We use our smartphones to do so many things these days from looking up a recipe, getting directions or video calling. All of these features can make cellphones pretty expensive, and people tend to pick a favorite brand. Whether it be an iPhone, a Microsoft phone, or a Samsung—each one is handy and unique and there are several apps and functions that make these smartphones desirable.

Because of their demand, non-brand manufacturers attempt to cash in on the smartphone craze by creating and selling knock-off products. These gadgets will be designed to look exactly like your favorite Apple or Samsung product, but they might be completely fake! Here are 7 tips on how to spot a fake gadget and avoid getting tricked.

1. Check the packaging

7 Tips to Help You Recognize Fake Gadgets

Manufacturers of counterfeit products often neglect package design. The official retailer will always take care of even the slightest details of design and packaging of their own goods.

Take a close look at the package, paying attention to the print quality: the font should be legible and consistent everywhere. Nothing should be loose inside. Manufacturers always fix their goods well so that nothing gets damaged during transportation. Even the seams and corners of the packaging film should be impeccable.

2. Unboxing

7 Tips to Help You Recognize Fake Gadgets

Fake products may be stored in boxes that appear very much like the original. One thing to check for is text written in a language that is foreign to the country of purchase. One clue that a product—especially an iPhone—could be fake is if it comes in a plastic casing. iPhones never come this way so it would be a clear sign that this product has been tampered with and isn’t the real deal.

3. Look inside the user manual

7 Tips to Help You Recognize Fake Gadgets

The user manual is the passport of any gadget. All important information about the device must be there in the language of the country of purchase. If it’s written in some other language and you can’t read it, then it’s either a smuggled device or a brand copycat.

4. Pay attention to the material

7 Tips to Help You Recognize Fake Gadgets

Any material, be it plastic, rubber, or aluminum, can be high- or low-quality. Famous brands don’t save on materials. The plastic covering must be smooth, without seams or other imperfections. A closer look at a fake easily uncovers cheap plastic with matte shades and irregular surfaces.

5. Take a look at the fonts

7 Tips to Help You Recognize Fake Gadgets

A logo is the face of any brand, and it deserves special attention. It’s always made so as not to be tampered with: even after years of use, the logo will be easily recognizable.

All fonts and symbols on the device must be smooth, readable, and durable. It’s often the case with fakes that they lack the name of the manufacturer or they have it somehow wrong.

6. Check the charger

7 Tips to Help You Recognize Fake Gadgets

The charger should be adapted for use in your country. If you live in Europe, there should be a special block for European sockets. If you’re asked to buy an adapter or even a separate charger, that’s a warning sign.

Brand chargers won’t have seams between plastic parts of different colors, which can’t be said of fakes. Remember, brands are responsible for your safety when using their gadgets. That’s why originals always have neat metal tips and quality insulation and finishes.

7. Take a closer look at wires and plugs

7 Tips to Help You Recognize Fake Gadgets

Wire quality is one of the most obvious signs of a counterfeit product. In the original, a plugged-in cable will sit firmly and evenly, while in a fake you’ll see incorrect angles and loose parts. Sometimes the length of a plug doesn’t coincide with the depth of the socket.

Also, pay attention to the quality of the insulation and the symbols on it. The wire should be flexible and even-colored, while the markings mustn’t be erasable.

Photo credit penYakki

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