New vs. pre-owned phone: what’s right for you?

There is a lively market for pre-owned phones. This comes from all the phones which were sold as part of carrier’s plans. Once the lock-in period of the plans have expired, it is cheaper for people to sign up with a new plan, and to sell their old phones.

There are advantages to buying a new phone, and there are also advantages to buying a pre-owned phone. What you choose will be totally dependent on your preferences.

Buying a New Phone

Most people buy a new phone as a status symbol. Some people like to have the latest models. This means that they buy the newest iPhone or Samsung Android phone as soon as these are released. If you are one of that kind of persons, then you know that you have only one reason. You just want the latest model.

Seriously, the best reason for having a new model phone is the specification. Specially nowadays that carriers are laying out their full LTE conversion plans in preparation for their 5G implementation. With LTE you would have very fast internet connection which is necessary for all the digital content streaming for cell phones. With LTE, you would also be able to use the internet even in bad weather conditions. Unlike older 3.5G and 3G Internet, LTE does not need to be the line of sight with the nearest tower.

New phones have the latest specifications and the latest features. When you are browsing the internet on your phone, you would notice that LTE provides faster service than 3.5G. New phones also have the latest designs. It is easy to see among Android phones which one has the latest design. It’s the one with the bezel-less front screen, bleed-to-bleed screen, fingerprint scanner, and the USB Type-C connector.

One other advantage of a brand new phone is that there are some which come with an insurance coverage. This will cover the cost of any mobile phone repair you might need later on.

If you play the latest game on your cell phone, then you would need a brand new phone. Choose one with the highest possible specifications. Not all games run on all Android phones. In most instances, you would have to do the check manually.

In the same token, there are some apps which require the latest operating system or the latest and best specifications.

Buying a Pre-owned Phone

There are pre-owned phones worth buying. These are the sturdy, durable, rugged phones which come at prices cheaper than their original price tag. These still work and can provide years of service even after having gone through a smartphone repair service.

A pre-owned phone, especially if it is refurbished has been cleaned and fixed of any damage it once had. The only exception has been the Samsung Galaxy S7. Although there are plans to rent out the Samsung Galaxy S7 for Asian, African and some European countries.

Supposedly pre-owned phones work as well as the original. This is particularly the case if all you do is receive text messages and phone calls. If you need to run this app which requires Android 7 Nougat, you might be out of luck. Some pre-owned cell phones on the market still have Android Lollipop and could not be upgraded to Android Marshmallow or Nougat. If you don’t mind having some Android’s latest features, then the operating system version should not matter to you.

However, if you require installing a specific version of the app It would be best to check out if the pre-owned phone meets the requirements. Otherwise, you would be running around in circles trying to fix a non-existent problem.

If you want to see a cross-section of choices for pre-owned cell phones, you can go to stores that fix cell phones. In most instances, these shops would have the odd unit, which can be repaired or is up for repairs. In addition, if you really care about using cellphones for a long time, you can chat up the technician and ask him about cellphones he has repaired. It would be interesting to find out which cell phone he repairs most often. That would be something that is very common, that a majority of the population has it, or it has a lot of problems in common with other models from the same manufacturer. The repair personnel would also be in the best position to give advice about what model to buy, or not to buy.

If you are serious about buying a pre-owned cell phone, it is better to buy it from the repair store. At least you would be able to see the unit and appraise it yourself. Buying online usually results in a wide range of cellphones. They may have a short lifetime, or they might not be as advertised. Either way, with a cellphone in your own hand, you would be hard pressed to say no to a deal.


When choosing between a brand new phone and a pre-owned phone, you might not have a choice about the matter if you bought your phone with a carrier’s plan. This is going to be a problem as you also have to fully pay the new phone.  Either way, you should open yourself to the possibility of buying a pre-owned phone. It is usually cheaper, and it fits your needs.

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