Mobile Technology

Xiaomi pushes gaming phones even further with the Black Shark 3

Xiaomi pushes gaming phones ev...
The Black Shark returns for a third generation
The Black Shark returns for a third generation
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The Black Shark returns for a third generation
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The Black Shark returns for a third generation
The Pro model comes with shoulder buttons for more tactile controls
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The Pro model comes with shoulder buttons for more tactile controls
The Black Shark 3 comes with a 6.67-inch screen and a 4,720 mAh battery
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The Black Shark 3 comes with a 6.67-inch screen and a 4,720 mAh battery
The Black Shark 3 Pro ups the screen size to 7.1 inches and the battery size to 5,000 mAh
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The Black Shark 3 Pro ups the screen size to 7.1 inches and the battery size to 5,000 mAh
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Smartphones sold as gaming phones have always been about excess – big screens, big specs, big extras – and with the Black Shark 3 and Black Shark 3 Pro, Xiaomi is pushing those boundaries even further.

Two years down the line from the original Black Shark, you would expect Xiaomi to be getting into its gaming phone groove, and that seems to be the case: the new phones come with top-tier specs and 5G connectivity, as well as pop-up shoulder buttons on the Pro model that can be mapped to in-game controls.

That might solve one of the major problems of gaming on the go, especially for fast-paced action where milliseconds really count – the issue of having to obstruct the action while tapping on-screen controls.

The standard Black Shark 3 comes with a 6.67-inch, 2,400 x 1,800 pixel AMOLED display, offering a 90Hz refresh rate and a 270Hz touch sampling rate (so those finger taps will get picked up very, very quickly). You get 8 GB or 12 GB of RAM, and 128 GB or 256 GB of internal storage, as well as a 4,720 mAh battery.

The Pro model comes with shoulder buttons for more tactile controls
The Pro model comes with shoulder buttons for more tactile controls

As for the Pro model, it ups the screen size to 7.1 inches and the resolution to 3,120 x 1,440 pixels. The battery is bigger as well, at 5,000 mAh, though aside from the shoulder buttons the other specs and configuration options are the same.

Both phones are powered by the Snapdragon 865 processor from Qualcomm, the most powerful chipset you're likely to see in Android phones this year, and have 64 MP + 13 MP + 5 MP triple-lens cameras on the back, just in case you have time to take some pictures between gaming sessions.

Fast charging is a key feature here, with Xiaomi saying the phones can charge up to 100 percent from flat in just 38 minutes. They also support clip-on 18 W magnetic chargers that fix to the back, so you can add some juice without plugging a cable into the USB-C port and potentially interfering with a game.

As is usual for Xiaomi, the phones have been announced in China first ahead of a global roll out, so international release dates and pricing have yet to be confirmed. In China, the Black Shark 3 starts at 3,499 yuan (roughly US$505), while the Black Shark 3 Pro starts at 4,699 yuan (roughly $675).

Product page: Black Shark

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