Things to look out for when buying a used phone

Smartphones have become an integral part of our lives. We do everything on them, we keep in touch with family, friends and significant others, we take photos with them, we watch cat videos, we catch up with news.. everything. 

It is also no secret that smartphones have for the past few years hit a plateau phase. They are all sleek, slim rectangular blocks with big beautiful displays, pretty decent performance, great cameras and for the most part, pretty good battery lives.

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Buying used smartphones has never been a worthy venture as it is today. Smartphone makers release new models every year. This is often followed by intense viral marketing to tickle your itch to upgrade. This is often followed by a lucrative price cut on the previous generation devices. That doesn’t make your 7 months old flagship bad. You can get a fantastic deal on a used smartphone as long as you’re willing to forego the cutting edge. The “latest and greatest” is not always all it’s cracked up to be anyway.

So you want to buy a used smartphone. These are a few of the things you should look out for.

  • Do your research. Do your homework. Find the average price for that phone and as you scroll down through your favorite online store for used phones, try going for those that fall within that median price. No one sells his phone at $100 less than the market price for no reason.
  • Be sure to personally inspect the phone before making the purchase. The web is a dark place filled with unscrupulous people, be careful you don’t get played. There has also been an influx of clone devices that go for lucratively low prices. You want to avoid these.
  • Ask about any repairs that have been done to the phone. Only buy the device if the service was done by an authorized dealer. A simple screen replacement done improperly could easily snowball into a myriad of other issues, that will end up costing you way more than you anticipated.
  • Test the device extensively before putting down your money. Put the device through its paces see if everything works: charging, earpiece, loudspeaker, the touchscreen. Avoid displays with notable discoloration as this is an indication of water damage. This may or may not be an issue immediately but water damage on smartphones is often lethal.
  • Try and get a phone that is still within warranty. This helps you check a bunch of boxes. A device that is still covered by warranty means it is not that old. This also gives you peace of mind as you can get it fixed for free if the damage falls within the warranty terms. This is not that difficult nowadays as manufacturers have really long warranty periods of up to 2 years.
  • Stick to the mainstream mobile operating systems. In as much as you would like to be different, to stand out, stick to Android and iOS. Here you are guaranteed support and updates for a while. BlackBerry OS and Windows Phone are quickly becoming technological mummies.

What do you look out for when buying a used phone? Tell us below.

  • David Esabwa

    This post has really helped me to select the best used phone for me. Many thanks dignited community.