There are many reasons to purchase a refurbished phone over a new one. Refurbished devices are often more budget-friendly and help cut down on e-waste. If you’re looking to purchase a refurbished phone this year, here are some of the best refurbished phones to look for in 2023. This list includes great options for both Apple lovers and Android aficionados.
Google Pixel 6 Pro
The Pixel 6 Pro was released in October 2021 after an extensive marketing campaign. People wondered if this phone would live up to all the hype. It did. In one of the early reviews, Julian Chokkattu of WIRED said, “The Pixel 6 is undeniably the best top-end Android phone for most people.”
Now that this mobile device is more than a year old, it has become one of the best refurbished phones on the market. Its premium features such as its IP68 waterproof rating, wireless charging, three cameras, and a 120 Hz refresh rate help it stand out from the others. When it came out, its retail price started at $899. Now you can find them for as low as around $300. That’s a fantastic price for a used cell phone that packs such a punch.
Size: 6.45 x 2.99 x 0.35 in
Weight: 210 g
Display: LTPO AMOLED 120 Hz, HDR10+, 6.7 in
Chip: Google Tensor (5 nm)
OS: Android 12, upgradable to Android 13
Camera: 50 MP
Video Recording: 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/120/240fps; gyro-EIS, OIS
Apple released the iPhone 13 in September 2021. This powerful phone that is 5G-ready and has an A15 Bionic chip is another of the best refurbished phones for 2023. When first released, it was a winner of PC Magazine’s Editor’s Choice Award
The iPhone 13 is a definite upgrade from the iPhone 12 thanks to its amazing battery life, while the iPhone 14 doesn’t offer enough upgrades to make it worth the price tag for the newest model. In fact, both the iPhone 13 and 14 models use the same display tech and have two-rear facing cameras, 5G connectivity, Face ID, and the same storage capacities. Also, the iPhone 13’s camera includes new Photographic Style filters and a Cinematic mode focus-racking ability.
Trying to decide if you want an iPhone 13 or an Android-based used phone? Check out our iPhone 13 vs Android blog.
Size: 5.18 x 2.53 x .3 in
Weight: 4.97 oz.
Display: Super Retina XDR display, 5.4 in, all-screen OLED display
Chip: A15 Bionic Chip, 6core CPU with 2 performance and 4 efficiency cores
OS: iOS 16
Camera: Dual 12MP camera system: Main and Ultra Wide cameras, digital zoom up to 5x
Video Recording: Cinematic mode (1080p at 30 fps), HDR video recording with Dolby Vision up to 4K at 60 fps
Galaxy Note 10
Samsung’s 2019 Galaxy Note 10 has a modern design, a triple-lens rear camera, an improved S Pen, and a 3,500mAh battery with fast and wireless charging support, making it a viable contender for one of 2023’s best refurbished phones. And with a microSD card, it can have an additional 1TV of storage on top of its 256 GB. Adam Ismail and Mark Spoonauer from Tom’s Guide said, “Today the Note 10 is still a great device, even with the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 now out.”
Size: 5.94 x 2.83 x .31 in
Weight: 168 g
Display: Dynamic AMOLED, HDR10+, 6.3 in
Chip: Exynos 9825 (7 nm) - EMEA/LATAM, Qualcomm SM8150 Snapdragon 855 (7 nm)
OS: Android 9.0 (Pie), upgradable to Android 12, One UI 4
Camera: 12 MP
Video Recording: 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/240fps, 720p@960fps, HDR10+, stereo sound rec., gyro-EIS & OIS
iPhone SE (2nd gen)
Apple introduced the first generation of the iPhone SE in 2016 as an affordable option in their product line. In 2020, they released the iPhone SE 2nd generation. While services for this used device are limited for cost-cutting measures, it’s still one of the best refurbished phones for users who want a compact device with strong software.
Shaunak Bhanarkar of UX Planet said this, “The iPhone SE (2nd gen) brought with it the classic design with the home button and Touch ID, which has been a legacy of iPhones. This formula worked so well that Apple didn’t change it for years until they launched the iPhone X lineup.”
Size: 5.45 x 2.65 x .29 in
Weight: 5.22 oz.
Display: Retina HD display, 4.7-inch (diagonal) widescreen LCD Multi‑Touch display with IPS technology
Chip: A13 Bionic chip, 6-core CPU with 2 performance and 4 efficiency cores
OS: iOS 15
Camera: 12 MP Wide camera, digital zoom up to 5x
Video Recording: 4K video recording at 24 fps, 25 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps