Beware of fake Samsung smartphones in South Africa

Samsung South Africa has warned that smartphone buyers should be on the lookout for counterfeit devices that are being sold in the country.

“Counterfeit goods have become an increasingly worrying problem in South Africa,” said Samsung.

The company warned that if you buy a smartphone from unauthorised dealers you are at risk of losing out financially, as there are limited options should you discover that the device is faulty.

“There are no consumer care or repair options available to support any of the device components, or any way of being compensated if the product turns out to be a counterfeit,” said Samsung with regards to purchasing a device from non-approved dealers.

“If the purchase price is too good to be true, then it probably is. If a Samsung Galaxy smartphone is found on sale at a much reduced price, we urge consumers to check with our customer care centres before purchasing the device.”

There are physical differences between authentic Samsung smartphones and counterfeit devices, which can help consumers identify an imitation phone.

The Samsung logo on counterfeits is slightly raised, like a sticker. The screen will also appear a tad lighter than on a genuine device.

“A closer look at a genuine Samsung device will reveal sensors on the forward-facing camera, which do not appear on the fake unit.”

Battery size is another obvious giveaway, especially on the Samsung Galaxy S4.

Samsung said the genuine battery is much larger, has higher-quality labels, and well-designed positive and negative nodes.

“The battery is probably the most important determinant of a fake device as it will impact how the device is charged,” said Samsung.

“The design of the battery compartment is very different with softer connectors on the genuine phone while the sticker displays the IMEI number clearly alongside the Icasa branding.”

Samsung provided the table below which compares the differences between real and fake devices.

Authentic Smartphones Counterfeit Smartphones
The genuine device has around seven to eight screws. The counterfeit device has only two or three screws and the rest are imitations.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 comes in a genuine Samsung box. The counterfeit Samsung Galaxy S5 also comes in a genuine Samsung box, it is advisable to open it first to ensure it is a genuine device.
On screen off mode, the authentic device’s screen appears darker. The counterfeit appears much lighter.
Samsung uses a variety of manufacturers across the globe to produce its smartphone batteries. These batteries will always specify where the ‘cell’ was made and assembled. A fake battery will always say ‘Made in Korea’, with no specific mention of where it was assembled.
Samsung smartphones are sold at authorised Samsung dealers or local operators. Counterfeit Samsung smartphones can be sold anywhere, including off the street.
Online purchases that do not allow for returns are not sold by genuine dealers.
Ensure your purchase comes with the Samsung South Africa two-year warranty Samsung smartphones that do not carry a two-year warranty are not authentic.

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Beware of fake Samsung smartphones in South Africa