Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Fake Gadget Tuesdays: The CiPhone C6

By Benedict Wee

I'm adding this new segment in attempts to provide some entertaining insight into the dark, shadowy world of fake gadgetry. You can't be a gadget lover if you're not interested in the creative imitations that are floating around the world somewhere and they can range from the ingenious to the ridiculous. Some of them even work pretty well. Most of these gadgets are based on the designs of original brands and come from countries where the trademark law is flexible or downright nonexistent (see: China).

Behold! A Rolex phone!

Before I continue, a word of advice: most gadgets you see here are meant for entertainment/educational purposes. Unless I specifically mention it I don't recommend you purchase them because they might be shoddily made and you can never be too cautious when dealing with gadgets that run on electricity. That and most online shops that sell such stuff are a dime in a dozen and they're known for shutting down without bearing any responsibility to the buyer. If you're adventurous enough I can offer some sites which I find quite legit but if you're a casual browser just sit back and enjoy my inane segment which I've spent some time researching on.

Gadget: The CiPhone C6
Place of Origin: China
"Inspired" by: The Apple iPhone

There hasn't been such a great mobile phenomenon as Apple's iPhone. But way back when it was first introduced in January 2007, it was only available in certain countries and came with a hefty price tag in addition to a 2 years calls/texts/data plan which made it near impossible to import from the US. So the rest of the world could only look upon with envy those countries lucky enough to sell Apple's first smartphone.

With so much talk about the new mobile globally it was bound to get the attention of the not-really-but-mostly-still communist country, China. And with that attention came their ability to produce a certain kind of product that they're well known for: knock-offs.

Thus came the influx of fake iPhones flooding the market. There are too many of these phones to identify but the most common brands of these knock-offs are Cect, HiPhone, SciPhone and CiPhone. Today we'll look at the one that most resembles the iPhone 3G/3GS, the CiPhone C6.

Steve Job's head would explode if he saw this

Unlike most other China fakes out there the C6 mimics the iPhone aesthetically right down to the 3.5" screen in the front to the apple logo on the back . What's also similar is the program that runs a UI very close to that of the iPhone's OSX which can be launched from it's default OS; Windows Mobile 6.1.

The C6 runs on a Samsung 450MHz processor with 256MB of ROM and 128MB of RAM, and has 8GB of storage space. It also has Wifi, Bluetooth, Edge (GSM 850/900/1800/1900) and an internal Srif Star III GPS.

Looks similar from behind

Programs-wise the phone has all the standard software you'll find in Windows Mobile 6.1 like Office, Adobe Reader and Windows Live Messenger. The player reads the usual media files like avi, 3gp, mp4, asf, wmv and rm for video, mp3, mp4, wav and wma for audio.

The CiPhone and its accessories

All these features so far are pretty decent, it even comes with a host of accessories including a portable charger. The only gripe I have is that the phone's audio jack is 2.5mm instead of the standard 3.5mm and it does not work on Vodafone's 2100 MHz 3G network.

The price for this knock off? US$275 (NZ$420.23). About 2.8 times lesser than what Vodafone is charging for the 16GB iPhone 3GS. You can't compare both of em side by side of course, am just painting a contrast.

My arbitrary score for almost-the-real-thing-ness : 8/10
Take it out for about 5 minutes and you'll be able to fool someone, but don't let anyone hold/play with it cause you'll give up the facade.

(Forex: US$1 - NZ$1.52)

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