PHONE MAKERS WON'T STOP trying to make the humble smartphone into an OTT gaming machine, as proven by Xiaomi's Black Shark 2 handset.
Much like Razer's gaming-orientated phone, Xiaomi has had a second bite at the cherry to make a gaming handset to stand out from the crowd. It's done this by adding a pressure sensitive OLED screen into the mix.
Before we get onto that, let's talk specs. As expected, there're some high-end innards, with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855 flagship SoC taking centre stage. The chipset is supported by 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, or 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage space.
Much like the Razer Phone 2, vapour chamber cooling is also featured to keep the Black Shark 2's electronic guts from cooking.
A 4,000mAh battery with 27W fast charging support should keep the phone juiced up for a good while. So far, so flagship specs.
Around the phone's back is a dual-camera array with 48-megapixel and 12MP snappers; the front-facing camera sports a 20MP lens.
That hardware is packed into a rather chunky looking chassis that comes complete with gaming aesthetics such as neon green highlights and angular design flairs. It definitely communicates its gaming chops, but it's not quite as aggressive looking as the Asus ROG Phone.
But the standout feature is the 6.39in OLED display that not only features an under-display fingerprint scanner from Samsung, but also reacts to various levels of pressure.
This means mobile gaming fans can map virtual buttons onto the display that react to different levels of pressure, potentially bypassing the need to buy a controller add-on. Oh and notch haters can breath easy as there's no screen cut-out here.
We're still not fully convinced by gaming-centric phones, given there are plenty of standard flagship phones with the specs needed to run the latest mobile games with suitable aplomb; the OnePlus 6T has a dedicated gaming mode but still retains its stylish looks, for example.
But a pressure sensitive display is pretty cool and we wouldn't be surprised to see that tech filter down into other Xiaomi phones and into the hands of other phone makers.
If you want the Black Shark 2, you'll need to wait until it comes to the UK. Or you could try your hand at importing one from China, as the phone is available to buy today with prices starting at ¥3,199, some £476. µ
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