Alongside the launch of the standard Mi 8, Xiaomi unveiled a limited edition model that offers plenty to be excited about. The Mi 8 Explorer Edition shares the same design as the standard model — it basically looks a lot like the iPhone X — but Xiaomi is rolling out an in-display fingerprint sensor, much like the Vivo X21.
Xiaomi hasn't detailed whether it is using the same Synaptics sensor as Vivo, but the render suggests that is likely the case. The activation point for the fingerprint reader is in the lower third of the screen, just like the X21. More interestingly, the Mi 8 Explorer Edition comes with a transparent back that exposes the innards of the phone.
You can view the camera module, the Snapdragon chipset, battery, and the internal connectors, and it looks very cool. The downside is that like most limited edition Xiaomi phones, the Mi 8 Explorer Edition is unlikely to make its way outside of China.
The Mi 8 Explorer Edition also comes with a 3D face unlock feature, which according to Xiaomi uses "advanced structured light technology" to accurately measure your facial details. It sounds very similar to that of FaceID on the iPhone X, but Xiaomi hasn't mentioned if it is as secure. The standard Mi 8 has a face unlock feature as well, but it misses out on the 3D tech.
Other specs of the Mi 8 Explorer Edition include a Snapdragon 845, 8GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, dual 12MP cameras at the back, and a 20MP front camera. The phone will go on sale in China for ¥3,699 ($580), and while that's a crazy bargain when you consider the tech on offer, the device will be sold in extremely limited quantities.
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Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.