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Xiaomi unveils flagship smartphone with a see-through glass back panel

The new Mi 8 Explorer Edition also sports a notch and 3D facial recognition technology, like the iPhone X

This article originally appeared on ABACUS

Xiaomi launched a new flagship model that flaunts a transparent glass back panel, showing the guts of the device.

Beyond that, the Mi 8 Explorer Edition seems to have taken some well-known design cues from Apple’s iPhone X.

Its 6.21-inch AMOLED screen also has a notch on top, which houses the selfie camera, speaker, and an infrared camera for facial recognition. Xiaomi says the handset's 3D face unlock system, which is similar to the iPhone X's Face ID, makes it the world’s first Android smartphone to use such a technology.

While most of the Mi 8 series’ specs were in line with expectation, its premium Explorer Edition impressed fans with a see-through glass back panel. (Picture: Xiaomi)

The company also introduced a regular edition of the Mi 8, which has the fingerprint sensor on the back. The Explorer Edition has an in-display fingerprint reader.

Both versions sport a vertical dual-camera system on the back like the iPhone X. These new models also support 3D emojis, which look very similar to Apple’s Animoji.

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The Mi 8 series is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 chip set and features dual-frequency GPS, which Xiaomi claims is a first for any smartphone. That GPS set-up will provide more accurate user location data, according to the company.

The regular Mi 8 handset starts at 2,699 yuan (US$421), while the Explorer Edition costs 3,699 yuan (US$577). A petite version, the Mi 8 SE, comes with a Snapdragon 710 processor and a 5.88-inch OLED screen. It's priced from 1,799 yuan (US$280). 

Xiaomi’s latest smartphone line consists of the regular Mi 8 handset, the smaller Mi 8 SE and the Mi 8 Explorer Edition. (Picture: Xiaomi)

Other products introduced by Xiaomi included the Mi Band 3 fitness tracker, the 74-inch Mi TV 4, and a stand-alone virtual reality headset co-developed with Oculus.

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