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Startlingly good iPhone 15 Pro Max fake is hard to spot

A remarkably convincing fake iPhone 15 Pro Max

A new video teardown of a fake iPhone 15 Pro shows just how incredibly well the counterfeiters are making them — and just how few ways you can tell you're being ripped off.

A fake iPhone 15 Pro Max was not good enough to fool a Redditor who got one in place of a real model he'd ordered from Apple. In that case, the customer knew enough to recognize that what he'd received featured a "chin" at the bottom of the screen, which the real iPhone 15 Pro Max does not have.

That chin is also one of the clues shown in a new video that tears down a fake that was bought intentionally. YouTuber "iPhone Repair Guru" has pointed out the chin, differences in the packaging, how very much poorer the cameras are, and what else buyers lose out on.

"We got the fake iPhone 15 Pro Max in and we want to show you guys what it looks like and how you can avoid getting scammed by one of these third party phones," says iPhone Repair Guru. "It's amazing how quickly the fake manufactures can make these replicas!"

There is a difference in the packaging, with the real one having an Apple logo that is only visible under UV light. But otherwise, the fake packaging is astonishingly convincing.

So is the build quality and the feel of the phone.

"It actually feels like a pretty good phone, I mean we have the curved edges, they rounded the edges just like the real iPhone 15 Pro Max," continues the report. "They left no details out of this fake iPhone 15 Pro Max."

The exterior is a copy of the real iPhone 15 Pro Max, and the software it runs is a very well done copy of iOS 17. There are options that do nothing when tapped on, but at first, it all looks exactly like Apple's real iOS.

Regarding the cameras, the video says "the colors on the fake 15 Pro Max are not accurate and it's extremely hazy," when shooting still images. For video, it... "looks really grainy."

The final test the fake iPhone was put through was having a blowtorch aimed at the chassis. "If this was real titanium, it would have a bluish hue at around 500 degrees," says iPhone Repair Guru.

The better images on the left are of course from the real iPhone 15 Pro Max
The better images on the left are of course from the real iPhone 15 Pro Max

But instead, the fake soon began "starting to melt."

So it's possible to detect a fake iPhone when you have a blowtorch and a UV light. Without those, you have to go by the image quality if you're able to get to use the fake before buying, or from that chin at the bottom of the display.

Most of the time, though, you may be able to spot a fake because it could be being sold at much lower price than the real one.