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Chinese copies of the best smartphones

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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.

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Here are the Chinese copies of the best smartphones. / © ANDROIDPIT

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

galaxy s3 feiteng gt i9300
The FeiTeng GT-i9300 (left) besides the Samsung Galaxy S3. / © Samsung / Feiteng

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 vs Samsung Galaxy S3

  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
Other: Dual SIM microSD
Approximate Price: US$130 US$215

Samsung Galaxy S4 vs FeiTeng H9504

A Galaxy S4 compared to a Chinese knockoff, the Feiteng H9504. / © Amazon / Samsung

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 vs Samsung Galaxy S4

  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
Battery: Unknown 2,600 mAh
Cameras: 8 MP Rear and 5 MP Front 13 MP Rear and 2 MP Front
Other: Dual SIM, microSD microSD
Approximate Price: US$154 US$300

Samsung Galaxy S6 vs Landvo S6

landvo s6
The Landvo S6 offers the looks of the Galaxy S6 but not the performance. / © Landvo

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 vs Samsung Galaxy S6

  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
Approximate Price: US$110 US$500

HTC One M8 vs HDC One M8

hdc one m8
The HDC One M8: one of the more admirable, yet shameless, clones. / © HDC

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 vs HTC One M8

  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
Approximate price: US$150 US$260

iPhone 6 vs Dakele 3

iphone dakele
Dakele 3 (left) next to the iPhone 6. / © Daleke / Apple

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.

iPhone 6 vs Dakele 3

  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
Other: microSD  
Approximate price: US$240 US$600

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.

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Margarita Arroyo

Margarita Arroyo
Editor and Forum Manager

Margarita Arroyo is Content Editor and Forum Manager for the Spanish website. She studied Journalism and lived for a while in Madrid. Two years ago, she moved to Berlin. Before working in AndroidPIT, she already wrote about technology, a field of which she learns more and more everyday. Though she loves her work, her trully passion is the music. She always dreamt about being a Rock star!

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  • 7
    RowanRosh Jan 11, 2021 Link to comment

    Nice article

  • 1
    kailem tonge Mar 10, 2017 Link to comment

    Anyone know what the model a7 i

  • 1
    Rocco Tool Feb 15, 2017 Link to comment

    The Dakele 3 looked good until I saw the low storage. Thanks for the informative article.

  • 1
    Jimmy James Oct 24, 2016 Link to comment

    Who and what is HDC? can't find any support or website with that name. Is that high def clones or something? only websites I see redirects you to fastcardtech, which is a ripoff website!!

  • Jacob Ciaston 1
    Jacob Ciaston Jun 17, 2016 Link to comment

    So when will China pay for their copyright infringement? Of course that's when China makes a ludicrous decision about sovereignty in the south China sea and every country affected starts taking military action against them, so if we look into it I give China's copyright infringement 2 to 8 years before the communist party is ousted and the nationalist party of Taiwan takes over, again..... Like Russia which is the prequel and sequel to the USSR, the NPC is the prequel and sequel to the CPC

  • Amanda Bissell 1
    Amanda Bissell May 15, 2016 Link to comment

    wont be long before Chinese phones become the top phones perfect example of that is huwei started of rough but now a top contender
    I strongly believe they will do to phones what the Japanese did to motorbikes in the 70s when was last time u seen a decent brittish bike

  • 1
    Sano Shaker Jan 10, 2016 Link to comment

    LETV 1S, reminds me iPhone 6 Plus, has Mediatek MT6795T (2.2GHZ), 3GB 933RAM, 32GB internal, all that for 190 dollar for 32gb, on with coupon 12 dollar for 16gb

  • 2
    Adrian Davis Dec 31, 2015 Link to comment

    I have a Nuu mobile Z8 which looks like the LGG3 13 mp back 8mp in the front 32gb internal dual micro sim Lte on both micro sd up to 128gb 5.5 inch screen 2 gb on memory instead of 3 also running on lollipop os android 5.0 for $300.

  • 2
    Ong Zun Kai Dec 30, 2015 Link to comment

    How is the dakele phone better than the iPhone ? Or maybe the company is lying !

  • Dusan V. 12
    Dusan V. Dec 30, 2015 Link to comment

    I wouldn't use replika phones just because of lesser material quality and hardware is too bad.

  • 3
    John Rogers Nov 25, 2015 Link to comment

    I have used Chinese made Android based smart phones for the past 6 years as I needed dual sim capability. No problems at all in operation and a fraction of the price of the "western" equivalent. The last one is now close to battery failure after having had a very hard life! A new Chinese made clone is on the way with extra features and a newer version of Android.
    I have not experienced the types of problems and failures that many of my friends and family members have had with their high priced western smart phones.
    I will not purchase Apple products at all.

    Mark G.

  • Alec B. 12
    Alec B. Nov 24, 2015 Link to comment

    My ZOPO 999 leaves western mobiles for dead ..NZ$274.00... it came as 4.4 .2 but has been OTA upgraded...It has S pen, 3 Sim... and total memory capacity of 128MB ....and I have no intention of buying new Western rubbish ...high priced rubbish and out of date when you buy them. ZOPO for me every time ..go check out their site.

  • Carmelo Rivera 20
    Carmelo Rivera Nov 24, 2015 Link to comment

    The Dakele 3 (iPhone) clone has better specs than the real one. Like Steve Wozniak (Apple co-founder) said recently: "I will not be trapped in Apple's ecosystem." Same here, Buddy, I can see past the facade of that company.


  • hotspring21 12
    hotspring21 Nov 24, 2015 Link to comment

    Actually hardware wise, lot of these clone phones arn't too bad. These low end Android budget devices have come a long long way since few years ago, when they were almost unusable. Most clone phones these days come with 1GB ram if not 2GB, and processor is usually quad core, if little on the slow side. Display is also quite good. I bought $95 clone phone from China and the IPS display had great color, brightness and viewing angles. Just for normal day to day use, these present absolutely no problem. The big downfall of these cheap clone phones is in quality control and battery. They often come with subpar battery which has inflated rating. But this is not too terrible issue as long as battery is user swappable. Even worse is hardware and software defects. Because these low end Android OEMs are mostly interested in just moving boxes and don't care about high quality hardware and software, these phones often have severe problems - like GPS not working, cpu not going to sleep even when phone is idle, usb charging not working all of sudden etc. But with some improvement in quality control from these vendors, the low budget devices can be a pretty good phones in the future.

    Chris Marshall

  • 5URV1V0R 11
    5URV1V0R Nov 23, 2015 Link to comment

    Long live Dakele 3 :)

    Carmelo RiveraW N

  • 46
    Deactivated Account Nov 23, 2015 Link to comment

    I Like this, only the Chinese knock off of the I Phone has better specs than the real thing and it is cheaper that's funny. The rest are sub par specs. The China phones are a real problem here in the Philippines, a lot of secondary seller will try to sell them as the real thing. Unlike the ones pictured here they have the brand logo on them. These phones are crap they usually don't last very long and will be destroyed if you drop them. They look good the and it hard to tell them a part the give away is the dual sim none of the true phones have that option unfortunately.

  • 33
    Frieder Z. Nov 23, 2015 Link to comment

    S3 21,00 mAh. Seems legit. 😉


  • My1 37
    My1 May 30, 2013 Link to comment

    on the spec tables you have Galaxy S3 at the 4,99 inch phone (should be S4)
    and you messed up the i un "Ultrapixel" at HTC one. you used í. it should be i.

  • Sterling Keys 12
    Sterling Keys May 30, 2013 Link to comment

    The only thing I'd be wary about is the truth behind the specs. There have been a lot of reports indicating that not only is the quality sub-par, but also the technical specs don't live up to snuff (most notably in the processor power and camera quality).

  • 2
    Charlie Gadd May 30, 2013 Link to comment

    Even the knockoff companies do better than Apple, unbelievable and the knockoff S4 has a better front camera which I'd appreciate in my S4 :c

    Carmelo RiveraW N

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