What Are Refurbished Phones?

Refurbished phones are used phones that have been restored to a working condition by the manufacturer or the seller. They were sent back by the owner because of some minor fault, or simply because they didn’t like the phone. So, it might be that they weren’t used at all. They don’t belong in the second-hand phones category because when they are returned, they undergo a thorough process of inspecting, cleaning and upgrading. A series of tests (around 50) are conducted by the manufacturer to make sure that the phone is in optimal condition and working properly. Second-hand phones are not tested. 

Reasons to Buy Refurbished Mobile Phones

close-up of chanhing the battery of iphone
Source: thecellphonerepairguy.com

There are many reasons to buy used smartphones. Let’s see what are the main ones and how can they help you in choosing your next phone.


This might be the main and most important reason to buy a refurbished phone. Not everyone has the budget for store-bought phones and the latest models. So, by choosing refurbished phones you can save up to 50%, sometimes even more, and most of the time you won’t be able to tell the difference between a new and a used smartphone. Because these phones are budget-friendly you get great value for the money and a phone that’s performing as fast as any other. Plus, you are not limited to just a few models, there is a big range of newer and older phones to choose from.  


Do you know how many phones are discarded every year? Shockingly, this number is 100-120 million. With this enormous number, mobile phones are the biggest and fastest-growing electronic trash. No need to emphasize how this is a huge issue for our planet because phones contain hazardous materials such as mercury, lead, cadmium and beryllium. Just imagine what would happen if every phone is just ending up in a landfill!  Buying refurbished phones, instead of new ones, is more environmentally friendly because it reduces e-waste and minimizes the damage that’s already being done to our planet. 

Same Warranty 

For sure, no one wants to return the device they were eagerly waiting to have. Nevertheless, these things happen and it’s important to have a warranty that will allow you to return the product and get your money back, or fix any defects or faults the phone might have. When you buy used smartphones be sure to check for their warranty. The fact that you are buying a refurbished phone doesn’t have to mean you’re not getting any warranty at all. 

On the contrary, this should be the first thing you ask and check for. These warranties may not be the same as when buying a new phone. Every company has its own policy about warranties and they might vary from 3 months to one year. So, make sure that you do some research and find out what damages and defects does the warranty cover and for what period of time. Oftentimes, certified sellers also have a warranty of money-back guarantee, which is usually between 15 and 30 days. This is also a great benefit of buying a refurbished phone because you can get a full refund if you’re not happy with the phone you got.  

Tested Properly 

As we mentioned before, all refurbished phones are being tested and repaired if needed before being put on the market. More than 50 tests are conducted to make sure they are in perfect working condition. These tests include the functioning of the camera, touchscreen, speaker, microphone, connectivity, and of course processors and internal memory. After passing these tests the phone goes to factory reset that includes wiping the existing data and removing any pins and user accounts of the previous user.  

After the electronic testing comes the so-called, cosmetic grading. Naturally, if a phone was used for a couple of years, it will not be in perfect condition. It might have some dents and cracks. If parts, such as the screen or the case, can be replaced that’s what’s being done.  After the testing process, the phones are being graded into categories, A, B or C depending on their looks and functionality. 

Things to Check Before Buying a Refurbished Phone 

holding refurbished phone in a store
Source: thelabrepair.com

The first thing to check is if the seller is reputable and trustworthy. Make sure to check his credibility, online comments and reviews of customers to make sure it’s not a scam. If you buy from a P2P market, there is a chance you’d get a stolen phone and get yourself in trouble with the police. Always check for the important features and damages, memory capacity and battery life. Also, make sure the phone is unlocked and ready to use any network you need it to. Keep an eye on the pricing too. We know that refurbished phones should be cheap, but if the price seems extremely low then something might not be right. The phone may be stolen or doesn’t work properly and the seller just wants to get rid of it as soon as possible.