The Case of the Clone Phone

Lately, I have been spending my time browsing the net for cool and inexpensive (see how I dodged using ‘cheap’) stuff. I came across many sites, some of which were obviously fake, but from the remaining few, I found these ones quite compelling.

1. Fastcardtech

2. Chinaecarts

Both of these read ‘Wholesale Android Phone’ on the title bar. Right. Well, it is quite moving what these people put up to attract customers and make ’em feel more, uh, secure. For example, this image was the first thing that amazed me on Fastcardtech.

htc one x copy

Definitely not my honest PayPal. So moving on, I started with the browsing. this particular name kept popping up each time I clicked on a link – ‘HDC’. Probably an offshoot of HTC, but, never mind, if their products are good. I knew that the price tag on these products will be much lower than that on the originals. I typed in the name of one of the phones I fantasize about – the One X. When the results came up, I clicked on a link, and it led me to the product specs page.

Apparently, that One X clone was powered by a chipset manufactured by a company named MTK. And guess what, even the spelling of Android was wrong (the last time I checked). I convinced myself to go on,and then, I saw the price. 260$, free shipping. Seriously? If you go for a direct conversion from US$ into INR (Indian Rupee), it is equivalent to about INR 13000. You can get three of these in the price on an original One X here. They didn’t even change the product name – One X . Not only this, but the other site, Chinaecarts, openly used the name ‘HTC’. ‘HTC One X’ it read.

At least both the sites were decent enough to admit that the phone was NOT quad core, but dual core. But frankly, it is not even a dual core. I ran an AnTuTu  benchmark test,  and the scores were shocking. An average One X score is around 9000 (and for some, ITS OVER 9000!!!!). But this one didn’t even cross 4k. 3583 to be exact. On an average, the clone slots in right above the original One S, by which I could deduce that it was at most a slightly overclocked phone with nothing but a single core processor. But ICS never showed signs of lag.

That also seemed to explain one of my previous observation, the poor battery life. No matter how hard I tried not to use it, I always had to face the blinking red light by the end of the day. The phone is quite cleverly made, and the dimensions have been kept as close to original as possible. It managed to fool me for a day or to, but I eventually got it. One of my friends who happened to have an original One X came by to pay me a visit.

I immediately saw the opportunity and did an on-site investigation of both the phones. The first thing that I noticed was that the screen of my clone wasn’t actually as large as the original one (4.7 inches), but a little smaller (4.5 inches). Another surprising observation I made was that the dimensions were inexact. When I tried to put the cover of the original phone on my phone, I couldn’t do so. The holders were out of place. So that meant that I had to be extremely careful with the back cover of the clone. I managed to point out some more differences, including lower resolution, the sub standard camera, absence of NFC etc. Another pinching fact was that this phone has an internal storage of only 2GB, and although it does support external memory cards, I can’t transfer my apps to the external card. I’m doomed. Alas, I had not been tempted by curiosity. Oh, and it needs a micro SIM card.

But all in all, this phone has more or less lived up to my already non existent expectations, and in some areas, it managed to fairly impress me too. Most of the games run flawlessly (including the Gameloft titles). Call quality was never a problem, and the camera, although not an 8MP shooter, is decent. And, at a glance, it is nearly impossible for anyone to doubt the genuineness of my clone. I have come to like it very much. After all, I got a phone with the specs of an upper-middle ranged Android at the price of an entry level smartphone.

There’s no point in uploading pictures. It looks just like a regular One X.

It outperforms almost all phones in the 15-20k segment. I’d definitely recommend you to visit the site once. They’ve got clones for One V, One S etc also. Oh, I almost forgot. Do check out the Goophone i5 pro. As you might have guessed, its an Android clone (ah, the pun) of the iPhone 5.