Used iPhones are always in hot demand, and they’re a good option if you’re looking to save some money on an Apple smartphone. Like any second-hand purchase, there are some things you should check before you hand over your money.
Are Refurbished iPhones Good and Reliable?
You may have some concerns about buying a used or refurbished iPhone. It’s reasonable to wonder whether a used iPhone is as good and reliable as a new model. The answer is; it depends on where you’re buying the iPhone. If you’re buying from an established, reputable, and well-trained source, think Apple and phone companies you can assume that a refurbished iPhone is a good iPhone. Be more skeptical of less reputable sellers.
6 things to know when buying a used iPhone
- Make Sure the Used iPhone Isn’t Stolen: When buying a used iPhone, you don’t want to buy a stolen phone. Apple prevents stolen iPhones from being activated by new users with its Activation Lock feature, which is turned on when Find My iPhone is activated. But you’ll only know if a phone is Activation Locked after you buy it when you can’t unlock the iCloud-locked iPhone. That said, it’s possible to find out if an iPhone is stolen before buying. You need the phone’s IMEI or MEID number (depending on the carrier). Checking if the iPhone is not stolen, you need to;
- Tap Settings on the iPhone
- Tap General.
- Tap About.
- Scroll down and look next to IMEI (or MEID) for the number. It is usually a 15-digit number.
- When you have the number, go to the CTIA Stolen Phone Checker website and enter the number into the field provided.
- Check the box next to I’m not a robot and click Submit.
- The website returns a green Not reported lost or stolen or a red notice that the phone has been reported as lost or stolen.
- Confirm the Phone Isn’t Carrier Locked: Even if you have the right iPhone model, it’s a good idea to call your phone company before you buy to confirm it can activate the phone. To do this, find the phone’s IMEI or MEID number by following the above steps or asking the seller. Then call your carrier, explain the situation, and give the carrier the phone’s IMEI or MEID number. The company should be able to tell you whether the phone is compatible.
- Check the Used iPhone’s Battery: Since replacing the iPhone’s battery isn’t practical, be sure that any used iPhone you buy has a strong battery. A lightly used iPhone should have decent battery life, but you should check anything more than a year old.
- Check for Other Hardware Damage: Every iPhone has normal wear and tear, such as dings or scratches on the phone’s sides and back. However, significant scratches on the screen, problems with the Touch ID, Face ID, or 3D Touch sensor, scratches on the camera lens, or other hardware damage can be big problems. Ask to inspect the phone in person if possible. Check the iPhone’s moisture sensor to see if the phone has ever gotten wet. Test the camera, buttons, and other hardware. If inspecting the phone isn’t possible, buy a reputable, established seller who stands behind their products.
- Choose the Right Storage Capacity: While the allure of a low price is strong, remember that used iPhones usually aren’t the latest models and often have less storage space than current models. The current top-of-the-line iPhones offer up to 512 GB of storage for your music, photos, apps, and other data. Some models available for low prices have as little as 16 GB. That’s a huge difference. Size isn’t as important as it used to be, particularly for people who use iCloud for photos and music, but you shouldn’t get anything smaller than 64 GB (and the more, the better).
- Get a Warranty: If you can get a refurbished iPhone with a warranty, do it. The most reputable sellers stand behind their products. A phone that’s had a previous repair won’t necessarily be trouble in the future, but it might, so a warranty is a smart move.