Differences between replicas and original iPhone display modules

If you have read the previous articles of our blog, then you know very well what quality components for the iPhone are on the market, and why it is so important to choose the right level of quality. So now it’s time to figure out what specific features are inherent in certain displays, what the originals and different types of replicas are good for. So, with the support of Gadgetpickup, let’s get right into it.

First Impression

The packaging of display modules at any level will not give the user an understanding of what kind of replica is in front of him. Both the original display modules for the iPhone, and inexpensive Chinese products in this regard are uninformative.

When buying in an online store in the photo there are also not always noticeable characteristic differences. Although some of them, mentioned in the next section, it is possible to consider. For example, the QR code, but we will still talk about the external difference. In general, you can believe the parameters indicated in the characteristics and names. For example, values its reputation, so honestly and clearly warns customers what quality screen for the iPhone they buy.

The rest you can personally check upon receipt. The main thing to remember is that when buying, you have every right to carefully open the package and carefully examine the display module. It does not matter if you have to wait for the store courier or delivery service employee – in case the quality of the screen confuses you, you may well refuse to purchase and order another.

The only thing, disassemble everything with the screws or, for example, remove the protective film – can not, the store will not accept the display back after such actions. If at first glance you are satisfied with everything, it is worth digging deeper.

Visual differences

Examine the part carefully, paying special attention to the following nuances:

  • The connectors of the original have a foam pad glued to them.
  • A genuine display module has all the elements marked, with stickers with inscriptions, codes and serial numbers.
  • The originals are characterized by perfectly fitted components without backlash, gaps, burrs on the plastic. For good copies the situation is similar. Only the cheapest noname displays have flaws and there is no sense in installing them.
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  • Quality screws and mounts in light colors are a sign of the original. The copy has screws of different colors.
  • The original display is equipped with vertical protective strips on the sides, it avoids gaps and provides a snug fit to the case.

The original cables are always black, rigid. Loops of a different color are a sign of a copy. The certified version has full markings on the connectors (screen and sensor itself). Sometimes there is a variant, when the marking is applied only to one loop. Most likely this means that the module can be compared to a low-quality sandwich: the display is Apple, but the sensor is already a replica.

In the original modules the camera is made of mineral glass. Therefore you can see blue or green reflections at an angle. Pay attention to the QR code on the corner of the frame. In cheap low-quality copies it is missing.

There is also a difference in thickness. The original screens are thinner than the cheap replica. The cheaper the replica, the thicker it is. After installation there should be no sharp transition from the screen glass to the case. A protruding “step” of the frame is another sign of a replica, and not the best.

A simple test with a marker

In addition to visual inspection to determine the level of quality you can conduct a small test. You should take a marker with water-based ink and draw a line directly on the screen. Do not be afraid, such a “drawing” will not harm the display, but from the way the trace “behaves”, you can draw conclusions:

  1. Oleophobic coating of OEM-screens will not give a clear line – the pigment will be collected in individual dots, remotely resembling balls of mercury. It is not difficult to wipe them off the screen;
  2. High Copy has oleophobic protection too, but it wears off with time and each successive line will be sharper;
  3. Copy level replicas are also equipped with oleophobic coating, the trace is erased. But at the same time initially it does not roll off, it is clearly visible. And when erased, it is smeared on the screen surface.
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    The exact result depends on the manufacturer of the display. For example, copy NCC ESR ColorX is closer in quality to the original than copy Tianma.

If you do not want to risk drawing on the display with a marker, you can limit yourself to fingerprints. The situation will be similar, just not as obvious. And yes, testing is not always possible – the factory protective film cannot be removed if you plan to return the purchase. And it makes no sense to draw directly on the film.

After installation

Of course, before buying and replacing the screen you can not assess and compare the following points. Nevertheless, it is worth knowing that the original modules:

  1. the screen does not protrude beyond the frame at the top and is not recessed deep, the transition is soft and imperceptible;
  2. colors are bright, saturated, transmitted without distortion;
  3. backlighting is even;
  4. Response to touch is clear, without delays and scrolling.

Accordingly, the lower the quality level, the greater the difference with the original display. Copies can also be installed, for example – in order to save money or time. But the price must also be appropriate. After studying the differences named in the article, you will know exactly what is in front of you. Which means that you will not be sold a copy at the cost of the original.


This concludes our series of articles about originals and copies of Apple displays. The information for this article was provided by engineers at Gadgetpickup service center, who deal with iPhone repair and various types of components on a daily basis. We hope the information was useful to you and that you will continue to follow our blog updates.

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