We all kind of dropped our jaws when Xiaomi revealed the Mi 8 Explorer Edition earlier this week. Who could take their eyes off the translucent flagship smartphone that proudly shows the internal components that make up its upper half?
It’s undeniably one of the coolest-looking things we’ve ever laid eyes on, and that’s saying something considering we’ve seen devices with curved displays, foldable screens, and fingerprint sensors that sit under the screen glass. But what if, as The Verge points out, the very design choice that makes the Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition stand out might be nothing more than an aesthetic touch that the phone can do without?
The very design choice that makes the Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition stand out might be nothing more than an aesthetic touch that the phone can do without.
In a recent article, the American tech website notes that the see-through backing might not be showing working innards. The exposed parts we’re seeing could have been printed on the plastic cover that seals the motherboard and other real parts under the phone’s glass back.
The observation was first pointed out on Twitter in a series of tweets by Chengming Alpert, who has been particularly skeptical of how well put together the Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition is, adding 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.”
He also quoted a person from Xiaomi in one of his last tweets about the issue, which reads, “After confirming with an internal source, I translate his meaning: ‘The components are physical things, NOT a sticker. BUT, it’s a piece of board which has nothing to do with phone function. Removing it won’t affect any function of the phone.'”
After confirming with an internal source, I translate he’s meaning: “the components are physical things, NOT a sticker. BUT, it’s a piece of board which has nothing to do with phone function. Remove it won’t infect any function of the phone. “
— Chengming Alpert (@ChengmingAlpert) May 31, 2018
But real talk: It wouldn’t surprise us one bit if the device in question isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Consider that HTC also released the U12+ see-through phone this year, but it is far from pretty and well laid-out. We’ve also seen quite a number of handsets with their inner workings exposed; their internal assembly looks anything but enticing.
Xiaomi has released a statement responding to the allegations, insisting that the internals we see on the back of the Mi 8 Explorer Edition are “parts of the actual mainboard.”
Image via Engadget
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