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Xiaomi finds room for fake circuitry in Mi 8 Explorer Edition, but not a headphone jack

That cool circuit board you see on the back of the Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition is now confirmed to be non-functional.

Published onJuly 30, 2018

The Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition.
  • The Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition has a visible circuit board under a transparent back.
  • Although Xiaomi said the circuit board is “real” it turns out it is non-functional.
  • There are probably some other, more useful things Xiaomi could put into its phones.

The Xiaomi Mi 8 is yet another iPhone X clone – some might argue the most blatant iPhone X rip-off yet.

But the Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition at least differentiates itself with some beefier specs and a sleek transparent back that shows off the meticulously designed innards of the smartphone.

There’s just one problem: those innards aren’t the actual gizmos powering the phone. What you see through the transparent back is an inert circuit board that is entirely for show and covers up the actual circuits hidden beneath, which we now know for certain via Android Police.

Xiaomi Mi 8 review: A reference design for Xiaomi software

In other words, Xiaomi found a way to cram a fake circuit board into a smartphone entirely for aesthetic purposes…without increasing its thickness as compared to the vanilla Mi 8. Now why can’t it do that for something useful, like I don’t know, a headphone jack?

I guess since the iPhone X doesn’t have a headphone jack it would ruin the look.

Xiaomi declared back in May when it announced the Explorer Edition that circuitry shown under the transparent back is “real.” However, what it must have meant with that statement is that the circuitry “exists” and is not a sticker, hologram, or another facsimile of a circuit board, because here’s a photo of the component:

An image of the fake circuit board under the transparent back of the Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition.

You’ll immediately notice that everything is very well-organized in an almost uncanny valley way. You’ll also notice that there are no BGA pads – and thus no way for these “components” to interact with one another electronically.

So yeah, the circuit board is “real,” just entirely non-functional.

This may seem like splitting hairs but it is profoundly disappointing that Xiaomi has been defending the Mi 8 Explorer Edition’s most distinctive feature as being “real” when it is, in fact, fake. Sure, it shouldn’t really affect your love or distaste for the device, but it certainly makes the feature much less cool.

Maybe another phone will come out that has a non-functional headphone jack. That would be hilarious.

NEXT: The Xiaomi Mi 8 is the iPhone X clone nobody wanted: How did we get here?

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