Andrew Hoyle

Top phones like the iPhone 12 Pro Max or Galaxy S21 Ultra might arrive with the latest within mobile technology with pro-standard cameras, 5G and hyper-fast processors. But they furthermore include immense price labels that puts them away of reach of a lot of people. Buying an old phone, used, can conserve you a bunch associated with money, but still places some awesome hardware in your wallet that’ll let you appreciate all of your everyday essentials, in addition such things as photo editing, video gaming and video streaming. Even better, it saves the phone from going in order to landfill, which we may all agree is the good thing.

But presently there are some key items to keep in mind when you want the greatest phone for your cash and you want in order to stay safe when a person get it. Here after that, are our top guidelines on how to properly buy a great utilized phone, whether you need a good iPhone ($600 at Best Buy) or Android.

What functions do you need?

First, consider what you really need from a mobile phone, as this will determine what kind of level you require to be aiming in. If you just desire something to deal with some informal WhatsApp messages and perform Spotify on the commute, a person don’t need flagship amounts of performance. Something like 2018’s Samsung Galaxy A8 (which nevertheless gets quarterly security up-dates, as of April 2021) will probably fit you nicely.

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Think about what features you truly need in a mobile phone. Is having a button-free display well worth splashing the particular extra cash on the more modern handset?


Andrew Hoyle

If, however, you’re really into your own photography then you might want to spend a little more on something that’s obtained a good camera on the particular back. In that situation, something like the iphone X ($900 at Boost Mobile) may suit, or a Galaxy S10. You’ll have in order to discover that balance between the particular performance you require and the particular price you’re pleased to pay out. Newer phones with increased contemporary features and better functionality will come with the higher price. 

Buy from a trusted resource

Not every phone vendor has your best passions at heart, so really important to be experienced with your shopping. Some places to avoid ought to be obvious; don’t purchase from the guy offering phones on a road corner, for example, yet others can be strike and miss.

eBay is definitely a well-known source to get buying anything used plus there’s a huge choice of phones to become had. Some of these types of are offered by refurbishing businesses that trade solely within buying and selling utilized handsets. Others are simply regular people trying in order to offload their old products if they upgrade. The outcome is that it can sometimes really feel like panning for precious metal, looking for those nuggets you actually want. Check the following section for a lot more tips upon buying on eBay.

My best suggestions though is to visit trusted companies that purchase old phones, refurbish all of them and sell them upon. I’ve used MusicMagpie within the UK together simply no problems. Its online catalog is vast, it obviously lists the condition associated with the phones, every mobile phone is factory reset plus you obtain a 12-month guarantee with every purchase. Prices might be a little bit higher than you’d discover on eBay but the particular reassurance more than can make up for it. Gazelle offers a similar support in america, although we have not tested it ourselves therefore can’t vouch for the particular overall quality from the support.

Read moreBest cell phone trade-in choices for iPhones and Android phones


MusicMagpie’s product pages make this quite simple to see the particular condition of the specific phone you’re buying.


MusicMagpie/Screenshot by Andrew Hoyle

Check the facts

Whether you’re buying through eBay, Amazon Marketplace or somewhere else, it’s important to pay out close attention to exactly what you’re actually getting. Read carefully what the list says, including any little print that might become hidden further down, within among other details. It might be that phrases such as “nonfunctioning” or “battery faulty” are intentionally buried in order to trick people into purchasing a phone that simply no longer works. They’ll furthermore likely explain whether occur to be getting the original getting cable, packaging and exactly what kind of nicks and scrapes you will probably see.

Use your own good sense here — when a $1,000 apple iphone is being people paid just $100, there’s probably some thing fishy going on. Don’t be the guy who also bought a picture associated with an Xbox One for $735


Despite getting the most recent software installed, this Galaxy S6’s last security up-date was applied in 2018. That means that you can find two years of brand new exploits this phone is definitely susceptible to.


Andrew Hoyle

Make certain it still gets safety updates

I’ll get this to because clear as possible: Do not buy a mobile phone that no longer will get security updates from the manufacturer. Unsupported phones are usually open to all types of vulnerabilities that may give hackers quick access in order to every single piece associated with home elevators your handset — and even control it totally. Those bank details, these cute pics of your own kids, those sexy selfies you delivered to your companion — all might be utilized and stolen.

Most Android telephone manufacturers tend to assistance their handsets for 2 to three years. Apple takes that further, nevertheless, supporting even 2015’s apple iphone 6S ($250 at Best Buy) with the latest iOS 14.4 (as associated with April 2021). 

It’s frustrating that phones normally are not supported for longer, because the hardware remains perfectly able, but the outdated software program the actual phones vulnerable. I actually recently compared the particular 2017 Galaxy S8 to the brand-new Moto G Power and while the S8 performed superbly, it’s directly on the cusp of getting cut-off from Samsung’s quarterly security updates (as associated with April 2021), meaning that will it may not become long before it gets to be gradually less safe in order to use. 

Your best option is to look at cell phones that came out inside the last two many years and therefore are therefore likely nevertheless receiving security updates. When you discover a phone that will suits, google the design name plus try and find out whether it’s nevertheless definitely getting updates, plus if there’s an indicator showing how much longer its get them for. Companies aren’t forthcoming with information about when they’re reducing a product loose, yet searching at what some other models continue to be being backed you can make a good estimate.


The Galaxy S9, as being a newer model than the particular S8, will likely carry on getting security updates to get longer.


Andrew Hoyle

The Galaxy S8 ($230 at eBay), to get example, is still detailed on Samsung’s support web page as getting updates, yet it likely won’t become for much longer. It’s reasonably safe to believe therefore that the S9 (launched a year right after the S8) may have in least another year associated with safe use out associated with it. Buying a utilized S9 might cost you a small more than a utilized S8, but it’s a good investment that will be safer to get you in the lengthy run.

Make sure whenever your phone of preference happens that you fully manufacturer reset it yourself, plus make sure to verify for all available software program updates before doing something else.

If you’re willing to save some money by buying used, create sure to check away our full article upon the security advice a person need to be conscious of. Also see just how the old S8 even compares to the recent Moto Gary the gadget guy Power. If you’re not really interested in buying used yet still don’t want in order to spend all your cost savings, take a look in our roundup of the best phones under $200.