When you consider that some of the top smartphone manufacturers charge up to around US$1,000 for their flagship models, you might be surprised to know that the average cost for a smartphone internationally is only approximately $363. But this average obviously includes all smartphones whether lower tier, middle tier or top tier. Consider, now, that the average refurbished phone can cost, according to some sources, 30% to 40% less than the original price. So you can save some decent coin if you’re willing to get a second-hand mobile device.
But what, exactly, is a manufactured refurbished phone, and is it something you should pursue? Read on for a look at what it is, whether you should even consider buying one, what the best and the worst refurbished smartphones are, and what you can do increase the odds of a successful purchase if you decide to bite the bullet and buy one for yourself.
What’s a Refurbished Phone, Anyway?
A refurbished smartphone is a mobile device that was shipped back to the manufacturer by the customer because of, among other reasons, some fault in the device, or to trade it in towards the purchase of another smartphone. What separates refurbished smartphones from what would otherwise be classified as used smartphones is the fact that the former are subjected to a thorough check by the manufacturer and are restored back to their original factory condition. Depending on where the refurbished smartphone is acquired, it might also have warranty protection. So a refurbished mobile device offers users some protection in that it is deemed to be fully operational whereas as merely used smartphone does not offer that level of protection.
Should You Consider Buying One?
If you want a smartphone but neither can afford to buy the one you want outright nor want to obtain the one you want courtesy of signing a multi-year contract with a wireless carrier, then you should consider buying a refurbished smartphone. You will save money. And, if you get a refurbished smartphone that is in 100% working condition and that has a money-back warranty, you will greatly minimize your risk. But if you’re the sort of consumer who always wants to have the latest model of your favorite smartphone manufacturer, then buying refurbished might not satisfy your desire to obtain the latest and the greatest. You also should think twice about buying a refurbished smartphone if there is no ironclad warranty. A reputable seller will give you at least 30 days to make up your mind post-purchase. Without this guarantee, you will essentially be rolling dice, and the thing with gambling is that most gamblers lose out in the end.
The Best & the Worst Refurbished Smartphones
A refurbished smartphone can be a great option if you want a high-end model without having to pay a high-end price. As you might imagine, there are lots of models that, if refurbished, should give you years of reliable service. Companies you can turn to for quality refurbished smartphones include Best Buy, Gazelle, Samsung, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, and AT&T. If you’re looking for a good refurbished smartphone, hopefully you like Apple and Samsung products. The reason for this is that these two mobile device giants control in excess of 80% of the revenue in the refurbished smartphone segment.
Some popular options for refurbished smartphones at affordable prices include the following:
- Apple iPhone 7
- Samsung Galaxy S9
- Samsung Galaxy Note 8
- Apple iPhone 6S
As for refurbished smartphones that you should probably take a pass on, there are quite a few. This following list is actually based on information ranking some of the worst smartphones out there. The reasoning is that if the smartphone was ranked as a stinker right off of the assembly line, then a refurbished version will more likely than not be a stinker as well.
Here’s a look at refurbished smartphones you can and probably should stay away from:
- HTC EVO 3D
- Samsung Continuum
- Motorola Droid Bionic
- HTC Thunderbolt
- Kyocera Echo
The Best Way Forward
If you do plan to buy a refurbished smartphone, ensure that the seller is a reputable one, such as one of the businesses mentioned above. Another option is to buy a mobile device that has been fully tested, fixed up, and granted mobile device certification. With PhoneCheck’s mobile certification, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing that any smartphone with the designation is in 100% working order. The testing process, which the company refers to as the “CarFax of the mobile industry,” includes a diagnostic component to find out about the health of the mobile device. Mobile devices that pass get a digital certificate, which is a written guarantee that the device is fully functional with no adverse issues. If you’re going to buy refurbished, it makes sense to purchase models that have mobile device certification.