We’re all familiar with refurbished living rooms and refurbished shops, but did you know you can refurbish a mobile phone too?
It doesn't involve tearing down the wallpaper and chucking some throw cushions around, but it can involve you saving a bit of money on your mobile plan. Here's how.
What is a refurbished phone?
You may also know them as refreshed or reconditioned phones. Put simply, a refurbished mobile phone once belonged to someone else, but has been restored to its factory settings and given a thorough check and repair.
There are all kinds of reasons why someone would have got rid of the phone, such as:
- The phone had a fault and needed to be sent back (and it's now been fixed)
- The owner upgraded to a new phone and recycled or sold their old one
- The owner changed their mind a few days after buying the phone, and sent it back
- It was a company phone which isn't needed any more
And so on.
Refurbished phones differ from 'used' or second-hand models in that they've been checked over and tested by an independent party. You're not just buying someone's used and scratched-up mobile - instead you'll get a phone which has been sent away, repaired, wiped clean, had its OS reinstalled from scratch, and thoroughly tested.
Nonetheless, some refurbished phones will certainly have a 'used' appearance, whether that's just a scratch or two or some more intense signs of wear.
Where can I get a refurbished phone?
- Lots of independent retailers and websites specialise in refurbished phones
- Most resellers provide refurbs - read more about resellers here
- Some mobile networks recycle handsets and sell them on, such as O2 Refresh
Refurbs can save you money
The main advantage of a refurbished handset is the money you'll save by opting for one. Because it isn't fresh from a factory, you can get it a lot cheaper than a new model.
But that's just the start of your savings. Purchasing a phone outright means you'll need a SIM-only deal. These usually work out quite a bit cheaper than phone contracts overall, especially as you have more of a chance to upgrade, downgrade, or otherwise change your plan if you pick one with 30-day terms.
Pros of getting a refurbished phone
- It's quite a bit cheaper
- Plans are more flexible, since you can go SIM-only
- It will have been thoroughly tested and should function as new
- You'll have more control over which mobile network you choose
- Recycling phones is better for the environment
Cons of getting a refurbished phone
- Refurbs can still have hardware problems and faulty parts
- Their quality can really vary - you won't always know if you're getting a pristine handset or one covered in chips and scratches
- Warranties and insurance aren't as clear-cut
- Most available refurbished handsets are old models