How to tell if your Android device is a fake or a clone

How to tell if your Android device is a fake or a clone
As is the case in other industries, there will always be those that try to usurp the success of a given company by trying to siphon some of the profits. In the mobile industry, this usually means outright fake/clone devices that attempt to fool the consumer that they're something they're not – like the latest Galaxy S6, or the Note 4. The more successful the device, the more likely it is that somebody somewhere (usually in China) is making clones of it and is trying to stuff it down customers' throats. 

Naturally, this fact makes people uneasy, especially when they're ordering online and through e-tailers that they're not 100% sure they can trust. Obviously, the best protection against being cheated is to avoid those, or to ensure that they are reputable enough so that you can expect a refund in case of trouble.  But not buying isn't always an option, and we know that people do, for a fact, end up with fake devices. While we can't save everybody from being bamboozled, we can certainly try.

There are myriad of ways to tell if a device is fake, and though the telltale signs differ depending on the smartphone in question, there are a few general tips that can end up saving you a lot of heartache. For example, almost without exception, fakes/clones arrive with an LED flash lamp that is significantly yellower and weirder-looking compared to the real thing. Other, common discrepancies concern the thickness of the device, the size and location of the various ornaments and elements (speaker grill holes, audio jack placement, etc), and, especially – the resolution of the screen. If you just ordered a phone with a 1080 x 1920 resolution or higher, and yet the thing you're looking at seems blurry, it's almost certainly a fake you're handling. That's because a high-quality display panel is easily among the most expensive parts of your smartphone.

But what if you have yourself a really, really good fake? We've seen those, and even we had trouble spotting the teeny-tiny differences. In those cases, we go ahead and download an app that has a proven track record in our experience – AnTuTu Officer. By analyzing a number of variables and phone settings, the app can easily tell you if your device seems to be authentic or not. Here's how it works.

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14 Comments

1. mercorp

Posts: 1045; Member since: Jan 28, 2012

Simply don't buy it from untrustworthy sites...only on reputed third-party sites.And if the price is too low,then ignore it.

2. Sp1tfire

Posts: 3; Member since: Mar 24, 2015

Or you could just install any app that can tell you all the info about hardware & software in a glance, without having to use a computer.

3. hellbread

Posts: 309; Member since: Nov 21, 2014

True. Cpu-z would do job just fine.

5. shaineql

Posts: 522; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

CPU info , and 99% of other info shown on CPU-z is easily faked. Right now im using my s4 with custom kernel and rom from XDA and cpu Z recognizes it as Galaxy S6 lol.

13. Ashoaib

Posts: 3296; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

what about AIDA64? it is more comprehansive than CPU-Z. I think AIDA64 provides more accurate imformation

4. Chris.P

Posts: 567; Member since: Jun 27, 2013

I've seen CPU-Z being tricked, though. Besides, this is really aimed at people who aren't necessarily aware of what the rather cryptic values that apps like that churn out mean.

7. shaineql

Posts: 522; Member since: Apr 28, 2014

Yeah , as i said above , CPU-z apparently dosent actualy check device info and stuff, it just reads what is written in system. Im currently using custom rom and kernel from XDA and cpu-z sees my device as Galaxy S6.

14. faizan-sharif

Posts: 98; Member since: Jun 26, 2013

i have seen antut benchmark and quadrant already installeds on a fake device and it was such tricked that it was showing as if it is original, but after using device for some time i got the performance is not that of S5, so i un installed both and one of them was showing the same fake data while other cud not be tricked again so i got the real specs which was a mediatek dual core SOC

6. thesims2customs

Posts: 61; Member since: Jul 12, 2014

Everthing you need is in About Phone (for most case) Use CPU-z to check the processor, most of fake phones use Mediatek.

8. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

I have seen a few fake Samsung Note. They have copy all the Samsung bloatware as well. I only know its fake because they are not using wacom pen rather the normal capacity screen pen. Very hard to write with the fake Note.

9. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

or you can intentionally buy fake one :D some clone actually have good spec for cheap price, and even it only last 6 months it still worth it, just dont forget to create backup regulary (CWM/nandroid backup).. and the bad thing is, they still cant copy S6 edge screen, i guess i'll get the real one :-/

10. iBoss

Posts: 12; Member since: Nov 10, 2012

well, glad that Sony doesn't have cloned phones unlike samsung and apple lol

11. Neros

Posts: 1016; Member since: Dec 19, 2014

Buys the phone for half of the price, complains he or she got a Chinese knockoff.

12. JaneChenLong

Posts: 374; Member since: Mar 18, 2015

Great apps, If only it could be simpler to operate for regular joe.

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