Are You Sure That Your Samsung Galaxy Smartphone is 100% Original?

I was watching gadget unboxing and review videos on Youtube earlier when I chanced upon a clip by ITXTutor about a recently released Samsung Galaxy S5 clone from China that looks almost like the real thing!

Fake Samsung Galaxy S5

Apart from having the exact same dimensions, design language and color options of the real SGS5, the fake also has an Android operating system skin that looks very similar to the latest version of Samsung's TouchWiz user interface -- replete with the same weather widgets on the home screen and circular icons in the Settings section.

Fake Samsung Galaxy S5

But don't take my word for it. Watch the video:

It's truly incredible how the company behind this clone managed to copy some of the distinguishing physical characteristics of the original handset like the ridged faux metal rim, the bedimpled back cover, and the heart rate sensor. Heck, even the knock-off's packaging could be mistaken for that of the 2014 flagship release.

Fake Samsung Galaxy S5

What's scary about having a meticulously made 1:1 clone like this in the market is that consumers who are not really all that tech savvy could easily be tricked into buying them for the price of the original. This fake only sells for $109 or around Php 4,732 while the real Samsung Galaxy S5 goes for as high as Php 34,990 in the Philippines.

Fake Samsung Galaxy S5

And what's even more alarming is that the manufacturer has also released clones for other popular releases by the Korean Giant, including the 2013 flagship Samsung Galaxy S4 and the best-selling phablet Samsung Galaxy Note 3, among others. And looking at the company's DHGate account, it appears that they've already made hundreds of transactions with individuals and distributors so their products must already be scattered all over the world; Makes you wonder really if the devices you have are 100% original.

Fake Samsung Galaxy S5

So how do you spot a fake Samsung phone? Well, geeks, long-time Samsung fans, and loyal TechPinas readers shouldn't have any problems spotting a clone -- no matter how well-made it is.

Fake Samsung Galaxy S5
The SGS5 clone - which even comes with a copy of Samsung's S Health app - appears to have a heart-rate monitor but it's actually just a couple of blue stickers beside the LED flash.

Often, one look at the screen quality of the clone is enough to tell you that it's fake; Genuine flagship-level Samsung phones have such high resolution displays that are so clear, you won't be able to see individual pixels. Also, there should be little to no gap between the glass and SuperAMOLED display panel under it. High-level cloning companies will be able to replicate other outer parts of a Samsung phone easily -- but not quite the original display as it is one of the most expensive features or components of the original.

Any other ways to spot a fake? For starters, the first thing you do is to check the box and look for the product's IMEI number. This number has to be consistent with the IMEI number printed on the sticker under the phone's battery and the IMEI number that will pop out when you type *#06# on the dialer. If you can't find an IMEI number on any of these locations, the handset you're holding is definitely fake. Also, when you start an original Samsung phone for the first time or fresh out of the box, it will ask you to log-in to your Samsung account or to create one if you don't have it yet. If you don't get that on the first boot, then most likely you were duped into buying a fake.

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