Xiaomi Black Shark Helo Review: A Smartphone For ‘Gamers’ With More Memory Than PS4 Pro


A few months ago, specifically in April of this 2018, Xiaomi surprised the world with the launch of its first mobile gaming, known as Black Shark. And recently the company has updated it to show us the second version; Black Shark Helo; even more powerful, which not only gets to catch up but seeks to be crowned as the best smartphone for gamers in the world.

This is the Xiaomi Black Shark Helo, which in the end will become the first smartphone in the world to have 10GB of RAM, with an aggressive look and focused on exploiting its capabilities for the most demanding games. In fact, Xiaomi will sell it with a kind of Joy-Con, with joystick included, with which they seek to put it at the height of the Nintendo Switch. Today, want to delve into details and share our experience of use with all of you briefly, so do not delay and review everything that brings this new Black Shark Helo.

No Notch, AMOLED Screen, Front Dual Speakers

This is an incredible device that can be found in 3 different versions, one of them has 6GB of RAM + 128GB of ROM and costs a total of 3199 yuan ($461) , its second version has 8GB of RAM + 128GB of ROM and costs 3499 yuan ($504) and finally, its 10GB version of RAM + 256GB of ROM, which is priced at 4199 yuan ($605).

The biggest change in the Xiaomi Black Shark Helo comes from the front. The previous model features a 5.99-inch LCD screen. in the Black Shark Helo replaced the screen panel with the popular Samsung AMOLED in mid- to high-end phones, still in the 18:9 ratio without Notch design. The diagonal size is 6.01 inches and 2160×1080 resolution.

It is worth mentioning that each screen of Black Shark Helo has been gamut-calibrated before leaving the factory, which avoids the problem of large individual differences in the display effects between different AMOLED Smartphones which are currently presented.

Xiaomi Black Shark Helo provides four modes of cinema, nature, standard and eye protection. The default cinema mode display is “cool”. In addition to the standard mode, the remaining three modes support color temperature adjustment.

In the actual experience, the color, the viewing angle and the permeability of the screen are all good. The brightness is enough but not high. If it can be higher, so it will be more perfect. Compared to the LCD screen used in the previous model, the Xiaomi Black Shark Helo ‘s screen is significantly better as long as you don’t often use your phone in extremely weak light or are extremely sensitive to strobe.

With a nice screen, Black Shark has also done a lot of enhancements in this model, such as automatically increasing the dynamic range of normal SDR video to achieve HDR-like effects. Select Enable in the set Game Dock-Insert Frame Optimization to optimize the display with a separate DSP chip for a smoother display (this mode sacrifices approximately 10% of the brightness).

In addition to the screen, the speaker is another important change in the front of the Black Shark Helo.

This year, many mid-to-high-end Smartphones have begun to pay attention to the external release of mobile phones and many mobile phones use a top-end earpiece as a secondary speaker to achieve better external effects. iOn the Black Shark Helo, it goes one step further, with a front speaker directly on the top and bottom of the front (the top speaker is also the earpiece).

The dual speakers also have a high gold content, all of which are higher quality linear speakers, which are amplified using the smart PA.

Black Shark Helo ‘s external performance is also good, the volume is large enough, the complete front dual speaker design also allows the external release has a good sense of space, you should not find an opponent in the same price. Compared with the top-level phones such as iPhone XS Max and Huawei Mate RS, the Black Shark Helo has room for improvement in sound processing. I don’t know if it can do some sound effects with Dolby and other companies. Collaborate to further tap the potential of front-mounted dual speakers.

Iconic Design, Side Light Strips

Appearance, the Black Shark Helo basically continued the style of the previous model, the whole device is still a thick “gaming” style.

The middle frame is made of aluminum alloy, but unlike the mainstream arc processing, the Black Shark Helo adds two tough corners on the middle frame. In the back, the it has become the more popular glass from the metal cover of the previous model, and the black shark’s signature fin pattern can be seen under the glass.

While maintaining a tough style, the Black Shark Helo still retains a relatively continuous arc in the middle and back, and the feeling of holding it on hand is still good, not as square as both gaming models of Razor.

We got Black Shark Helo in black color for review. The edge of the metal frame around the screen and the green connection of the back cover glass and metal are added to further enhance the visual recognition. As a game phone, the black shark Helo naturally has a “RGB” effect.

The groove under the middle frame is the light bar area, In addition to the S-shaped LOGO on the back cover, the Black Shark Helo also added a light bar on the left and right sides of the phone to support the rainbow flow, interlace change, dot matrix light wave, light and shadow shuttle, harmonious rhythm, starlight flashing, 6 kinds Light mode.

In the settings of the mobile phone, there is a special “light effect setting option”, which can customize your favorite lighting effects for many scenes including switch device, incoming call, notification, charging, music, SHARK mode and so on.

Better Water Cooling Best for Gaming Experience

After reading the screen, design, and equivalent changes, let’s talk about the game experience of the Black Shark Helo.

On the hardware, Black Shark Helo and the previous model is basically the same, the heap is piled up, SoC is Snapdragon 845, which has 3 different versions, one of them has 6GB of RAM + 128GB of ROM , its second version has 8GB of RAM + 128GB of ROM and finally, its 10GB version of RAM + 256GB of ROM.

In the heat-dissipating part, the Black Shark Helo continues to use a water-cooled cooling system, and the number of heat pipes has also increased, covering SoC, RF and even camera systems. Officials say that compared to the liquid-free cooling tube, this cooling system can reduce the core temperature of the CPU by 12 degrees (the previous model is reduced by 8 degrees).

A better cooling system can reduce the temperature of the mobile phone on the one hand, but for gaming mobile phones, the greater significance is that the SoC can fully perform its performance and run at a higher frequency for a longer period of time, thereby achieving a better gaming experience.

Xiaomi Black Shark Helo also retains the SHARK button on the left side. After the fluctuation, it can enter the SHARK mode. In this mode, the device will automatically clear the background, optimize the network status, and let the mobile phone be in the best game running state with one click.

This button is also a typical feature of the black shark game Helo. For most users, it may be too overkill to prepare a separate button for a quick start game, but if you are a heavy mobile game user, this one Buttons will undoubtedly bring a lot of convenience.

It is worth mentioning that the previous model of Black Shark needs the optional game controller to become the standard in the box on the Black Shark Helo, and replaced with the black shark’s left-handed double-wing handle.

This generation of handles have some changes in the layout, the top is the rocker, the bottom is the four direction keys, the top is the LB, LT two function keys, the overall layout is somewhat close to the Nintendo Switch, the button feels excellent. The bottom of the handle is a USB type-C charging port and switch, it has built-in 340mAh battery, the handle is fastened to the phone through the groove on the protective case (requires a protective case to use the handle).


As for the game frame rate, the Black Shark Helo performance naturally has nothing to worry about, in addition to the NBA 2K18 and other individual optimization is bad, all Android phones will run the card game, in the running “PUBG”, “king glory” and other popular games, the Black Shark Helo is full frame running under the highest special effects. For details, you can refer to the GameBench frame rate chart of the following games (picture from IT168 mobile phone channel).

QQ speed

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A More Comprehensive “User Experience”

The Xiaomi Black Shark Helo is equipped with JoyUI based on Android 8.1. The system finally adds a full-screen gesture. The logic is the same as the MIUI. You can return from the left and right edges of the screen.

Camera Specs and Samples

On the rear camera, it is consistent with the previous model in hardware. The main camera is 12MP, the single pixel is 1.25 micron, the secondary camera is 20MP, and the single pixel is 1.0 micron. The aperture of both lenses has arrived. f/1.75.

Taking into account its game position, taking pictures is not the strength of the Black Shark Helo. In actual use, the focus and imaging quality of this latest model is slightly different from the domestic first-class level, but fortunately, the hardware of the Black Shark Helo can also be selected, and the scene can be selected with the AI scene recognition. Take a photo that looks good.

The following photos were taken by Black Shark Helo to turn on AI scene recognition without any post.


Another highlight of the Black Shark Helo is battery life. Like the previous model, the Black Shark Helo also features a 4000mAh battery that is rare in the Snapdragon 845 model. The endurance performance has certain advantages over most high-end Smartphones.

Price and Conclusion

On the basis of the previous model of black shark, the Black Shark Helo has made many improvements in appearance, lighting effect, external release, heat dissipation, etc., which also makes it a more balanced and excellent game phone. If you are a gamer, the Black Shark Helo is still a cost-effective option.

Since the 64GB ROM version of the previous model has been removed and the handle is directly standard, the starting price of the Xiaomi Black Shark Helo has increased a little compared to the last model. The price of 6GB of RAM + 128GB of ROM and costs a total of 3199 yuan ($461) , its second version has 8GB of RAM + 128GB of ROM and costs 3499 yuan ($504) and finally, its 10GB version of RAM + 256GB of ROM, which is priced at 4199 yuan ($605), but this version sale time is slightly later, to double 11 period.

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