Xiaomi Mi 6 teardown examines waterproofing, clear back option

With the emergence, or resurgence, of glass backs on smartphones, JerryRigEverything's Zack Nelson has a new calling: removing the paint behind that glass to create a "clear back" phone. Well, at least those that survive his torture tests. Sorry, HTC U Ultra. The latest to get that treatment after the LG G6 and the Galaxy S8 is the Xiaomi Mi 6. But, along the way, Nelson also tries to discover just how water resistant the thing is.

JerryRigEverything bills the Mi 6 as one of the sturdiest it has ever tested, survive scratch, burn, and bend tests with flying colors. But one thing that Nelson never does on his YouTube videos is test how water resistant phones are. With Xiaomi boasting of its first splash proof phone, he got interested in checking out that claim during his teardown. Without drowning the phone, of course.

It turns out, it's not that water resistant after all and Xiaomi is more or less accurate in calling it simply splash proof. Although Xiaomi does go through the trouble of sealing holes and even removing the headphone jack for the sake of water proofing, it didn't take the last step of sealing the USB-C port. As such, there is a rather big entry point for water and moisture to go through. Nelson rates the Mi 6 with an IP64 and hopes that the Mi 7 would do beter.

As for the clear back option, it isn't exactly as impressive as Nelson's other two experiments. Much of the Mi 6's innards are hidden behind plastic plates that cannot be easily set aside. As such, while you do get a glimpse of what's inside, at most you'll only be seeing the battery.

The good news is that it seems the Xiaomi Mi 6 isn't that hard to pry apart and put back together again. There's a bit of oddity with varying lengths of screws and an expected copious amount of adhesive, but nothing that would stop self-repair experts.