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Mi 8 Explorer edition transparent back controversy: Xiaomi says parts are of actual mainboard

Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer edition has been launched with a unique transparent back design to show off the internals of the phone. Now, Twitter user Chengming Alpert has claimed the see-through cover does not show the real components, and is instead a sticker. In a series of tweets, he explained why the components might not be real. “The reason for that: 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,” reads Alpert’s tweet.

Xiaomi responded to the Mi 8 Explorer Edition controversy and said in a statement to The Verge that the parts are of actual motherboard. “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,” reads Xiaomi’s statement.

A report in Engadget quotes a source from the supply chain who told the site that the components might just be a “nicely decorated piece of RF shield” as it is not possible for logic board components to be exposed that way. It adds that the components around the dummy chipsets are probably real, but non-functioning and are there for aesthetic purposes.

According to a Xiaomi blog post, Mi 8 Explorer Edition’s “comes with a stunning transparent glass back panel, beautifully showcasing the technology inside this flagship device.” While Xiaomi’s claim that parts on the upper half are of actual mainboard might just be true, it does not look like they exactly showcase the technology inside Mi 8.

Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer edition was unveiled alongside Mi 8 and Mi 8 SE at the company’s annual product launch event in China. The premium Android phone comes with an in-display fingerprint scanner, 3D face unlock feature, a notch on top of display and a transparent back. The specifications and features of the Mi 8 Explorer edition are the same as Mi 8, while Mi 8 SE is an affordable version.

The highlight of Mi 8 Explorer Edition is its in-display fingerprint scanner and it is also the first Android smartphone to use 3D face recognition technology, similar to the iPhone X’s FaceID. Mi 8 Explorer edition is powered by Snapdragon 845 processor coupled with 8GB RAM and 128GB of internal storage. The device is priced at 3699 Yuan, which is around Rs 39,000 on conversion. The phone runs MIUI 10 based on Android Oreo.

Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer edition gets 12MP+12MP rear cameras with a telephoto and wide-angle lens setup. The front camera is 20MP. The notch on the Explorer edition includes hardware like dot projector, flood illuminator, to support the 3D Face Unlock. The display size is 6.2-inches with Full HD+ resolution (2248 x 1080 pixels).