The latest phones often come accompanied with premium price tags, so if you’re looking to pick up a new handset on a budget, it can be tricky. A refurbished phone or refurbished iphone provides a lower cost option, regardless of whether you’re looking for an Android or an iPhone.

But what is a refurbished phone?

Refurbished Phone Basics

A refurbished phone is a handset which hs been returned to the retailer (for any number of reasons). It has then been restored to factory settings, and reconditioned so that it's in perfect working order and can be re-sold. As this process prevents perfectly good phones going to waste, it's better for the environment, and ideal for anyone shopping for a phone at a lower price point.

There’s a number of reasons why a phone could be listed as refurbished. Some of us may buy a new phone, but then decide that it’s not quite right, so send it back after barely using it. Others might not even switch their new smartphone on, before deciding to return it untouched. If a phone has minor faults and needs any technical repairs, it can be professionally refurbished and given a second home.

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Are refurbished phones worth buying?

If you’re looking to get an affordable smartphone, you may wonder why it could be a better choice to buy a refurbished phone rather than one from the likes of eBay or Gumtree.

When you buy a refurbished phone from a retailer, you know what you’re getting. It’ll always be less expensive than a factory-new headset, due to the fact that it has been returned and reconditioned for sale. Don’t worry if on arrival it’s not packed in the original box, this is standard practice, and it won’t affect the phone’s performance. It will also arrive without accessories such as headphones, for hygiene reasons. You'll always receive a charger, however, so you can charge and use your phone.

In order for a handset to be sold as a refurbished phone by an authorised reseller, it has to be reconditioned by technicians and will always come with a warranty, for extra peace of mind. Regardless of whether the handset had been operated before it was refurbished, all data stored on the phone is completely wiped, so you start with a clean slate.

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What if I buy a refurbished phone from a non-authorised resller?

A phone from an auction might come with a lower price tag, but it’s impossible to know its history. If any repairs have been made, there’s always a chance that the work might have been done by a third party, plus you never quite know if the condition of the handset is exactly as described.

Another potential risk of buying from an unofficial seller is that you can’t be sure if the phone will still contain any of its previous owner’s data – there’s always the risk of picking up a phone that doesn't feel quite as new, if it contains the previous user's content.

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Things to consider when buying a refurbished phone

It’s important to remember that - by its very nature - a refurbished phone isn’t a brand-new device. So, if you’re desperate to get your hands on a newly-released model, you may have to wait a short while for refurbished stock to become available

One of the first things to think about once you’ve chosen a phone is how to properly protect it. A protective case prevents day-to-day damage, while the warranty covers any technical issues that might arise over a certain period.

Don’t be alarmed if you order a refurbished phone which arrives with less in the box than you were expecting. As mentioned, a refurbished phone will always be packed with a charger, so you’ll be ready to go. Accessories such as headphones won’t be included in the package, but you can always add extra accessories to your basket or decide to pick some up later.

If you’re looking for a refurbished phone or refurbished iphone, you’ll be able to find the latest deals at Mobiles.co.uk.