Product Promotion Network

mobile

Unusual iPhone X ‘clone’ runs on Android and costs just £250

The thought of picking up a shiny new Apple iPhone X or Samsung Galaxy S9 for under GBP300 sounds too good to be true – and it is. We’ve spotted cheap ‘clone phones’ for sale online that look identical to premium smartphones from big-name brands. Out of the box you’d think you had your hands on a high-end mobile, but turn the device on and you’ll soon realise all is not as it seems.

Here we dive into the world of imitation smartphones, exposing the dangers of buying cheap tech and offering tips on how to spot a fake mobile if you’re buying second-hand. Best Buy smartphones[1] – our experts recommend these mobiles.

Meet Goophone

Goophone has used an Apple press image (above) to sell the Goophone X

Founded back in 2007, Goophone is a Chinese company that sells smartphones designed to look like Apple and Samsung products. Although Apple and Samsung press images appear all over the company’s website, Goophone doesn’t acknowledge either brand on any of its product pages.

One of the more recent additions to the Goophone website is the Goophone X, a copy of Apple’s iPhone X. Unlike the original, it runs on Android and starts at GBP224 – that’s over GBP700 cheaper than a new iPhone X. But it certainly won’t offer the same user experience.

The Goophone X has a lower-resolution display (so images won’t look as detailed), less internal storage and less Ram, which means it won’t cope with multitasking like the Apple mobile does. Even smartphones that aren’t officially released have made their way to the Goophone website. The Goophone S9 (below) is a copy of the Samsung Galaxy S9 and sells for under GBP300.

This isn’t the only company actively making clone tech, either.

A quick Google search will bring up similar products – you’ll even find a range of smartwatches designed to trick people into thinking you’re wearing a pricey Apple Watch.

Should you buy a Goophone?

If you like the look of an expensive Apple or Samsung smartphone but don’t fancy spending big, could the Goophone be a solid alternative? If you trust the reviews on the official Goophone website, it would appear to be. But you well doubt their legitimacy.

There are 10 products featured on the company’s homepage, and we counted 211 5-star reviews and 27 4-star reviews. None of the reviews on the Goophone website award less than a 4-star rating.

If it’s an affordable but capable smartphone you’re after, it’s more risky to buy from an obscure seller. Thankfully we’ve seen plenty of budget-priced smartphones in our test lab from giant brands including Huawei, OnePlus, Motorola and Sony.

To see which cheap smartphones have earned Best Buy status, see our guide on the best cheap mobile phones[2].

How to spot a fake smartphone: 5 things to look out for

Goophone isn’t claiming that it’s selling real iPhones, but fake tech does exist online. If you’re buying through eBay or from a lesser-known website, be careful: order from a sneaky seller and you could end up with a fake that’s described as the real deal. Take a look at our tips on how to check if your tech is genuine:

If you’ve ended up buying fake goods, the trader that sold it to you may have committed a criminal offence.

For more details on reporting faulty goods and securing a refund, see our advice guide on how to report fake goods or counterfeit products[3].

References

  1. ^ Best Buy smartphones (www.which.co.uk)
  2. ^ the best cheap mobile phones (www.which.co.uk)
  3. ^ how to report fake goods or counterfeit products (www.which.co.uk)

Brits waste 3.4GB of data a month: how to avoid overpaying

Mobile phone users across the country are paying for data they’ll never use, according to a uSwitch study on phone bills. Figures collected by uSwitch show that the average UK mobile phone owner pays for 3.4GB of extra data every month – that’s data you don’t need. See below for more on the study and take a look at our top tips on how to avoid bill shock.

Best mobile phone networks[1] – our verdict on the biggest providers.

Are you paying for data that you don’t use?

A fear of exceeding data limits has seen phone users buying contracts that offer more data than they need. According to uSwitch, mobile customers in the UK are collectively paying for a whopping 143 million gigabytes of unused data each month. The same study says that one in five smartphone users don’t know how much data comes included in their contact, while a third of over-55s with a monthly plan don’t know how much data they’re using.

But it’s not just older smartphone users that aren’t fully clued up. uSwitch says that the average 18- to 34-year-old pays for 7.5GB of data every month but uses less than half of that (3.6GB).

Which? members on mobile data

The uSwitch findings reflect our own. We surveyed over 1,000 Which? members on mobile data to see what they knew about their phone contracts.

32% of the people we spoke to didn’t know how to keep track of their mobile data at all, and 71% of respondents admitted they didn’t know the cost of using data outside of their monthly allowance. In addition, 50% said they were concerned about receiving an unexpectedly high bill each month, and nearly a third were concerned about exceeding their bundle.

To prevent this from happening, Which? readers are going to some lengths to avoid ‘bill shock’.

Using wi-fi for calls and internet browsing is the most popular solution to avoiding bill shock, with 57% of the votes. But while this can be a good habit to get into, it’s not a great way to make the most of your mobile phone.

41% of Which? members took the more extreme route of turning mobile data off completely, while 26% prefer to stick to landline calls and 10% admitted to turning their phone off completely. One of the biggest benefits of mobile phones is their versatility, something that’s being curtailed by a fear of overpaying.

But if you’re tracking your data usage on a regular basis from your smartphone, you needn’t be concerned.

How to keep track of your data and minutes

The uSwitch survey suggests that erring on the side of caution – that is, opting for more data than you might need – is a safer proposition. But when we asked Which? readers why they hadn’t increased their contracted package, a substantial 63% said they didn’t want to increase the size of their bill. Combined with an effective way to monitor mobile data usage, this could be the best approach.

Armed with that information, you can find a mobile contract that suits you perfectly and saves you money. After all, you don’t want to be spending big on a contract that offers far more than you need it to. Our guide on how to keep track of your data and minutes[2] tells you everything you need to know.

Are you better off with a different provider?

If you’re already adept at keeping track of your usage but still find it a struggle to manage your bills, you might be better off haggling or even switching provider.

Our recent research into customer loyalty found that two thirds of hagglers received a discount on their bill, amounting to GBP6 per month, on average. It’s especially important to haggle if your initial contract period is up: since you’ve paid off your handset at this stage, a monthly bill for usage should be considerably less. Our guide on how to haggle for the best mobile phone deal[3] can help.

If haggling doesn’t work, it might be time to switch.

There’s often little benefit to loyalty when it comes to providers, so it’s important to shop around to make sure you’re getting a deal that’s good value and well suited to your needs.

Our mobile provider reviews[4] can reveal important factors such as value for money, but also customer service, how easy they are to contact and additional incentives.

References

  1. ^ Best mobile phone networks (www.which.co.uk)
  2. ^ how to keep track of your data and minutes (www.which.co.uk)
  3. ^ how to haggle for the best mobile phone deal (www.which.co.uk)
  4. ^ mobile provider reviews (www.which.co.uk)

Channel 4 HD and All4 catch-up to leave Freesat over fee increases

Channel 4 has decided to pull its HD flagship channel and catch-up service All4 from Freesat, because the subscription-free satellite TV platform’s fees are too expensive. The HD channel along with the on-demand player are due to leave Freesat this Thursday, the 22nd of February; until then the channel will be broadcast as normal and streams will be available. After then, the only way to watch any Channel 4 HD content on your Freesat hardware will be to watch what you’ve recorded.

The move is linked to a raise in the fees Freesat charges broadcasters[1], which a Channel 4 spokesperson described as “significant.” Public services broadcasters like Channel 4 are obligated to provide standard definition versions of all their channels. HD versions and catch-up services require the payment of fees to platforms like Freesat, which has a customer base of over 2 million.

As Channel 4’s broadcast and catch-up channels derive income solely from advertising, it’s not as easy for it to provide its services everywhere; the BBC iPlayer mobile apps, for example, worked with Google Chromecast from day one of the launch, whereas it took a while longer for All4 to make that leap. Channel 4 ultimately decided that the new fees Freesat were asking for were onerous. “We’re disappointed Freesat is changing its charging structure, leading to a very significant cost increase for Channel 4, which ultimately takes funding away from our content investment budget,” the Channel 4 spokeperson said.

“To reduce the overall burden of our Freesat costs and make internal savings we have regrettably given notice to withdraw All 4 and C4 HD while we consider our long term relationship with Freesat.”

Freesat says that customers will need to manually reset any recordings in the TV guide ahead of the date, as its hardware won’t automatically pick up the same content from the SD channel.

Freesat said in a statement[2]: “We remain committed to bringing Freesat customers the very best content and hope to see the channels return soon.”

References

  1. ^ the fees Freesat charges broadcasters (www.freesat.co.uk)
  2. ^ said in a statement (www.freesat.co.uk)

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