The iPhone XR was cheap(ish) when it first landed, but its price – if you go refurbished – is now insanely low…

The iPhone XR cost $599.99 when it first came out. It was the first “cheap” iPhone Apple had ever released. Unsurprisingly, it went on to become Apple’s best seller for three straight years.

In fact, it wasn’t until the release of the iPhone 12 lineup, supported by strong sales in China, that the iPhone XR was dethroned as Apple’s most-popular iPhone.

If you’re interested in saving yourself some cash in 2021, the iPhone XR – via Verizon’s certified refurbished program – can be had for just $288, a saving of $311 in total.

And do not be put off about it being refurbished; refurbished is NOT the same as used. With a refurbished iPhone, the phone has been returned to the vendor, had a full inspection, got itself all fixed up, and is then resold on as for less.

What Does “Certified Refurbished” Mean?

Here’s the official line from Verizon on its process for certifying phones that are to be sold as refurbished units:

Our highly-trained technicians inspect and grade the cosmetic appearance of each used device to indicate if the condition is Like New, Great, Very Good or Good. We conduct extensive functional examinations on all used devices. This includes all internal and external functions such as buttons, audio, battery health, SIM card, camera and touch screen. We only approve used devices that score 100% functionality.

This is why you should ALWAYS buy “certified” refurbished – it means the phone will look and function as good as a new one. And the reason they are cheaper is because they cannot be sold as new. That’s literally it.

It’s basically an advertising standard. It has nothing to do with the quality, look and/or feel of the phone. This is why I always buy refurbished tech.

My last MacBook? Refurbished. My last iPad Pro? Refurbished.

It’s just a better way to buy expensive tech.

Is The iPhone XR Still Worth Buying In 2021?

The iPhone XR isn’t going to give the iPhone 11 or iPhone 12 any hassle in the performance stakes, but it is still a very solid option – even in 2021. Apple’s A12 Bionic chip is extremely potent, even by today’s standards, so if all you need is a phone for email, web browsing, apps and calls, you’re good to go with the XR.

Apple will also support the iPhone XR for years to come too. This means if you bought the XR today, you’d still be getting iOS updates in 2024/25 most likely. Can you say that about ANY Android phones? Nope.

When times are tight, and there’s plenty of uncertainty in the air, dropping $1000+ on a phone is probably not the best idea – not unless you’re loaded.

If, like most people, you’re looking to budget-down in 2021 and beyond, picking up a reduced-cost iPhone XR over a brand new iPhone 11 or iPhone 12 is probably a very shrewd move.

Hell, I’m even tempted by this offer from Verizon…