What's scary about this new phone posing as the popular Samsung Galaxy S3 is that it looks almost like the real thing.

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Heck, it even has that sticker on its screen that's kind of the same as what you'll see on the original when you open the package for the first time.

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The back features a pebble-like design that I'm sure Samsung already holds a patent to.

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And just like the flagship release (during its launch, at least), it comes in two colors: Marble White and Pebble Blue.

According to some reports I'm getting, this knock off is starting the flood the market in time for Yuletide. And with price tag of only Php 6,850 (for 1 GHz single-core processor running ICS, 512 MB of RAM, 2 MegaPixel front and back cameras, and 16GB of microSD card for storage), I'm sure it will be enticing to some.

The problem I'm seeing here, though, is that since it looks almost the same as the real SGS3 (which sells for around Php 30,000 currently), some consumers who are not too techie or all that familiar with the powerhouse features of the original might be tricked into buying one for a far higher price by being told it's the real thing. So yes, I believe that the presence of such product in the market can lead to some people being s(ammed.

And of course, like what I always say in TechPinas, it's always wrong to blatantly and shamelessly copy the work of another person or company to the detriment of the original. It's just inexcusable.

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But don't be scared! There's a way to easily spot a Samsung Galaxy S3 knock off! As shown in this photo, the branding or label at the back of the fake SGS3 is clearly just printed on a strip of plastic that's pasted on the device. Also, the cover lacks the glazed finish that you'll get on the authentic flagship release.

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Notice that the Samsung label on the real SGS3 is embossed on the back case. The hole for the camera is also slightly protruding.

But remember: The real test is when you turn on or fire up the device to navigate the user interface and use its many multimedia features. The authentic Samsung Galaxy S3 runs Android Ice Cream Sandwich OS skinned by the latest version of TouchWiz with a powerful Quad Core Exynos processor delivering superior performance. You also get an 8 MegaPixel camera with backlit sensor, which should give really clear and stunning photos even in not so well-lit conditions.

To wrap this up, I'll say that 'You are your gadget. So make sure you buy original because you are no less than authentic.' And to have complete peace of mind when you make a purchase, just get your smartphones from an authorized retailer.