“Art is an imitation of nature”. The smartphone industry is no stranger to this philosophy, and believes in the re-creation of reality more often than the end-consumer would like. Some of the most awe-inspiring phone designs are backed with hours of hard work, creative thinking, and of course, money to preserve them as exclusive properties. However, not all manufacturers want to invest so heavily in one of the most critical aspects of a smartphone manufacturing process – its design.
Time and again, we come across patents, mockups, even commercial models of handsets which are “inspired” by premium brands. These invariably sell like hot cakes owing to their dirt-cheap prices. In today’s listicle, we bring to you some of the top flagship smartphone rip-offs in recent history. Can you tell us the difference just by looking at these?
Umidigi S2: Built by the China-based manufacturer, the Umidigi S2 borrows heavily from the premium Samsung Galaxy S8 – down to its last bezel. Touted as the world's first 6-inch full-screen phone with two-day lasting 5,100mAh battery, the S2 comes with a dual-camera, something which even the original Galaxy S8 does not have. Cost of the Galaxy S8 clone is $199, which translates to a meager Rs 12,800. Whereas the original costs almost five times higher at Rs 53,900.
U18 Ouiketel: Ouiketel is another Chinese manufacturer which recently launched the U18 smartphone. The company promised to sell only 999 units of the Apple iPhone X doppelganger. But going by the company's website, it looks like you can grab the 'last chance', and a unit for yourself from the freshly added stock of 300 units. And yes, the Ouiketel U18 does have THE notch, dual cameras, and even Face ID feature. You might only miss the Apple logo. Cost? Only $159 (approximately Rs 10,200). This is less than a Xiaomi phone!
Doogee Mix: With 6GB RAM and dual cameras, the Doogee Mix takes its inspiration from the first-generation Xiaomi Mi MIX. There's also a Doogee Mix 2 available on Amazon India that promises a bigger 5.99-inch bezel-less display. As for the Dogee Mix, you can buy it for as low as Rs 17,999 while the Doogee Mix 2 is priced at Rs 26,499. The original Mi MIX 2 retails in India at Rs 32,999. Clone or no clone, your choice.
Oppo R9s: The infamous comparisons to the Apple iPhone 6s barely impacted the sales of the Oppo R9s. The smartphone was reportedly the best selling Android smartphone in Q1, 2017. Irrespective of the design similarities with the Apple iPhone 6s, Oppo sold a reported 8.9 million units of the smartphone worldwide.
Leagoo KIICAA S8: Another Galaxy S8 clone in this list is the Leagoo KIICAA S8. This smartphone, not only borrows the original moniker, but also its aesthetics. Other than being an inexpensive alternative, the smartphone gets attention for its dual cameras, something which the original lacks.
Elephone S8: Another Xiaomi Mi MIX knock off is the Elephone S8, which too comes with a bezel-less display. The 4G compatible version of the phablet is listed on Amazon for Rs 34,100. But if you calculate, this Mi MIX rip off is expensive than the other Mi MIX rip off by Doogee.
GooPhone X: The name might not sound too cool for an iPhone X clone, but the GooPhone X brings premium aesthetics, including dual cameras, and the iconic notch for just $314.99 (approximately Rs 20,000). Reportedly, the features it is listed with, including running iOS, are fake. But who's complaining anyway for a cheap iPhone X-lookalike running Android?