“The Black Shark Helo is the world’s first smartphone to come with 10 gigabytes of RAM”

The trail that the original Razer Phone (first impressions) blazed last year has found quite a few followers this year. We now have multiple gaming smartphones like the Black Shark (first impressions), nubia Red Magic (first impressions) and the ASUS ROG Phone (first impressions). However, one company, in particular, feels that there’s a real niche for buyers looking for a gaming smartphone. The Xiaomi-backed Black Shark recently launched its second-generation gaming smartphone in the form of the Black Shark Helo. Provided that the new launch comes within just a couple of months of the original Black Shark, it’s but natural to wonder what new it brings to the table. We have compared both these smartphones to make it easier for our readers.

Black Shark vs Black Shark Helo: what’s different

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Let’s start with the way these smartphones look. The Black Shark flaunted a quirky and gaming-friendly polycarbonate build with a distinct ‘X’ pattern, which was slightly raised and had a dotted pattern to give gamers a better grip. The smartphone also featured a physical home button on the front with the fingerprint scanner embedded in it, just below the 18:9 display. While the original Black Shark had a gaming-focused demeanour, the new Black Shark Helo comes in a more classy glass sandwich design. The handset still retains the ‘X-style’ unique antenna design but this time it gets a 3D glass with condensed ridge lines to give it a three-dimensional look. The new launch also gets a new Shark Key toggle on the side, which limits the background usage for better performance.

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Further, the Black Shark Helo comes with an RGB LED strip on both sides, featuring AI game lighting that changes based on the game being played. The Helo also retains the glowing Black Shark logo on the rear panel. Another difference is that the physical home button with a fingerprint scanner on the Black Shark (pictured above) is missing from the latest launch. The Black Shark Helo gets a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner instead. This accounts for a more immersive viewing experience while gaming and watching videos.

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Speaking of the viewing experience, there is not much difference in size as Black Shark Helo comes with a slightly larger 6.01-inch display as compared to 5.99-inch on its predecessor. While the difference in size is not as stark, the displays themselves are wide apart. While the original Black Shark features an In-Cell LCD display, the Helo comes with a much advanced AMOLED panel. As such, the built-in image processing chip and HDR support do a much better job on the Helo than they did on the Black Shark.

Coming to the configurations, both Black Shark and Black Shark Helo come in 6GB and 8GB RAM variants. While the 6GB variant of the Black Shark had 64GB native storage, the same for Black Shark Helo get 128GB of space. However, the latest launch also gets an additional variant, which makes it the world’s first smartphone to flaunt 10 gigs of RAM. This model gets 256GB of storage onboard.

Black Shark vs Black Shark Helo: what’s the same

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While it is true that the Black Shark Helo is a major upgrade over its predecessor, it retains several key aspects. For starters, the powertrain ticking at their core remains the same, which is the Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon 845 SoC backed by Adreno 630 graphics. Bringing the focus to the camera department, both smartphones feature dual camera setups on the back, with a 20MP + 12MP configuration. The similarity continues to the front as well as both these phones have 20-megapixel shooters for self-portraits.

In the software department, you get the proprietary Joy UI running atop the Android operating system. 4,000mAh batteries powers both smartphones. The similarities between the two ends here.

Closing thoughts

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There are no two thoughts here that the Black Shark Helo is a much more powerful gaming smartphone here. And to its credit, it also has the RGB LED lighting on the sides for that quintessential gaming appearance. Moreover, it gets a dedicated toggle to enhance gaming performance, much better display and a classy design. It’s a no-brainer which one of the two comes out at the top here. The handset has been priced at RMB 3,199 (~Rs 34,000) for the base 6GB RAM option, RMB 3,499 (~Rs 37,000) for the 8GB model and RMB 4,199 (~Rs 41,500) for the 10GB RAM variant.