Xiaomi unveiled the Mi 8 Explorer Edition a couple of months ago. It immediately captured the attention of fans as the device has a transparent window at the back which shows the components arranged in a neat grid. It gave the impression that users could see the processor and other components of their handset at all times. It turns out that the circuit board seen through this window is actually a fake.
Editor’s note: although this fact has not been promoted by Xiaomi, it was not a secret. When Ubergizmo met with the company earlier this summer, the representatives were very upfront about the fact that the visible components were not real, but a decorative cover. While fans may be a bit disappointed, the reality is that the real components don’t look nearly as interesting and cool-looking because they need to be cooled properly.
When Xiaomi announced the device it said that the components that could be seen from the back were “real,” but it probably meant that in the sense that it’s not just a sticker. The components that are seen through the window are stuck on a secondary circuit board which is mounted at the top of the phone.
It’s not connected electrically to any board in the sense so it doesn’t do anything more than just assume the role of window dressing in the literal sense of the word. The fake inlay does leave space for components such as the processor but it doesn’t have the ball grid array that the processor requires to actually connect so that it can function.
The real components will undoubtedly be housed on a proper circuit board underneath the window dressing. Perhaps Xiaomi could have used the space it designated for the fake inlay to add more functionality for the device.