Xiaomi transparent Mi 8 Explorer Edition might not show the real internals

Xiaomi just-announced Mi 8 flagship has a special “Explorer Edition” 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 insides of the phone.There is just one problem with it that is its see-through back might not be real.

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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 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.


Now, Xiaomi might not be lying about the transparent back. But it’s possible the “inside” is possibly a flashy sticker or 3D plastic cover for the actual, duller components underneath meant to look like the internal parts, rather than a revealing look into the inner workings of the phone. That theory would make a lot of sense — look at the internals of other previous Xiaomi phones like the Mi 5, and you’ll see a much plainer plastic shielding covering the actual motherboard and other components on the back of the device.


we might have a smartphone that manages to take its design cues from luxury watches or high-end gaming computers, with super polished innards that are meant to show off the internal engineering as much as external. But, sadly, the Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition might not be it.

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