Any modern mobile could be considered a gaming phone, given the widespread availability of interactive apps and the surprising power that today’s handsets pack within their ever-growing dimensions. However, some manufacturers realise that there is a lot to be gained from targeting the niche of hardcore gamers; hence the rise of devices which are tailored to the expectations of this audience.
Xiaomi is one such firm, providing details of an all-new mobile which is set to follow up on the success of its first gaming-focused device which launched last year.
The result is the Black Shark 2, the very design of which is enough to make it stand out from the crowd and catch the attention of gaming enthusiasts.
First and foremost, the display of a gaming-centric phone needs to impress, which is easily achieved by the Black Shark 2 thanks to its 6.39 inch screen that utilises an AMOLED panel and even has a built-in fingerprint sensor, just like the new Samsung Galaxy S10.
Graphical power is delivered via the Adreno 640 chip which should be able to push more pixels than older generation devices, delivering rich gaming experiences in any titles which are able to take full advantage of the power on offer.
Being able to play games on the go requires a decent battery, which is why Xiaomi has opted for a 4000mAh cell in the case of this device. It also comes with better fast charging capabilities than its predecessor, which means that it should take less time for it to be restored to full capacity after it has been drained during a long play session.
Although gaming may be the primary purpose of this smartphone, it should also handle a range of other activities without any trouble. It has two camera lenses on the rear, one of which has a 48 megapixel resolution, making it appealing for photographers. The selfie camera above the screen offers a 20 megapixel resolution which, while not the most impressive example on the market, will be more than adequate for the needs of most users.
The price of the Black Shark 2 is also surprisingly reasonable, given the specifications. It will cost the equivalent of £359 in its standard form which has 128GB of onboard storage and a decent 6GB of RAM. The higher end model, which doubles both the storage and RAM, is closer to £470.
In either case, getting cheap phone insurance to preempt any damage or faults causing problems further down the line may be worthwhile. Mobile phone insurance is inexpensive and gives you that extra layer of protection that may prove to be a blessing when disaster strikes.
As we mentioned earlier, the design of the Black Shark 2 is very much a defining feature and one which is likely to divide opinion.
The rear surface has a kind of multifaceted, contoured styling that has no practical purpose but instead aims to ape the look and feel of other gaming-friendly hardware, whether that might be an RGB keyboard and mouse or a modern PC case.
Whether this appeals or not will be entirely down to personal taste, but it is interesting to see Xiaomi taking a bold step in a particular direction with its latest smartphone.