Genuinely Fake Pt 2: Samsung Galaxy SIII Batteries (EB-L1G6LLU)

Lets just say, after the last attempt, I thought I might have aimed a little bit too optimistically at the price point, so I opted to choose a different listing for an original, genuine battery at about 70% more. Eagerly awaiting it, it arrived today, and lets just say this is another hard-to-spot fake.

To convince (or confuse) you that the battery is genuine, this come comes packaged in a clamshell plastic box with a paper insert and a claim that it’s a genuine mobile enhancement and includes a hologram and paper seals. The packaging looks quite convincing, but it’s the battery we are really concerned about.

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Already, one concerning element has arisen – the battery claims to be Made in China. Samsung do not operate battery plants in China to my knowledge, and to have any Samsung genuine cell not originate from Korea rings alarm bells immediately. The barcode label also has the word standard in standard battery not-capitalized, when battery was captialized. It’s definitely inconsistent.

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Even more interesting, was the package could be opened by peeling back the stickers without leaving any damage to the seals. I don’t think a company as large as Samsung is willing to do something this silly.

A closer look at the battery makes it evident that it is definitely fake. For comparison, my GENUINE PHONE SUPPLIED cell is on the LEFT, with the provided “so called genuine” cell on the right.

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Differences include:

  • The NFC does not work on the fake battery but works on the original just fine. The finely ribbed pattern that is seen through the label on the original is not present on the “so called original”. The damage to the label on the original is due to my work investigating my first fake.
  • Residual adhesive on the front face of the label on the fake.
  • Smooth texture label on the fake, slight matting on the original.
  • The text spacing in the Samsung logo, especially with the letters S and G are inconsistent and poorly defined
  • Font for the text Near Field Communication seems less condensed and different.
  • Chinese wording above the double-line changed.
  • Battery claims to be made and assembled in China, which is not a likely country to manufacture Samsung batteries.
  • The battery claims 3.8v in the English text but then claims 3.7v in the Chinese area, and also has inconsistent font for the maximum charging voltage of 4.35v.
  • The do not dispose in municipal waste logo is different.
  • The text on the rear is not aligned nicely from line to line.
  • The datamatrix barcode is less dense, and in fact, the fake encodes 067038911124249512 which is pure rubbish, whereas the original has a more structured and informative GH43-03699A+EB-L1G6LLU+C6NTX04261.

As it turns out, it seems like I got exactly what this person got. Unhappy. Very unhappy. At the moment, this is currently in negotiation with the seller in question for a resolution, but this is not a genuine product. In fact, the image they used to sell it in the listing wasn’t this particular packaging that I got either, so buyer beware. If I could get tricked twice, what hope does the average Joe have?

UPDATE: Resolution Reached – Teardown Time!

After a few messages, the eBay seller agreed to a full refund, and so I decided to teardown the battery to try and uncover more information about it, similarly to last time. The pursuit of knowledge is more alluring.

Removing the first wrap of the label, it is clear that the cell is unmarked on that side, and no NFC antenna is present on that surface. This is NOT an NFC capable cell.

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Removing the wrap from the other side, reveals a bare surface with no markings. Quality lithium-ion cells from brand names are always marked with their manufacturer and model codes. As a result, we can only conclude that this battery is a “clone”.

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Removing the top contact and protection PCB, we find it is very sturdily glued with some cardboard-like insulating material, which is different to the former clone battery. Disassembling the top required the use of a knife to cut through the moulded plastic/rubber compound which conformed well to the PCB.

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The black-coloured PCB was released, pretty much intact, and gave a clue to its manufacturer or designer, named Chao Nian. Some of the obvious clones seem to be of the same manufacturer, thus validating that this battery could not be genuine in any case.

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The PCB also contains the very familiar 8205A MOSFET for battery disconnection, with an unknown chip that implements the protections marked DW01AZ. No thermal or current fuse was found on the tabs.

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No further details were available on the back of the PCB.

In short, this one appears to be the same stuff the “obvious clones” are made out of, just with a new plastic wrap-around and box to make it seem genuine.

The battery was destroyed and disposed of after photographing.

About lui_gough

I’m a bit of a nut for electronics, computing, photography, radio, satellite and other technical hobbies. Click for more about me!

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One Response to Genuinely Fake Pt 2: Samsung Galaxy SIII Batteries (EB-L1G6LLU)

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