Xiaomi shows off the Mi 8 Explorer Edition with in-display fingerprint sensor and 3D face recognition
The most exciting part of Xiaomi's Mi 8 launch event today has to be the announcement of the Mi 8 Explorer Edition (EE). The Mi 8 EE is more or less the same standard Mi 8 flagship but has a few aspects that will certainly raise some eyebrows. Prominent among those include the in-display fingerprint sensor, a 3D face recognition feature, and a fully transparent back.
The in-display fingerprint sensor is reminiscent of the implementation in the Vivo X20 Plus UD that was showcased during CES 2018. While the Vivo X20 Plus UD used a Synaptics sensor, Xiaomi is yet to clarify on the technology used in the Mi 8 EE. The activation point, however, is in the same region as was in the Vivo X21 so it would not be a surprise if it's the same Synaptics implementation in this case.
While the rest of the specs are more or less in line with the standard Mi 8, the Mi 8 Explorer Edition comes with an added 3D face unlock feature similar to the TrueDepth FaceID sensor on the iPhone X. The standard Mi 8, on the other hand, features just an IR sensor. According to Xiaomi, the 3D face unlock tech uses 'advanced structured light technology' to accurately map your facial features. We, however, do not know how secure the biometric information is.
The other 'cool' aspect of the Mi 8 Explorer Edition is its fully transparent back. The transparent back enables one to view the chipset, battery, and a host of other internals. It is because of the transparent back that Xiaomi opted to go for an in-display fingerprint sensor. It looks like a neat implementation and will definitely make the phone stand out from the sea of Android phones out there — if you can get your hands on one.
The Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition will be available in only one configuration and that comes with 8 GB RAM and 128 GB storage for an equally cool price of ¥3,699 (US$580). That's almost half the price of competing flagships with the drool factor included. Unfortunately though, the Mi 8 Explorer Edition is currently exclusive only to the Chinese market and that too, in limited quantities. Here's hoping that Xiaomi does bring it other markets as well.