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How to Distinguish a Fake Galaxy S4

fake galaxy s4 vs real galaxy s4
One of them is a fake Galaxy S4.

There have been so many reports about fake Galaxy S4 units being circulated online  and in some stores worldwide. So, how can you tell if the phone that you are looking is fake or not? This was a question sent to us via The Droid Guy Mailbag.

How to Tell a Fake Galaxy S4 from a Real Galaxy S4

Here are some tips that will help you tell a genuine from a fake Galaxy S4:

A. Do Your Research

Before buying a Samsung Galaxy S4, or any Smartphone for that matter, familiarize yourself on its specifications first. There are many reliable sites online that you can use to study the technical specifications of the phone that you are after. Take note of its the key features and its suggested retail price in your location.

B. The Price of the Product is too Good to be True

If the price of the Galaxy S4 that you are looking to buy is a lot lesser than the prevailing market price of the device in your area, there is a possibility that the phone may be fake or it might have been smuggled in your location. Buying a used phone is an exemption of this, of course.

C. The Device Appears Inferior

Check if the device you are looking at offers the features that you have learned from your research. If it appears inferior, beware because you might be looking at a fake Galaxy S4.

Here are some factors that should raise a red flag when buying a Galaxy S4:

1. The accessories such as the micro USB cable and the earphones appear to be of low quality.

2. The charger looks very ordinary and its output is very low.

3. The finishing is rough, the casing is not glossy enough or the paint job shows poor workmanship.

4. The display is smaller than 5 inches (measured diagonally). Then, the bezels surrounding it are very thick. Note that an authentic Galaxy S4 has very thin bezels surrounding the display.

real vs fake galaxy s4
This genuine Samsung Galaxy S4 shows a very thin bezel surrounding the display.

5. The size and weight are not within the standard. A real one should exactly be 5.38 inches in height, 2.75 inches in width, 0.31 inches thick and 4.6-ounce in weight.

6. The IR blaster, located on the right part of the phone’s top portion (if the screen is facing you), is non-functional or it simply shows a hole punched right through the phone’s casing.

fake galaxy s4 ir blaster
The fake Galaxy S4 (on the right) shows the lack of an IR blaster. It looks like a hole was just drilled in its place.

7. The display has very low resolution. A real Galaxy S4 should have 1920 x 1080 resolution with 441 ppi.

8. The front camera’s resolution is lower than two megapixels while the rear part has below 13 megapixels. You will notice too that a clone has a blurry camera and it lacks the normal or special functions that Samsung offer.

9. When disassembled, a fake one will reveal another brand or substandard parts. For example, the processor is neither a Qualcomm Snapdragon or Exynos—be reminded that the processor depends on the model of the phone.

10. The distinguishing marks or prints in the phone are misspelled, missing or poorly printed.

11. The touchscreen of the phone is very sluggish.

12. The stock apps are very laggy, non-functional or some of the standard preinstalled apps of Samsung are missing. Fake apps may also show different system requirements or different type of developers. Note that this pertains to an unrooted version of the phone though.

13. The storage is much lower than 16GB. The system should only use around 8GB of memory if unrooted.

There are many other elements that would give away a fake Galaxy S4 from an authentic one. The flaws vary depending on the manufacturer of the replicated ones.

How Not to be a Victim of a Fake Galaxy S4

First, take time to familiarize yourself with the product and its key features before buying. Then, test the Galaxy S4 before purchasing it. The most recommended way to avoid fakes is to buy your unit only from a reputable carrier or vendor.

Email Us

For more questions about Android devices, email us at mailbag@thedroidguy.com.

17 Comments

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  1. when starting up it doesnt says Samsung Galaxy S4 but it only says Android.
    It that a sign its a fake?

  2. Yeah. And if you have enough experience with Android, you can find it out no matter what kind of customization has been done on top of it.

  3. yeah exactly what I mean. fake phones are pretty easy to spot I guess, especially if you are used to genuine ones.

    Only those who seldom use phones or are not familiar how a certain OS looks may fall into this trap.

  4. I’ve see only one such knockoff of the HTC One, and the OS is designed to look like the Sense UI on the One. But you’ll come to know that its not Sense, and not even Android, as soon as you you go into the app drawer, or Settings, or even open an app like Facebook.

  5. I think, it would be safe to buy from a Samsung showroom or from some branded showrooms. While buying online, I always prefer flipkart and flipkart only. I feel WS Retail in flipkart is safe. I don’t buy anywhere else.

  6. Haha. Nice one. Although I am not sure if he actually said that. Lot of quotes are being attributed to him.

  7. Two thing are infinite in this world. The Universe and Human Stupidity, I am not sure of the former one. – Albert Einstein! 🙂

  8. Is there anything that is not fake these days? And how come people fall for these cheap counterfeit devices?

  9. Although I am not a big fan of Samsung device, I must admit that their display is quite brilliant. Well saturated colors and the screen looks more vivid. I guess that itself should help anyone to distinguish the fake S4 from the authentic one.

  10. I’ve seen a fake iPhone 4 at work and it’s really ugly. by that I mean the cosmetics looks similar but the lag when you boot it up is horrible. I wonder how it even sells and fools people.
    I imagine the same thing for a fake GAlaxy S4.

  11. This issue about cheap fake phones is more prevalent in third world countries than in the U.S.
    Besides, I won’t personally buy a known fake one for,say, a $100 price difference.
    I don’t know though if the fake ones also run on official OS like Android and iOS.

  12. Yeah. One should be able to make out easily by the way touch screen works. The duplicate ones will definitely not have the quality there.

  13. I’ve seen GooPhones only in videos on YouTube. But they are good. They make such good knock offs. Its sad that they don’t do good quality products.

  14. Will you not get to know if its the real one or a knock off from the price? And I don’t think carriers or major stores will be buying knock offs. And I think the packaging of the device will also be different.

  15. I’ve actually seen knock offs having a Samsung branding on them. Unless you have the device in your palm, you can’t tell them apart. They are so similar. But you can easily make out the difference once you look at the display. They don’t sport the awesome Super AMOLED displays that Samsung devices have, and the OS on the knock off are very buggy. You can easily make out that they are not TouchWiz versions.

  16. I do not think this is a huge issue in the U.S. since things are done quite carefully. Also, keep in mind that GooPhone often makes knock offs of popular smartphones. That said, usually you can tell if it’s a GooPhone by the branding, as it’ll actually say GooPhone on it instead of Samsung. I’ve also noticed that, while GooPhones are cheaper, they do have similar specs to the original, so that does add a whole new layer of confusion to whether you’re getting a real Samsung or not. But again, usually they’re branded with GooPhone.

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