This move in the tech industry among a number of major players may seem to be mostly inspired by the arrival of AAA-tier titles or simply high-end graphic games like Fornite, PUBG Mobile and Asphalt 9 Legends alongside many others but it is definitely one that has been showing promise in the recent years.
The manufacture of smartphones specially dedicated to ultimate gaming is one that is young and a field that a number of tech giants still hesitate to venture in but with the likes of this year’s ASUS ROG Phone II, hopefully, some will start to pitch this idea to their executives. But speaking of venturing, Chinese smartphone maker, Xiaomi is definitely jumping on the bandwagon and will possibly joyride on this sleeping giant for a while.
This is considering they just launched Black Shark 2 Pro that is promised to be an affordable, turbocharged gaming smartphone. And even though Xiaomi has strictly insisted that this handset series is a totally independent brand from the regular devices made under the company’s name, it is one that Xiaomi has heavily invested in and continues to provide substantial support to.
Now that all that is totally made clear, what makes this phone worthy of our attention? One of the most interesting features is that the Black Shark 2 Pro is the second smartphone to be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus processor, after ASUS’ very own.
The new platform is purportedly an amped-up version of the Snapdragon 855, meant specifically for gaming smartphones providing improved CPU and graphics performance, as well as modems capable of providing a more stable cellular connection to lag-sensitive gamers.
Other than that, it houses an impressive 12GB RAM placing at per even with the current flagship devices, but one which many still insist to be excessive. It is an argument that however rings some truth considering the performance leap between this and another device offering a conventional 8GB RAM is not that noticeable. Mobile gaming is growing, yes, but the current titles are not so sophisticated to require that much graphical capability.
To the more interesting stuff, the smartphone also comes in general chassis that is not only tailored for comfortable grip but is also compatible with the company’s Gamepad 2.0 hardware add-on that connects to the phone using Bluetooth and adds 12 buttons, a physical joystick, and even a touchpad.
It also packs a 6.39-inch AMOLED display featuring a 2340×1080 resolution, a 19.5:9 aspect ratio, 430 nits brightness, a 60,000:1 contrast ratio and force feedback. This is all alongside a 34.7ms ms touch latency to ensure maximum performance when the screen is used to control games.
To give it another upgrade over the previous Black Shark 2 model, it packs a 13MP secondary rear camera alongside the 48MP primary rear camera. As for your files, the Black Shark opted to go with the UFS 3.0 standard that debuted with OnePlus 7 to offer faster transfer speeds. The storage capacity variants are the price-differentiating factors with 128GB option going for CNY 2,999 (about Ksh.45,500) in China and the 256GB selling at CNY 3,999 (about Ksh.60,600).
And despite how impressive all this may sound, it is unfortunately available in China only with shipments expected to start sometime later. But the main question many may have is what kind of rivalry it brings to ASUS ROG’s door.