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Used vs. Refurbished Phones: What’s the Difference and Which Should You Choose?

Every passing year sees a new iteration of the flashiest phones on the market.

Technology enthusiasts will jump on the latest offerings from the likes of Apple, leaving behind a slew of second-hand phones.

These pre-owned devices can be a bargain buy if you understand the difference between used vs. refurbished.

2020 saw over 1.5 billion phone sales, so there’s a huge market for used or refurbished phones!

What does refurbished mean, though? How do they differentiate themselves from used phones? We’ll have a look at the pros and cons of both to inform our decision on the best choice.

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Understanding Used vs. Refurbished

We should start with some basic definitions first. It might seem like the terms ‘used’ and ‘refurbished’ are interchangeable, but they are different.

A used phone, as the name implies, is a phone that somebody else owned.

This also means that the phone is still in its original working condition. It might have a few scuffs or battle scars, but it will still function to a reasonable standard.

Refurbished phones have also seen previous ownership, but with one vital difference. The seller will have gone to great lengths to improve the quality of the phone, making it as close to factory new as possible.

You won’t see any marks on the screen or case, and everything will work.

If possible, components like the battery will have also had a replacement. Batteries are usually the first item to diminish, not holding a charge as long as they should.

Pros and Cons of Used Phones

On the plus column for used phones is the fact that they are much, much cheaper. That’s the biggest selling point and has to be weighed carefully against the cons.

For the cons, the biggest is the fact that you have no real guarantee about the quality of the phone. If the previous owner treated it well, it should be fine. You never know what problems it might have lurking, though.

You could also be dealing with a private seller when buying a used phone, which means there could be very few guarantees.

Pros and Cons of Refurbished Phones

With a refurbished phone, you cut the savings in half but also lose almost all of the cons.

For a little added expense, you have the benefit of a certain level of assurance about the quality. Any obvious kinks or issues will have been ironed out, guaranteeing a longer lifespan for the phone.

If you buy something like a refurbished iPhone, you get some peace of mind knowing it’s as close to new as possible.

The Best Part About Previously Owned Phones

In the question of used vs. refurbished, there’s some overlap on great benefits.

Other than the money you’ll save, you’re doing a lot of good for the environment! By not relegating another rectangle to a landfill, you can rest easy knowing you’ve helped keep things a little cleaner.

There’s also the fact that buying an older model lets you pick something solid and reliable. Newer models are often fraught with teething problems, which is something you’ll avoid!

For other ideas on how to make the most of your tech and gadgets, keep reading our blog! Keeping yourself up to date doesn’t just mean having the latest phone, it also means staying informed!

 

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