Clones of popular smartphones were a massive thing in the late 2000s and early 2010s, as unscrupulous third-string brands piggybacked on popular designs in hopes of securing sales. These phones featured extremely low prices but horrible specs, often targeting the likes of Apple and Samsung.
Move to the present day and you’d think that the smartphone industry has become mature enough that we wouldn’t see many clones anymore. But you couldn’t be further from the truth, with some really awful copycat devices available for purchase online.
Don’t believe us? Then check out these phone clones we found on Amazon below. We’d also strongly advise that you don’t actually buy these devices.
1. An imitation Mate 40 Pro
Coming from everyone’s favorite smartphone brand Fockety (heh), this $72 device is obviously a Huawei Mate 40 Pro clone. Aside from the name, the phone also offers a circular camera housing in a failed bid to dupe prospective Mate 40 Pro buyers.
The rest of the device is suitably terrible, featuring a 2013-era budget MTK6572 processor (dual-core Cortex-A7 CPU), 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, and a 2,200mAh battery that charges via micro-USB. The brand listed the phone as having “128GB of expandable storage,” which actually means it offers microSD expansion up to 128GB. Otherwise, the back only sports a solitary 5MP rear camera despite the presence of so many “lenses.”
We’re also not quite sure what “ten times the face” means in the face unlock graphic below.
User ratings are currently pegged at an average of 2.7 stars out of five, which makes me wonder whether the few five-star ratings were sketchy to begin with. Some of the users note that the phone actually has Android 4.4 rather than Android 6.0 as promised, that the fingerprint unlock feature was actually cosmetic and could be unlocked by any finger, and that many couldn’t find SIM slots.
A reader review also attached a photo that shows much thicker bezels than the renders — a common sketchy tactic we’ve called out before. The entire listing really makes you wonder how this phone clone passed Amazon’s checks and wound up on sale in the first place.
2. Redmi K30 gets cloned
We live in strange times when a smartphone maker that got a reputation for copying another brand in its early days is now itself the subject of copying. That’s exactly what happened with the $82 Xgody K30, which is a Redmi K30 phone clone.
This similarity isn’t restricted to the name either, as Xgody was clearly inspired by the distinctive coin-slot camera housing too (down to the location of the flash). Check out an image of the original Redmi K30 below.
Speaking of cameras, you’re looking at what appear to be four lenses here, but the company can’t seem to decide if it has one or two 5MP rear cameras. Other notable specs include an unnamed and likely awful quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of expandable storage, a 3,000mAh battery, and no 4G support.
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Another telltale sign of a crappy device is the punch-hole cutout that’s actually attached to the top bezel rather than standing on its own. There’s nothing wrong with this in practice, but even niche, second-string phone brands like Oukitel offer proper punch-hole cutouts.
The user reviews here are particularly scathing. One customer said it took photos that looked like they came from 1835, and many customers complained about the device not working with their networks. One person even noted that someone else’s email address was signed into the phone upon unboxing. Yikes.
3. A palm-sized iPhone?
Another copycat smartphone design is this device, and it’s plain as day that the company behind it copied the likes of the iPhone 6 series. This extends to the identical antenna lines on the back as well as the similar camera housing.
At least the company went in a completely different direction with a 2.5-inch screen, so it’s not just a low-effort smartphone. Instead, it’s a low-effort compact smartphone.
A circa-2016 processor, 1GB of RAM, and a 600mAh battery — what’s not to like?
Speaking of low effort, perhaps the best part is that almost all of the promotional images show a normal-sized phone. You’d think that this would be one detail they’d keep in mind given that it’s the device’s main selling point. You can view some of these images below.
The core specs are almost as low-end as you can go in 2021, featuring a 2016-era MT6580 quad-core budget processor, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of storage. This is all powered by a 600mAh battery, which isn’t much bigger than the battery in a charging case for true wireless earbuds.
Other notable features include 3G support (5G? don’t be silly, there’s not even 4G here), Google Play Store integration (allegedly), a 5MP rear camera, 2MP selfie shooter, and microSD expansion.
Some reviews point to the phone either getting stuck on the setup screen “for hours,” suffering from awful battery life, or being prone to overheating. So even if you’re okay with a tiny iPhone clone, you should avoid this in favor of something like a Palm Phone, or just a regular small phone like the Asus Zenfone 8 or… well… the iPhone 13 Mini!
4. A full-sized iPhone
What would a list of phone clones be without a copycat iPhone? Yes, Amazon stocks a fake iPhone dubbed the i12 Pro Max. The device’s inspiration is clearly no secret when judging by the name alone.
The i12 Pro Max also features a similar camera housing as the iPhone 12 Pro series, although you’ve got a more pleasant waterdrop notch here rather than a fat Apple notch. Then again, Apple’s phones have 3D face unlock.
In terms of the rest of the spec sheet, this copycat packs an obsolete SC7731E 3G processor, 6.26-inch “HD+” screen, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of expandable storage, and a 1,950mAh battery. It almost goes without saying that it runs Android rather than iOS, albeit with Android 8.1.
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User reviews weren’t kind to the cloned iPhone either, as consumers criticized the “very poor” performance, the inability to download apps, the lack of carrier support, and the terrible battery life.
We also have to include an honorable mention in the form of the Goophone 13Pro Max, which is a cloned iPhone 13 series device. It is listed with 512GB of storage and 12GB of RAM, which we highly doubt to be the case. There’s no pricing listed on Amazon though.
Oddly enough, Goophone reportedly threatened to sue Apple in China over its iPhone 5 clone, which was revealed months before the actual iPhone 5. Now, that’s courage.
5. The Galaxy Note that never was
The Galaxy Note 21 series was canceled by Samsung, with the firm opting to bring the S Pen to the Galaxy S21 Ultra and Galaxy Z Fold 3 instead. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get a phone called the Note 21.
Yes, the Note 21U is a cloned version of a phone that never was, to begin with. But even the first Galaxy Note back in 2011 generally has better specs than this $107 imitation. You’re getting what appears to be a Unisoc SC7731 chipset (quad-core Cortex-A7, Mali-400, 28nm, 3G), 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of expandable storage.
This is not the Note you’re looking for.
The rest of the spec sheet goes downhill from here, featuring a 6.26-inch screen with a waterdrop notch (1,014 x 480 resolution), a 2,400mAh battery, a 2MP selfie camera, and a 2MP rear shooter. Again, the two other lenses on the back are just for show.
You’re apparently getting Android 6.0 here, which first launched in 2015. And it also seems like the company behind this sketchy device swiped Samsung’s icons for the browser, camera, gallery app, and more.
This company also touts a similarly awful-looking Galaxy S20 Ultra phone clone (seen at the top of the page), in case you want a copycat version of a device that’s actually available on the market already.
Are there any other notable phone clones you’ve seen on Amazon? Have you bought a copycat device before? Let us know via the comments below!