Best Refurbished Phones To Buy 2022: Our #1 Picks…

By Richard Goodwin •  Updated: 02/02/22 •  7 min read

If you’re looking to buy a refurbished phone in 2022, you have LOADS of amazing options. Here are our #1 picks for the best refurbished phones for 2022…


Why buy a refurbished phone? The answer to this, at least for me, is simple: they’re cheaper, they’re better for the environment, and they allow you to get out from under the crushing costs of phone contracts.

And if 2022 is anything like what the economists expect it to be, tightening up your belt, financially speaking, is probably something you should be looking to do – everybody is going to feel the pinch this year.

One of the main reasons I like refurbished phones so much is that providing you use a reputable retailer, they look and function as good as new. The phones are tested and re-tested before they’re allowed to go on sale, so what you’re getting is effectively a brand new phone.

The phone – when it is classed as refurbished – has either been sold to a customer and sent back or is surplus stock. Another factor could be a retail store closing down and sending its surplus stock back.

Either way, a refurbished phone is NOT the same as a “used” phone – it’s not even close.

But what are the best refurbished phones you can buy right now? As always, we’ve got a list of our current recommendations below, complete with links out to reputable retailers in the USA and UK/Europe. I’ve also taken the liberty of breaking them up into different budgets, so by the end of the post, you will have found something that you can afford.

Best Refurbished Phones

  1. iPhone 12
  2. iPhone 12
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    5.0

    The phone is powered along by Apple’s insanely powerful A14 CPU which, by 2022 standards, is still one of the fastest chips on the market. The phone has a 6.1in display, great battery life, and now, thanks to it being over 12 months old, can be had for less than $500. 


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  3. iPhone 13 Mini
  4. iPhone 13 Mini
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    4.5

    The iPhone 14 will land later this year, but the iPhone 13 Mini, like all iPhones in circulation, will get iOS updates for years to come – probably well into the late-2020s. And it is this, along with its impressive specs and performance, that makes it one of the best refurbished phones on the market right now. 


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  5. Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
  6. Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
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    5.0

    You have support for 5G, one of the best displays in the business, a brilliant camera module, and masses of power under the hood. The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra will also get the next couple of major Android updates, so Android 14 and Android 15, and after that, you can use custom ROMS. If you want an Android phone, this is the one to get. 


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  7. iPhone 11
  8. iPhone 11
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    4.5

    Apple’s iPhone 11 – for me and many other people – was the perfect phone when it launched. It had a great camera, the battery life was ridiculously good, and the software was simple to use and extremely engaging. The screen size – 6.1in – is perfect too, being not too big and not too small.

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  9. Samsung Galaxy S20
  10. Samsung Galaxy S20
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    5.0

    If you want an Android phone but you don’t want to spend a ton of money, the Samsung Galaxy S20 is just what you’ve been looking for. This phone has it all: 5G, and OLED display, an amazing camera system, beautiful software, a pitch-perfect design, and outstanding battery life. 


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  11. iPhone X
  12. iPhone X
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    3.5

    The iPhone X is essentially a more powerful version of the iPhone XR. It has a better display – it uses an OLED panel, while the XR uses an LCD one – and it has a slightly better processor. The camera is improved too, adding in better low-light performance and more lenses for improved video and picture quality. 


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  13. iPhone XR
  14. iPhone XR
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    3.5

    The phone, still a solid performer even by 2022’s standards, is now available for next to nothing. If you want a massive bargain, this is a great option to go for.

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Newer Flagship Options

If you’re after either a newer or more flagship-orientated refurbished phone, and you don’t mind paying a little extra, the following phones are what we recommend the most right now. They’re all massively impressive handsets with spades of performance and excellent cameras.

iPhone 12

If you want an iPhone that has all the modern trimmings – 5G, an OLED display, and the latest design – the iPhone 12 is the best option for you. Released in 2020, the iPhone 12 was the first iPhone to ship with 5G. It was also the first entry-level model to get an OLED display.

The phone is powered along by Apple’s insanely powerful A14 CPU which, by 2022 standards, is still one of the fastest chips on the market. The phone has a 6.1in display, great battery life, and now, thanks to it being over 12 months old, can be had for less than $500.

iPhone 12
5.0

The phone is powered along by Apple’s insanely powerful A14 CPU which, by 2022 standards, is still one of the fastest chips on the market. The phone has a 6.1in display, great battery life, and now, thanks to it being over 12 months old, can be had for less than $500. 


BEST USA DEAL BEST UK/EUROPE DEAL
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iPhone 11 Pro Max

If you can live without 5G, the iPhone 11 Pro Max is one of the best value phones on the market right now. Apple’s 2019 flagship phone is a monster in the specs department and it has one of the best camera systems ever fitted to an iPhone.

The iPhone 11 Pro Max has a 6.8in OLED display, a huge battery that’ll deliver days of battery life from a single charge, and it will get iOS updates until well inside the late-2020s. For me, this is arguably the most impressive phone on this list, providing you can live without 5G.


iPhone 13 Mini

Apple’s iPhone 13 mini did not sell well; in fact, it was the least popular iPhone in Apple’s iPhone 13 lineup. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get a sweet deal on one now. If you want a smaller iPhone with all the latest specs and hardware, including 5G, the iPhone 13 Mini is 100% where it is at – the phone itself is barely 12 months old.

The iPhone 14 will land later this year, but the iPhone 13 Mini, like all iPhones in circulation, will get iOS updates for years to come – probably well into the late-2020s. And it is this, along with its impressive specs and performance, that makes it one of the best refurbished phones on the market right now.

iPhone 13 Mini
4.5

The iPhone 14 will land later this year, but the iPhone 13 Mini, like all iPhones in circulation, will get iOS updates for years to come – probably well into the late-2020s. And it is this, along with its impressive specs and performance, that makes it one of the best refurbished phones on the market right now. 


BEST USA DEAL BEST UK/EUROPE DEAL
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

Samsung’s flagship phones are NOT cheap. You’ll pay more for a Samsung Galaxy flagship these days than an iPhone. The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra is a couple of years old now but the phone is still a powerhouse when it comes to specs, hardware, and overall performance.

You have support for 5G, one of the best displays in the business, a brilliant camera module, and masses of power under the hood. The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra will also get the next couple of major Android updates, so Android 14 and Android 15, and after that, you can use custom ROMS. If you want an Android phone, this is the one to get.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
5.0

With its killer design, SD-support, and 5G connectivity, as well as its insane specs and gorgeous OLED display, the Galaxy S20 Ultra is still a brilliant buy in 2022, especially since it can now be had for better than half the price it launched at…

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Mega Budget Options

Best Refurbished Phones
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If you want to save a lot of money in 2022 on your next phone, but still get something that is a solid performer, fear not – you do not have to buy a budget Chinese phone. You can instead get one of these amazing refurbished phones from either Apple or Samsung for less than $300 in most cases.

Samsung Galaxy S20

If you want an Android phone but you don’t want to spend a ton of money, the Samsung Galaxy S20 is just what you’ve been looking for. This phone has it all: 5G, and OLED display, an amazing camera system, beautiful software, a pitch-perfect design, and outstanding battery life.

And because the phone is now almost two generations old, the price of the Samsung Galaxy S20 has come down massively – it is now super affordable, even on the tightest budgets. For this reason, as well as the fact it was one of the best phones on the market when it came out, we had to include it on this list.

Samsung Galaxy S20
5.0

If you want an Android phone but you don’t want to spend a ton of money, the Samsung Galaxy S20 is just what you’ve been looking for. This phone has it all: 5G, and OLED display, an amazing camera system, beautiful software, a pitch-perfect design, and outstanding battery life. 


BEST USA DEAL BEST UK/EUROPE DEAL
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

iPhone 11

Apple’s iPhone 11 – for me and many other people – was the perfect phone when it launched. It had a great camera, the battery life was ridiculously good, and the software was simple to use and extremely engaging. The screen size – 6.1in – is perfect too, being not too big and not too small. The phone scored impressive reviews when it came out.

And now, a couple of years later, most of the above still stands. The iPhone 11 is an incredible phone that is now available at a very reasonable price. If you just need a functional phone that excels at nearly everything it does, then the iPhone 11 is arguably one of the best options on the market right now.

iPhone 11
4.5

Apple’s iPhone 11 – for me and many other people – was the perfect phone when it launched. It had a great camera, the battery life was ridiculously good, and the software was simple to use and extremely engaging. The screen size – 6.1in – is perfect too, being not too big and not too small.

BEST USA DEAL BEST UK/EUROPE DEAL
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

iPhone XR

The iPhone XR was Apple’s best-selling iPhone of all time. And with good reason too; the phone used Apple’s new design language, it ran FACE ID, and it packed in plenty of color options. The phone, still a solid performer even by 2022’s standards, is now available for next to nothing. If you want a massive bargain, this is a great option to go for.

iPhone XR
3.5

The phone, still a solid performer even by 2022’s standards, is now available for next to nothing. If you want a massive bargain, this is a great option to go for.

BEST USA DEAL BEST UK/EUROPE DEAL
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

iPhone X

The iPhone X is essentially a more powerful version of the iPhone XR. It has a better display – it uses an OLED panel, while the XR uses an LCD one – and it has a slightly better processor. The camera is improved too, adding in better low-light performance and more lenses for improved video and picture quality.

The iPhone X is now very, very affordable. But because it looks more or less the same as the iPhone 11, it still looks every bit the modern iPhone. And like all of Apple’s iPhones, it will iOS updates for years to come.

iPhone X
3.5

The iPhone X is essentially a more powerful version of the iPhone XR. It has a better display – it uses an OLED panel, while the XR uses an LCD one – and it has a slightly better processor. The camera is improved too, adding in better low-light performance and more lenses for improved video and picture quality. 


BEST USA DEAL BEST UK/EUROPE DEAL
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

If you’re looking to buy a refurbished phone, the two retailers we recommend the most are Gazelle for our USA readers and REBOXED for all of our UK and European readers.

We have tested and assessed both companies thoroughly and can attest to the quality of their products, the checks they perform on all handsets, and their excellent respective warranty and returns policies.

Best Refurbished Phones
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Richard Goodwin

Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.

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