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Xiaomi launches Mi8 with a naked back, sparking controversy

Looks like the Chinese companies are determined to give US tech giants a tough time in the global smartphone market. In a grand event held in Shenzhen, China today, Xiaomi launched its flagship Mi 8 smartphone that features a screen notch, just like Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone X.

The phone features a 6.2 inch OLED screen and 20-megapixel rear camera, and runs on Snapdragon 845 processor. However, what captured the fancy of most smartphone enthusiasts was a special Explorer Edition that boasts of an in-display fingerprint sensor, face recognition (again from Apple) and a transparent back cover!

You heard that right; you can see the internal components of the phone through the back cover. And we have to accept, it looks pretty cool. However, hours into the launch, accusations have popped up online that what we see through the back cover is not the real interior.

Mi 8 Explorer edition

As reported by The Verge, a Twitter user by the name Chengming Alpert shared numerous tweets stating why he feels the back cover is not really transparent. “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,” the user stated in the tweet.

The user pointed out that what we see from the back may not be a sticker, but simply a piece of board covering the actual components. Meanwhile, the company has communicated with The Verge that it stands by the claim that the back cover is made of transparent glass and what we see inside is the actual mainboard. Guess we’ll need some more time to get our hands on it and find out the truth.

Separately at the event, Xiaomi announced a smaller and cheaper version of its Mi line, called Mi 8 SE (again “inspired” from Apple iPhone SE we guess) featuring a 5.9 inch OLED screen and powered by Snapdragon 710 processor. Xiaomi is apparently trying hard to be China’s Apple.

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