The 5 Best Refurbished Phones You Can Buy Right Now 
Here’s a list of the best refurbished phones you can buy right now based things that actually matter: value for money, performance, software updates, and camera tech.
- Refurbished phones are pre-owned devices that have been repaired and restored to their original condition.
- They offer a cost-effective alternative to buying a brand new phone, while still providing all the features and functionality you need.
- When shopping for a refurbished phone, make sure you buy from a reputable seller who offers warranties and has good customer reviews.
The best refurbished phones available on the market include:
Each phone has its own unique features such as powerful cameras, high-end specs, and AI capabilities making them great options for users looking to upgrade their phones without breaking the bank.
What Are Refurbished Phones?
So, you’re in the market for a new phone, but you’re not keen on shelling out big bucks for the latest model. Well, my friend, you’ve come to the right place.
Refurbished cell phones are the secret weapon of savvy tech shoppers. They offer all the bells and whistles of a new device, but at a fraction of the cost.
Now, when we say “refurbished phones,” we’re not talking about some beat-up old devices that have been gathering dust in someone’s drawer.
We’re talking about high-quality, refurbished phones unlocked and ready to go.
These are phones that have been carefully inspected, tested, and restored to their former glory. They’re just like new, only cheaper.
And the best part? These refurbished unlocked phones aren’t tied to any specific carrier. That’s right. You’re not locked into a contract with T-Mobile, AT&T, or any other provider.
You have the freedom to choose the plan and the provider that works best for you. So, if you’re looking for T-Mobile refurbished phones, or refurbished Android phones from any other carrier, you have all the same options as you do with new phones.
But what if you’re an Android fan? Well, you’re in luck. There’s a wide range of refurbished Android phones available, from top brands like Samsung, Google, and more. So, whether you’re a fan of the Galaxy series or you’re partial to the Pixel, there’s a pre-owned phone out there with your name on it.
So, don’t let the price tag of a new phone get you down. With unlocked refurbished phones, you can get the device you want without breaking the bank. It’s a win-win situation
In this article, we’ll take a look at the best refurbished phones available on the market today.
Why Buy Refurbished?
When shopping for a refurbished phone, there are several factors you need to consider. You’ll want to make sure you’re buying from a reputable seller who offers warranties and has good customer reviews.
You also need to make sure you’re buying a phone that has everything you need.
A Samsung Galaxy S8 or iPhone 6 might be cheap now and look rather attractive to the untrained eye, but they’re cheap for a reason: both phones are old, and neither get software updates anymore.
This is why it is VERY important to choose wisely when shopping around for a refurbished phone.
Best Refurbished Phones
Overview of The Best Refurb Phones Right Now
iPhone 12 Pro Max
The iPhone 12 Pro Max is now a couple of years old but, because it is an iPhone, this doesn’t really matter. And the reason for this is threefold:
- Apple’s iPhones – all of them – get iOS updates for years. The iPhone 12 Pro Max will still be getting iOS updates towards the back-end of the 2020s.
- Apple’s A-Series CPU is insanely powerful. It runs rings around anything you’ll find in Android phones, so you don’t need to worry about any performance-related problems for a good several years or more.
- Because this is the iPhone 12 Pro Max, you’re getting access to Apple’s top-of-the-line camera module which includes its best sensors and additional goodies like LiDAR which is an incredibly useful addition.
You will pay more for the Pro Max than, say, the iPhone 12 but the battery life, the performance, and the camera make that additional cost totally worth it.
This is a phone you can buy today and run for the next six to eight years. And that is why it is our #1 option.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra was Samsung’s 2021 flagship smartphone and it comes packed with a raft of high-end specs and abilities.
It has a 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED display with a resolution of 3200 x 1440 pixels, making it perfect for streaming content or playing games. The phone is powered by an Exynos 2100 processor (in some regions) or a Snapdragon 888 processor (in others), which delivers lightning-fast performance.
The S21 Ultra also comes equipped with a quad-camera setup on the back, including a 108-megapixel primary sensor, two telephoto lenses, and an ultra-wide lens. This camera system allows you to capture stunning photos and videos in any lighting condition.
Other notable features of the S21 Ultra include a massive 5000mAh battery that supports fast charging and wireless charging, as well as support for the S Pen stylus (sold separately).
Overall, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is an excellent choice for those who want top-of-the-line performance and features but don’t want to pay thousands of dollars for the latest Galaxy S model.
Google Pixel 6 Pro
The Google Pixel 6 Pro was Google’s 2022 flagship model and it brought plenty of performance to the table.
It has a large 6.7-inch OLED display with a resolution of 3120 x 1440 pixels, making it perfect for streaming content, playing games, and browsing the web and social media.
The phone is powered by Google’s own Tensor chip, which delivers decent performance and AI capabilities, although it isn’t quite a match for Apple’s A-series of the Snapdragon 888 used inside the Galaxy S21 Ultra.
The Pixel 6 Pro also comes equipped with a triple-camera setup on the back, including a 50-megapixel primary sensor, an ultra-wide lens, and a telephoto lens. This camera system allows you to capture stunning photos and videos in any lighting condition.
Other notable features of the Pixel 6 Pro include a large 5000mAh battery that supports fast charging and wireless charging, as well as support for the latest version of Android and guaranteed software updates for at least three years.
Additionally, the phone boasts advanced security features like the Titan M2 chip and an in-display fingerprint scanner. Overall, if you’re looking for a premium smartphone with cutting-edge features and performance, the Google Pixel 6 Pro is definitely worth considering.
The iPhone 13 was Apple’s 2021 entry-level phone; it launched alongside the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max, as well as the ill-fated iPhone 13 Mini
The iPhone 13 offers a number of impressive upgrades over its predecessor – most notably battery performance. It has a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display with Ceramic Shield protection, making it more durable than ever before.
The phone is powered by Apple’s A15 Bionic chip, which delivers lightning-fast performance and improved battery life.
The iPhone 13 also comes equipped with a dual-camera system on the back, including a 12-megapixel primary sensor and an ultra-wide lens. It’s no way near as good as the Pro Max’s camera but it’ll still get the job done.
Other notable features of the iPhone 13 include support for 5G connectivity, improved Face ID technology, and up to 1TB of storage (depending on the model).
You will also get iOS updates for at least 6-8 years with this phone too.
If you’re looking for a high-quality smartphone that offers top-of-the-line performance and features, and you don’t mind paying a little bit more, the iPhone 13 is definitely worth considering.
Samsung Galaxy S22
The Samsung Galaxy S22 is newer and therefore more costly than the older Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra.
But if you want a newer model, it is definitely worth a look in 2023, as it comes with a raft of benefits over its predecessor.
The Galaxy S22 now looks more premium and better constructed, thanks to its new glass and metal frames. The S22 also has a more rounded shape which, again, gives it a more premium aesthetic.
Internally, the phone boasts improved specs over the S21, an improved camera module fronted by a 50MP wide lens and backed up by a 12-megapixel ultrawide and 10-megapixel telephoto camera.
The S22 also runs on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 CPU, not Samsung’s Exynos chip like the S21, and this makes it a considerably faster, more efficient phone across the board.
Essentially, the S22 is a much more refined beast than the S21; it has better battery life, improved looks, vastly superior performance, and a heavily updated camera module.
And while it is a little on the pricey side right now because of its relatively new age, if you’re an Android user looking for value it is well worth a look in 2023 – it is MUCH cheaper than the Galaxy S23.
Best Refurbished Phone: Analysis…
OK. We’ve listed our top picks for the best refurbished phones you can buy right now. But if you’re still a bit unsure, let’s now get even more granular by looking at some of the most common types of buyers.
Most people will fit into one of the niches listed below, so this should help you form a better idea about which phone to go for.
Let’s do this…
Best Refurbished Phone For iPhone Users
If you want the best possible camera performance and the largest screen Apple has to offer, you’ll want to go with the iPhone 12 Pro Max. It is a flagship device in every respect, giving you access to myriad features that simply are not available on the base model iPhone 12 and iPhone 13.
If you’re not fussed about having access to all the latest, flagship features and all you want is a phone that works great, takes excellent pictures, has brilliant battery life, and will get iOS updates for years to come, go with the iPhone 13 – it is an incredible phone.
And I should now, I’ve been using one for the best part of 14 months.
Best Refurbished Android Phone
With Android users, the best phone – for the most part – is always going to be something from Samsung. And like with Apple, the model you go for will depend on how much you want to spend and what kind of features and specs you want access to.
If you want the best of the best with respect to camera tech, specs, and overall hardware, go with the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra.
If you want a newer phone with excellent performance, thanks to its SD GEN 1 CPU, and the latest Samsung industrial design, go with the Galaxy S22. It isn’t an Ultra model, but it is as good as the S21 Ultra in most cases, save for the camera module where the S21 Ultra has it pegged.
Best Refurbished Phone For Value For Money
Pound for pound, the iPhone 13 is arguably the best value refurbished phone on the market right now. And it is the best value for a bunch of reasons:
- It isn’t as expensive as a Galaxy S22 / S1 Ultra
- It will get iOS updates well into the late 2020s
- It has more power than you’ll ever need
- It looks great and isn’t too big
- The battery life is exceptional
- And iOS is, arguably, the simplest operating system to live with.
For this reason and a whole load more, I’d advise anyone looking for killer value for money from a refurbished phone to go with Apple’s iPhone 13.
Richard GoodwinRichard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He has written for Den of Geek, Fortean Times, IT PRO, PC Pro, ALPHR, and many other technology sites. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.
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