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Gadgets & Tech

After 6 long months, an Android phone finally cloned the iPhone 14

A hearty congratulations to Android manufacturer Realme for being the first to clone the iPhone 14’s Dynamic Island. It was a rough six months, but everyone at the Chinese OEM (a subsidiary of BBK, same as OnePlus/Oppo) pulled together and made this generic product.

The Realme C55 launched in Indonesia for around $195 and features a new “Mini Capsule” UI. When it’s time to show a specific type of notification, this phone has two black bars that shoot out from the front camera lens, displaying more info than you’d normally get in a single status bar icon. It looks just like the iPhone 14’s new Dynamic Island notification space. While iPhone’s display dead space is due to it housing a bunch of FaceID sensors, there’s no new hardware here (that will take a bit longer to copy), just a normal front-facing camera that turns into a giant pill.

Apple’s end-to-end control over the OS and app ecosystem means all sorts of apps use the Dynamic Island notification motif, but Realme is just an Android manufacturer that makes an Android skin, so it looks like the only actual notification that shows up in the “Mini Capsule” is your battery status. Plug the phone in and you’ll see some charging stats. With a low battery, the pill will get a red outline and warn you your phone’s about to die. Realme also has plans for an update that will show a step counter and data usage.

The rest of the phone isn’t much to write home about—this is still a budget phone. Specs include a 6.7-inch, 90 Hz LCD, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and a 5000 mAh battery. An additional tier of 8GB RAM and 256GB storage is also available. The SoC is a MediaTek Helio G88—a 12 nm chip with two Cortex-A75 CPUs, six Cortex-A55 CPUs, and an ARM Mali-G52 GPU. It’s not all bad in budget land since you get a headphone jack and MicroSD slot. There’s also a side fingerprint reader, and the phone ships with a surprisingly modern Android 13.

The device’s body contributes to the “counterfeit iPhone” look with a flat metal band that wraps around the sides, just like an iPhone 4 or 14. The back is where things get a little different, with two big camera bumps wrapped around two budget camera sensors, and the yellow version of the phone has a neat-looking iridescent back.

This might be the first iPhone 14 clone but it won’t be the last. Next in line at the photocopier is Huawei, which is rumored to have a faux Dynamic Island lined up for the Huawei Nova 11. The phone is due out in the first half of this year, assuming Huawei finds the chips for it.

Listing image by Realme

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