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Motorola H700 Bluetooth Headset - Real vs. Fake

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The new Motorola H700 is a small, attractive, and good headset in terms of functionality, sound quality and style. I should know, I have two of them. Unfortunately, one of them is fake. I purchased it through eBay. I want to write this guide to help others to not make the same mistake that I did. The retail price for the H700 is between $99 - $129 at the stores. You can find them on eBay for as low as $26 plus shipping. I won't name the seller that I dealt with on this purchase but be aware that if you're purchasing a Morolola H700 for around $30, it is probably a fake.

I have had good success buying things on eBay. I have purchased cell phones, golf balls, range finders, etc. without any issues. I do my research, and bid on items that I feel confident with and buy from sellers with great feedbacks. But the old adage is true, if some thing looks too good to be true, it probably is.

For starter, here are some pictures of the two headsets, can you tell the difference? Probably not.


I have to say the counterfit item is quite good, it came in Motorola's original packaging, see below. However, the package was not sealed when I first got it. I read a review on eBay cautioning against headsets not in the correct packaging but this did not make a difference in my case.



The counterfit item looked fantastic. The logo was on securely. It has the correct light sequences as described in the manual (Red to Yellow to Green when charging. Purple when pairing. Flashing blue when in use.). I had no problem at all charging and pairing it with my phone. If you didn't have an original item next to it to compare, there is no way an average person can tell the difference. There are some differences between the two items, as subtle as they may be. Let me go over those differences now.

1) The boom microphone: The Motorola H700 has a microphone that flips open and close. That's how to turn the headset on and off as well as answering the phone.


- On the fake headset, the hinge is stiffer than the original and it sort-of pops open when you open it.
- On the original headset, the boom mic opens much smoother.

2) The earpiece: The H700 earpiece consists of a harder plastic fused with a softer rubber designed for comfort when it goes on your ear.
 

- On the fake item, the rubber part is much softer, it doesn't stay on your ear as well.
- Also the underlying structure of the plastic parts (where the two pieces are joined together) are different . You can see it a little bit in the picture.

3) The buttons: There are three buttons on the headset, the main button with the icon of a phone on it and the two side volume buttons.


- The volume buttons in the fake headset are slighty larger. They also have more play from side to side.
- The phone icon which is a recess on the main button is carved deeper on the real headset.

4) The text imprints: On the inside, there are text imprints that include a serial number, FCC ID and IC ID numbers along with a quality control marking.


- The real headset actually has a serial number, the fake one does not
- The real headset has the word "Motorola" imprinted on it
- The real headset also has a blue round symbol on it. I am not sure what that is but it's not on the fake one.

5) Sound quality: The sound quality is night and day between the two headsets. The fake item has lots of static, the volume is low, volume control is erratic. I tested the sound coming in an going out on the fake headset. The sound is fuzzy and the tone is higher and a little distorted.

In conclusion, I know you won't be able to look and compare the features I have highlighted above in an eBay auction. But if a headset selling for $100 is being advertised on eBay for one-third of the price, chances are you are getting a knock-off. I made this mistake and I don't want you to do the same. Spend the extra money and get a genuine item.

Updates: 3/19/2007

1. Another thing you can do is use your fingernail to push the edge of the small round Motorola logo. On the real headset, the logo should not budge at all. The fake headset logo can be pushed out of position due to the low quality glue they use.

2. A contribution from user darrendiego:

You can visit the Motorola website to report counterfeit Motorola products. I cannot post the link in the review. Visit Motorola dot com and do a search for "counterfeit." You'll find the form.

Update: 7/10/2009

- Please note that this blue tooth headset is now being sold for around $35 at places like Costco.

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