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The iClone Shootout – five iPhone phonies, a camera, and some interesting conclusions

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Overall conclusion. It pays to remember that all the clones are massively cheaper than the original but still come with features that the iPhone doesn’t. They’re all totally SIM free and unlocked and all but one have dual SIM slots. You can upgrade the memory and…cough…the battery. On top of that they sport touchscreens (of very variable quality it has to be said), music, video/voice recording, in fact the feature set on these devices is very impressive for the price. Oh yes remember the price, won’t you? Tying you into an 18 month contract really makes the iPhone a rather expensive proposition in comparison with the general handset market.

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BUT, and it’s a huge but, the clones simply do not – YET –  have that special something that comes with a real iPhone. The gorgeous, non-reflective, bright and sensitive screen, the super slim form factor, solid heft and stylish interface that has revolutionised the mobile phone market. And above all, they’re not Apple products, so there’s no Mac connectivity, no WiFi, no iTunes integration, no wonderful Safari web browser which is without doubt the best browser experience on a mobile phone to date. The clones also run a propietary motherboard/operating system which won’t allow you to install new applications, which is definitely a huge minus point if you’re aiming for the smartphone market.

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But what really surprises me is just how far the clones have come in such a short time. The HiPhone may not match the real thing in many ways, but in others it’s right up there as a top notch phone in its own right. For example, who would have thought that multitouch screens would hit the no-brand devices in under 9 months? Not me. If this rate of progress continues, it’s not going to be very long before the clones out-pace the master, and at a price point per feature that makes real sense. We’ll keep you updated as we learn more…

In the meantime, here are some more comparison photos of the master next to its pretenders. Enjoy!
Iphonebox2Iphone

The iPhone. (do note the smeary screen, after only a short time of use!)

Twinboxiphonequiz

The iPhone vs HiPhone.

TwinboxiphonequizrearTwinboxiphonescreens

Below – the iPhone vs The Rest

Twobox168Twobox380

Twoboxa8Twoboxm888

(Thanks to Digital Play World for the clone handsets and 02 for the iPhone loan.)

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Nigel is the managing editor of the Red Ferret, as well as a freelance columnist for the Sunday Times newspaper in London. Loves tech and fancies himself as a bit of a futurist, but then don’t we all?

Nigel – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.


11 Comments

  • Holy carp Red! Did you really spend 700 quid to do a dodgy iPhone-knockoff comparison??? If so, WHY? Oh and thanks, the world needs this kind of thing. :D

    Just on a side note, and perhaps I’ve been using Nokia cameras for too long, but the camera quality of the real iPhone really isn’t that good. It’s not terrible, but the image is soft and the edges are quite bad.

    But what do I know/care, iPhones aren’t coming to Australia until the 12th of never anyway.

  • Hi everyone,

    Just to point out a small error made by Red, (only a small one) when using these phones, you can actually activate the number pad whilst on a call so you can “press 2 now” to be put on hold by your bank or internet operator etc, if you need to.

    Another point I’d like to add, the real iPhone works out at £899 (269 plus 35 per month for 18 month), so in comparison, the clones really do represent excellent value for money. Lets face it, in 12 months time you’ll probably want to change it for something else new and exciting and even more fashionable.

    Regards
    Simon

    http://www.digitalplayworld.co.uk

  • DTM, heh no I didn’t have to drop £700 on the iPhone, thanks to my new best friends at O2 who found me an eval unit at very short notice.

  • I just returned my HiPhone as it was sluggish and limited compared to the P168+.

    For pose factor its the best and build wise its very solid.

    If you want to see the full review of the P168+ then email me. I’d do a more coherent review of the HiPhone if interested.

    Mark

  • Hi

    Returned the HiPhone and now sold the P168+.

    The replacement is the M888 which looks wise isn’t very slick but function wise its very good. Loading Mini Opera 4 onto the phone makes it a serious competitor to the iPhone.

    M

  • You can buy latest iphone clones from us in china.
    For watching videos of iphone show.please visit our website http://www.ebest-elec.com

  • Wij verstrekken onze kijkers de volledige waaier van Zwitserse de horlogeswijzen en ontwerpen van fake rolex van de Replica.

  • would you mind updating this….there are definetly some new phones out there. iphone c6? wifi gps? can u get back to me..thanks

    • I am with you. I haven't used Iphone yet coz it's not good for our third world countries. So, we mostly go with others. The most selling phone in our country is Nokia. So, I would also like to get new updates as I want to replace my old set.

      Regards

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