iPhone XS
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7 Ways to Check an Original iPhone XS Before Buying One

It’s easy to get tricked into buying a fake iPhone XS, especially if you are looking for an original one. Buyers can’t always rely on the seller or even their phone carrier store to provide accurate information about the authenticity of their iPhones. The best way to ensure that you are getting the real deal is by checking it yourself before putting money down. Here are seven ways to check an original iPhone XS before buying one so you can avoid being scammed by a fake one.

1. Check the Packaging

The first step to check that your iPhone XS is an original iPhone is to inspect its packaging. You can tell that it’s the real deal if the box comes with a holographic, fish scale-looking label on the outside and has Apple logos all over it. While some fake ones might also have these same markers, they will only be printed on one side of the box. Genuine products will always come with these printed on both sides (also known as “double security” labels).

Not many people know this, but if you see two identical-looking boxes next to each other, there’s actually something called “topside dual-boxing.” Genuine iPhones are meant to come in these double boxes just like TVs do so that they remain protected during shipping.

2. Check the Serial Number

Another way to check an original iPhone is to check its serial number. Before coming up with a process, Apple had people trying out countless options until they came across the best one. This method involved taking out the SIM card tray and looking for a 15-digit unique IMEI number printed on it. Once found, buyers should enter this into an IMEI checker website to determine if it’s real. Nowadays, every box comes with a QR code sticker that has this same information so you can use your phone’s camera instead of taking the SIM tray out.

3. Check the Activation Lock

You can make sure that the device is authentic by checking its activation lock. There are two different types of locks with Apple devices, known as “activation lock” and “Find my phone.” These are security features that were built into iOS to prevent people from using stolen or lost phones. The first one, known as “Find my phone” is usually disabled so people can reset their passwords whenever they forget them. 

This means that the only other way to disable the lock on it is by using Apple’s activation lock feature. If you see “Find my iPhone” turned off under iCloud settings, then you are likely dealing with a fake device because authentic ones won’t come with this setting turned off.

4. Check the iCloud Account

You’ll want to authenticate your iPhone XS by going into the iCloud account. You should be able to simply log in to the account using any web browser and it will show you a list of all the devices that are linked to it. If there’s no iPhone 5c or lower listed, then it’s definitely a fake device. This is because Apple requires the iCloud account to be linked to an iPhone 5c or lower to sync all of its data onto it. If the device has an iPhone 6 or higher listed instead, then there’s no way you’re dealing with a real device because these devices use iTunes for backups and syncing.

5. Check the iPhone Display

Always be sure to thoroughly inspect the device’s display screen. The best way to do this is by looking for a pixel pattern that’s less than a millimeter wide all over it because real iPhones have these. Fake ones don’t have any of these “pixels” because they are just normal screens that have been Photoshopped onto the front. This might be too small for people to notice, so putting them under a microscope is another way to check. Even if you only see one pixel, the device is still not real because these displays are handmade, so there will always be some sort of variance.

6. Check the iPhone Light Display

The iPhone’s light display should be checked carefully as well. This, of course, refers to the lights that are under the screen and not on it. These things require a lot of effort to put onto a phone. For this reason, no one would use them unless they were trying to sell fakes. So, if you see any lights on the front of the display, the iPhone XS is not real. The only true way to check if it is by turning off all of the lights around you and checking whether the light still turns on or not.

7. Check Apple’s Warranty Page for an Imprint

This one is a dead-giveaway. Make sure to check the iPhone XS’s warranty on Apple’s website. Here, you can find a list of serial numbers for all of the original devices that are being sold in the market. If you see one matching with yours, then there’s no doubt that you are dealing with an imitation because that means it doesn’t have an authentic serial number at all.

Making sure you run these thorough checks and inspections before you lay out any money will save you a lot of hassle. Now that you know what to look for before making that final decision, purchasing your authentic iPhone XS should be a breeze.

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