Last year's Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition received widespread attention for its transparent back, which offered a look inside at the phone's motherboard and processor. As many suspected, the layer underneath the transparent case turned out to be a fake board sitting on top of the real hardware components. The Mi 9 is due soon, and it looks like Xiaomi is preparing a transparent version of that phone as well.
Lei Jun, founder and CEO of Xiaomi, posted pictures of the upcoming Mi 9 Explorer Edition on his Weibo account. In stark contrast from last year, when Xiaomi repeatedly stated the Mi 8's underlying board was real, this post explains the complicated process of carving a 0.3mm aluminum sheet with all the fake components.
Unlike last year's circuit board design, the transparent section of the Mi 9 Explorer Edition looks more like what you would see underneath a laptop. Everything is plated over, with very little of the (purely aesthetic) PCB visible. There's still a Snapdragon logo, as well as few random phrases in smaller text — "MIUI," "Super Mi," "Mi Fans," "48MP AI Camera Ultra Wide," and "Battle Angel."
The post also confirmed some of the Explorer Edition's hardware, including a "7-piece lens," a 48MP rear 'AI' camera, and a whopping 12GB of RAM. It's not clear if the regular Mi 9 will also share those specifications.