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Update | Xiaomi offers increased transparency with transparent Mi 9 Explorer Edition variant

The transparent cover gives a glimpse at an artistic sheet of aluminum for the Mi 9 Explorer Edition. (Source Weibo/Xiaomi)
The transparent cover gives a glimpse at an artistic sheet of aluminum for the Mi 9 Explorer Edition. (Source Weibo/Xiaomi)
Xiaomi’s CEO Lei Jun has posted some very interesting images of the Mi 9 Explorer Edition on Weibo. Along with the pictures, there is some text describing the process of creating the flagship smartphone’s unique transparent look, which involves a 0.3-mm sheet of micro-carved aluminum being inserted underneath the device’s back glass cover.

Update February 19: There will be two special editions of the Xiaomi Mi 9 that come with a transparent back cover: The 8 GB/256 GB Transparent Edition (also known as Xiaomi Mi 9: Battle Angel) and the 12 GB Explorer Edition.

It seems Xiaomi is offering a higher level of transparency in regard to information about its upcoming Mi 9 Explorer Edition smartphone. When the Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition was released, there were some who believed that the transparent back actually revealed the inner components of the smartphone. The Chinese manufacturer’s illusion didn’t fool our reviewer though. However, for the Mi 9 version, Xiaomi has been direct from the start.

According to the Weibo post by Lei Jun, designers only had 0.4 mm of space to work with, and they still managed to create an intricately etched aluminum insert for the Mi 9 Explorer Edition that was 0.3 mm in thickness. In the pictures, it’s possible to see labels for “Qualcomm Snapdragon,” “Mi Fans,” “MIUI,” “Super Mi,” and “Battle Angel” components along with text reading “48 MP AI Camera Ultra Wide MI9.” The "Battle Angel" label may only come on the Transparent Edition (see update).

Obviously, the design does not accurately represent the arrangement or appearance of the hardware underneath the aluminum sliver. However, the stylized composition does look attractive and will likely appeal to many Xiaomi fans. As an extra bonus, the company claims the aluminum sheet in the transparent Mi 9 Explorer Edition will have a practical use, assisting with heat dissipation.

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Xiaomi Mi 9 Transparent/Explorer Edition. (Source: Weibo)
Xiaomi Mi 9 Transparent/Explorer Edition. (Source: Weibo)
Xiaomi Mi 9 Transparent/Explorer Edition. (Source: Weibo)
Xiaomi Mi 9 Transparent/Explorer Edition. (Source: Weibo)
Xiaomi Mi 9 Transparent/Explorer Edition. (Source: Weibo)
Xiaomi Mi 9 Transparent/Explorer Edition. (Source: Weibo)
Xiaomi Mi 9 Transparent/Explorer Edition. (Source: Weibo)
Xiaomi Mi 9 Transparent/Explorer Edition. (Source: Weibo)
Xiaomi Mi 9 Transparent/Explorer Edition. (Source: Weibo)
Xiaomi Mi 9 Transparent/Explorer Edition. (Source: Weibo)
The aluminum sheet is less than 0.3 mm thick. (Source: Weibo)
The aluminum sheet is less than 0.3 mm thick. (Source: Weibo)

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 02 > Xiaomi offers increased transparency with transparent Mi 9 Explorer Edition variant
Daniel R Deakin, 2019-02-19 (Update: 2019-02-19)