GooPhone – cheap ripoffs or competent competition?
Although the name may not be as big as Samsung, HTC, Apple, Microsoft, and others, many of us have still heard of GooPhone. Usually not in a positive light, as the company has made its entire business ripping off of the designs of other handset makers. In most cases, you hear about them in the news for creating rip-offs. Don’t get us wrong, that’s totally what they do, but considering what they do, they’re the only ones who do it well.
We’ve all seen the stories. The $99 iPhone 5S rip off that runs Android, the $160 Galaxy Note 2 clone and the $99 iPad Mini clone are just a few of what GooPhone has in their repertoire. If you go to their official website, you can see a plethora of others.
In most cases, these phones look very similar to the phones they were intended to rip off. In fact, after a cursory glance at their inventory, it’s quite clear that GooPhone doesn’t have one original bone in their company body. This is even more evident since their last big release was a rip off of the Galaxy S4. To sum it all up, GooPhone gets a lot of bad press in many parts of the world. Namely from media outlets who are fans of the phones that GooPhone is ripping off.
What makes the stories even more fun is that GooPhone manages to pack the internals into the rip-off and have it ready to ship out long before the actual phone comes out. While we’re still dealing with rumors, announcements, and FCC filings, GooPhone already has a clone out there, selling under the nose of the competition they’re ripping off. Perhaps the kicker is stories like this one, where GooPhone inteded at one point to sue Apple after the iPhone 5 came out because it matched the design of their GooPhone rip-off.
It was actually rather difficult to find information about the company. For all the times they’ve made the news with their devices, their history is hard to pin down. According to their About Us page, they started in 2008 but didn’t really get the ball rolling til 2011. They have a staff of 500, including 50 “scientifically minded” people who help drive the company’s “innovation.” They boast creating “military grade”, high-end, and popular smartphones.
Is GooPhone really that bad?
At a cursory glance, one might say yes. They are, after all, selling phones with ripped off designs with lesser specs. However, they’re also selling them at a lower price and a few of their devices have made a couple of top 10 lists. In that linked article, GooPhone actually tops the list with their X7 (an HTC rip-off). It sports a 5-inch, 1080p FHD display, 1.2GHz quad core processor, 1GB RAM, microSD, and Android 4.2. It only costs $247, making it actually a pretty good deal.
Soon they will even have the world’s cheapest quad core device. The X1, which will be only $81. It only comes with 512MB of RAM with Android 4.2 which isn’t great, but really it’s just $81. How often does a handset maker try something that truly absurd? Packing a quad core in with all those terrible specs and it still gets Android 4.2 before the HTC One S.
We’re not saying that everyone should go out and buy a GooPhone. However, the more we look at GooPhone, the more interesting this company seems to get. They’re known worldwide (in the media, anyway) for their rip-offs and are often hated because of it. If you dig a little deeper, you’ll see a somewhat loyal fanbase that loves the idea of getting a designer phone often at less than half the cost with the sacrifice being specs. You’ll see a company that tops nearly every “best cheap smartphones” list. Yes, people actually like GooPhone!
After taking a closer look, it’s actually rather difficult to judge GooPhone one way or another. To some people, they’re a rip-off company who just likes to watch the world burn. To others, it’s a chance to get the latest designs with lesser specs for a really cheap price. To us, they’re a genuinely fun source of news whose phones have managed to anger virtually the entire smartphone world. If you feel so inclined, let us know what you think of this company in the comments.