Getting a brand new phone may not be suited for your current budget, but if you need a mobile device that can handle the functions and features that you will require it, there is only a place to look for one and that is at refurbished shops. Refurbished phones aren’t necessarily considered second-hand, but they may have been returned because of an issue or were sold directly by the owner. Those that were returned are usually checked before being restored to its factory setting then sold at a much lower price. That is why, if you are looking for some seriously good deals on older models, or even those that have been discontinued, shop around retailers that sell refurbished phones.
Pointers to Consider
However, before you do buy the first model that you see, there are a few things that you need to consider. The first one is its grade. Retailers of refurbished phones usually give their unit grades depending on how well they look. Here’s what you need to know:
Grade A phones are those that resemble brand new ones where there is no visible flaw or damage to their overall look. The same goes true when you power the device on. There will be no lags, and everything will be running smoothly.
Grade B phones, on the other hand, may show visible signs of scratches or damages to the body but are very minimal.
Grade C phones. If you find a refurbished phone that is graded C, it means that it will show signs of wear and tear.
Read reviews about the model first as much as you can and ask the retailer for further details if you will be purchasing online. Companies like Amazon and eBay are good spots to get phones outside of the UK, but you will need to double-check the warranty as well. Warranty on refurbished phones is typically shorter compared to the ones offered by the manufacturer.
If you are looking for the best refurbished phone deals in the UK, you’ll be happy to know that we have rounded up some amazing deals for you starting with the Apple iPhone XS Max. The Ten S Max, as the iPhone XS Max is pronounced, is the largest smartphone that the company made with its 6.5-inch display, with barely and screen bezel, and that iconic top-screen notch.
In terms of internal storage, the XS Max comes in three options starting with 64GB, 256GB, and 512GB respectively. The design of the device is a bit tricky since the rounded sides give it the idea of thickness, but it doesn’t sit comfortably in the hand which puts it at risk from being dropped. Even when the XS Max is considerably thinner compared to other brands, it still feels as if it will be dropped soon. This is because of the tapered edges.
Since Apple increased the display size of their phone, you’ll love taking photos, watching videos, and even playing games with it. The company has also increased its protection to IP68 which enables the device to be water-resistant to depths of two meters for half an hour. Other features worth noting are that the iPhone XS Max needs wireless charging and that there is no jack available for the earphones. You’ll get a pair of EarPods instead. Worth taking note here is that this device has dual SIM capabilities which is a plus if you want to switch to different carriers.
Camera: Front camera is 7MP + ToF while the rear camera is equipped with dual 12MP cameras.
Processor: Apple A12 Bionic
Screen Size: 6.5-inches
- Huge 6.5-inch display giving you more screen to utilize for photos, videos, games, and the like.
- Ample storage capacity to hold videos, texts, and games.
- It can be pricey even for a refurbished phone as it is around $589.97 in Walmart.
- Prone to slippage because of its rounded edges which don’t give you ample grip.
The Apple iPhone XS, or ‘Ten S’, may look the same as the iPhone X and that nothing has changed at all. However, you’ll see some impressive changes on the inside. Although the company has discontinued its manufacturing of the iPhone XS, with the iOS 13 coming soon, it will look quite tempting once more in most refurbished stores.
With Apple’s latest OS becoming available in iPhone XS, there will be new features to expect such as the Dark Mode, plus most of the app speeds will also go up. This means that you’ll get a different kind of iPhone experience with this phone once the new OS lands.
One of the key features that you’ll like about the iPhone XS is that it comes in Gold color. It does appear a bit mocha rather than gold, but with a shade of copper to it. You can also get it in Silver and Space Gray colors as well.
Camera: Dual 12 MP main camera, selfie camera at 7MP
Storage: 64GB, 255Gb, 512GB
Processor: A12 Bionic is the smartest and most powerful chip that you will find in an Apple iPhone.
Screen Size: 5.8-inch Super Retina display with custom-built OLED panels for HDR display
- It is equipped with a large screen at 5.8 inches Super Retina display that can show vivid colors.
- It comes with Face ID security features to prevent anyone from getting into your system.
- It features a 12MP dual-camera system that takes your portraits to a whole new level with the help of Portrait Mode, enhanced bokeh, Portrait Lightning, and Depth Control.
- This is still a pricey handset even when refurbished which is at $589.97 in the market.
- The size of the device can be difficult to handle with just one hand.
Samsung Galaxy S10 is the company’s first-ever phone that is equipped with an in-screen fingerprint reader, the first-ever with HDR 10+ screen, and the first of its line to sport a triple camera arrangement. It also uses Samsung’s very own Exynos 9820 mobile chipset which has helped improve the processing speed and power efficiency of the device. Combine this with a large and expandable internal storage space and a high dose of RAM. It’s no wonder it’s one of the best-refurbished phones out there today.
The design is somewhat similar to that of the iPhone X because of its silver trim, but it has pulled it off nicely. The 10-megapixel in resolution, which is found in the top right of the screen, veered away from the notch trend. Other features worth taking note here include Gorilla Glass-coated front and rear, IP68 waterproofing standard, and a 3.5 mm headphone jack. Although an in-display sensor takes the place of the rear-mounted fingerprint reader, it can go haywire from time to time.
Camera: Rear camera comes in triple-camera arrangement with Dual 12MP and 16MP wide-angle camera
Storage: 128GB or 512GB
Processor: Samsung Exynos 9820 chipset
Screen Size: 6.1-inches Dynamic AMOLED, Quad HD+ Display
- Triple-camera arrangement lets you be more creative with your shots and videos.
- Uses Exynos9820 chipset which improves the performance and functionality of the device.
- Still pricey for a refurbished phone.
- The fingerprint sensor is not reliable at times compared to the previous rear-mounted fingerprint scanner.
Samsung has taken their version of a ‘phablet’ up a notch with their Galaxy S10 Plus with its edge-to-edge 6.4-inch screen display that actually displaced the front-facing camera. It is equipped with an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor and sports the new Wireless PowerShare on the rear which lets you to Qi charge your other devices.
Like Samsung Galaxy S10, the rear of the phablet is where you’ll find its triple-lens camera that lets you take normal, telephoto, as well as ultra-wide photos. Although it doesn’t beat the Huawei P30, it’s camera features let you play with your shots easily.
The design of the S10 Plus has an aluminum frame and is sandwiched between the smooth Gorilla Glass 6. You can get it in ‘Prism’ white, green, and black depending on which refurbished retailer outlet you’ll be getting it from. Although the size of the screen is quite impressive, you will need 2 hands to type on this device, otherwise, it will fall. That said, best buy a protector for it too.
Camera: rear camera: 16MP+12MP+12MP, front camera: 10MP + 8MP
Processor: Octa-core chipset
Screen Size: 6.4-inch AMOLED display
- Massive 6.4-inch display edge-to-edge screen.
- Powerful octa-core chipset with 8GB and storage capacity up to 1TB.
- Can be expensive even when refurbished as it is marked as one of the more popular Samsung models last year.
- The size of the screen requires two hands to use especially when typing and prone to slippage.
Another option to consider when looking for the best-refurbished phones in the UK is the Apple iPhone XR. This model comes in different colors which is one of its fun features. In terms of storage, you can start with their 64GB or, if you are in need of additional storage, you can opt for their 128GB or 256GB. The overall look of the iPhone XR is not that striking, but it does have that futuristic effect the closer the screen is to the edge of the device.
The size of the screen is worth taking note of because it is at 6.1 inches. This makes it easier to handle for those who have bigger hands. It is also worth noting that the XS has a much lower resolution than other iPhone XS models at 828 x 1792 with a density of 326 PPI. Another thing you should note is that the XR has an LCD screen, whereas other iPhone models are already equipped with OLED which is far superior.
Storage: 64GB, 128GB, 256GB
Processor: A12 Bionic
Screen Size: 6.1- inches
- Even though this is a downsized version of the iPhone XS, it still comes with fun designs aside from the black and silver colors.
- It lets you listen to your favorite shows or videos with the stereo feature on both ends of the device.
- The specs are not that striking for an iPhone especially when you can get better versions in the market.
- It has low-resolution and is equipped with an LCD screen.
6) OnePlus 6
OnePlus 6 is a more polished offering in the smartphone industry with its all-glass design, dual rear-facing cameras, 6.28-inch display, face, and fingerprint unlock, and up to 256GB worth of storage too. Although this may sound like a dream for mobile phone users, you might want to wait a while because a newer version is set to be released. Still, the OnePlus 6 has much to offer for those who are looking for refurbished phones that are still impressive enough in terms of specs.
The storage option ranges from 64GB to 256GB with the red variant of the OnePlus 6 only available for the 128GB version. The display is worth talking about because of its 6.28-inch Full HD AMOLED display with a 19:9 aspect ratio. However, there is no HDR support so you will notice a huge difference when placed side by side with higher-spec models.
It has an all-glass design using the Gorilla Glass 5 with the slider on a different side. Water resistance has improved, plus the jack for the headphone has been retained. Battery life can last up to a day, but this may not be true for refurbished phones, depending on its grade. The camera is versatile enough to give you playful shots, but that’s about it.
Camera: Rear camera: 16MP + 20MP, Front camera: 16MP
Processor: Snapdragon 845 chipset
Screen Size: 6.28-inches
- The size of the screen gives you more display to enjoy at 6.28-inches, Full HD AMOLED display
- It is a versatile phone with a different storage capacity with fluid processing power and longer battery life.
- It doesn’t offer HDR features which can be clearly seen on the quality of the videos when compared to others.
- It doesn’t come with expandable storage which can affect your device’s storage capabilities and limit your usage too.
Google has branched into the smartphone industry with the release of their own Android phone which is the Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL. This phone was sold in the market equipped with a Snapdragon 821 chipset, a glass and metal body that is a combination of Samsung and iPhone 7, 4GB of RAM, a 5.5-inch Quad HD screen, and a camera that can compete with the rest. Although this unit had seen better days, if you are into budget-friendly phones that pack a punch, this may be the phone that you are looking for.
There are two storage options for this model, and these are the 32GB version and the 128GB version. Since there is no microSD slot available, it’s going to be difficult to expand the storage if you will be choosing the 32GB version. The design is a bit peculiar with its glass and metal design, plus it doesn’t have any stereo speakers or waterproofing. Still, the battery life can last you a full day and a quarter even.
Storage: 32GB and 128GB
Processor: Android P
Screen Size: 5.5.-inch Quad HD
- Powerful phone at a cheap price.
- First-gen smartphone that can handle more than basic functions with an impressive 5.5-inch screen display.
- It doesn’t come with expandable storage.
- It doesn’t have waterproofing or stereo speakers.
The iPhone X is another impressive option to consider thanks to the iOS 13 update that it comes with. It comes with a 5.8-inch OLED display which is quite impressive for an iPhone. Although the screen is not the most colorful or the sharpest in the market, it is clean, crisp, and doesn’t pixelate. It displays videos well enough too but there are other better options out there.
Other features that are included in the iPhone X is the Facial ID which replaces the fingerprint scanner. You will need your entire feature to gain access to your phone. However, this can be detrimental if you simply wish to check the notifications without lifting your phone since you will still need to unlock it with Facial ID. In terms of camera, the iPhone X has a 12MP sensor array much like the iPhone 8 Plus. The difference is that the iPhone X has an f/2.4 aperture to the f/2.8 of iPhone 8 Plus. The front facing camera is equipped with a 7 MP camera.
Camera: rear camera: 12MP, front camera: 7MP
Storage: 64GB/ 256GB
Processor: A11 Bionic
Screen Size: 5.8 - inch
- Impressive size for an iPhone with its 5.8-inch display.
- The phone is a bit taller but not wider, so the grip isn’t affected.
- Storage is not expandable which means you will need to utilize cloud services more often.
- The resolution of the screen is not as great as the others in the market.
Google Pixel XL 2 may not compete with the newer handsets today, but it does have an impressive background for those who are looking for refurbished phones that offer waterproof features. It may appear a bit like an iPhone with its futuristic look, but instead of the glass and metal combination, you will see more of the metal at the back with a ring to help prevent the phone from slipping from your grasp.
It features an LG-made pOLED QHD+ with 2,880 x 1,440 resolution and 18:9 aspect ratio. The color profile may not be that vibrant compared to the Google Pixel XL, but it does try to do better in terms of color accuracy and contrast. Battery life is good enough for a full day and then some. Camera performance is one of its strongest features with 12MP rear facing camera and an 8MP selfie camera. Because of the widened aperture, you will see improvements to the quality of your shots at this point compared to its predecessor.
Camera: rear camera: 12MP, front camera: 8MP
Storage: 64GB/ 128GB
Processor: Snapdragon 835
Screen Size: 6.0 - inches
- Taller display gives you more screen to play with extended battery life too.
- It does have two storage options which lets you take longer videos and store more photos.
- Storage can no longer be expanded because there is no microSD slot.
- Screen resolution can be better, but it strives to deliver crisp colors.
10) LG G6 H870
The G6 has a more conservative design compared to its predecessor, since it has ditched the removable battery in favor of a stronger battery pack, and a waterproof casing. If you are expecting this model to be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835, you’re mistaken. LG stuck with Snapdragon 821 because they had more experience working with it compared to the newer chipset.
The screen looks bigger which gives you more real estate to play with, plus changes to the user interface to get the most of the extra pixels that this phone is equipped with. It’s a solid phone that will give you value for your money. LG makes use of LCD screen instead of OLED which you might want to think about. It does support HDR content which is quite welcome.
Camera features of the LG G6 have been increased to 13MP with the same wide-angle and normal lenses located in the rear. You won’t get much in terms of camera, but it does get the job done. With the right lighting, you can still get decent enough shots with your camera. Just don’t expect them to be better compared to other brands.
Storage: 32GB/ 64GB/ 128GB
Processor: Snapdragon 821
Screen Size: 5.7-inches
- It’s a more conservative type of phone, that has a 5.7-inch display, and 13MP camera for versatile shots.
- It comes with a larger battery pack that lets you get more juice from your phone.
- Since the battery pack is no longer removable, you will need to replace the entire phone when it gets broken.
- There is no impressive upgrade in terms of performance and camera features and functions.