Today, we shall be discussing a very close yet very far topic. Daily, people fall victim to fake phones, knockoffs, or clones. This article is written to help you tackle this problem so much that you can recognize a clone/refurbished/fake phone merely by handling it for a few minutes. By following these hard and fast rules, avoid buying fake/knockoff/clone phones today.
Counterfeit/Fake phones VS knockoffs/Clones
First off, let me describe a clone/knockoff as an exact or almost exact replica of an original device, albeit with a different branding. Furthermore, a clone or knockoff is a copy of the design or function of an original device, sold as a clone copy, and fully disclosed as “not the original.” An example of a clone/knockoff phone is a “Nokia” clone that was once produced with the name “Nokla.” Also, a Chinese knock-off brand called HDC makes a phone that’s a pure clone of One M8. It’s VERY similar. Clones are perfect replicas of the original, but they are straightforward to distinguish. They are a bit off. Knockoffs don’t just feel “right.
A counterfeit/Fake item is a clone (knockoff) copy that has been marketed as the original. A counterfeit is guilty of dishonesty, misrepresentation, and illegality. It is more difficult to detect a counterfeit phone if you are not used to the original.
A truly legal clone would copy the concept and even the design of an original but not include any trademarked or copyrighted logos or wording on the package or item and would be fully disclosed as “not the original”.
Summarily, the difference between the two boils down to registered trademarks. A knockoff may resemble another product but contains no identifying logos or registered brand names. In general, knockoffs don’t necessarily violate trademark law. A counterfeit product, on the other hand, uses a brand name or logo that is identical or nearly identical to a registered trademark, which is illegal under trademark law.
Is there any danger in buying a refurbished phone?
Another fallacy is that some people equate a refurbished phone to a fake or sub-standard phone. I’m afraid that’s technically not right, as a refurbished phone is a used phone that has been repaired and confirmed to be usable before selling.
A refurbished cell phone typically refers to a model returned to the manufacturer, tested for problems, and restored to full-functioning, factory-standard condition.
In general, refurbished phones include lightly or gently used models. They should return to standard working conditions, unlike “as is” models, which may or may not work. Some refurbished models even include a set warranty, such as 90 days. During that time, if the phone fails to function correctly through no fault of the owner, the seller may offer a replacement or refund. If you want to buy a refurbished phone online, please buy only from credible online stores such as Amazon(Amazon offers certified refurbished which comes with 90 days warranty). Otherwise, buy the refurbished directly from the manufacturer.
Preventive Measures That Can Protect You From Buying Clone or Fake Phones
Prevention, they say, is better than cure. Under this sub-topic, I will give general advice on how not to come into contact with a seller who could sell a clone or fake phone to you. Let me list what you need to do to avoid such sellers altogether.
- Familiarize yourself with the phone you wish to buy: This should be the norm for every phone shopper. Do extensive research on your next phone if you are willing to buy it used. Ensure you have a contact who already owns one and is approachable. Go to such an individual and entreat him to allow you to get used to his phone. Take pictures, make videos, or jot down the distinct features. Besides you can also search for the phone on Youtube and watch. That way, you won’t spend 3 minutes on a fake or cloned phone before rejecting it.
- Know the person or company you buy from: Don’t buy phones from strangers. There is more to this, as you can quickly get jailed. If you buy a stolen phone, you will be prosecuted. Alternatively, you can be robbed or conned if you patronize a stranger. Also, while eBay is a credible website, if you don’t know your way around it, please don’t buy anything used on it/ Instead, use Amazon and select “used like new” or certified refurbished.” Remember that used phones don’t come with warranties. Only refurbished phones do.
- Very similar to the points above, you need to know every feature and specifications of the phone you are trying to buy. Otherwise, you can easily fall prey to clones.
- Go for phones with reasonable prices. In addition, don’t be greedy: Check the price. If the phone you want to buy goes for $899 and you’ve found it for $400, chances are it’s not legitimate. That is a telltale sign of a clone/knockoff. Otherwise, it is defective or fake.
- Don’t buy a phone you cannot use in your region: If you are in Europe/Africa, avoid a phone that can’t be used outside the United States. The network bands of the US and Europe are different. You will never have any warranty. And no updates. Moreover, it is not cool to be penny wise, pound foolish.
Avoid buying fake/knockoff/clone phones: detecting measures.
Also, read the followings:
All fingers are indeed not equal. Now, let’s assume you have no choice but to buy a used phone because you can’t afford it as new; what can you do to purchase it safely? To avoid buying fake/knockoff/clone phones, you must put some measures in place. These measures are what I will be explaining comprehensively in this sub-heading. Worthy of note, these measures apply to every phone, irrespective of the manufacturer or operating system.
How to identify a fake or clone iPhone/iPad/iPod
The followings are ways by which you can quickly identify a fake or clone Apple iPhone or iPad.
- Checking via software or online
If you are very new to the iPhone, the best and easiest way is to check the phone’s authenticity on the Apple website or via IMEI checker online. The iPhone 7 has a clone, so beware. Before you buy a used iPhone from anyone, please operate the above. Also, if time permits, connect the iPhone//iPad/iPad to iTunes on your computer or Mac. Taking at least one of the three measures above will protect you from buying a fake iPhone.
- Checking if an iPhone is the original through physical examination
There can’t be a phone’s software without corresponding hardware. This is to say; it is not enough to only verify the authenticity of a phone(not the health here) by checking the software aspect alone. You need to also check it physically for any inconsistencies. There is a link I found online which has it all listed. Visit the link visihow here.
How to check if a Samsung phone is original
It is sufficient to say that after mentioning the iPhone, the Samsung phone must come closely after. There are three significant ways to check if a Samsung phone is genuine from within the phone. Don’t wait until you suffer significant buyer remorse. Detect if the phone is a clone or a genuine one today.
Checking if a Samsung phone is original(Software application)
- Get the IME Number of the phone and check it on Samsung’s official page. Also, you can use Samsung warranty page to check if yours is genuine
- Use the Samsung app called Samsung phone info. This app will display everything you need to know. Compare this information against the specification of the phone
- Use Samsung’s codes to know if it is legit. We have many of them, but the most important code for all Samsung phones is *#0*#. Other codes are as follows
- *#06# IMEI
- *#7412365# Camera Firmware Standard Menu
- *#0228# Battery Status
- *#12580*369# To check software and hardware information
- *#32489#, *#0011# Service Mode
- *#7780# Factory Data Reset
- *2767*3855# Full Factory Reset (no confirmation)
- *#0*# – Hardware diagnostic tests
- *#0011# – Service Mode
- *#7353# Quick Test Menu
- *1234# Firmware Information
- You can also check out how well the fingerprint and iris work if the phones have one.
- Try and enter download mode or recovery mode. It is fake if that phone fails to enter either download or recovery mode.
- Also, you can download and install Samsung smartSwitch for the phone and your PC and try and connect. The suite must recognize your phone.
- The online IME checker also works well with Samsung phones. You can visit it to check if your Samsung is genuine.
How To Avoid Buying Fake/Knockoff/Clone Phones Generally
There are as many phone brands as the names of such phones. It would be impossible to list how to identify a fake of every phone brand. Summarily, check your phone manufacturer’s website for resources put in place to detect a forgery. You can also contact them via phone or email.
That notwithstanding, I will give you some general tips to help with any phone you choose. Read along:
- Know the phone you are buying. Don’t use a phone that you don’t know. If you must purchase a new phone, buy from a trusted source. Get familiar with the phone before attempting to buy
- Watch youtube videos of the phone to get additional information and visual clues
- Visit gsmarean.com or your phone’s manufacturer’s official website for detailed specifications of your phone.
- Search for and download the phone’s software suite. For example, Sony uses Flashtool, iPhone uses iTunes, and Samsung uses Kies, Odin, and smartswitch. HTC has its software, and Microsft uses Zune.
- Don’t be greedy; please compare the prices.
- Furthermore, ask the seller to tell you one or two things about the phone. If they have nothing to say, run for your life.
- For all Android phones, Version 5 and newer, Go to settings -> About phone -> Android version. Then click on the Android version 5-6 times, then you will see that the developer’s option will pop up.
- Compare the color to available models. You can use a site like http://www.gsmarena.com to view a list of all famous brand name phones and their details, including their colors.
- Check and compare the logo. Run your finger across the logo to make sure it feels smooth. The logo shouldn’t be a sticker and should not flake off.
- Install 3rd like Droid info or Antutu app to check the speck of your phone.