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9 ways to spot fake devices

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How to spot fake devices.

The rise in counterfeit devices across Africa is becoming a major problem for thousands of consumers who are getting duped into spending their hard earned money on fake, sub-standard devices which do not operate at the same level as their original counterparts.

Although agencies across the world are looking to clamp down on the manufacturing, exporting/importing and sale of these devices, they can not do it alone. It is up to consumers to educate themselves in order to protect themselves.

Fake devices are not limited to smart phones, there is also a large quantity of counterfeit laptops and tablets that are sold around the world.

With this in mind here are 9 ways to spot fake devices:

1) Price:

It might seem obvious but if the price of the device seems too good to be true, it’s because it is. Fake devices will retail for a lot cheaper than the originals and this is an obvious sign which some people fail to notice.

2) Build and Design:

Original devices are made up of robust, high quality metals, rubbers and plastics. An obvious and noticeable sign that a device is fake is to look at the edges and joints, if there are noticeable cracks and chips and it is obvious that the manufacturer used cheap plastic, the device is probably fake. Another sign is the weight of the device, the originals use lightweight materials whereas counterfeit products don’t, this means that the fake products are often a lot heavier than the originals.

3) Performance:

If you are able to take the phone for a test run before purchasing it the first aspect you should look for is the operating software of the phone. Most fake devices will have a very good pirated software or a low quality copy. It will become clear after a few minutes of using the phone that the software is not the original and the phone is thus fake.

4) Specs: 

When buying a phone online double check the specifications of the device you are looking to purchase against the specifications released by the phone manufacturer. If they are different, the device could be a fake.

5) Packaging:

Device manufactures take great care in their packaging as they need to ensure that no device is damaged in transit. As a result the packaging is always tightly sealed  and all wording should be in the language of the country you are buying it in. If the packaging is untidy and the wording on the box is either too small or in a foreign language, the device could be a fake.

7) Logo:

A logo is represents a brand/company, although counterfeit manufacturers may be able to copy most of the detail of the original logo they might skimp on quality. If you spot any defect in the logo, the device could be fake.

8) Manual: 

As with the external packaging, the manual will be in the language of the country it is being purchased in. If the manual is in a foreign language and poorly printed, the device might be fake.

9) Charger and cord quality:

The charging unit of any device must be adapted for use in your country, a situation where you are offered to buy another charger should alert you immediately to the possibility of the device being a fake. The quality of cords is also another way to spot fake devices. The quality of rubber as well as thickness and length of the cord is a tell tale sign of a fake device.


By Dean Workman


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