Xiaomi’s just-announced Mi 8 flagship has a special “Explorer Edition” that, along with an in-display fingerprint sensor and iPhone X-esque 3D face recognition technology, features a cool transparent back panel to show off the inside of the phone. There’s just one slight problem with that see-through back: it might not be real.
The allegedly false back was spotted by Chengming Alpert, who offers a few reasons why the Mi 8 Explorer Edition may not be real. In a series of tweets, Alpert claims the “S845 can’t be in that position; all the components around is too far away from each other; no graphite or other pipe/wire/cable for thermal.”
Alpert also points out that Xiaomi flat-out acknowledges that there’s some visual trickery going on here. The product description for the phone, roughly translated, notes that the Mi 8’s transparent component isn’t one-to-one with the actual components inside the phone. Xiaomi is sticking to its guns, though — in a statement to The Verge, the company commented that “The transparent back on Mi 8 Explorer Edition is indeed made of transparent glass, and there isn’t a sticker with a picture on it. The parts that you see on the back upper half, for example, are parts of the actual mainboard.”
Looking at the Mi 8 Explorer Edition, there’s certainly reason to be skeptical — after all, we’ve seen transparent phones before, and none have ever shown quite the same level of visual flair on the inside as the Mi 8 Explorer claims to. Compare the stylish exposed internals of the Mi 8 Explorer Edition to, say, the also-transparent U12 Plus. Sure, the U12 Plus might not look as interesting as the Mi 8 Explorer does, but there’s a certain real-world fidelity there; things aren’t perfectly aligned or as neat as the Mi 8 Explorer.