Many users think the most amazing smartphone launched in the first half of 2018 is the Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition. Actually, it’s difficult not to agree with this statement. This handset allows users to abandon color matching and directly explore the internal experience of the phone. After two months it went on sale, finally.
Undoubtedly, the most interesting feature of the Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition is its back design. It differs from all those single color, gradient color, and other designs. The translucent back panel allows users to see the circuit board inside the phone. But what’s more important, it doesn’t disclose the ugly internals of the phone. For this purpose, the manufacturer designed a decorative motherboard. Actually, it’s a ‘real’ motherboard with a 3D stereo structure, but it has no effect except for ‘decoration’ inside the device.
According to Xiaomi’s official introduction, although it is a ‘decorative motherboard’, it has the ‘same material and process’ as the real motherboard, and it also needs to go through multiple processes. In addition, the ‘decorative motherboard’ does not correspond to the components inside the phone.
Although this ‘decorative motherboard’ does not play a functional role, it is obviously more thoughtful than the standard version.
In addition to the ‘transparent’ design, the overall body is more outlined around the three colors of red, gold, and black. The golden ‘texture’ on the ‘Decorative Motherboard’ and the red colored camera, power button, and the Type-C interface look great on the top of a black atmosphere body.
Moreover, on each component of the ‘decorative motherboard’, there is a corresponding component code.
The battery part is partially covered with a film similar to a ‘carbon fiber texture’, but this time the Xiaomi did not specify what kind of material it used and whether it uses the same process as the ‘decorative motherboard.’
However, if ignoring the transparent back panel and the red/gold design elements, the Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition doesn’t differ from the standard version significantly. This statement is mainly true for the grip feel, body weight, thickness and so on.
When reviewing the Xiaomi Mi 8, we mentioned the bangs area is wider than that on the current Android phones. The main reason is that the notch carries more sensors to provide more functions. But in the original model, the advantages of the wider notch were not reflected.
First, unlike the regular model, the Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition has added face recognition based on the principle of ‘3D structured light.’ Our protagonist is using a coded structured light scheme, while the iPhone X uses a scattered spot array structure light scheme. It not only unlocks the face in the dark but also has higher security efficiency. In other words, this is the “Face ID” function in the Android machine.
From the actual experience, the ‘face recognition’ with a ‘3D structured light’ support is worthy of recognition, and the entry process is quite simple and will not cause trouble. Secondly, in terms of unlocking efficiency, it is possible to unlock when wearing glasses, at a certain angle side face, and the like.
However, it should be noted that when the face is not in the same direction, the angle is different, the eyes are closed, etc., the unlocking may not occur.
What’s more interesting is that the system also retains the ‘face recognition’ scheme of the traditional 2D plane.
In addition to the ‘face recognition’ principle of the ‘3D structured light’, the Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition also incorporates the ‘screen fingerprint’ function. That’s why there are too little opening on the back of the fuselage.
This is another difference in the appearance of the Explorer Edition and the standard version.
Similar to the current smartphones supporting screen fingerprint design, the entry process of the Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition will be much slower than the capacitive fingerprint. Since the phone adds a pressure sensor to the fingerprint, it takes a little effort to trigger fingerprint recognition whether it is fingerprinting or unlocking.
As for the unlocking efficiency, the Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition version is still ideal. Of course, it is obviously slower than the well-known physical capacitive fingerprinting. But this is also the inevitable point of the current evolution of screen fingerprint technology. Perhaps one day, the screen fingerprint technology will be more mature, and naturally, there will be no such a ‘slow’ intuitive feeling.
According to the official introduction of Xiaomi, the screen fingerprint technology of the Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition comes from Xinsi Technology and Huiding Technology.
Though there are both biometrics, in the current payment process, the fingerprint recognition is still the main feature, and the face recognition payment function will be realized in the future.
In other words, the face recognition function of the phone is mainly reflected in the functions of unlocking and 3D expressions.
At last, let’s recall its key features once again. The Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition is packed with a 6.21-inch notch screen, a rear dual 12MP lens combination, a front 20MP lens, and supports for AI camera. As for hardware, it sports a Snapdragon 845 mobile platform, supplemented by 8GB + 128GB storage combination, built-in 3000mAh battery, support for dual-frequency GPS, and so on.
The Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition is originally priced at 3699 yuan ($540), which is also more expensive than that standard version.