Xiaomi launched the Black Shark 2 earlier this week. The new gaming smartphone has a touch-sensitive screen, making the edges of the display function as game buttons. For the time being, the Black Shark 2 is only sold in China, where you can buy the gaming phone for a price of around € 420. The new Xiaomi device will probably also be released for the Dutch market at a later date.
After the Black Shark Helo, which was launched in October last year, this is already the third gaming smartphone from the Chinese manufacturer. It looks like it won’t be the last model in the series either because Xiaomi has recently patented a series of new gaming models.
Xiaomi Black Shark smartphone with ToF camera
The design patent was applied for by Xiaomi in December 2018 at the Global Design Database of the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Office) and was published on 19 March 2019. No fewer than 48 sketches have been added.
A design patent is always very brief in terms of information; it is about the design that is recorded. It is therefore, remarkable that Xiaomi has stated in the description: ‘the name of this design product: mobile phone (Sky)’. It is possible that the name Sky refers here to the model name of the mobile gaming device. Finally, the name Black Shark Sky is very much in line with Black Shark Helo.
In total, the patent shows eight different models. We follow them one by one. The first model is a kind of combination of the models that have already been introduced. The front is reminiscent of the original Black Shark, this device was equipped with a physical home button. On the back, however, we see a double camera that is positioned vertically apart, similar to the Black Shark 2.
Xiaomi has patented another variant of this model, which has an extra camera at the rear. Based on the size of the lens, this could be a ToF camera meant for 3D photography and AR applications, such as AR gaming. A ToF 3D camera seems to be becoming increasingly popular. Last year the Oppo RX17 Pro was introduced with a ToF camera. The Honor View 20 and the LG G8 ThinQ, introduced earlier this year, also have a ToF 3D camera.
Next, we see two models with a small notch. It is again the back that differs from each other. One model shows a dual camera; the other variant shows a triple camera. Xiaomi also had two phone designs recorded with a wide notch, in which the receiver is placed in addition to the selfie camera. Finally, we see two models that are very similar to the recently launched Black Shark 2. A variant with two and three cameras is also patented for this model.
The gaming smartphone has risen sharply in popularity in recent years. Last year Xiaomi introduced no less than two Black Shark phones, possibly, we can expect a new model in the fall, this time with a notch.
If the Chinese manufacturer uses the same strategy this year, this model will be given a different name, such as Black Shark Sky. After which, it is expected that the Xiaomi Black Shark 3 will appear in the first half of next year.
Because the mobile gaming experience has become so much better in recent years, this trend does not seem to stop soon either. With the arrival of flexible displays, it is, therefore, necessary to wait until the first foldable gaming phone appears. LetsGoDigital, for example, was published earlier this year on a foldable gaming smartphone with a D-Pad, but this model was from Samsung.