If you are in the market shopping for a new phone, you should know that there are some people out there who want to rip you of your hard-earned money for giving you nothing.
Counterfeit mobile phone manufacturers imitate all facets of a branded phone’s appearance to make their products appear genuine. The phone’s outer shell and screen, the printed logos and branding, the packaging and the included accessories can all be copied, making it difficult to identify whether a phone is fake or genuine.
If possible, it is always preferable to buy a phone through a registered retailer or reseller who can vouch for a phone’s authenticity. But because this is not always the case, here are a few simple tips to help you identify whether a phone is genuine or fake, according to spotafakephone.com.
Know the phone
It is important to do a little research before buying a new phone. You should only buy a phone made by a trusted manufacturer. Before committing to a purchase, you should know the phone’s specific model number, available colours, features, what software and hardware come included and what warranty is offered with the product. Information about a specific model of phone can be found on the manufacturer’s website or through a registered retailer. Once you have this information, it will make the job of identifying a fake much easier.
On first glance, a counterfeit phone may appear identical to a genuine model. But on closer look, you may be able to identify some obvious differences between them such as the colour, location of buttons, size or spelling of the brand name. Some fakes are less obvious. Counterfeiters are able to mimic design details down to minute details, making it difficult to tell if a phone is genuine. If you are able to view the product in person, you may be able to notice a difference in weight, screen size, location of buttons and battery, quality of printing and paint finish, added or missing functions, quality control stickers and holograms and an overall lack of quality.
Counterfeit phones can have differing features to genuine models, such as dual SIM cards, analogue TV etc. Check the model number and technical specifications of the genuine phone you wish to buy and ensure they match what is being offered. Counterfeit phones also often appear to offer features that are either just not there or that are not as they are said to be. For example, built-in cameras might be said to be 8 megapixels when they are not, or offer GPS when they don’t. Counterfeit phones may also differ from a genuine in colour availability, memory capacity, camera megapixels, screen quality and operating system. It is important to compare technical features to ensure the phone is genuine.
Black market phones are made from sub-standard and cheap components and often run on 2nd rate or pirated operating systems. Counterfeiters use cheap older generation chipsets, which may offer the same functionality as a genuine model but at far slower processing speeds. If you have unknowingly purchased a fake phone, you will realise very quickly once you turn it on. Processing speeds are often much slower, operating systems have missing features and the phone may not be compatible with affiliated software and applications.
Counterfeit mobile phones tend to pour onto the market when a genuine model is out of stock or unavailable. This is also common when a phone is not available in certain colours. Beware, counterfeiters take this opportunity to deceive consumers when the genuine product is most in demand.
Every genuine mobile phone has a serial number to register it to a carrier network. This number is called the International Mobile Equipment Identity number. The IMEI number can be used to verify the legitimacy of a phone. Often, counterfeit models won’t have an IMEI number or use a fake one. You can find the IMEI number on the product packaging or under the phone’s battery.
Assuming you didn’t know all these and you purchased a fake phone by mistake, then you should attempt to return it from where you bought it for a full refund. However, this may not be possible in all cases, so don’t hesitate to report the counterfeit sale to the police, the genuine brand owner and any relevant authorities as soon as possible.
If you bought the product online, then you should attempt to contact the seller to arrange a refund and then report the counterfeit sale.