Xiaomi’s Black Shark Helo Replaces LCD with OLED Display
October 29, 2018
A few months ago, Xiaomi announced the Black Sharkgaming phone, and now it’s time for the sequel — Black Shark Helo. Thenext-gen Black Sharkcomes with a few minor changes to the hardware, but it still offers that sleek “gamer” look, and it glows! Following in Asus’s footsteps, Xiaomi has added customizable LED light stripsto the sides of the phone. The Helo sports a Snapdragon 845with vapor chamber cooling, 128GB to 256GB of storage, and a 4,000mAh battery to support long hours of gaming. It has a customizable glowing logo on the back, along with a fingerprint sensor and two cameras — 12MP+20MPthat are stacked vertically. On the front, it has 20MP selfie camera. RAM has been bumped up to 10GB from the previous 6-8GB configuration. Xiaomi has discarded the LCD screen for a 6.01 inch 1080 x 2160 (402 ppi) OLED display. Switching to the OLED display will bring deep blacks and power savings while viewing dark content or using black themes. The gaming phone has front facing speakers with no headphone jackand a hardware key to turn on performance mode. The base model for Helo that has 6GB of RAM costs around $460(3,199 yuan) and $600 (4,199 yuan) for the 10GBversion. It will only be available in China.
Figure 1: Xiaomi’s Black Shark
Xiaomi alsoreleased its Mi Mix 3 smartphone and announced that it expected to ship over 100m units between January and October of this year, which surpassed unit shipments of 92.4m units for all of 2017 (up from ~54m in 2016). Xiaomi has been making a very concerted effort to gain share over the last two years and has been able to move from a 4.8% share in 2Q 2016 to an 8.9% share in 2Q 2018. While Xiaomi competes with its counterparts in the Chinese market, they continue to push sales outside of the Mainland and are the on-line sales leader in India with phones designed specifically for that region. Xiaomi expects the Mi Mix 3 to compete with the Apple iPhone XS MAX and the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, which are physically similar. The differences are shown in the table below, which shows a cost vs. feature comparison. Despite the poorer display characteristics, the Xiaomi phone offers ‘almost’ the same features as the flagship phones from Apple and Samsung, and at half the price.
Figure 1: Xiaomi/Apple/Samsung Feature Comparison
Source: SCMR LLC, GSMArena
Figure 2: Xiaomi Worldwide Smartphone Shipment Share
Source: SCMR LLC