Offbrand Android states one OS but shows another in linked apps
I recently bought a generic 10" tablet by E-CrossStu that stated it is on Android 11 with 512GB storage with 4GB RAM. I thought this is a great deal for $100.
I am now going through trying to add the apps I use and many say "incompatible with OS version" or just don't show up in the Play Store at all. I thought this can't be right if it's Android 11. Then I get emails from Gmail and Amazon trying to confirm that it is me signing in from a different device stating the sign-ins are from an Android 5.1 tablet. Did I just get duped?
I cannot find ANYTHING on the web regarding this happening to others. In the tablet settings, it does state Android 11 with specs advertised. When I try System Update, Software Updates, or Wireless Updates, it just goes to the About Tablet page which states:
- Android 11
- Model # & Custom Build: TAB910
- Baseband Version: MOLY.WR8.W1449.MD.WG.MP.V16
- CPU: 10cores2.3GHz
- Kernel: 3.10.72 root@twd-PowerEdge-R720xd
- Build Number: K1008P95_V1.0.3_211119.
And None of those lines can be opened to get further settings.
I am just confused and think my device has some fake information locked into it somehow so I'm not really getting what it states even in the System Settings...and I'm a little concerned about privacy/security if that is something that can really be done...
There are a few questions on forged phones here on Android Stackexchange at least a few per year.
Fake phones usually hide their real hardware spec by manipulating the UI. So the phone info shown by Android settings as well as from system info apps like Aida64 are forged and do not show the real spec.
In your case a phone with 512GB flash but only 4GB RAM for $100 should have warned you. Such a combination is next to non-existent even for a used phone.
The common way to create a fake phone is to use an old outdated, replace some software system components and then sell it with a hardware spec next to high-end phone for a very cheap price.
To identify the real hardware spec of such a phone it is recommended not use an app as the forging the shown value is not that difficult. Not so easy to forge are values directly generated by the kernel. So the best option is to enable Developer options and Android Debug Bridge or use https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.termux . Then check the output of the commands:
Free, used and total RAM size can be displayed using
free cat /proc/meminfo