What Is Refurbished Smart Phone

By Chris Cui
  • Oct 26, 2017


Recently, there is a lot of confusion surrounding the exact definition of a refurbished phone. People are confused about the difference of refurbished phone and a waste renew second hand phone. Quite rightly, the Internet is full of various different descriptions and classifications of what exactly makes a phone ‘refurbished’. We’d like take this topic into discussion here, just for the purpose of clearing the conception of a refurbish smart phone and erasing the confusion before we purchase one.


How a refurbished smart phone shows?

If a smart phone is put into refurbished process, it comes from many reasons. Firstly, it may have been used as a display model in a store, such as an iPhone in an Apple Store. When it is no longer needed in the store, it will go to a factory to be refurbished and then sold as refurbished to a customer. Also, sometimes customers buy a product but decide that they don’t want it. In this case, they may return it to the place of purchase within the free returns window (often 30 days). The returned phone cannot be re-sold as a new device, since it has technically been used. So it will go through the refurbishment process, and will then be sold as a refurbished device.


Another reason for a customer returning their phone is it has a defect. Maybe the battery was faulty, or there could have been a problem with the antenna. Whatever the issue, a customer may choose to return it to the place they bought it, in expectation of getting it fixed. However, in many cases, it is easier for companies to give the customer a replacement phone, and take in their broken phone to be fixed at a later date. When this phone is‘fixed at a later date’, it will actually be sent to be refurbished, and then sold as a refurbished phone.


The final main reason for a phone entering the refurbishment process is simply when a phone user doesn’t want their phone anymore. Rather than sell it to a friend, or via a platform like eBay, they can trade it in for a new one, or simply sell it to a company that buys used phones. Either way, the phone will be refurbished, and later sold as a refurbished phone.


How are smart phones refurbished?

There are different sections contained in a whole smart phone refurbishment process. Firstly, the phone goes through an examination, to determine the condition of each component. For example, the condition of the screen is checked, and a test is run on the quality of the battery. Essentially, the whole phone is tested to see if anything is underperforming. Repairmen have to make sure this each part perform well before a refurbished phone is marked as qualified.


If there are any parts that aren’t up to standard, they are either fixed or replaced with new parts. The device is then re-tested to ensure it can match the high standard of a new phone. During the process, the device is continuously cleaned. Once the hardware of the phone is all up to standard, the software on the phone is completely wiped of any previous data, and the stock version of the

Operation system is re-installed. So you are left with a phone that is the same standard of a new phone, with the original software settings of a new phone too.


Are refurbished smart phones good?

A qualified refurbished smart phone could be as good as a new one. A refurbished phone, as explained above, will be of the same standard of a new phone, because any unsatisfactory components will have been fixed or replaced.


Also, a refurbished phone has a slightly lower chance of breaking than a brand new phone. This may sound weird, but it’s quite simple. A brand new phone will have gone through all the normal quality checks. However, a refurbished phone will have gone through these checks twice, once when it was new, and once again when it was being refurbished. Therefore, if there were any issues, it is very unlikely that a phone would have been able to pass through two sets of quality checks without the issues being found.


Why are refurbished phones so cheap?

Since the refurbish one is as good as a new one, why is it cheaper than the new one in the market? To answer this question, we have to mention the complication of refurbished phone market. There are two reasons why refurbished phones are sold for such great prices.


Firstly, as we have discussed already, the phones have had various different lives before their refurbishment. What they all have in common is that they have all been used in some way. Despite the components being restored to tip top condition, and the full cleansing of the phone, you cannot escape the fact most of the components have been used. People are unlikely to want to pay the same full price of a brand new phone, and so the refurbished phones have to be priced lower.


Secondly, the best deals you will find on refurbished phones are from those models that were launched 2-5 years ago. Since then, the market value of a brand new phone will have dropped, due to the out-dated technology in the phone, and the newer models available on the market. Therefore, the refurbished phones are quite a good discount. It is also worth noting, that the most recent model of a phone (such as the iPhone 8 at the time of writing this article), doesn’t usually pack a good discount in the refurbished state – usually you can only hope for around a 5% discount from a new phone.


So if you’re in the market for the latest phone, there is a very small price advantage from buying a refurbished version. And if you are happy with a slightly older model, you can end up with a recently refurbished and tested phone, with a huge price discount.


All in a summery, a refurbished smart phone is not as bad as most people think so and buying a unlocked refurbished iPhone not only save us much on budget but also give us good usage taste as a new one. Take your prejudice away when you make a choice between a refurbished one and a new one.   

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