Made famous by Razer’s 2017 flagship phone, gaming phones have since moved from a strange niche to a commonplace device in the last few months. Xiaomi, with its Black Shark subsidiary, jumped on the gaming phones bandwagon earlier this year when it launched the Xiaomi Black Shark phone, and now, the firm is back with a sequel to the Black shark 1 – the aptly named Black Shark Helo, a device that might be making it to international market, unlike the original Black Shark that was limited to the Chinse market.
Xiaomi tried to preserve the original Black Shark design, but not without some subtle differences. First, the Black Shark Helo is still a notchless device, with a 6-inch 2,160 x 1,080 display, but has ditched the LCD panel for an OLED, so you should expect to see deep blacks and power savings when viewing dark content. The Black Shark Helo has also made a switch from the home button enabled fingerprint scanner to a rear fingerprint scanner, as well as a switch from a single gamepad to two gamepad attachments for either side of the device.
Although the device lacks the Razer’sand ASUS 90 Hz or 120 Hz display, it does feature a similar glowing RGB logo on the back with AI game lighting that changes depending on the game. Very much like the Poco F1, from Xiaomi, the Black Shark Helo comes with a dual-pipe vapour cooling system to keep the temperature from getting out of hands during intense gaming sessions. It lacks the headphone jack, features a stereo front-facing speakers, performance hardware key, as well as a customizable LED light strip on the side.
Away from the designs, most of the improvements are found with the internals. The device gets the flagship SD 845 SoC coupled with 6GB + 128GB and 10GB RAM+256GB storage options. It runs on Android 8.1 Oreo, retains the 4000mAh battery with quick charge 3, while there is a vertically aligned (16MP + 20MP) camera on the back of the phone.
Xiaomi Black Shark Helo specifications
- 6.01-inch (2160 × 1080 pixels) Full HD+ 18:9 display with 100% NTSC color gamut, 430 nits brightness
- 2.8GHz Octa-Core Snapdragon 845 64-bit 10nm Mobile Platform with Adreno 630 GPU
- 6GB / 8GB LPDDR4x RAM with 128GB (UFS 2.1) storage / 10GB LPDDR4x RAM with 256GB (UFS 2.1) internal storage
- Android 8.1 (Oreo) with Joy UI
- Dual SIM (nano + nano)
- 12MP rear camera with f/1.75 aperture, 1.25µm pixel size, dual-tone LED flash, secondary 20MP rear camera with 1.0µm pixel size, f/1.75 aperture
- 20MP front-facing camera with 1.0µm pixel size, f/2.2 aperture
- Fingerprint sensor
- Dual Smart PA, Hi-Fi Audio, Dual Front Speakers
- Two-stag SHARK key for high performance gaming mode
- Dimensions: 160×75.25x 8.7mm; Weight: 190g
- 4G VoLTE, WiFi 802.11ac dual-band (2×2 MU-MIMO ), Bluetooth 5, GPS/GLONASS/Beidou, USB Type-C
- 4000mAh (typical) / 3900mAh (minimum) battery with Quick Charge 3.0
The Xiaomi Black Shark Helo is immediately available to buy in China, with no words on availability and price outside of China.
- 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)