ASUS launched its gaming beast the ROG Phone 2 in China last week, the world’s first smartphone to rock Qualcomm’s newly announced Snapdragon 855 Plus SoC. And today Xiaomi also launched the Black Shark 2 Pro in the country. The Black Shark 2 Pro is an upgraded version of the Black Shark 2 that launched in March this year.

While the Black Shark 2 was launched with the Snapdragon 855 SoC it’s Pro version gets the latest Snapdragon 855 SoC Plus chipset to ostensibly compete with the ASUS ROG Phone 2.

The Snapdragon SoC 855 Plus is an overclocked version of the Snapdragon 855 SoC with about 4% and 15% performance enhancement on the part of CPU and GPU, respectively. The Plus version of the 855 SoC was recently announced by Qualcomm to better support high-end gaming on today’s smartphones.

The Snapdragon 855 Plus in the Black Shark 2 Pro pumps power from under the hood paired with Adreno 640 GPU, 12GB RAM, and 128GB/256GB internal storage which is backed by UFS 3.0 technology instead of UFS 2.1 found in the Black Shark 2.

The Black Shark 2 Pro comes with the same 6.39-inch 2340x1080p HD+ AMOLED display with 19.5:9 aspect ratio as the Black Shark 2. The display is equipped with DCI_P3 color gamut, DC Dimming 2.0, and 240Hz touch sampling.

In terms of improvement in the display, the Black Shark 2 Pro now comes with 34.7ms touch latency compared to 43.5ms in the Black Shark 2.

Largely the camera department remains the same as found in the Black Shark 2 except the one rear sensor. Along with the 48MP primary sensor with f/1.75 aperture the Black Shark 2 Pro now makes use of a 13MP secondary sensor at the back instead of a 12MP sensor. For selfies, a 20MP front-facing camera with f/2.0 aperture is tacked on to the forehead of the phone similar to the Black Shark 2.

On the software side of things, the phone boots MIUI 10 based on Android Pie out-of-the-box. There is a new Black Space Dock 4.0, the company’s gaming mode for the efficient management of games play.

There is no change on the battery front as the same 4,000mAh battery in the Black Shark 2 Pro keeps the entire things ticking with the support of 27W fast charging over a USB Type-C port.

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As usual, the biometrics is taken care of by the in-display fingerprint sensor. Luckily, the phone doesn’t shun the 3.5mm headphone jack which is otherwise becoming endangered these days from flagships as well as mid-range phones.

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Last but not least, the rear of the Black Shark 2 Pro, for a change, sports Formula 1-themed X-like design language with the addition of two RGB LED lights on either side of the RGB Shark logo, providing a better grip in the user’s hands.

The smartphone comes in as many as five color options such as Black, Purple, Silver, Bright Orange, and Blue with orange accent. It is currently up for preorders in China ahead of the sale starting on August 2.

The phone will be available in two storage configurations: 12GB+128GB and 12GB+256GB. The former is priced at CNY2,999 (Approx. USD435) and the latter costs CNY3,999 (Approx. USD580).

Having said that all, the smartphone gaming segment is poised to hot up following the launch of the Snapdragon 855 Plus SoC. Realme, Vivo, and Nubia have already confirmed that their upcoming gaming phones are going to have the punch of the newly-launched Snapdragon 855 Plus processor.

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Tanwirul has studied law, but he finds his forte in tech writing. First thing for him to do is rummage through the web to catch all the news and rumors on a variety of gadgets. Off and on, he is also a cricket buff and a permanent Rahul Dravid fan. He finds out time even in the busiest hours to pen some lines that others call poetry.