A Complete Guide to Refurbished Phones - 2024 Updated
EWaste is a severe threat to our world because people habitually change their devices yearly. Do we have to blame the mobile companies for a new model every year? In addition, it can be challenging to invest in a new device every year because of financial issues.
The idea of buying a refurbished phone sounds like an ideal one. It helps with cost-cutting, and you still get the latest features. So, if you have been wondering whether refurbished phones are safe to buy, we have all the answers for you!
What is a Refurbished Phone?
Many people need help understanding the difference between used and refurbished phones because they think they are identical. A refurbished phone works and looks the same. However, they have been sold to the supply chain and users, which is why they are familiar. In most cases, it happens when people sign the contract but cannot complete the payments.
In such cases, the phones are returned and sold to refurbished phone retailers. Moreover, if the primary manufacturer repairs the phone, they are deemed refurbished because the damaged parts have been replaced.
The primary difference between used and refurbished handsets is that they go through various battery and performance tests before being sold to consumers. This means your money will be safe when you buy an unlocked mobile phone. On the other hand, used phones are sold by their owners, so there are no checks and tests. The good thing about purchasing refurbished phones is getting a warranty and a return option.
- Used phones almost always have a structural defect, but refurbished phones usually do not have any structural flaws. If there are, they wouldn't affect the functionality of the phones.
- Used phones’ functional capacity might be reduced, whereas refurbished phones can function as new phones.
- Used phones are rarely available in sealed boxes, whereas refurbished ones can come with their original boxes.
- Used phones do not have any warranty, whereas refurbished phones usually have a warranty of 1 year or 6 months, depending on the seller.
- Used phones are cheaper than refurbished ones, but you cannot guarantee that all functionalities work.
Refurbished Phone Deals
Guide To Buying Refurbished Mobile Phones
Purchasing a refurbished phone is a common practice, but in most cases, people need to know what they should look for when checking it.
First of all, you have to check the warranty to make sure your investment is safe. The refurbished phones won't have a warranty as new phones, but you should consider if there is remaining coverage. You should check the original purchase date of the phone to see if the warranty is valid. Also, if you purchase from a retailer, they provide third-party warranties for hardware failures, so make sure you ask. Usually, refurbished phones have a warranty of over one year.
The second factor is to check for the condition and availability of the accessories that come with the mobile phones. That's because having the right accessories is essential for improving usability. Usually, the sellers provide the original charging cables and chargers because the wrong ones can damage the battery.
In addition, look for earphones, protective cases, and screen protectors. Refurbished phones are rarely available in sealed boxes, and some come with their original boxes, which means the chances of getting accessories are higher.
Check Prices and Discounts
When you purchase a refurbished phone, the availability of discounts and the correct phone price will make a massive difference in decision-making. It's better to research the average market price of the phone you are interested in and compare the prices.
Usually, these phones are more affordable than new phones, but you might have to compromise on the functionality. In addition, you must check the overall condition and age of the phone to negotiate better. Regarding discounts, some sellers offer special coupons & promotions, and seasonal discounts (holiday sales). So, keep an eye!
Check out customer reviews.
Customer reviews can help you determine if the seller has a good reputation or if the phones they sell are good enough. It's a good option when purchasing from online retailers and marketplaces. Ideally, it would help if you chose a retailer with more than a 4.5-star rating. Also, if they have sold the phones you are looking for, check for specific feedback in the review and comment sections.
Check Seller Reviews
How the sellers handle their customers says a lot about their conduct and professionalism. The best option for checking seller reviews is to review the aggregator websites. These are review websites that collect seller reviews from different sources and collect them in one place. Some of the good options include Google Reviews, Trustpilot, and Reviews.io. Also, while reading the reviews, remember to check the recency!
Check the return policy.
Whichever phone you choose must have a return option. That's because it will give you the flexibility and assurance that you can get your money back if the phone doesn't work according to your expectations. It's also suitable for when phones get errors after purchase.
It would help if you asked about the conditions of the return period. Used phones almost always have a structural defect, but refurbished phones usually do not have any structural defects. If there are, they won't affect the functionality of the phones.
Before you transfer money to the seller, you should take a phone in hand to check for the feels. The phone should weigh right, and the physical condition should be reasonable. It would help if you looked for cracks, scratches, and dents on the body and the camera lenses.
The used phones will have minor wearing, but major dents and cracks can mean hardware failure. On the other hand, the refurbished phones still have that org.
Check for Screen Scratches
Last but not least, you must ensure the screen quality is top-notch. That's because the advanced phones come with Gorilla glass, which prevents scratching. If there are scratches on the screen, it means that the phone was used carelessly. In simpler words, there shouldn't be any scratches on the net.
Make Sure It Has A Responsive Touch
How responsive your phone's touch screen is can directly impact the user experience. It's recommended that you swipe and scroll to ensure the screen responds accurately.
In addition, you should confirm the tap accuracy – it should register the taps even with a gentle touch. Used phones' functional capacity might be reduced, whereas refurbished phones can function as new phones.
If the phone has liquid damage, it will pose a risk to the internal components. For this purpose, you should check for the liquid damage indicators because these components change colour when exposed to liquids. Usually, these indicators are around the SIM card tray or battery compartment.
Make Sure the Phone is not carrier-locked
Check the details of your unlocked mobile phones and always check the item mentions. Though it's not a significant issue in Australia, phones imported from overseas can have this issue. The tip is to look for 'Carrier Unlocked' in the description. If you need help finding it, ask the seller because handling this issue alone is not easy.
So, with all that being said, feel confident about choosing Samsung refurbished phones or any other mobiles rather than the new ones because they're worth your investment. If you'd like to know more, check out the pros and cons of refurbished phones.
If you are getting your reconditioned device at the same price as the new phone, then it's the point to consider. They are the ones that are manufactured or repaired, and this decreases their cost in the market. So, no matter what, their price should be less than the original one? But if you plan to buy a refurbished iPhone, you should watch for iPhone repair checks before buying.
Lasting Of Refurbished Phones
Now, let's focus on refurbished phones and their usual lifespan. That's because buying a refurbished phone has become the go-to choice for getting an almost-new telephone at a fraction of the price. However, it would be best if you considered their lifespan before you can buy refurbished phones.
Smartphone Lifespan Statistics
You can usually buy refurbished mobile phones without worrying about their lifespan. That's because these phones are integrated with original parts and have been repaired by the manufacturers, so they are like new. This means they will last for three to five years without any issues. On the other hand, the used ones might work for two to three years.
Factors That Affect Smartphone Lifespan
While everyone is busy with the refurbished phone vs. the new comparison, it's better to focus on the factors that impact the phone's lifespan.
Damage is one of the most critical factors. That's because the type and severity of the damage can help determine how long the phone will work. Physical damages, such as dents, housing damage, and cracked screens, have higher chances of further deterioration. In addition, you have to focus on water damage because it can cause corrosion of internal components.
The condition of the battery significantly affects how long your phone will last. Lithium-ion batteries, which most phones use, tend to lose their charging capacity over time. This means the phone won't hold a charge as long as it used to. Selecting one with a freshly replaced battery is advisable for those considering a refurbished phone, as it can significantly extend the device's useful life. Our comprehensive guide on battery maintenance for refurbished phones includes this suggestion.
The charge cycles are when the battery has been fully discharged and recharged. Lithium-ion batteries can become less efficient as the charge cycles increase. So, make sure the charge cycles are minimal.
A phone that overheats is one of the worst decisions you can make. So, checking the phone with heavy software and apps is better. That's because overheating can damage the battery and other internal components. It increases the chances of a battery explosion.
Outdated External or Internal Hardware
When you buy refurbished phones, you must check if the device has outdated internal or external hardware.
Mobile Gaming vs. Casual Use
There are significant differences between mobile gaming and casual use. In the case of mobile gaming, the processor and GPU should be robust. In addition, the display should have a high refresh rate, and the battery life should be longer. On the other hand, casual use calls for accurate screen colours, a mid-range processor, and reasonable RAM.
Low-End vs. High-End Phones
Low-end or second-hand phones are more affordable and have primary performance for regular tasks. In addition, these phones need updated software and technology, which means lower software update support. On the contrary, high-end phones have cutting-edge features, premium performance, and the latest technology.
This means that phones will have more support for software updates.
Outdated Operating System Software
If refurbished phones are worth buying, check for operating system software. The outdated operating system will need more security updates, compatibility errors, and bug fixes.
How long does iOS support last?
iOS has been kept for seven years since Apple sold it.
How long does the Android operating system support last?
From the time an Android phone comes, the support ranges from three to five years, depending on the phone's cost. In most cases, the flagship models have longer support times.
Outdated External or Internal Hardware
We recommend some options to ensure you keep getting value from your phone.
Charge Your Phone Between 20%-80%
Many people think that charging their phones 100% is the recommended practice. However, it will negatively influence charge cycles, leading to battery damage. So, set your phone as soon as it hits 20% and doesn't exceed 80%.
Use A Screen Protector
Always use a screen protector to ensure the phone's screen is protected from pressure-based damage and scratches.
Buy A Heavy-Duty Protective Case
The latest phones are designed with glass backs, so you must be careful about their use. In addition, you have to protect the phone's body from scratches. So, always purchase a heavy-duty protective case.
Remove Unused Apps
If you have apps that you don't use anymore, delete them from your phone. That's because these apps can consume the processor and battery life. As a result, your phone's battery will last longer, and its performance will be more efficient.
Average Lifespan Of A Cell Phone Battery
In most cases, the phone battery lasts for two to three years. After these years, the battery will start deteriorating.
Quality of Refurbished Phones
Many people wonder, "Are refurbished phones good?" We are here with a good answer. It's a year. Refurbished phones offer better value because they are incorporated with original parts and have model-centric boards, promising apt performance. In addition, smartphones depreciate quickly, so purchasing the refurbished means less investment.
In conclusion, purchasing a refurbished phone is one of the best choices to save money and upgrade the phone. However, the only thing you must be careful about is the retailer—choose a reputed one with maximum positive feedback!