The Chinese market has been on overdrive replicating Apple’s latest creation and it was weeks before the official launch date that I started noticing Series 8 Ultra clones appear on sites like AliExpress and DHgate.
Now, the original Apple Watch 8 Ultra launched in September and costs upwards of $899 because it is built for rugged outdoor use and not for normal everyday wear.
These clones on the other hand won’t set you back more than $30 and in some cases up to $50 if the overall build quality is good.
I have a clone of the Series 8 Ultra with me that I picked up on AliExpress. It’s made by this company called Zordai, costs roughly $36 for the top-end variant and has some pretty cool features.
But is it something that you should spend your money on? Let’s take a quick look at whether or not you should buy the Watch Series 8 Ultra clone.
Apple Watch Series 8 Rep
To start things off, the build of the Series 8 clone is 1:1 where everything about the watch appears to match the original.
In fact, the clone has the same shape, cutouts for the microphones, speakers and I did notice that both buttons on either side as well as the rotatable crown were fully functional.
It does however offer a large 2.02” display that’s around 0.12” larger than the original and while the display might appear larger, it’s actually an IPS LCD and not an Always-on OLED Retina display, so there’s a major drop in visual output.
The underside of the watch has the same layout as the original and even the placement of the sensors is quite accurate making it an identical copy.
I also noticed that the fastening system for the straps is the same as what’s on the original Apple Watch making it possible to use a wide range of straps that are compatible with this design.
Here’s where things took a sudden turn. To keep manufacturing costs low, the manufacturer has resorted to using aluminum instead of Titanium or other highly durable materials.
So even though the device does look like the original, it won’t survive the same level of stress that the original can handle.
The clone is also IP compliant and waterproof, but to be on the safe side it’s advisable that you do not immerse the watch in water for prolonged periods of time.
One of the things I found quite interesting is that the features present in the clone do not match anything that’s on the 8 Ultra. For example, the built-in health and fitness trackers are aplenty, but none of them are accurate.
The watch also does come with a Voice Assistant, but it’s not Siri, as the clone doesn’t run on an original version of watchOS nor does it have an Apple processor powering it.
There is a built-in GPS system with maps, but again, it lacks accuracy and is not entirely reliable.
The one thing I did find to be quite pleasing is the Bluetooth calling feature which actually did a pretty decent job.
What is a godsend, is that the Series 8 Clone comes with over 500 free watch faces as well as around 11 sports modes.
It’s also quite cool that the clone uses its own proprietary health management platform and is compatible with Android and iOS phones to sync and store health data and readings.
The one place where the Series 8 Ultra clone lacks is its performance. The clones use a standard chipset that’s powerful enough to run old and obsolete versions of Android OS and on top of that they patch a watchOS theme to try and make the UI look good.
Unlike the original watch that has the S8 processor, clones like this Zordai use a much slower AX chip that runs on 128Mb of RAM. The AX is a single core chip that is nowhere close to the S8 in terms of functionality and performance.
While looking at the connectivity options offered, the clone is quite limited and there’s only Bluetooth 5.0 with Bluetooth calling.
Unfortunately this clone doesn’t offer Wi-Fi or cellular features and none of the other connectivity options that Apple provides in the 8 Ultra.
It’s actually quite impressive that a cheap clone can offer better battery life than the real Apple Watch and come with magnetic wireless charging.
The Zordai comes with a much smaller 380maAh battery and the brand claims it can last almost 7 full days on a single charge. From what i’ve tested, it can run for a total of 5 days depending on what the device is being used for.
I did also learn that the watch has a high-efficiency intelligent chip to help maintain its battery life allowing the device to last longer, but this can be taken with a pinch of salt as even Apple’s most powerful processor is incapable of making the battery last anywhere over 2 days.
Should You Buy the Series 8 Ultra Clone?
In short, I wouldn’t recommend buying the clone if you’re expecting something powerful. The clone of the 8 Ultra only looks the part, but lacks everything else that can make it a device to die for.
There’s no powerful processor, there’s no Wi-Fi or Cellular capabilities, the display is not an OLED Retina and the OS is a custom firmware.
However, considering the price and the fact that it provides 24/7 health tracking, can connect to both Android and iOS and offers a better battery life, it might be something to consider buying if you don’t mind compromising on the overall performance and build quality of the device.