This article is sponsored by numobile.
If you’re in the market for a new smartphone, but don’t want to buy new, picking up a second-hand phone is a great way to save yourself some money while getting a device that still performs well. But how can you be sure that the phone is working the way it’s meant to?
To help you make sure you’re actually getting what you’ve paid for, we’ve laid out a few important things you should check or consider when buying a used smartphone and why you should go the refurbished route.
Is everything in working order?
When buying second-hand, you need to look over the product details and supplied photos with a Sherlock Holmes-like attention to detail to make sure everything looks like it’s working. Even better if you’re able to actually hold the phone in your hand and check in person.
If you’re not buying from a proper retailer or telco, like numobile, there’s the possibility that the seller might be purposefully obscuring any faults the phone might have. Are the front and back-facing cameras both working? Does the touchscreen react how its meant to? Do the speakers sound like they should?
If you want to avoid the potential headache of testing the phone to make sure it works, going the refurbished route is an easy way to alleviate that problem, especially if you pick it up through a trusted retailer. To make sure the phone is running the way they’re meant to, these retailers will run the phone through a series of tests.
Check the battery
When buying a second-hand phone, checking the health of the device’s battery is essential. Smartphone batteries become less effective as they age and will naturally lose their ability to hold 100% of their charge. By going the refurbished route, you can be guaranteed a healthy battery, as the seller will run capacity tests to ensure the battery life is in good condition. The last thing you want to do is buy a phone that can barely hold a charge.
If you do want to double-check the health of your battery, it’s a simple thing to do. With an iPhone, you can check the battery quality by going to Settings > Battery > Battery Health. There, it’ll let you know its current maximum capacity.
With a Samsung device, you can check the battery quality by going to Settings > Device Care > Battery > Battery Usage.
Has its data been cleaned out?
If you do buy a phone from a peer to peer marketplace that has listed the handset as being “refurbished”, you should check to see if there is anything still stored on there from the previous owner. This could be anything, ranging from apps to photos to archived messages.
If it doesn’t look like the phone has had its data cleansed, that’s a decent red flag that the phone hasn’t been properly refurbished and could be the tip of the iceberg for the phone’s problems. Cleaning any pre-standing data of the phone is a standard practice for trusted refurbished phone retailers.
Buy from a trusted source
When buying second-hand phones, jumping onto a website like eBay, Facebook Marketplace or Gumtree is the first instinct of most people. The problem is, how do you know you can trust the person you’re buying your phone from? What guarantees that this random person is selling a phone in good working condition or if they’ve actually refurbished the phone properly, if at all?
If you want to make sure that you’re picking up a phone that has been guaranteed refurbished, your best bet is to visit a trusted retailer. Numobile are a telco who deal in refurbished smartphones, whose team of engineers perform a 51-point test to make sure that any device they sell is high quality. Those tests include running through all of phone’s functions to check that they work as they should, making sure the battery can hold a charge properly, and only selling phones with minor to no wear (depending on which grade you buy).
If you purchase a refurbished phone through a company like numobile, you’re also covered by Australian Consumer Law and numobile’s 12-month phone warranty. That means you’re entitled to a replacement or refund if the phone you’ve purchased through them suffers any major failures that aren’t your own doing. That’s a guarantee you won’t get if you buy it from a random on Gumtree.