Are Refurbished Phones Worth It? - 'Sour Tech

Are Refurbished Phones Worth It?

Every year Samsung, LG Apple and tons of other manufacturers release new smartphone models, at tons of different price points meant to seduce you into splurging and overspending on a new cell phone. This has resulted in the spin-off of a new branch of phone classification known as refurbished.

This can be a bit confusing, especially when it seems so similar to the term used so in this post we’ll do our best to differentiate and actually explain what a consumer can expect to get and what they can’t when investing in a refurbished device. 

With prices on new devices starting at essentially $1,000, it’s no surprise that consumers are very picky about what they're paying for, what they can expect and especially devaluation on their current devices. Should they trade in their gently used device for a refurbished device, new device - used device? 

The word refurbished phone definitely isn’t normalized, many vendors consider a phone with a replaced screen, battery, back glass and even more refurbished. Others may consider a phone with any one component replaced refurbished. The term definitely isn’t standardized industry wide, which is why we’re attempting to provide some clarity on what we at Sour Apple classify as refurbished and what’s considered used. 

Why Did Refurbished Devices Become A Thing?

Refurbished devices became popular about ten years ago as many customers wanted a budget-friendly option to popular models, and secondary vendors as well as carriers wanted to make something available. Each carrier has classified refurbished devices differently, but the one benefit of this type of device is that it’s just as warrantied as any other device, meaning if there are any issues you’re covered by either the seller, which could either be the manufacturer or a third-party like a DeviceList Authorized Dealer - Sour Apple. 

In reality, should a two year old Samsung S10+ be considered used or refurbished? In our opinion, if this device has been certified as in like-new condition and the seller is transparent about the aesthetic condition refurbished is a fair classification. 

What's The Difference Between Refurbished vs Used?

So for the average consumer, it’s important to understand what the difference is between refurbished and used, especially when browsing our site and platform. The more you know, the more you can make the right decision for your exact situation.

Used Android or Apple Devices

  • Often no long term support or warranty
  • No transparency on what components may or may not have been replaced. 
  • Good price is often the selling point - not the condition or quality of the device.

DeviceList Refurbished Devices sold by Sour Apple

  • 1 year iron-clad warranty
  • Lifetime IMEI guarantee - your device will never be randomly blacklisted, you’ll never see the dreaded No Service in the top left corner of your phone. 
  • Full automated function and battery test for the entire device - from microphone volume to battery health, we test and document everything.
  • Trusted and vetted sellers across America - available for local pickup or shipping. 

So, Why Should I Get A Refurbished, Pre-Owned or New Cell Phone?

A refurbished cell phone is perfect for a customer that’s budget-sensitive and OK with being one year behind when it comes to releases from either a Samsung or Apple device. 

For example, the iPhone 12 series was released just prior to 2021 and the retail sticker price from Apple is well over $700 with taxes.

If $700 is over your budget, a refurbished iPhone XS or iPhone 11 would be well below that price point and still provide a proper warranty and a very fast phone for the needs of 2021. 

Currently the lowest model of iPhone available from USA carriers is the second generation 2020 iPhone SE as well as the iPhone XR which come new sealed or available for two year financed deals.

When you think about it, this is less than ideal. You’re getting a two year old device for close to Apple retail sticker price. By the time you’re done with the financing term, you’ll see two other new Apple cell phone releases making this XR or SE 2020 even more deprecated. On top of that, while you’ve been paying off full retail for two years, you’re losing resale value just based on time alone - not even wear and tear. 


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