Xiaomi updates its gaming smartphone with the new Black Shark Helo. The key features being a powerful hardware, cooling system, and aggressive pricing.
The Black Shark Helo features a 6-inch FullHD+ (2046 x 1080 resolution) AMOLED Display. The refresh rate is still 60Hz, unlike other gaming phones like Asus Rog & Razer Phone 2 that sports a smoother 120Hz. The display is, however, HDR10-complaint and with a dedicated mobile chip by Pixelworks, the SDR contents are converted to HDR in real time.
Internal includes a Snapdragon 845 which is the top of the line chipset on Android smartphones in 2018. There are 2 memory versions: One with 6 or 8GB of RAM and 128GB storage and the other with 10GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.
The back sits a dual camera setup of 12MP and 20MP, a similar setup seen on Xiaomi’s flagships Mi Mix 2s and Mi8. There’s also a fingerprint sensor below the rear cameras. The back looks like a gaming phone with a glowing logo which you can customize to the colors of your choice. Also, there’s a LED strip on both sides of the phone.
The front houses a dual stereo speaker and a 20MP selfie camera. Sadly, both the headphone jack and a microSD card slot is missing. There’s a 4000mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 Support.
Since it’s a gaming phone, thermals are taken care of by a Vapor Chamber Cooling that uses dual heat pipes near the CPU area to dissipate heat. Xiaomi claims that such a setting can reduce the CPU core temperature by 12 degrees, and then the temperature of the entire phone will be more uniform and feel more comfortable.
The base variant of 6 or 8GB RAM comes with a single Bluetooth game controller, while the higher end 10GB version gets a dual Bluetooth game controller.
Software-wise, it’s running on Android 8.1 (Oreo) with a customized Joy UI layered on top. There’s a Game Studio app with which you can change hardware settings as per the game.
Xiaomi Black Shark Helo specifications
- Display: 6.01-inch (2160×1080 pixels) Full HD+ 18:9 display, 100% NTSC color gamut
- SoC: Snapdragon 845
- CPU: Octa-core 4×2.8 GHz Kryo 385 Gold & 4×1.7 GHz Kryo 385 Silver
- GPU: Adreno 630 GPU
- Memory: 6GB / 8GB RAM with 128GB storage / 10GB RAM with 256GB
- OS: Android 8.1 (Oreo) with Joy UI
- SIM: Dual SIM (nano + nano)
- Back Camera: 12MP with f/1.75 aperture, 1.25µm pixel size, dual-tone LED flash, 20MP secondary camera with f/1.75 aperture, 1.0µm pixel size
- Front Camera: 20MP front-facing camera with 1.0µm pixel size, f/2.2 aperture
- Security: Fingerprint sensor
- Audio: Dual Smart PA, Hi-Fi Audio, Dual Front Speakers
- Dimensions: 160×75.25x 8.7mm; Weight: 190g
- Connectivity: 4G VoLTE, WiFi 802.11ac dual-band, Bluetooth 5, GPS/GLONASS/Beidou, USB Type-C
- Battery: 4000mAh with Quick Charge 3.0
Xiaomi Black Shark Helo Price & Availability
The 6GB/128GB version of the Xiaomi Black Shark is priced at US$460, the 8GB/128GB version costs US$504 and the 10GB/256GB version is priced at US$605. Sadly, its only available in China and there’s no news on its availability elsewhere.