A new sketch of the upcoming Xiaomi-backed Black Shark gaming phone has leaked online, showing the device’s antennae placement and some other design cues. The image seen above is relatively rough but reveals the phone's X-shaped antenna arrangement with modules for GPS, Wi-Fi MIMO, and LTE placed on the handset’s four corners. Black Shark later confirmed this design on Weibo, saying it helps improve signal reception by preventing the user’s palms from covering the antennae. The information was provided through a quiz wherein Weibo users were asked to guess the closest match of the phone’s antennae placement among the list of several alphabet letters.
The Black Shark gaming phone has been confirmed as launching next Friday, April 13, while the Chinese OEM also said the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset will be powering the upcoming smartphone. In the last two months, the Black Shark phone has appeared on AnTuTu and Geekbench, hinting at some of its possible specifications. Besides the Snapdragon 845, both benchmarking tools revealed the presence of 8GB of RAM and Android 8.0 Oreo. The AnTuTu listing also suggested 32GB of flash memory being part of the package, as well as a display resolution of 2,160 x 1,080 pixels indicative of an 18:9 aspect ratio. Previous reports also indicated a 6GB RAM variant of the phone is in the works as well. An alleged image of the phone leaked earlier this week but Black Shark was quick to call it fake.
With this device, Xiaomi will mark its foray into the gaming smartphone category which has yet to be truly popularized, with only the Razer Phone trying to revive it late last year with a unique 120Hz screen and various software optimizations. The Razer Phone debuted six and a half years after the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, the last truly gaming-oriented smartphone that was advertised in the West. Chinese manufacturer Nubia is also expected to launch an Android handset targeting gamers later this year.