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Thread: Cheap Chinese copies of big name phones are good?

  1. #1
    Moderator A Khan's Avatar
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    Cheap Chinese copies of big name phones are good?

    Unless you've been living in a technological blackout recently, you'll be well aware of the launch of Samsung's latest Galaxy S smartphone, the Galaxy S5. In fact, some of you may have sworn that you saw it before this for sale on eBay, and you could have been right. Sort of In fact what you and many other would have seen was a near-perfect Chinese copy of Samsung's latest that was available before Samsung had even launched its own, official version.

    Goophone, the manufacturer of the S5 copy, has quite the track record in copy devices, with a line-up that currently includes an iPhone S5-alike, a Note 3-alike, a 5C-alike and a One M8 alike too. It's not the only one either, as eBay is flooded with these copies from many different makers - but are they worth even 150 of your cash? For this test, we obtained an Orientphone N3 9000, ostensibly a copy of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3.

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    Certainly to look at the devices, it was nearly identical to the real deal, though it was a fair bit lighter and not so solid. That's not to say it was poorly made in fact quite the opposite: it was every bit as good as a budget production model, with well-finished edges and no poor bonding in effect. While some devices can compete in hardware terms with those they're imitating, the Orientphone doesn't possess the same potency as the Note 3. The Note 3's 1080p OLEDscreen is replaced by a 720p LCD screen, and its powerful chipset becomes a rather more sedate Mediatek affair.

    The camera is also much less impressive, though still perfectly serviceable, and the 5-Pen becomes a simple capacitive stylus no pressure sensitivity here. In use, however, the Orientphone is much better than you might imagine. The OS is a carbon copy of Samsung's Touchwiz, including many of the Samsung-only S-applications. There's even the S-pen applications, which kind of work.

    In fact, if you've never used a Galaxy S or Note device, you won't see the imperfections in the duplication here at all. You can, of course, install another launcher if you so wish to. The Mediatek chipset is around the same power as a Tegra 3, a chipset that's starting to show its age, so you won't be surprised to learn that the Orientphone isn't always the snappiest device on the market. It is, however, eminently usable and certainly well within the power of retail devices above its price range. For browsing, tweeting and so on, the handset is great, and the big screen is a definite bonus.

    So if it's all good, why aren't we all buying them? Sadly, devices like these do have inconsistencies, and corners are cut. In the Orientphone's case, there were several: the screen, while otherwise bright and vibrant, exhibited some noticeable backlight bleed and occasional fuzz when moving and was far too sensitive; the battery life was well, that it came with two batteries tells you all you need to know; and the external speaker sounded partially blown. These are all possible deal breakers in the retail world, and what is more annoying is that another Orientphone may exhibit none of these flaws at all.

    Like the tablet looked at a few weeks ago, it's acknowledged that buying such devices is still a bit of a minefield for those less technically versed. Things are changing, though, and makers like Goophone are leading a charge of better Chinese devices. With Lenovo and ZTE also giving cheap Chinese phones a better name, we may well see a Chinese device have a similar degree of success as a device like Motorola's Moto G and sooner rather than later.

  2. #2
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    yes Galaxy S5 copy is so nice. i liked his big screen. and camera and sound quality is so good.
    Last edited by Mariam Surtie; 07-04-2014 at 06:02 AM.

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