Samsung Wireless Chargers – Fake vs Real

Context

I recently purchased a Samsung S8 to replace my aging Nexus 6P. The reason why I’ve chosen S8 over other great candidates is based on a number of key factors. The S8 has headphone jacks, it’s waterproof, the gorgeous display, the smaller form factor and wireless charging.

Wireless charging’s been a great fascination of mine, it is that one horse I’ll bet on that’s going to become a way of life, its the future – wireless everything! And thus even before I received my phone I was already researching on wireless charges.

One thing I stumbled across in my research was the price difference between Samsung Wireless Chargers listed on eBay versus the same thing in the Samsung store.

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As an inquisitive person, I was curious about how the eBay sellers were able to sell the Samsung Wireless Chargers for less than half of the recommended retail price plus free shipping, where was the margin? and are they really the same? Thus I decided to purchase both and investigate.

Investigation

The difference in the casing here is actually not much, the look and feel of the fake box quite good. However there are small differences to tell them apart.

The fake case has a slightly darker shade of grey for the Samsung logo at the top. The texts on the back of the case is slightly darker and the individual characters are smugged. One big give away is the quality of the embossed model number, the numbers are again smugged and not as prominent as the real case.

box-front
front of the cases – the color of the Samsung logo is darker on the fake charger.

box-backback of the cases – the text is darker on the fake and the embossed model number is faint

serial
here are the embossed model numbers again

Upon opening the box, right away you notice a difference in the material. The real charger has what Samsung describes as “A premium leather-feel material helps offer grip, holding your phone tightly.” while the fake charger’s leather feels grittier and also has this strange oily layer. Although I’m actually not too enthusiastic about the charger’s leather on both devices, it just doesn’t have the ‘premium leather-feel’ as one would expect.

no-cover
the fake charger has a strange oily layer

On the underside, the fake charger is missing a clear wrap. Removing the clear wrap you can feel that the grey plastic on the fake charger isn’t as nice as the real one.

back

Overall though, the quality of the plastic material (especially the black plastic) used by the chargers feels relatively the same and the molding of the plastic is quite good. One tiny fault in the plastic molding is on the grey base again. The fitting between the two pieces of plastic isn’t very flush, leaving a tiny gap.

gap
The fitting between the two pieces of plastic isn’t very flush.

In opening up the charger to the ‘stand’ position, I notice the quality of the hinge and the surface guiding the sliding pieces to be much poor quality. The guiding groove’s finishing is substantial in lesser detail which explains the roughness when slipping the charger open. The hinge is extremely coarse and clicky, obvious corner-cutting in this area.

grove
back of the charger – guide groove’s finishing is substantial in lesser detail.

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Other items in the box include, micro-USB to USB-C adaptor, instructions manuals and don’t-sue-us legal documents.

converter
micro-USB to USB-C adaptor

docsldocs2instruction manuals and don’t-sue-us legal documents

Operation

In use the wireless charging between the real and the fake charges doesn’t really differentiate much, both charges are capable of quick charging the phone (according to S8’s charge status). One minor difference between the two is the fake charger’s internal fan isn’t as smooth as the real one, I notice a bit of clicking noise when in operation. Although I haven’t tested it next to my bed, I suspect it might be a bit annoying for a sensitive sleeper, while the real charger’s been whisper quiet, I just wish I can put the blue charging light to sleep as well.

Conclusion

Aesthetics wise the fake charger just isn’t there, the real charger feels more polished, although for a replica it ain’t too shabby. Operation wise it does the job as well, although again not as polished, the clicking sound can be quite annoying in a quiet area.

Other aspects of the charge, like the safety of use and longevity are yet to be determined.

Given the price I paid for it, overall it’s not a bad investment. Personally, I think the fake one is great as a backup charger, while the real wireless charger (as the OG) is definitely better in all aspects.

Rating for Real charger: 8/10

  • Feel: 8/10
  • Quality: 9/10
  • Value: 6/10

Rating for Fake charger: 5/10

  • Quality: 5/10
  • Feel: 3/10
  • Value: 7/10