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Friday, December 13, 2013
How to Identify A Fake Samsung Galaxy Phone
How to Identify A Fake Samsung Galaxy Phone
Samsung smartphones are selling like hot cakes all over the world
despite of what ever hardware they contain. Samsung are making lots of
smartphones for all and each categories in short period of time that
helped to make a internet quote "Another Day, Another Galaxy". While the
consumers grabbing their Galaxy phones, Some local phone manufacturers
take this opportunity to their advantage. There are number of Replicas
to some iconic devices made by Samsung, which makes people confused
which one is the original and which one is the fake or the clone.
Now This post is for all who want to know what are the differences
between an original one and a replica, What are the advantages and flops
of Buying a replica and ways to spot a replica. Here in Sri Lanka the
latest Galaxy S4 clones are going for a price tag of Rs.25,000 which
means around 190$-200$. So i mostly talking about the Galaxy S4 replicas
which make sense, why all people wanna buy it. As the 2013 H1 flagship
Galaxy S4 turned out to be a beast among the high end smartphones. All
dreamed to have a one in their pockets including me. So if you are a Sri
Lankan, better read this post i have written in Sinhala in my other
Korean Version vs Original Version (For Sri Lankans)
Difference Between a Clone and an Original Device
There are noticeable differences we can find under Hardware, Software
and physical view. Lets see what are the physical differences we can
What you see here is a low grade S4 clone. most easiest clones to spot.
Home button is way below the screen, top and bottom bezels are huge,
Samsung logo is big, Screen is not an edge to edge one,even it's not an 5
inch and the rear side features cheap plastic cover with pattern less
design. Samsung branding could covered by a sticker as it can fade away
when we scratch it. even the front side Samsung branding can be removed
by few scratches. Battery is surely less than 2600mAh due to smaller
dimensions of the phone.
This is the real deal. The above image shows one of the best 1:1 clones
in the market. Meet HDC Galaxy S4 Legend. HDC mobiles is no doubt the
best clone maker of Samsung handsets. As you can see, it's identical to
the original S4 from physical overview. Latest version comes with a
glass layer on top of the screen,so we can't scratch the logo off.
screen goes edge to edge and features a real 5" screen, home button is
on the right spot and back panel have those patterns that an original S4
have. it's an advantage for S4 Legend users they can use original S4's
battery and casings thanks to the copying skills of HDC. These clones
have only hardware and software differences although the type of plastic
used is different.
On the Hardware Side Everything is different and cheap. Most S4 clones
uses Mediatek processors clocking at 1.2Ghz, even though they are quad
core or dual core chips, the architecture is Cortex-A7. Actually it's
not bad for day to day use. but the problem comes when playing heavy
graphics games and heavy multitasking.
Storage is limited to 8GB or usually 4GB, and from that around 2GB is
user accessible. RAM is 1GB in most S4 clones but pre installed edited
AnTuTu app shows different values. As i mentioned before, best clones
are made by the Chinese phone manufacturer HDC. if you pay a visit to
their HDC Mobiles.com website you can see how the things work. The following image is taken from their site.
These are the specifications of HDC Galaxy S4 Spark, Same conditions
apply for S4 Legend. The screen is actually a 5" 720p IPS pannel. But in
system info, it shows 1080p. And the Super AMOLED sticker on the phone
will trick you thinking it really has a AMOLED panel. Like i said
storage is 4GB and system shows 16GB. Batteries are the worst case.
Clones bundles with 2 batteries in most scenarios. These batteries are
showing 2600mAh but they don't have the real capacity. Original factory
made S4 battery weights around 70g while clone batteries just 40g.
Camera in HDC legend is a 13MP shooter but takes verry noisy images. My
3.2MP camera in Nokia 6210 takes much better images than that. (link to a
Sample image from HDC Galaxy Legend 13MP camera -Click Here )
From the software side, most clones run Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. Take
another look at the spec sheet above. Android version is 4.2.9 what does
that mean? There is no 4.2.9 version in Android 4.2.X series. The
device could run 4.2.2 or 4.2.1 instead. HDC made custom UI is almost
identical to Samsung's TouchWiz UI. Keep in mind you don't have split
screen multi-window feature in clones although they have a side app bar.
Those are the major Hardware differences in Clones. Now if you already
know you have purchased a replica let's see what are the advantages and
down sides. For those who got a replica by cheating sellers who sells
these phones as original, i feel sorry for them.
ADVANTAGES - Relatively newer version of Android covers your needs
Play Store Access
Feeble chipset and hardware but does your daily needs
Big screen entertainment and easy to type
Hardware parts are available
Original S4 battery can be used (Only with HDC S4 Legend)
FLOPS - No information about SAR values
Number of complains of bezel cracking
No NFC, Screen Protection
Low capacity batteries
Screen get's less sensitive and often dead pixels
No Genuine Software Tweaks,camera modes and some sensors.
No warranty / hard to claim warranty
Finally let's move on to spotting a Samsung replica
Most clones comes with a genuine wooden looking Samsung package. But
inside contains flip covers and sometimes two batteries and small
gadgets like USB card readers. Documentation and USB cable is present in
the box but i have no idea about the headset whether it's a original or
fake or about it's audio quality.
These HDC phones are manufactured to work with Samsung codes like *#0*#
but try to see if all things work by this LCD test code. if nothing
happens for that code it's a replica.
Type some codes used in original Samsung phones
*#1234# (View SW Version PDA, CSC, MODEM)
*#0*# (General Test Mode)
*#12580369# (SW & HW Info)
*#197328640# (Service Mode)
*#0228# (ADC Reading)
*#32489# (Ciphering Info)
*#232337# (Bluetooth Address)
*#232331# (Bluetooth Test Mode)
If these codes are working, then it is an original one.
From the screen you can also identify a replica and for that you must
have a knowledge about AMOLED screens. take this image for an example,
AMOLED screens have a deep vibrant colors while clones with normal TFT LCD or IPS LCD has whitish bright colors.
You can also check a Samsung phone with a micro USB Jig. One the jig is
connected to your phone (Phone should be switched off before connecting
the jig) it turns on and put the phone in to Download mode. if it isn't
getting to download mode it's a replica
If the Baseband version is starting from "MAUI" or the Android version
shows not official release,something like 4.2.9 like we saw above
,that's a replica too
And some replicas shows Android version as a latest but the build number
shows what's really installed. see the image above. Android version is
Android 4.2.2 but the build number is GINGERBREAD.25KJB which means it
runs Android 2.3.x version.
Finally by removing the back cover you can spot a replica as shown in the image below.
Note : Most HDC clones comes under "Made in Korea By Samsung" manufacturer statement but it's Chinese for real.
FINAL WORDS : If you want to buy an Original S4 from local store make
sure to check the facts you saw in the post. If you owning an replica by
purpose don't keep it in your pockets (specially males) for long time
since we don't know about SAR values. If you want a buy a S4 replica,
buy a HDC Legend and also buy factory made Samsung battery since it's
the best clone available currently in the market. These factors apply
for the other Samsung phones as well. But i wanted to talk specially
about Galaxy S4 as it's the device most people wanted to get in their