The 5 worst fake smartphones

I find it difficult to justify the existence of any of these fakes smartphones. I believe in quality products for the money we spend on Android’s, iPhones, BlackBerry’s, HTC’s and others. How many people are tricked into thinking that they’ve just purchased an iPhone 5 or a Galaxy S IV, only to end up with an iPoo 5S in the box? Not many I hope, and these are some of the worst offending fake smartphones I could find, so try to avoid these. My advice, if it seems too cheap online to be real, it’s a fake.

MTK6575 STAR i9300 (Galaxy S III)

This video is pretty creepy, but is a suiting fit for the Star

Samsung’s Galaxy S III would be an easy device to clone. It’s very generically shaped and ships with a free operating system. So any clone, in theory, would at least adhere to the basic principles of the S III. Not this mess though. The MTK6575 STAR i9300 is nothing like the S III except that they look similar from a distant glance. The Star says it has a 4.8-inch display, 1.4Ghz CPU and 3G. The same as the S III then? Not really, it’s screen is 480×800 (S III is 720×1280) and uses the ARMv7 CPU, which is what older S III’s were powered on.

And it’s all very convincing right up until the end where the SIM card slot is shown.

The internals on an S III look like this:

Finally, it only costs US132.83. A brand new S III would set anyone back US$600.

Goophone I5 (iPhone 5 + Android lovebeast?)

The iPhone 5 costs over US$650, the GooPhone I5 less than a tenth of that. It costs a pokey US$52 which suits its worthless nature. The camera is 2-megapixel, it’s a 2G phone, and it proudly stole the design of the iPhone 5 before Apple. Yes, these misguided people stole from Apple in the form of a leaked iPhone 5 design document. The I5 is the outcome of this cloning. Plus it has a bunch of stuff Apple would never let in, like an FM radio and a removable battery. Also, some versions of the I5 have an Android Bee instead of the Apple on the back. It would make any iPhone user feel dirty. But for those who need an upgrade on their current I5, there’s always the GooPhone Y5.

MTK6577 (HTC Desire, Envy, take your pick)

The MTK6577 does a better job of emulating HTC’s 2011 lineup of feature phones, such as the Desire for colour scheme. What’s interesting about MTK6577 is that it’s a dual-sim phone, a feature rarely seen on high-end smartphones. What’s less interesting are the internals. Stock Android 4.0, or the version that seems to be on all low-end Android devices trying to look fancy. A half-gig RAM, an SD card slot and this “U disk support function to keep the information storage”. I have no idea what it means. Read the whole sad list here. It retails for US$200 and the HTC Hero S (the phone it mostly clones in design) can be picked up second-hand for US$40 with some online stores. I’d rather get the latter.

N7100 NOTE 2 (Samsung Galaxy Note II)

Incredible, a Galaxy Note II for under US$700. Sign me up. Wait, no it’s the N7100 NOTE 2, a piece of crap.

It costs US$236.89 but it is not the Note II. Not in any way. Except for its name, the model number which is the same as the Note II. What brought me to this page was the fact that the NOTE 2 was listed as a “TV phone”. Sounds great, right? A phone with an analogue TV tuner. But when I scrolled down to the specifications, I found this:

TV: no. Lies. The rest is not even close to the ultrabook-like specs of the Note II. Moreover it lied to me. Sure, deception is part of the game with these phones, but why deceive a customer? There’s 1GB RAM, a 1.2Ghz CPU, Android 4.1.9 and “Vibrant keyboard input”. There’s also this gem before the specification list of the NOTE 2. “N7100 NOTE 2 ( CAN HAVE LOGO IF YOU NEED NOTE IN ORDER NOTE )”. God help us. Don’t buy this.

Q8 Watch Cell Phone (Android, iPhone smartwatch)

This is the best, and I’ve saved it for last. I don’t really want to remain blasé about the Q8 Watch Cell Phone, because it looks and sounds very nifty. It’s also trumped iPhone and Android in the smartwatch race. But it also really hasn’t. The Q8 runs MTK which is barely an OS (plus it’s hardwired to the CPU firmware).

The touchscreen, dual-SIM smartwatch has a 1.3-Megapixel camera, FM radio, qwerty keypad and tells the time. It also has this headache-inducing chime when it starts up. Watch this:

I love how the makers try to cram as much as possible into this messy timepiece. Radio, MP3 player, texting, calling, a camera, it’s great. The technological lengths we’ve reached have seemingly culminated with the Q8. It is massive though, with the chunky strap and 1.5-inch touch-screen covering the wrist like a melted TV. And yes sir, there’s even a stylus.

“Best seller”. Hell yes, how can I not believe that?

A tiny stylus for large ambitions. I couldn’t even believe it was touch-screen until I saw the video. The watch looks fiddly for US$67.20, but if I had money to burn it would be worth a test.

Images via

Lead image via 

Steven Norris: grumpy curmudgeon


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