Another iPhone 5 Android-based clone emerges, is even closer to the original

by: AdrianNovember 6, 2012

Goophone made our day when it unveiled an iPhone 5 Android-based clone even before Apple got to introduce its new handheld, and then when it threatened to sue Cupertino, but ever since early September it got awfully quiet on the Chinese knock-off front.

Still, we knew that Shanzhai never sleeps, so it was only a matter of time until someone else again tried to replicate the iPhone 5’s design. And this time after actually getting to see the final design.

Meet the Zophone i5, a $200 clone that could make even Dolly the sheep jealous. The Chinese 4-incher not only Xeroxes iPhone 5’s dimensions, but even sports the same 1,136 x 640 pixels resolution, which goes to show you that there was actually a lot of thought put into making this doppelganger.

Zophone couldn’t of course make its i5 run on Apple’s iOS, so it went for the (better) alternative of Android. Unfortunately, the clone is not very up to date in terms of software, so it only runs a skinned version of 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

The hardware configuration is itself not ideal for a high-end smartphone, but, at only $200, you pretty much get what you pay for. That is a dual-core 1.2 GHz Mediatek MT6577 CPU, 1 GB of RAM, 4 GB of on-board memory, a rear-facing 8 MP shooter, a VGA front-facing cam, microSD support, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1, and a 1,400 mAh battery.

The manufacturer’s dedication in coming up with an ultra-faithful replica of the iPhone 5 even extended to details that we never thought we’d see cloned, including Siri and the Lightning connector. And while we definitely appreciate Zophone’s commitment and “professionalism”, we can’t help but think the i5 would have been so much better with Jelly Bean, Google’s voice assistant and a traditional connector.

Oh, well, you can’t have it all, can you? The i5 lacks Android 4.1, while the iPhone 5 lacks a sensible price, a solid OS, an inspired design, hardware from this century and a number of other things that I’d rather not detail any further.

Before wrapping up, I should tell you to not hold your breath for ever seeing the Zophone i5 go on sale outside China. Then again, you might as well fly to Asia, grab the phone, do some sightseeing, fly back to wherever you live, and still manage to save some money compared with what Apple is asking for the new iPhone. Anyone ready to embark on such a journey?

  • ‘we can’t help but think the i5 would have been so much better with Jelly Bean, Google’s voice assistant and a traditional connector.’

    I agree with the voice assistant, but the lightning connector is just so much better than microUSB.

    • hohopig

      mmm how so other than been excessively overpriced? :P

    • Bradley Bertrim

      I agree that the connector and technology are far better. However cost and Interoperability are very lacking with Lightning right now.

    • NicholasMicallef

      What’s so much better? The reversibility?

  • iSheep


  • sagar makkar

    better than original with android

  • Wael Ali

    PhotoShop :P

  • 2real

    bad news and a bad fake, my grandfather sees the ZO logo is photoshopped. display case and hardware are faked too. dualcore mtk, 512mb, and ….

    • rafik

      ebayyy ben senin babanin gotune sokim orosbu cocuklari bu sahte telefonlari yayinlamayin sizin o delugeee gecirim bennn yezidin ogulllari savunun geliyrim ben ketinize goyacam sizin yezitlerrr siziii yayinlamayin bu sahte telefonlari babanizi ben sikim sizin okk

  • Darktanone

    Guess this satisfies IPhone envy for some Android sufferers in China and for those willing to make the trip. I can’t help but giggle!

  • I have seen lots of iPhone clone chinese mobile, but apple doesn’t sue them cause they are small manufacturer and they are not competition with iPhone.
    This proves apple is suing everyone for decreasing competition.

    • On a Clear Day

      Apple doesn’t sue them because they know that the Chinese don’t give a damn about whom they rip off – whether it is Apple or the U. S. military. If you created it and it works and people want it then it and your creations are fair game for theft – it’s the Communist Chinese way, which can be summed up as follows: “Our culture of totalitarian repression based on instilling fear of questioning authority may be creatively neutered, but that doesn’t mean we don’t know how to steal better than the best – and are proud of it.”.

      • bahrta

        “good artists copy, great artists steal”
        -Steve Jobs

  • Made in China! It reminds me the time when iPhone 4S was release, chines companies made iPhone 5 before Apple haha

  • Haily

    How much was it?

  • Arun

    Moto G is a better alternative.

    • Jesus

      So is your ass.

  • Pintuchief

    Apple Trolled again ! :D

  • Марк Соколовский

    I’d only buy this phone if it’s possible to root it and install kitkat.