Motherboard reviews a counterfeit $100 iPhone X, finds a massively-reskinned Android security nightmare

“‘I found an iPhone X for $100,’ Motherboard reporter Sarah Emerson messaged me while she was on a reporting trip in Shenzhen, China earlier this year. ‘You want one?'” Jason Koebler writes for Motherboard.

“The answer, obviously, was yes. A few months earlier, I had traveled to Australia with iFixit to watch as it became one of the first teams to tear down the $999 iPhone X. I’ve written extensively about independent repair professionals who source their iPhone repair parts from third-party Chinese factories. I needed to know what a $100 iPhone would be like. I eagerly checked my mailbox every day for a week until a white iPhone box arrived. It looked like a real iPhone box with images and text that was a little blurry. I opened it,” Koebler writes. “In the back of my mind, I thought that maybe we’d just somehow gotten an insane deal on a real iPhone X. What was in the box was far more interesting.”

Counterfeit $100 iPhone X (photo: Jason Koebler)
Counterfeit $100 iPhone X (photo: Jason Koebler)

“Inside was a working smartphone capable of performing most of the functions that smartphones do,” Koebler writes. “In that sense it is not a ‘fake’ phone, but after using it, giving it to an independent cybersecurity company to probe, and disassembling it, it became clear that it wasn’t, as the box says, ‘Designed by Apple in California.'”

Much more in the full review – recommended – here.

MacDailyNews Take: Gotta love that the kludgetastic notch doesn’t actually exist on the knockoff, but “has been lovingly recreated in software.”

My favorite thing about the phone is its “Face ID” system. I clicked over to Face ID in the settings menu, clicked “Add a Face ID,” and was hilariously bounced over to the camera, which did manage to draw a green box around my face. It said “Face Added,” and closed. I was then able to unlock the phone with my face. So was literally anyone else who put their face in front of the phone. – Jason Koebler


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