Nearly all high-end smartphones have their clones on the Chinese market. Sometimes these clones are even released before the original reaches consumers. But to what extent are they actually replicas? Is it worth saving some money by opting for a Chinese knockoff? We take a look at some of the most common Chinese copies of the best smartphones to find out.
It is increasingly common to see almost exact copies, at least in terms design, of flagship models from almost all smartphone manufacturers. While it is true that the vast majority of mobile devices stem from across Asia, these imitations largely originate from China.
The main advantage of this plagiarism is, of course, the price – the leading manufacturers usually place their best smartphones at a considerably higher price point. This buys you the design, technology and specifications that go into the device, as well as, of course, the brand name.
For those who do not care much about the brand, Chinese devices that mimic the design and even the technical specifications of their pricier inspiration can seem like a good alternative. It's wise to be prudent, however. Chinese copies bring some problems that shouldn't be overlooked, and while you may be winning on the price point of the devices, you may also be paying for it 10-fold in reduced quality and performance.
Problems with Chinese copies
It's believed that many of the Chinese knockoffs do not incorporate an authentic Android OS, but rather a fully functioning 'disguised' Google system. As such, incompatibility with popular apps, such as Gmail and WhatsApp, can be a problem.
The cameras are usually much worse than the official devices, with the megapixel count often being lower than claimed. Furthermore, their processors are habitually overclocked or as slow as 50 percent of the advertised speed.
With that in mind, here are some of the most notable Chinese clones of popular smartphones.
Galaxy S3 vs FeiTeng GT-i9300
Even after the release of several successors, the Galaxy S3 remains one of the most-copied devices out there. One of the more prominent copies is the FeiTeng GT-i9300.
The primary differences here are the rather pathetic internal memory in the knockoff, its lack of removable storage, and the significantly lower screen resolution.
|FeiTeng GT-i9300||Galaxy S3|
|Display||4.7 inches||4.8 inches|
|Resolution||480 x 854 (WVGA)||1,280 x 720 pixels|
|CPU:||Media Tek MTK6575 1 GHz||Exynos 4412 1.2 GHz|
|RAM:||512 MB||1 GB|
|Internal Memory:||1.95 GB||16 / 32 / 64 GB|
|Operating System:||Android 4.0.4||Android 4.1|
|Battery:||2,100 mAh||2,100 mAh|
|Cameras:||8 MP rear and 0.3 MP front||8 MP rear and 2 MP front|
Samsung Galaxy S4 vs FeiTeng H9504
Chinese replicas of the Samsung Galaxy S4 can also be found online. The specifications of the Feiteng H9504 are virtually identical to the S4's, save for some obvious and important differences – the S4 has a stronger processor, higher resolution screen and more internal storage space.
|FeiTeng H9504||Galaxy S4|
|Display:||5 inches||4.99 inches|
|Resolution:||1,280 x 720 pixels||1,920 x 768 pixels|
|CPU:||Cortex A7 dual-core at 1.2 GHz||Exynos 5 at 1.6 GHz and a Qualcomm Snapdragon at 1.9 GHz|
|RAM:||1 GB||2 GB|
|Internal Memory:||4 GB||16 / 32 / 64 GB|
|Operating System:||Android 4.2||Android 4.2.2|
|Cameras:||8 MP Rear and 5 MP Front||13 MP Rear and 2 MP Front|
|Other:||Dual SIM, microSD||microSD|
Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Landvo S6
One of the most recent Samsung flagships, the Galaxy S6, was cloned only a few months after release. The Landvo S6 appears extremely similar to the Galaxy S6, but there are clear differences between them. The Landvo device's supposedly 16 MP actually has an 8 MP sensor and the RAM inside it is not enough to run the faux TouchWiz smoothly.
|Landvo S6||Galaxy S6|
|Display||5.1 inches||5.1 inches|
|Resolution||1,280 x 720 pixels||1,440 x 2,560 pixels|
|CPU:||MediaTek MT6582 quad-core 1.3 GHz||Exynos 7420 quad-core 1.5 GHz|
|RAM:||1 GB||3 GB|
|Internal Memory:||16 GB||32 / 64 / 128 GB|
|Operating System:||Android 4.4.2||Android 5.1.1|
|Battery:||2,550 mAh||2,550 mAh|
|Cameras:||16 MP rear and 5 MP front||16 MP rear and 5 MP front|
|Other:||Heartbeat test, eye recognition, dual SIM||Heartbeat sensor, eye recognition|
HTC One M8 vs HDC One M8
Taiwan's HTC has also seen its stellar flagship plagiarised. The imitation in question is the HDC One M8 and it is one of the more blatant ripoffs, barely even changing the name of the device in question. Aesthetically, it's a carbon copy of admirable accuracy, and the specs do a reasonable job of measuring up too.
|HDC One M8||HTC One M8|
|Screen:||5 inches||5 inches|
|Resolution:||1,280 × 720 pixels||1,920 x 1,080 pixels|
|CPU:||MediaTek 6582 quadcore at 1.3 GHz||Qualcomm Snapdragon 801|
|RAM:||1 GB||2 GB|
|Internal Memory:||8 GB||16 GB|
|Operating System:||Android 4.2||Android 4.4.2|
|Battery:||2,400 mAh||2,600 mAh|
|Cameras:||8 MP rear and 2 MP front||4 MP rear (Ultrapixel) and 5 MP Front|
|Other:||Dual SIM, microSD||microSD|
iPhone 6 vs Dakele 3
The Dakele 3 is the rare clone that betters the original, at least in one area: it features sapphire glass protection, which the iPhone 6 was supposed to have but didn't end up with. The specs and the build quality are actually high-end as well, making this a clone of unparalleled quality. It runs on Android.
|Dakele 3||iPhone 6|
|Screen:||5 inches||4.7 inches|
|Resolution:||1,920 x 1,080 pixels||1,334 x 750 pixels|
|CPU:||MediaTek MT6752 64 bit octa-core 1.7 GHz||Dual-core 1.4 GHz Typhoon|
|RAM:||3 GB||1 GB|
|Internal Memory:||16 GB||16 / 64 / 128 GB|
|Operating System:||Android 4.4||iOS 9.1|
|Battery:||2,500 mAh||1,810 mAh|
|Cameras:||13 MP rear 8 MP front||8 MP rear and 1.2 MP front|
Does the idea of using a knock-off appeal to you? If so, would you consider buying and using any of the phones here? Let us know what you think in the comments below.