Are Refurbished Phones Worth Buying

Are Refurbished Phones Worth Buying?

Smartphones are the way of life these days. Everybody simply must have one.

However, the prices of smartphones have risen over the recent years, and drastically at that. It used to be that the higher-end of these devices would cost about $1,000. If you go for the upper echelon ones, the price could even double.

For instance, if you buy a 512GB Galaxy Note 21 Ultra, you’ll need to shell out $2,149, and it’s even pricier at $2,369 if you buy a 512GB iPhone 12 Pro Max.

Taking these into consideration, it’s not surprising to find a lot of companies offering refurbished smartphones. Those on a tight budget prefer to save money by buying an older device. It is apparently kinder to the pocket than getting a brand new phone. 

Then again, if you choose to scrimp, there would be trade-offs.

If you’re mulling it over, below are the advantages and disadvantages of buying a refurbished smartphone.

What Are The Advantages Of Getting A Refurbished Smartphone?

It is cheaper

The main pro of purchasing a refurbished device is the price. It is, of course, cheaper. For instance, snapping up a 64GB iPhone XS will have you expending $1,100, but a refurbished version of it is frugal at $800. It tends to vary from one model to another, but buying a refurb is generally economical.

It is better than a used phone

You might think twice about just foraging on eBay and bargaining on a used phone. It’s rather dicey to take that chance. Whereas if you shop for a refurbished smartphone, the deal is different. It’s because reputable refurbished phone sellers test these products in multiple stages to make sure that every component still works properly.

Other than this, you’re guaranteed that the phone you’re paying for is clean and not stolen. It’s apt to be unlocked and safe and ready for use.

It has a 12-month warranty

Buying a refurb device from credible companies usually comes with a 12-month warranty. It is also likely to be covered by law wherein the buyer is entitled to a refund or a replacement if the product fails. You can have your phone repaired or replaced if it falls short of the expected quality.

It has a lesser impact on the environment

E-waste has become a huge problem because smartphones contain too many components that can be harmful to humans and the environment. If you buy a refurb phone, you’ll save one precarious device from ending up in a landfill.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Getting A Refurbished Smartphone?

Its software can no longer be updated

A manufacturer often ceases to support its device as it gets older. If this happens, it means that the refurbished smartphone may stop receiving software or security updates which are basically important. 

For instance, when it comes to flagship Android devices, updates on major operating systems are granted for two years, while those on security are accorded for three years.

Samsung, in particular, guarantees major operating system updates for three years for Galaxy S10 and onward devices. If you want something of a cinch, go for refurbished iPhones. Apple offers longer support to its devices than most manufacturers.

Its battery is degraded

Constant recharging degrades the batteries of smartphones. Consequently, the time that your phone stays recharged is reduced and can no longer perform at its peak. So, a refurbished phone, being second-hand, is not able to have better charging capacity compared to a brand new one.

There are certain phone refurbishers that address this problem, and what they do is that they don’t sell used devices that have less than 80% original battery capacity. 

It is not as sleek as a brand new device

You won’t find major dents or cracked glasses on a refurbished phone, but you may occasionally find small scuffs or scratches on its surface. Your refurb could still work well, nonetheless, although it would not look as sleek or pristine as a new device.

Refurbishers give their products a buff and polish, though, so that external damages would become inconspicuous.

It depends on what your preferences are, but you always have the option to cover your used phone with a case to make it look better. 

You can opt to buy cheaper new smartphones

A bargain-rate device is appealing, but you have other options for getting hold of it other than buying a refurbished smartphone. You can buy a brand new smartphone at an affordable price. 

There is, for instance, the OPPO Reno 2 Z which is priced at $599. Budget-friendly, but it sports the look of a flagship model. Even an Apple device can be cost-effective, with options such as the iPhone SE which costs $749.


With these pros and cons of buying a refurbished smartphone indicated, you can now decide if it is a viable option.

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