As gaming phones gain steam, the Black Shark 2 Pro could be the best yet
In a packed ballroom at the Mirage hotel at CES 2020, a neon green logo beckoned me toward it like a siren calling to sailors in The Iliad. Fortunately for me there were no treacherous rocks waiting to send me to a horrible death. Instead there was just the Black Shark 2 Pro, a gaming phone with a glowing logo on the back.
Gaming phones are right at home in the flashy confines of CES, but they also signal a subtle shift in the phone market toward more niche audiences. The Razer Phone launched in 2017, bringing with it a new category of phones built with features geared toward gaming. These features included an LCD display with a 120Hz refresh rate (instead of the standard 60Hz), a top-of-the-line Snapdragon processor and a logo on the back that glowed.
In 2020, you can find a dedicated gaming mode on mainstream flagship phones such as the Google Pixel 4 and Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus. The OnePlus 7T and 7 Pro both have 90Hz high refresh rate screens. And there are now three phones that are built from head-to-toe for gamers: The Asus ROG Phone 2, the Nubia Red Magic 3S and the Black Shark 2 Pro. The Black Shark 2 Pro was originally announced in July 2019, but will be available in the US at some point starting at $599 (£539 or about AU$1,030). Unfortunately Xiaomi, which makes the Black Shark, couldn't say when. The Black Shark 2 Pro is almost identical to the Black Shark 2. The major difference is that the new Pro version has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus processor instead of the regular 855 variant.
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