Fake Phones Are A Menace, Here’s How To Spot One in Nairobi

Fake Phones

Fake phones! You’re online searching for a phone. An ad pops up with the phone you’re searching for and it’s half the price. You take the risk and buy it. It looks good, you’re happy. You turn it on and the Android logo flashes, but wait… you bought and iPhone!!

Fake phones are getting better and better every day. Counterfeit mobile phone manufacturers copy all facets of a branded phones appearance. From the phones shell and screen to the logos and branding. They also copy the packaging and accessories inside, making it harder to determine what’s fake and what’s real.

With the prevalence of online shopping, more people are getting conned every day. Here are a couple of tips to help you identify a fake phone.

IMEI Number

Every genuine phone has a serial number to register it to a carrier network. This is the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number. This number is used to identify the legitimacy of a device. Often, most fake phones won’t have one or they will use a fake one. Dial *#06# to see your IMEI number on the screen. Then use this website to confirm the originality of your phone.

Imei Number

Image Courtesy Phone Arena


It is important to do a little research on the phone. It is best to buy a phone from a trusted and licensed manufacturer. If you are buying the phone online, you should:

  1. Watch YouTube videos regarding the specifications of the phone: This will let you know exactly what you should expect from your phone. That is the RAM, internal storage, operating system, cameras and screen dimensions.
  2. Read reviews on the place where you are buying the phone: This will give you insight on what other customers felt about the product.
  3. Compare prices with other stores: If a phone looks too cheap compared to the original price of a phone, then it is probably fake or damaged.


On first glance, a fake phone might look exactly like its original counterpart but some things are impossible to get right. Most fakes have a slightly different colour from the original, it could be darker or lighter. The location of the buttons is also one to look at. Some phones have all the buttons on one side and on the fake one, the power button might be on the right and the volume rockers on the left.

Some phones have obvious mistakes like the spelling of the brand name; Samsung becomes Somsung. If you are able to hold the device, you might also realize that it is lighter than the original and the printing quality might also be lower.

Fake Phones

Image Courtesy daily motion


Some phones have features written on the specifications that don’t actually reflect what is on the phone. Some phones claim to have 12-megapixel front cameras but as soon as you launch the camera app the quality is as low as 2 megapixels.

They claim to have GPS and Bluetooth functionalities but then end up not providing them. The screen could also be said to be an OLED screen but ends up being of much lower quality.

So before you purchase your next phone, do a little research and get yourself a good original smartphone.

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