A counterfeit mobile phone is basically a replica of an original brand mobile phone. In the previous blog, we discussed the harmful effects of using counterfeit phones and also their negative impact on the economy of any country.
A counterfeit phone imitates all facets of an original phone. The counterfeiters leave no stone unturned to make the product look genuine. Right from the brand’s logos, appearance, outer body, packaging, accessories etc.
With the advent of internet shopping, half the world purchases the phone online. Therefore, it has become very important to identify the difference between genuine and fake.
Here are a few simple tips to help you identify whether a phone is genuine or fake.
1. Pre-research always works – It is very important to carry out little research beforehand about the phone you are planning to buy. No, we are not asking you to know the entire configuration and the nitty gritty of it, but just a few important things. Like, the phone’s model number, available colours, important features, software and hardware, accessories etc. All this information is readily available on the manufacturer’s website. Also, look for the products authorised dealers and their outlets and stick to them while purchasing. Having this information will make your task a lot easier in identifying a fake phone.
2. Closely Observe the appearance – On the first look, an original and a fake will appear identical but if you compare closely, you will be able to identify some minute differences such as the colour, size or spelling of the brand name, location of buttons etc. Some fakes are less obvious. Nowadays, counterfeiters are able to copy design details down to the minute details making it difficult to judge between an original and a fake. Also, if possible, get the feel of the product and observe its weight, screen size, the location of buttons, battery, quality of printing, paint finish, quality control stickers and security holograms, functions, and an overall quality.
3. Check out the features – A lot of counterfeit phones do not offer same features as that of an original. Check the model number and its technical specifications you wish to buy. Counterfeit phones also often appear to offer features that are either there or that are not the same as said to be. Fake phones may also differ from a genuine in colour availability, memory capacity, screen quality, camera megapixels, and operating system. Do compare technical features to ensure the phone is genuine.
4. Check the functionality – Counterfeit phones are made from sub-standard and cheap components and often run on pirated operating systems. Fake phones contain cheap older generation chipsets, which might offer the same functionality as a genuine model but at far slower processing speeds. If you have purchased a fake phone by mistake, you will realise as soon as you turn it on. Processing speeds are much slower, operating systems have missing features and the phone may not be compatible with affiliated software and applications.
5. Check the availability – It is seen that counterfeit mobile phones come out in the market when a genuine model is out of stock or not available easily. When there is a huge demand for any model and the supply is less, counterfeits begin to appear on auction websites and through unregistered sellers. This practice is also seen when a phone is not available in certain colours.
6. IMEI number – Every genuine mobile phone carries a serial number to register it to a carrier network. This number is called the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number. The IMEI number can be used to verify the legitimacy of a phone. Often counterfeit models do not have an IMEI number. If you are viewing the phone in person then you can find the IMEI number on the product packaging, in the phone’s description, under the phone’s battery or by pressing *06 on the phone. To check the authenticity of a phone, IMEI number can be very useful.
It is always preferable to buy a phone through a registered retailer who can vouch for your phone’s authenticity.