Difference Between New, Used, and Refurbished Phones - OzMobiles

Difference Between New, Used, and Refurbished Phones

With time, as modern cell phones are being installed with advanced technology and more features, their prices are also escaping your budget range slowly. Additionally, as modern phones are being manufactured with more features, not only their prices are increasing, but their demand and need in daily life are also increasing. If you are on a tight budget, especially after being hit by a catastrophe like the COVID-19 pandemic, but want want to buy one of these brand-new smartphones for yourself, let me tell you that you have other money saving options in order to get your sought after device. 

In the market, you have options between buying brand new, refurbished, or used devices. If you are not aware of such option, below are a few questions we will be answering, to guide you on your next purchase:    

  • What is the difference between new and refurbished cell phones?
  • What is the difference between used and refurbished cell phones?
  • Which one among new, used, and refurbished should I buy?
  • Is a refurbished phone as good as a new one?
  • Do refurbished or used phones come with a warranty?

General Differentiation between New, Used, and Refurbished Phones:

You might be familiar with what a new phone and a used phone are. However, the term “Refurbished” can be a little head-scratching for most of you. Here, we will describe them in general:

·      New Phones:

News phones are generally the ones that come from the manufacturing factory directly into your use through a store. They are sealed — mostly with the factory seal — in a box with the brand’s name and trademark.

·      Used Phones:

These phones, also called second-hand phones, are phones that were once owned by someone else. They probably bought it as a new phone from the store. In other words, used phones are casted-off phones from a previous user.

·      Refurbished Phones:

Generally, refurbished phones are phones which have paid a second visit to the manufacturing factory for some kind of repair. However once repaired, they are almost no different from the new phones regarding quality and functioning.

More on Refurbished Phones:

Refurbished phones are phones that are usually returned by a customer to the store for several reasons. He either didn’t find it satisfying his needs or the handset had some kind of functional or structural fault. In the latter case, the store seller checks the phone to verify the customer’s claim that it’s faulty. The seller then returns the phone to the manufacturing factory to make any type of necessary repairs. The manufacturer company makes sure that the device is repaired in such a manner, it essentially competes with a new phone in quality and function. The seller can also have it repaired with a third party, other than the manufacturing company that the phone belongs to originally.

New Phone vs Refurbished:

Till now, you must have asked yourself questions like what is the difference between a refurbished and a new phone? Is a new phone as good as a refurbished phone? Which one should I buy? Well, the former question must be cleared by now but the latter two shall be answered shortly. When speaking of refurbished phones with new ones, it is important to note the following points:

  • Refurbished phones do not always come with a warranty (this is dependent on the seller), where new phones come with a warranty of usually 1 year.
  • Refurbished phones may have a physical defects, but new phones are always flawless.
  • Refurbished phones may or may not have other accessories, where new phones always have their accessories.
  • Depending on the brand, refurbished phones may be available at great discounts.

Is a new phone as good as a refurbished phone?

The answer to this question varies from brand to brand. It is highly advised to conduct thorough research before purchasing any of these phones as it’s very important that you purchase from a reputable brand that customers trust and have good experience with.

Which one should you buy?

To be honest, if you have the financial stability to afford a phone over $1000 — the average price of a modern-day smartphone — go for it without a second thought. However, if you are looking to save a few hundred dollars, digging in to find yourself a fair refurbished smartphone is what we recommend. Refurbished devices will always be cheaper than RRP, without suffering on its functionality.

Word of Caution:

Remember, there are brands whose refurbished phones are not that good to depend on for the next few years. Or, their refurbished ones are near to the same price as new ones like the iPhones. In this case, we advise you to do do some research about the brand and make sure that customer sentiments are positive to ensure you get the most value out of your money.

Used vs Refurbished phones:

Now that we have compared new and refurbished phones, here is a general guide to knowing what are the differences between used and refurbished phones.

A used phone is a pre-owned phone that the previous user has casted-off. Whereas, a refurbished phone is a phone that was once used by a user but has been repaired of faults (if there were) to ensure they are in perfect working condition. They are also greatly distinct from each other in the following aspects:

  • Used phones almost always have a structural defect, but refurbished phones usually do not have any structural defect. If there are, they wouldn’t affect the functionality of the phones.
  • Used phones’ functional capacity might be reduced, where refurbished phones are capable of functioning as a new phone.
  • Used phones are rarely available as sealed-box, while refurbished can come with their original boxes.
  • Used phones do not have any warranty, while refurbished usually have a warranty of 1 year or 6 months, depending on the seller.
  • Used phones are not always available with accessories, while refurbished phones are available with some, if not all, of the accessories.
  • Used phones are cheaper than refurbished ones, but you cannot guarantee if all functionalities are working.


Which one should you buy?

The answer to this question mostly depends on the structural and functional condition of a used phone. However, if we take a look at the overall condition (physical and internal functionalities) as well as the price of both used and refurbished phones, we can reach to an obvious decision. If a used phone is functioning properly and is in good maintenance but is being sold for a price not so much less than that of a refurbished one, it is advised to go for the refurbished one. It is better to spend a few more dollars to buy a phone worth nearly no risk and can depend on it stress-free.


Expert Advice:

Never forget to carry out a small research before making any type of purchase, be it a smartphone or any other type of gadget. Compare the prices, compare the condition of both the phones, compare the accessories, compare other customer care services. However, experts at our end always advise you to prefer a refurbished phone over a used one for a stress-free life and big savings.


As a concluding point, it is important to note that although new phones are eye-catching, it is safe to say that refurbished phones are the better alternative to brand new phones. If you cannot afford to buy a brand new device, never forget that there are other options in the form of refurbished phones. Once you have made up your mind to buy a used or refurbished phone, it is important to further investigate what might be the best product for you regarding price, features, and quality. Remember, it is always advised to prefer the quality of the phone and to buy from a reputable brand such as OzMobiles when it comes to buying refurbished devices.