Every year, new smartphones with improved performance and increased prices are released. For example, the cheapest Samsung Galaxy S23 costs around $1000, a price not everyone can afford. As an alternative to these new and expensive smartphones, you can opt for a refurbished smartphone. This is a restored, more affordable phone that you can find on specialized websites like eBay. While it’s different from a used phone, a refurbished phone has its advantages and disadvantages.
What is a refurbished smartphone?
First and foremost, understand that a refurbished smartphone is slightly different from a used phone. Unlike the latter, a refurbished smartphone may not have been used or may have been used very little.
Refurbished smartphones are new phones that couldn’t be sold due to packaging errors, manufacturing defects, or technical issues that don’t affect their functionality. They can also be phones that were sold but returned by the buyer for any reason. In another case, a refurbished smartphone is a used phone taken back by the manufacturer or retailer.
Before being resold as a refurbished smartphone, the phone is returned to qualified technicians who fix any defects, perform necessary repairs, and conduct a series of tests. Based on its condition, the company will assign a given grade:
- Grade A: The refurbished smartphone is like new; hasn’t been used;
- Grade B: The smartphone is in excellent condition but has minor scratches on the casing;
- Grade C: The smartphone is in good condition but has noticeable scratches;
- Grade D: The smartphone is in good condition but has signs of wear and some knocks, yet it works correctly.
In short, remember that the differences in grades are based on the device’s physical appearance. Technically, a refurbished smartphone still functions well.
Moreover, note that the term “refurbished” is now regulated by decree 2022-190 of February 17, 2022. This decree defines the legal framework in which a smartphone can be considered refurbished.
Is buying a refurbished smartphone advantageous?
From our definition of a refurbished smartphone, you’ll agree that such a phone isn’t far from a new one, complete with its packaging and accessories. Buying a refurbished iPhone XR 64GB in black is not much different from the same new phone. Besides the aesthetic aspect that may change in some cases, it has the same features as a new phone.
In addition to having the same characteristics, technologies, and functionalities, such a purchase is much cheaper than the same new model.
Secondly, a refurbished smartphone is always in good condition. While the term “refurbished” used to be abused, this is no longer the case since February 2022. The government has mandated merchants to ensure that a refurbished smartphone meets “legal safety requirements and the usage that the consumer can legitimately expect.”
Thirdly, buying a refurbished smartphone is advantageous as you can get a warranty ranging from 6 months to 2 years, similar to new products. Of course, the repairs covered by this warranty may not be the same as those for a new smartphone. However, you’ll still get good value for your money. It’s up to you to take meticulous care of the device.
The Disadvantages Of The Refurbished Smartphone
A refurbished smartphone isn’t entirely without drawbacks. The biggest issue to date remains the phone’s previous life. The buyer doesn’t have information about what the phone has already been through, which may have reduced its lifespan.
Moreover, the pricing issue isn’t entirely resolved. You know that refurbished smartphones have grades, which affect their prices. Thus, if you want a phone in excellent condition, you’ll have to pay a bit more.
Additionally, when buying a refurbished smartphone, don’t hesitate to run tests yourself. Although the government requires merchants to carry out necessary checks and repairs, a refurbished smartphone will never be as good as new. Consequently, some of its components may be nearing the end of their life. This is particularly true for the battery. You must check its condition. If it’s below 50%, it’s not recommended to buy the smartphone. If it’s between 60 and 80%, you have a good refurbished smartphone.
In conclusion, buying a refurbished smartphone can be a great alternative to purchasing a brand-new, expensive device. However, you should be aware of the potential drawbacks and thoroughly inspect the device before making a decision. By choosing a reputable retailer and understanding the grading system, you can find a refurbished smartphone that suits your needs and budget while still offering good performance and reliability.