The term secondhand or used has always had negative implications when we talk about technology but that might not be true anymore. Talking specifically about smartphones in this article it is easy to see that due to rapid releases of products there is little or no change on devices these days. The smartphone market has plateaued to an extent, not just sale wise but also innovation wise. So why buy a brand new over priced flagship in 2019? when most phones from even two years ago offer the same experience over all. In this post we will be discussing some tips for when buying a pre-owned smartphone and what you can do in order to ensure a better experience.
Picking an Option
As mentioned before, there are just too many options right now in the market to choose from, may that be a new or used phone; so do research, know what you want better and broaden your choices over a few brands and models. In our last article we discussed what most brands have edge in:
- Want Camera? Go Samsung or Oppo or Huawei
- Want Performance? Go Nokia or OnePlus(Older Version)
- Want Battery? Go Huawei or BlackBerry
- Want Software? Go OnePlus(Older Version) or Nokia or BlackBerry
- Want Raw Specs? Go Mi or Vivo or Samsung
- Want Good Quality Screen? Go Samsung
So knowing what you want most will help you thinning your options. Secondly, having a few options will also help as it not necessary that you will find the exact option you are looking for in the preowned market.
Now that you have made your mind about what phone to buy, you are faced with 2 options:
Buying From A Retailer: Retailers are laid around all major cities dealing in preowned smartphones, the only issue is that they charge extra understandably because they have a cost to meet. Buying from retailers can be especially come in hand if they offer some sort of check or usage warranty over a period of time which can further help you out if in case your purchase does decide to be at fault. For some models, especially the ones popular in the market at the time you can find a good price but sometimes that might be hard if the model you want is a premium flagship or a niche phone, because retailers do charge extra for those regardless of their preowned status.
Buying Online: Marketplaces like OLX and Facebook Groups have become the recent go to trend for buying preowned hardware, you will get really good prices and mostly the products being sold are by first users. The only issue is that trust is lacking with these services and you might not know what you are in for. Secondly there is no warranty or even a return period established with most transactions online so you will be stuck with your purchase. Depending on how good you are with making deals online this can be really favorable when taking cost savings into account.
If you are not well informed about the product you intend to buy the chances of getting duped are very high as some products have very small differences that might affect you later on. For example. The BlackBerry KeyOne has two variants, a normal silver colored one and a special black edition; for the laymen it is just a color difference but the well informed person will point out that the special black edition has more RAM and storage, comes with Dual Sim support and was released later having the LCD pop out issue fixed that was seen in older KeyOne Models. So try to always research ahead or you can ask us for guidance.
After having finalized your product and your platform, next up is learning to inspect your device. First of all bring a supported Sim Card along you to test the phone for network, make a call to someone and test the mic and speakerphone, use the 3G/4G to see if that works fine too. Bring a MicroSD card with you if the phone has support for it to check for its working. Headphone jacks are a myth now but if the phone you are buying has one, test that out too.
Visual inspection is also important, check the phone’s sides and especially the connecting points for any gaps or dents. Check if there are screws on the phone and if they seem to be tampered with. Check for lose camera lens or wobbly buttons on the phone. Check the inside of ports for excess dust or damage. Check the camera lens for scratches. If the back is removable, do that and check for inside points of ingress or any scratches that don’t seem regular.
While buying from a person online you will not have the time to inspect all these things and might have to rush the deal so just remember to cover the basics if possible. If buying from a retailer you have the check warranty to count on so go home and take your time. It is always helpful to watch some content online about the phone you wish to purchase to be better informed about any issues that it might have from factory, as the aforementioned blackberry KeyOne screen had.
You bought the smartphone now, Congratulations! But the work does not end here. Buying preowned from a retailer or online will likely have one big issue, fake accessories; retailers do this to make some extra money off of you and online folks usually don’t bother with originality of accessories. Due to recent uprise of brands like Anker, Tronsmart and Baseus have made it incredibly affordable to get original chargers, data cables and earphones. So our advise is to always invest a bit extra in these after your purchase for a worthwhile experience; also get a case, it is important protection wise or maybe you bought a phone with a damaged exterior, in any case it will help you with device endurance, our recommended brand is Spigen and their liquid air series.
We would like to end this article with one important factor for buying preowned products and that is used batteries. The battery of the device is the only component that wears out over time considering the rest of the device was used with care. Most smartphones will have batteries that will work even fine up to 3 years depending on charging and usage habits. Now devices like iPhone have a built in indicator to check the battery health in settings and may apps offer the same service on Android side also; so it is always wise to get your battery replaced after it starts giving you problems and you will see that your performance has also improved alongside.
Let us know if we can help you out with our purchase decision in the future, our social media and direct WhatsApp is always open to queries and suggestions.