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How to Tell if a Phone is Refurbished: Complete Guide for 2024

Written by: Emma Morris


How to Tell if a Phone is Refurbished: Complete Guide for 2024

How to Tell if a Phone is Refurbished. Knowing whether your phone is refurbished or not can come in handy, especially if you're looking to sell your device or check when the warranty expires.

Yet, if your refurbished gadget has undergone a comprehensive 90-point phone check like those sold by us, distinguishing between these and brand new phones based on appearance alone can sometimes be challenging.

But don't worry. Keep reading to discover how to tell the difference with the help of UR.co.uk today.

Key Takeaways:

  • Refurbished devices work just like new ones if renewed correctly.

  • There's a slight difference between a 'used' phone and a refurbished version regarding checks.

  • Want to know if it's a pre-owned device or brand new? Check whose warranty it is under and how long is left.

What is a Refurbished Device?

Before we start, let's set the record straight on what a refurbished phone entails.

Unlike a brand-new handset, a refurbished phone is a gadget that has lived a previous life before arriving in your hands. Sometimes, evidence of this history is visible on their casing, with certain units bearing a few marks and scratches depending on the grade you select, whether it's good, excellent, or premium condition.

However, contrary to the common misconception that often confuses these devices with 'used' gadgets, refurbished phones have also undergone a comprehensive check to ensure their Approved Used status, which you'll be notified of before you purchase the device.

This status means they aim to function like a brand-new phone without the hefty price tag often associated.

Plus, unlike 'used' phones, refurbished versions often come with a 12-month warranty provided by the seller to ensure quality and peace of mind, such as those sold by us.

Way to Check if Your Phone is Refurbished

clean refurbished phone
There are several ways to check if your phone is a refurbished model.

Checking Warranty Period

If you're trying to find out whether you have a refurbished iPhone, the best way to check is by looking at your warranty period.

Generally speaking, Apple devices often come with a one-year warranty when brought brand new or refurbished by Apple themselves.

This means that if your phone doesn't have the complete one-year period on the brand's own site from when you bought the phone, it's most likely a refurbished or 'used' device from a third-party seller. For example, if you bought your device on 10 March 2024, your warranty should end at the same time the following year unless some shenanigans are involved.

Finding out your warranty period starts the same as finding how old is my phone. To discover it, retrieve your serial number by going to Settings, 'General', and 'About', then paste it into the Apple Serial Number site here.

For any Android device, it's best to check the warranty period of that particular brand and see if your device is registered to the correct date of purchase.

Inspect Battery Health

Since the device has never been used before, brand new mobile phones typically feature a battery health of 100%, in contrast to certified refurbished phones, which generally start with a minimum battery health of 80%.

So, as you might have guessed, if your device arrives with a battery health below the 100% threshold, it's highly probable that it didn't come directly from the factory.

Hardware and Software Tests

It's time for the old, trusty hardware and software tests if all else fails.

Unless the phone is in immaculate condition, like our premium graded devices, you'll likely find the odd scratch or bump here and there notifying you that the phone isn't brand new.

Plus, sometimes you might also encounter errors suggesting the parts used in the device aren't genuine, as commonly occurs with refurbished iPhones when Apple themselves don't renew them. If this message pops up, you've got your answer straight away.

Again, if the phone is from an authorised seller, don't worry too much about this error. This simply means the refurbisher used parts that aren't Apple's own but are as good to help you save money.

Buying a Refurbished Handset from UR.co.uk

Refurbished phones last just as long as brand-new handsets for a fraction of the original price tag.

But did you know that purchasing one of these devices from UR.co.uk also comes with some added benefits?

Explore below to find out more.

  • 12 Months of FREE Insurance: Whether it's one of our refurbished Apple products or a different brand altogether, each one of our devices will arrive with 12 months of FREE insurance to protect your gadget from a range of unfortunate incidents.

  • £45 Worth of FREE Accessories: You'll also gain at least £45 worth of FREE accessories on selected iPhone models, ensuring you don't incur extra costs after checkout.

  • FREE Delivery: Plus, your device will also be delivered to your door FREE of charge, allowing you to save some extra money for that special night out.

Final Thoughts: Differences Between New and Refurbished Products

So, there you have it: the ins and outs of how to check if your device is new or not.

Plus, did you also know that purchasing a refurbished phone also means you're joining a commitment to sustainability, actively contributing to reducing electronic waste and conserving resources?

Make the smart choice today!

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Emma Morris

Emma crafts insightful and informative articles about refurbished phones for ur.co.uk. Her expertise guides readers in making the smartest choices for their tech needs.