Nairobi News


Why joy of buying smartphone may prove costly error

As technology continues to evolve at a dizzying pace, the world has seen a rise in the number of copycat products from companies that intend to reap where they have not sown.

As such, many people have fallen victim to knock-off smartphones which have swamped the market.

Want to avoid being a victim? This checklist should help.

Too sweet a deal

One of the most telling signs that you are getting a rip-off is the price. If the deal feels too good to be true, it probably is! A seller is less likely to underprice a genuine product.

Check IMEI

The good old IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) checker can narrow down the possibility of a fake.

Request the phone’s IMEI by dialing *#06# and check on one of the utility services online that verify what phone company owns the phone IMEI and its model. I found very accurate at this task.

Check the build quality

Counterfeit manufacturers are good at copying the design and look of a genuine product but they hardly get the material and build quality any- where near the real thing.

Clones will tend to use cheap materials and hence the feel of the device will always tell it apart. If you know a friend with the same model you want to buy, it wouldn’t hurt to compare the two hands-on before buying.

Use third party apps
Android play store is awash with various applications that once installed on a phone can mine the device info giving the true model as well as the manufacturer.

Your safest and surest bet is an application called Antutu. It is a great performance benchmarking tool and it will also give you legit info on the phone. If the info you mine doesn’t match, then it’s probably a clone.

Check the software

Under the settings tab in any android device is a sub-menu titled ‘About Phone’ and under it is a list of information about the device.

A disclaimer though; if for some reason the device is already unboxed or is a second hand device, you shouldn’t rely heavily on this to inform your decision since the information can be tweaked by ‘tech geeks’.

Comparing this info with what’s on the device and its packaging will put you in a better position to avoid a potential rip off.