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Neutral Milk Hotel - On Avery Island Music Album Reviews

Each Sunday, Pitchfork takes an in-depth look at a significant album from the past, and any record not in our archives is eligible. Today, we revisit the oft-overshadowed debut from indie rock icons, a smaller and more intimate look into the mercurial world of Jeff Mangum.
In the mid-’90s, Jeff Mangum moved into a haunted closet in Denver where he had dreams of women in fur coats drinking champagne, yelling at him to get out of their house. During a snowy Colorado winter, the Louisiana-born songwriter and his childhood friend Robert Schneider set about recording what would become Neutral Milk Hotel’s debut album. They worked feverishly, going out to smoke cigarettes when they hit a roadblock, until, in May of 1995, they had a finished record. The North Carolina indie label Merge scooped up the young band and quietly released On Avery Island the following March.





Xiaomi Black Shark 2 Release Date, Pricing, Features And Spec News

Here’s all you need to know about the Xiaomi Black Shark 2, including release date and pricing details alongside the features and specs that make the Black Shark 2 stand out from the crowd.

Following months of teasers and leaks, Xiaomi has revealed its next-gen gaming smartphone, the Black Shark 2, at an event in Beijing. We were really impressed with the original Xiaomi Black Shark, offering high-end specs and gaming accessories with a competitive price tag, and it looks like that'll continue with the Black Shark 2.

Here’s all you need to know about the Xiaomi Black Shark 2, including release date and pricing details alongside the features and specs that make the Black Shark 2 stand out from the crowd.

When Will TXiaomi Black Shark 2 Be Released?
The Xiaomi Black Shark 2 is now available to buy in China, following an 18 March 2019 reveal. While the smartphone isn't available in the UK, US or Europe right now, Euro and GBP pricing has been confirmed, leading us to believe that it'll be available at some point in the near future. Of course, we'll update this section as soon as we receive news about availability. 

How Much Will The Xiaomi Black Shark 2 Cost?
The Xiaomi Black Shark is available in several configurations, ranging from the budget-friendly £360 (around $462) model to the top-of-the-range £475 (around $610) model. We break them down in more detail below:

  • 6GB RAM + 128GB storage: £360/440 Euros
  • 8GB RAM + 128GB storage: £395/459 Euros
  • 8GB RAM + 256GB storage: £430/499 Euros
  • 12GB RAM + 256GB storage: £475/551 Euros
With the Razer Phone 2 and Asus ROG Phone priced at £779 and £709 respectively, the Xiaomi Black Shark 2 should tempt gamers. As mentioned above, the smartphone isn't currently available outside of China, but we'll update this section once it's released in more territories. 

What Will The Xiaomi Black Shark 2 Offer?
While the original Xiaomi Black Shark was an impressive gaming smartphone, the Black Shark 2 could take the title of best gaming smartphone. Let's start with the basics: it sports a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, along with either 6-, 8- or a whopping 12GB of RAM and up to 256GB of storage, more than enough for your collection of mobile games. 

On the front, you'll find a 6.39in AMOLED display with what Xiaomi balls DC Light Dimmer which apparently makes it a little easier on your eyes, but we'll have to look into this once we get our hands on a sample in the coming weeks. The display also boasts HDR support, incredibly fast response times (43.5ms) and Master Touch, a feature that allows gamers to trigger touch zones to trigger multiple actions with a single tap. Think how much easier PUBG Mobile could be if you could map aiming and firing to a single button... 

When playing your favourite games, you can enable Xiaomi's Ludicrous Mode to focus all CPU power on the game you're currently playing, helping to avoid framerate drops and lag over long periods of play. 

The smartphone has to stay cool to provide the best performance from demanding mobile games, so Xiaomi has included a unique liquid cooling system. It's called Direct Touch Liquid Cooling 3.0, and Xiaomi claims that it's the first and only direct touch multilayer liquid cooling system in the world, providing improved heat dissipation to reduce internal temperatures by up to 14 degrees Celcius. 

You can measure stats like framerate and system temperatures via the smartphone's Performance Dashboard, and tweak performance via Gamer Studio. It's not just the hardware that Xiaomi has focused on with the Black Shark 2!

The smartphone also boasts a 4,000mAh battery that can provide around five hours of intense gameplay on a single charge - that may not sound like a lot, but if true, it could provide one of the longest mobile gaming sessions currently available. When it does come to time to charge, you can use Xiaomi's 27W fast charger to speedily charge the smartphone back up. 

With all that power under the hood, how will it stay cool? Xiaomi has already confirmed that the upcoming smartphone boasts advanced Liquid Cool 3.0 to keep temperatures down during intense gaming sessions. The Black Shark 2’s 3C certification suggests that it’ll also support 27W fast charging, although it’s unclear whether the fast charger will be included in the box.

You've got a bunch of other cool features like dual front-facing stereo speakers, a noise-cancelling mic array and 4D vibration that should enhance the mobile gaming experience too. There is a range of accessories that you can pick up too, including controllers that snap onto the smartphone and, rather incredibly, a cooling case that'll cool your phone by 10 degrees Celcius in as little as 10 seconds. There's also a Host Mode, allowing you to plug your smartphone into your TV via HDMI and play your games on the big screen. Eat your heart out, Nintendo! 

We’ll be sure to update this section as soon as more details arise, so check back frequently for the latest Xiaomi Black Shark 2 feature and spec details.

Xiaomi Black Shark 2 Specs
  • 6.39in AMOLED display (1080 x 2340)
  • Up to 256GB storage
  • Up to 12GB of RAM
  • Octa-core Snapdragon 855
  • 48Mp + 12Mp dual rear camera setup
  • 20Mp front-facing camera
  • 4000mAh battery
  • 27W fast charge
  • Direct Touch Liquid Cooling 3.0



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