Parallel imports opened the gates to another world. The number of counterfeit accessories that have appeared in Russia exceeds any reasonable number. You are more likely to buy a fake than an original product, and sometimes they even sneak onto the shelves of large stores when professional traders cannot immediately distinguish a fake from an original. To the credit of big retail, it must be said that, having stumbled upon a fake, they withdraw it from sale, and the supplier pays all costs and losses. In this aspect, I like the DNS approach, where they do not sweep the problem under the rug, but constantly work on this issue.
Almost everything is counterfeited today – phone cases, cables, chargers, headphones. Not long ago I talked about how I bought Apple AirPods Pro secondhand, and Apple considered these headphones to be original, they passed all the tests. The quality of counterfeits is growing, but the mass market is flooded with models that are easy to distinguish; another thing is that the buyer does not know how.
During one of my taxi rides, Yandex.Market decided to show me an advertisement, and a fake charger costing about 500 rubles caught my eye.
The original charger (plug only) costs about 1500-1800 rubles, depending on the place of purchase, but not three times cheaper. The price is the first sign that you are being sold a fake. But I still decided to buy a charger to look at the quality of the fake, what it can do and how different it is from the original charger.
It’s possible that the packaging was copied from a Samsung charger available in some countries, I don’t know. But I can say for sure that Samsung does not use any holograms, like on the packaging. Confirmation of the “originality” of a product is an invention of those who create a fake.
Inside we see a small instruction, it is copied from the original one, there are no differences.
Now let’s look at the original box with the charger.
Pay attention to the size of the packages; logistics are important for Samsung; the company ships such chargers in literal containers. While counterfeits are shipped in pieces and by mail, hence the different packaging sizes. It makes no sense for counterfeit creators to fight for smaller packaging sizes.
The quality of the packaging is noticeably different, but you definitely shouldn’t make a conclusion based on it and only on it; you simply won’t be able to distinguish a fake from the original. Let this be another indirect sign, nothing more.
Externally, the adapters look the same, it seems that they are no different.
But if you weigh them, it turns out that the fake weighs 42 grams, but the original adapter weighs 52 grams. The difference of 10 grams depends on the presence of electronics inside, different plastic.
Let’s look at the design. The fake has a solid body and is created using casting. Many people perceive this design as a sign of a quality product, but in reality this is not the case. Using two parts for the adapter is more expensive and is an additional manufacturing step.
Let’s take a look at the pins and the metal on them; in a fake it is corroded and heterogeneous.
Pay attention to the fonts on the socket itself, they vary in color. In fakes, the text is almost always white (in the original – yellow). White paint is cheaper than any other color.
You can also see on the fake that there are abrasions and scratches on the body. This should not happen in a new adapter, but since they are lumped together at production, scratches appear.
Many people buy fakes and claim that they completely cope with their task and charge the phone quickly. Let’s see how much power the original charger produces.
And now for the fake.
As you can see, the fake does not support 25 W, it has different characteristics. But this is not a big problem, because she charges the phone and everything seems to be fine.
Let’s complicate the task, let’s assume that you went to a village where the quality of the electrical network is not the same as in the city, there are voltage surges, in a word, the conditions are by no means ideal. I used the services of one of the service centers, tried both sockets – gradually changed the network characteristics and recreated the failure. First on one outlet, then on another. The original turned off charging of the connected device as soon as the current parameters went beyond the stated limits. The non-original charger did not try to do this, it continued to charge. At some point (15% deviation) she simply sparkled and told me to live long.
Now let’s look at another parameter – heating. The original adapter during normal operation had a heating on the body of 40 degrees (the temperature in the room was 23 degrees). The fake heated up to 45 degrees (different case materials, de facto different design). But when tested in the laboratory, we received heating up to 65-66 degrees for a non-original charger. And under bad circumstances, it can simply catch fire. I doubt that flame-resistant plastic is used here; it’s impossible to imagine.
Buying a counterfeit charger carries a hidden threat. It will work, at least for a while. We saved money on this charger in all aspects; it cannot work in different modes; at best, it burns out if there are problems with the network. In the worst case scenario, it catches fire or kills your device. The savings here are very relative; you can buy a charger not from Apple or Samsung, but choose third-party companies – Anker, Baseus and dozens of others. The quality of such chargers will be no worse than that of large electronics manufacturers, and the price will be lower. A fake is simply not worth attention, and most importantly, it is a time bomb; you don’t know at what moment and how it can explode. Compared to the cost of smartphones, saving on an adapter looks at the very least a penny-pinching and completely irrational purchase.
Online stores hardly monitor what they sell; counterfeits have flooded the market. This is beneficial for sellers: the cost of a counterfeit is cheap, and the profit is high. And it’s easier to sell a charger for 600 rubles than for 1800 rubles, which is three times more expensive.
I researched stores in St. Petersburg, and it turned out that most of them sell chargers from third-party companies (good, high-quality ones), but they try not to deal with original ones – they are expensive and there is a danger of choosing a fake. Large retail chains have already faced this problem; they do not want to learn to distinguish counterfeits or bear responsibility for them. Moreover, the shift to third-party charger suppliers is also due to the fact that they are not counterfeited or such counterfeits are not available in the market.
I’ll repeat a simple rule: the low price of a charger is the first sign of a fake. The above outlines simple differences that can help you distinguish fake Samsung devices; exactly the same approach can be used for devices from Apple. We have written more than once about how fakes differ, what to look for in them, see the links below. And be careful, fakes are not as harmless as they may seem at first glance.