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Help Galaxy S5, Fake Clone or Genuine - Dummies Guide


Extreme Android User
Aug 17, 2010
Cotswolds, England
"Is my phone genuine?"... :thinking:

#1.0 Even before the launch of the genuine Samsung Galaxy S5 there was already a growing number of fake and clone versions starting to flood the market. See, here.

Some of these fake/clone phones are, outwardly, very good copies indeed and would easily pass casual inspection. Most are being sold on sites such as eBay, Gumtree, Craigslist and some lesser known sites, where the buyer has to rely on photos and descriptions that are supplied by the seller.

Also, quite openly, these fake phones are being advertised and sold as fakes/clones on sites such as this for as little as US$117...

Samsung Galaxy S5 Clone – 117 USD

I am sure that we will be seeing more of these fake phones as time goes on and will be getting requests from posters as to the authenticity of their phone. This is not an easy task in most cases as there are so many varieties of the legitimate Samsung Galaxy S5 phones around, see...

#1.1 42 Galaxy S5 models - Dummies Guide
(This is a very handy reference for determining the model, (#1.2), and the firmware breakdown, (#1.8), of a genuine Samsung Galaxy S5)

#1.2 As I mentioned, the fakes are very good in some cases. See these videos...

Samsung Galaxy S5 for $117? How to spot a fake!

FAKE CLONE Samsung Galaxy S5 GooPhone Octa Core Unboxing - Replica - Knock Off

Real vs. Fake Samsung Galaxy S5

Some come in identical boxes/packaging with, seemingly, identical accessories.

#1.3 The problem with deciding if a phone is fake or not is not easy as there are, currently, 35 different models of the genuine Galaxy S5, running on 3 Android platforms, 4.4.2, 4.4.4 and 5.0 and over 3,000 different, genuine, Samsung firmwares.

#1.4 The simplest way is to ask the poster to install the following, free, app from the Play Store...

Phone Info

This displays a whole host of information for the phone, including firmware details, Knox warranty and country of origin. Of particular interest is the information given under the headings...


Knox Warranty Void:*** (see #1.4.1)
(This is sometimes all that is required to determine a fake/clone phone. See


Bootloader Version:
Baseband version:
PDA Version:
CSC Version:


Hardware / Board:
Platform / Chip:

Providing the poster can give detailed replies to most of the 7 questions in #1.4 it should be any easy matter to define whether they have a fake/clone or a genuine Samsung Galaxy S5. Why 7 questions? Well, let us not forget that the poster may have come into possession of a genuine Samsung Galaxy S5 that has been rooted and is sporting a custom ROM and so the additional answers are needed to give a fuller picture.

#1.4.1 *** If, for any reason, the poster does not have access to the Play Store they can boot into Download mode and check the Knox Warranty status, or lack of, that way. See this video which shows the Knox Warranty...

How to Enter Download Mode on the Samsung Galaxy S5 !

#1.5 Knox Warranty only has 2 states. Either 0x0 or 0x1 and is applicable to all genuine Galaxy S5 phones.

Other indicators are:-

A genuine Samsung Galaxy S5 will be running Android 4.4.2 or later versions.
(Android 4.2.2 or 4.3 or earlier is definitely a clone)

A genuine Galaxy S5 will have either a Qualcomm, (quad core model), or Exynos, (octa core model), chipset.
(A Mediatek, MT????, or other processor is definitely a clone)

PDA and CSC codes can be checked out on the SamMobile site by entering them into the, "Search device here", box.

#1.6 Another question that is often asked when a poster discovers that they have a fake/clone phone is, "Can I flash the genuine stock Samsung firmware to it to turn it into a genuine model".

The answer to that is an emphatic, "NO!". The fake will not have the same hardware as a genuine Samsung Galaxy S5 and therefore, any attempt to flash it with Samsung firmware will turn it into brick.

#1.7 Whilst it cannot prevent anyone buying a fake S5 it can at least go some way to determining if a phone is fake or not without having to ask a lot of questions.

Also, if you are purchasing a used phone, you should check out the phone's history to see if it has been lost, stolen or blacklisted for non payment of contract. This can be done by obtaining the phone's IMEI number, enter *#06# into the dial pad, and then using a service such as CheckMEND.

Typically, posters who are in possession of a lost, stolen or blacklisted phone often complain that they cannot make calls, receive texts or browse the web and their phone shows, "Emergency calls only", at all times and in all areas.

For anyone thinking of buying a phone from the web or, indeed, any untrusted source, the watch words are...

caveat emptor... Let the buyer beware! ;)

See, also...
42 Galaxy S5 models - Dummies Guide
S5 Lollipop Update Problems - Dummies Guide
GPS fix S5 - Dummies Guide

E&OE This guide is written solely for, and on behalf of, Android Forums and may not be reproduced, in part or whole, without permission.
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