With high-end phones now costing as much as $2000, getting a brand new handset has become quite an expensive investment, but unlike other investments, this one cannot be considered as an asset as it decreases in value as soon as you take it out of the box.
And in most cases (except iPhones, of course), a smartphone can lose up to 90 percent of its value in a span of just one year. Despite being the least-depreciating brand in the smartphone market, Apple’s iPhones can still lose around half of its value within a year of usage even if you’re trading it in a tip-top condition.
So, if you are someone who changes phones frequently, it is probably not a good idea to splash out your hard-earned money on something that loses most of its value just as you’re about to resell it. And for the same reason, one stands to save hundreds of dollars by buying a refurbished phone instead of a brand new one.
For the uninitiated, a refurbished phone works just as good as a brand new phone, and in most cases, comes with a 1-year warranty in case something goes wrong. In other words, buying refurbished will fetch you all the goodies you’d expect to see in a new phone for a fraction of the price.
To put things in perspective, this article will compare the price of a refurbished model with its brand new counterpart, and give you an overview of how much money you can save by opting for a refurbished phone.
The phones listed below are some of the most popular refurb purchases, according to popular price comparison site SellCell.
Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max
Apple’s most powerful iPhone to date, the iPhone 11 Pro Max, can set you back at least $1100 when bought new. Meanwhile, taking the refurb route can fetch you a 64GB storage variant for as low as $700, which is a solid $400 off its regular price. In terms of specs, the device has a
massive 6.5-inch display, Apple A13 Bionic processor, 4GB RAM, triple 12MP rear cameras, 12MP front camera, 3969mAh battery, and offers up to 512GB of storage.
Apple iPhone X
The first $1000 iPhone from Apple that featured the cutting-edge face recognition technology can be yours for a starting price of just $342 (256GB) when bought refurbished. It is worth noting that Apple no longer manufactures this particular model, so picking up either a used or refurbished model is really your only option here. Specs-wise, Apple iPhone X sports a 5.8-inch display, Apple A11 Bionic processor, 3GB of RAM, 64/256GB storage, dual 12MP rear cameras, 7MP front camera, and 2716mAh battery.
Apple iPhone 8 Plus
If you’re looking for a solid device for under $300, a refurbished iPhone 8 Plus (64GB) – priced at $269 – should definitely be worth looking at. Alternatively, if you’re getting it brand new, then you are going to have to spend an additional $280 out of your pocket — it currently retails for $549 on Amazon. Recapping the hardware of the iPhone 8 Plus, it packs a 5.5-inch screen, Apple A11 Bionic processor, 3GB RAM, 64/256GB storage, dual 12MP rear cameras, 7MP selfie shooter, and 2691mAh battery.
Samsung Galaxy S10+
Unlike Apple, Samsung hasn’t yet discontinued its flagship offerings from last year. And that means you can still buy a brand new model of any of Galaxy S10 variants, including Galaxy S10, S10e, and S10+. The Plus variant with 8 gigs of RAM, although originally priced at $1000, can now be bought for $700 on Amazon. Now that’s a pretty good deal for a great phone, but you can save even more by getting it refurbished for just $425. When it comes to specs, the handset features a 6.4-inch display, Snapdragon 855 processor, 8/12GB RAM, triple (12+12+16MP) rear cameras, dual (10+8MP) front-facing cameras, 4100mAh battery, and offers up to 1TB of storage.
Samsung Galaxy Note 9
With its refurbished units going for just $255, there is no wonder why Samsung Galaxy Note9 is a popular choice among buyers. In contrast, a brand new variant of the phone could cost you anywhere between $540 and $630 today. The memory variant in question features 6GB RAM and 128GB internal storage. The Galaxy Note9 comes with a 6.4-inch display, Snapdragon 845 processor, 6/8GB RAM, 128/512GB storage, dual 12MP rear cameras, dual (8MP+2MP) front cameras, and 4000mAh battery.
Samsung Galaxy S20 5G
Besides older variants, you can also get great deals on the latest models including Samsung Galaxy S20 (5G). Launched earlier this year, the Galaxy S20 is easily one of the best Android phones in the market thus far, and it can be bought refurbished for just $675. The price of a brand new Galaxy S20 currently comes in at around $850, so it’s worth noting that we’re talking about a $175 price difference here. Specs include a 6.2-inch display upfront, Snapdragon 865 processor, 12GB RAM, 128GB storage, triple (12+64+12MP) rear cameras, dual 10MP front cameras, and 4000mAh battery.
Samsung Galaxy Note 10+
Samsung Galaxy Note20 won’t launch until later this year, and so the Galaxy Note10+ is the best phablet Samsung has to offer right now. Although it now retails for $950, you can save around $400 by opting for a refurbished model that should be available for a starting price of $545 for the 256GB storage option. Moving on to specs, the device features a large 6.8-inch screen, Snapdragon 855 processor, 12GB RAM, 256/512GB storage, triple (12+12+16MP) rear cameras, 10MP front-facing snapper, and a massive 4300mAh battery.
Buying a refurbished phone instead of a brand new one will indeed save you a lot of money. However, with a lot of stores to choose from, you may find that the deals aren’t the same across the board — different stores charge different prices for the same refurbished phone model.
Thus, you will have to do a bit of shopping around to come across the best price for the smartphone model you have in mind. Either that or you can simply use a price comparison site like SellCell to quickly find out the best deals available on the device.
When you’re shopping for refurbished phones, keep in mind that each model will be available at different price points based on the physical condition of the device. While all refurbished devices, regardless of the appearance, should work perfectly fine without any issues, a device in a well-maintained condition — referred to as ‘Grade A’ — will be slightly costlier than one with signs of wear and tear — usually termed ‘Grade C’. Deciding which grade to go with really comes down to your budget and personal preferences.