, scoring 2,452 in single-core tests and 8,452 in multi-core tests. By contrast, the extremely powerful Galaxy S9 scored slightly lower, with 2,377 on single-core and 7,982 on multi-core. While benchmarks aren’t everything, this bodes well for the Blackshark.
Release date and price
There’s no word on an official release date, price, or whether this phone will be available in the U.S. However, a date has been set for the official reveal: April 13. Xiaomi has always been aggressive with its pricing, so expect this phone to be no more expensive and possibly cheaper than its closest competitor, the Razer Phone.