Hi Lifehacker, Where are the best places to buy a second-hand or refurbished Android smartphone? And what are the best sites for buying cheap new models? Thanks, Android On A Budget
Image: Rob Bulmahn
In the new market, your best bet for a bargain handset would be any of the direct importers. These are firms that import models from countries such as Hong Kong where handset prices are generally a little lower than in Australia, driving something of a bargain in the process. Within that framework, check sites like Kogan, Expansys and Yatango, bearing in mind that on-the-spot specials can sometimes make one provider cheaper than another, so there’s no real one “best” solution to speak of.
The one large scale caveat here is that you should carefully check the specifications of the device you're buying against the Australian specifications for the same handset. Not all international devices support the exact same bands for 3G or 4G operation, which may mean that your "bargain" handset doesn't run as fast on Australian networks as it might. You can check our guide to Australian band frequencies here. You'll also need to check whether an Australian plug charger is included with the deal, although if you've got an existing Android charger, there should be no dramas using that on an international model smartphone.
On the second hand front, the obvious frontrunners would be either eBay or Gumtree, but there's a significant amount of caution that should be taken here. While you're still covered by the same basic Australian consumer law whether you're dealing with a business or an individual, getting recompense from an eBay or Gumtree sale could be considerably more difficult than with a registered firm, especially one with Australian offices. Our guide to buying a second-hand smartphone should be your first port of call because there are some significant issues that you should carefully check for with a second-hand smartphone.
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