Difference Between Used and Refurbished Phones

Smartphones are considered essential after the basic necessities of life. In order to provide the users with the latest and most advanced features, cell phone companies continuously launch new phones. However, the more advanced a phone is, the higher its price. For instance, the latest series of iPhones cost nearly $1000, which is an excessively high amount to pay for a phone. Everyone cannot afford to buy brand-new phones, but they can easily get a refurbished or used iPhone for sale at a reasonable price from a reputed seller.

While open-box, used, and refurbished phones have been around for a long time, people still get confused about them. In this article, we will share the difference between a used and a refurbished phone. Moreover, we will also discuss how a seller-refurbished phone differs from a manufacturer-refurbished phone.

So, without further ado, let’s dig right in.

Difference between a Used and Refurbished Phone

New, open-box, used, and refurbished are all different conditions of a phone. While new and open-box phones are relatively self-explanatory, people get confused between a used and refurbished one.

This confusion comes in the way of people buying used or refurbished phones because they think they are not worth it. However, used and refurbished phones can function like new phones if you buy them from authentic sellers. So, make sure you research well before spending your hard-earned cash on these phones.

Below, we have explained all four categories in detail:

New Phones

Although the name is self-explanatory, we will shed some light on what a new phone is. When you buy a new phone, it means you are paying for a brand-new and boxed device that came straight from the manufacturer.

For instance, if you want to buy a brand-new iPhone 12 Pro Max, you will go to a store or search for an online company. You will find the device of your choice, pay for it, and they will send a sealed in and off the shelf box. This device arrived at the store from a factory and directly from the manufacturer. So, it means you get the manufacturer’s full warranty and all accessories, like chargers and headphones.

These are the most costly ones in all four types of phones. However, you can find occasional and seasonal sales on new devices in-stores and online. These are only for a limited time, so if you want to buy a new device at a slightly lower price, you may want to wait for the sale season.

Open-Box Phones

Many people consider an open-box phone to be used, but this is not the case. An open-box phone is literally what the name suggests. A phone labeled as open-box is pre-owned but not used. These are usually brand-new phones, but their boxes have been opened due to several possible reasons. Most phones that lie in this category are the ones that are returned to the manufacturer because the user did not want them. In most cases, the phone is not even used or damaged. However, these are still sold at slightly lesser prices than a phone that comes sealed in a box.

Used Phones

A used phone is a pre-owned and pre-used phone that comes from the previous user instead of a factory. Individuals can sell their used phones on different marketplaces on their own or use an intermediary website.

When buying a used phone, you must be ready to get a phone that has experienced wear and tear. However, the level of wear and tear varies from phone to phone, depending on where you buy it from. You can get the best deals on used iPhones at various online and brick-and-mortar stores. If you are buying online and want to know the phone’s condition beforehand, you should look at the website’s grading criteria. It lists phones according to the level of wear and tear they have endured. Most websites list phones according to four conditions, including pristine, excellent, average, and slightly imperfect.

The price of used phones also varies according to their condition. So, you can choose according to your requirements. If you have no issues using a slightly rough-looking phone that works fine, you can save some money.

Refurbished Phones

Like a used iPhone, a refurbished phone is also pre-owned; however, it may or may not have all the genuine parts. A used phone comes straight from the previous user to the next as it doesn’t need repair or maintenance. On the other hand, a refurbished phone goes through some cleanup, repair, and maintenance. However, the maintenance may not be due to the damage because some sellers replace the battery and outer shell before reselling. Moreover, they may also include a new warranty with the device. So, in a way, a refurbished phone lies somewhere between a used and a new device.

While you can save a lot of money with a used iPhone for sale, a refurbished phone is a better option as it is barely distinguishable from a new one. In most cases, you can save up to 15% on a refurbished phone and get a warranty, too.

A refurbished phone may be a better choice, but it depends on who refurbished the phone. There are two types of refurbished phones, including manufacturer refurbished and seller refurbished phones. Below, we have explained how these two are different from each other:

Manufacturer Refurbished vs. Seller Refurbished

When it comes to a manufacturer refurbished phone, it means the manufacturer, like Apple, Dell, Samsung, etc., refurbishes the phone themselves. Manufacturer refurbished devices tend to be more authentic than any other refurbisher. These phones usually come with manufacturer warranties, too.

Both Apple and Samsung have this service to refurbish used phones and resell them at a significant discount. Apple guarantees their refurbished iPhones and iPads meet the same standards as the new ones. Similarly, Samsung ensures a vigorous examination and repair of its old and used phones before reselling them as refurbished phones.


Whether you are looking for the used Android phones or iPhones, Phone Daddy has got you covered. You can buy your favorite new and used phones from Phone Daddy at reasonable prices. So, consider us if you want to replace or upgrade your phone without breaking the bank.

1 comment

Tom Humphrey

Tom Humphrey

What is the latest version or current version of an
I phone that you have refurbished for resale?

What is the latest version or current version of an
I phone that you have refurbished for resale?

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