Buying A New Phone vs Refurbished? Which is Best?

Buying A New Phone vs Refurbished? Which is Best?
  • PublishedJune 3, 2022

So it’s time to get a new phone, and you’ve got a budget in mind, but you can get more for your money if you get an older model. It’s that age old question… Do you get a new phone, or go for refurbished?

There are a number of reasons you might choose both, so let’s break it down.

Pros of buying a new phone

When you get a brand new phone such as the Samsun S22 or iPhone 13Pro, you get that fresh out of the box premium experience.

Importantly, you also get a phone that comes with all the original accessories, and hasn’t been used at all. So this means no marks on the phone, chipped screens or battery that has seen some degradation.

In short, you get a totally new device which is ready for you to use as you wish.


The cons of buying a new phone

New phones are expensive, especially the modern flagship phones. Expect to pay at least £700 for a top notch new phone, and over £1000 if you’re going for the top spec Samsung or iPhone.

On top of this, the spec on most modern phones doesn’t progress much year on year. Camera and battery technology has incremental improvements each year, and the premium you pay for a new phone vs refurbished phone is becoming less of a clear advantage.

The pros of buying a refurbished phone

The most obvious pro of buying a refurbished phone vs a new phone is the price. You can often save hundreds of pounds if going for a refurbished phone, especially when looking at flagship devices.

As an example, the Samsung S22 top spec model on Amazon is currently £1649.

Compare this to the exactly same spec refurbished Samsung S22, also on Amazon, for £944. Thats a saving of £705!

And what do you sacrifice for this huge saving?

The box. Yup, the same box that you’re probably going to throw into a cupboard and forget about for the next few years until you come to spring clean.

In short, you’re paying over £700 for the box and that ‘new’ experience.

Buying last years flagship vs this year?

So what about looking at last years flagship phones vs the newest model? Staying with Samsung, there are also some crazy deals if you go to the right place.

On Amazon, the Samsung S21, the flagship phone from January 2021, can be picked up for an incredible £469.

So whats the difference between paying £469 or £944? (apart from £475).

Well, according to Samsung’s own comparisons… Not that much.

In fact the previous year phone has a bigger battery vs the new model. And although the camera has had a crazy upgrade (50mp in the new S22 vs 12mp in the S21) the actual user experience for most of us, bar pro photographers, is going to be unnoticable. Are you shooting a professional movie? Are you a pro YouTuber? Unless you can answer yes to one of those, you won’t need the extra megapixels.

Mid range refurbished/last years phones

When it comes to mid-range and budget end phones, yes you can still save a large chunk of money. It might not be the same amount as a good family holiday to the Algarve, but it might be the difference between a few nights out or a new outfit.

Take for example the Motorola G50, which is £209 new on Amazon. This is still a great price for a budget/mid-range phone. But…

The Motorola G31, also an excellent mid range phone, is just £149 on Amazon. A £60 saving…

So next time you’re considering buying a new phone vs a refurbished or last years model, consider the refurb.

Written By
DH Writers

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