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The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Refurbished iPhone

Jun 5th 2020

Every year a new line of Apple products seem to hit the shelves like clockwork, but even if you are in the market for a new phone, don’t be so quick to snatch up a brand new model. If you know where to look, you can get all the power and functionality you need out of a mobile device without paying top dollar. The key is to ignore the hype over the newest models and instead make a wiser purchase by going with a refurbished iPhone instead.

If you’ve never bought a certified refurbished device from a reputable source before, you’re probably thinking this is not the optimal choice and that digging deep into your bank account in order to get a new device is the smarter option. We’re all sort of predisposed to believe that new is simply better.

The reality is that a refurbished iPhone is just as fast and reliable as any new model, it’s simply the perception that says otherwise. Here at Mac of All Trades, our iPhones and other devices go through a lengthy and involved 40 point inspection process that ensures maximum functionality and quality. This testing process ensures that your mobile device is just as reliable, if not more so, than anything you could take off a shelf brand new.

This guide will cover everything you need to know if you’re looking into purchasing a refurbished iPhone for yourself, including the mentality you should have going into the process as well as what to look for in your new phone’s specs.

Why Go With Apple Rather Than Cheaper Android Phones

If money is all we’re concerned about here, then wouldn’t it make a lot more sense to simply choose a mid-range Android phone and be done with it? This may sound like conventional wisdom, but you will only be setting yourself up for headaches down the road if you decide on a sub-par mobile experience.

It’s not exactly a secret that the Android market is bustling. The different brands that cater to Google’s mobile platform have found a niche in affordable mass-market devices that range from adequate to barely usable. The lower end Android models have limited functionality and focus more on texting and calling rather than web browsing, picture-taking, and all of the other features we’ve come to associate with mobile phones.

While this is a decent choice for some, these days it’s becoming an inconvenience not to have a fully functional smartphone. There are so many apps that have become a part of daily life, not being able to run them disqualifies these lower-end phones at the outset for most people.

But what about mid-range Android phones? Wouldn’t one of these models stack up to a used iPhone? The answer is actually no, the majority of them wouldn’t.

The truth is that the reason why so many Android phones are cheap in the first place is that their hardware is extremely limited. Case in point, newer Android phones of 2020 are running the same kinds of processors and memory capabilities of the iPhone 6s and similar models. Many still aren’t running cameras with the same level of fidelity in picture quality as the iPhones had almost a decade ago.

The hardware is simply different in an iPhone. Apple has made it clear that they want their brand associated only with top quality. It’s a product line designed specifically to lead the pack in terms of technology trends and features, which means the actual hardware that the phones are built with is going to differ substantially.

In short, if you invest in a refurbished iPhone 8 for example, you would almost surely have to splurge on the flagship Samsung Galaxy models of the past couple of years just to obtain comparable quality, and then you’re still dealing with the notorious bugginess and unintuitive layout of the Android operating system. 

The small amount of money you would save going with an Android phone is ultimately not worth the hassle. This is why if you’re truly interested in saving money when looking for a new phone, it makes far more sense to simply invest in a refurbished iPhone rather than trying to find a halfway decent Android that won’t start slowing down and glitching out in a couple of years.

Pay Attention to Your iPhone Specs

Once you decide that going refurbished is for you, it’s time to think about what you really want out of your iPhone. A lot of people want to grab the newest model but never take advantage of most of its features. You have to remember that a new model iPhone is always going to include the absolute latest technological capabilities. Ask yourself when is the last time you really used most of the features of your current phone, and then you will realize how unnecessary it is to purchase the brand new models.

If you are a mobile gamer, the most brand new model may appeal to you, but even this is relatively unnecessary as most of the iPhones of the last few years have the processors and memory necessary in order to play all of the biggest games out right now.

Storage space is another issue many phone owners are concerned about, but if you understand what your phone is capable of, chances are you can save on space by deleting apps you don’t use and taking advantage of your iCloud storage. Often storage is a matter of discipline rather than specs. You don’t want to invest in a $1000 device just so you can dump more photos on it.

Ultimately, it’s the specs that decide how expensive a mobile device is, so understanding how much storage space, memory, and processing power you need is important. Since the newest iPhones tend to have the most outrageous specs of any current mobile device on the market, you need to spend a bit of time reflecting on your needs. Do you really need professional photography abilities and laptop levels of storage on your phone?

This is about being a smart consumer before anything else. Even most iPhones that are approaching five years old have more than enough functionality for the majority of users. Unless you are a full-time Instagramer or professional mobile gamer, it is unlikely that you will even come close to using all of the features of the latest iPhone.

Why would you purposefully waste money on gadgets you will never use or food you will never eat? The same philosophy can be applied to the phone in your pocket. What’s the point of sinking money into a device that you won’t even use half the features of? This becomes even more apparent as a year from now another line of brand new phones will be released with even more features and higher specs that you won’t be able to take advantage of.

Rather than always chasing the newest model, select your phone based on your specific needs. This includes your perceived needs down the line. It is unlikely that all of a sudden a year from now you’re going to need double the phone storage or memory of an iPhone 8 or XR. Knowing this, it simply doesn’t make sense to purchase a phone with these features anyway if you don’t absolutely need them.

The Best Combination of Affordability and Power

When searching for a new phone, the best deal is one that provides the right combination of affordability and power. Here at Mac of All Trades, we have a robust selection of certified refurbished iPhones that fit this description exactly. There’s no reason to run out to get the latest iPhone unless you plan on spending a fortune for functionality you don’t even need.

Ultimately you want your mobile device to be a smart investment, something that fits into your life and makes things easier instead of acting like a liability from the moment you purchase it. If you spend money you don’t have on a phone, the device is already kind of defeating its purpose.

Your mobile device should help you to streamline your workflow, connect with friends and family, and provide you with features that simplify your life instead of complicating it. Debt and unnecessary expenditures certainly falls into the “complicating it” category. At the rate Apple is improving on their phones, you can also see that newer models are not including anything revolutionary. You’re not missing out on anything, in case the fear of missing out was holding you back from going refurbished.

A couple of years from now those brand new models will seem “outdated” according to the trends and something new will be on the market with even more features you don’t need at the moment. Until new software and apps arrive to take advantage of these more powerful processors and memory limits, it’s not worth spending so much just for a brand new model.

Instead, you can purchase a certified refurbished model that has all the bells and whistles that you have come to expect from Apple’s line of phones, at a much more manageable price point. You will get all the memory, processing power, and hardware capabilities you need while remaining well within your budget.

You shouldn’t have to take out a loan just to keep up with the latest trends. It works more in your favor to act as a smart consumer and look into the specs that you need out of your phone, then make your purchase accordingly. You want your new phone to be able to keep up with all the latest apps and not slow down or cause you any headaches, but at the same time you want to avoid overspending for features you don’t need.

Because Apple leads the pack in the world of mobile devices, their phones are often years ahead of what’s on the market in terms of the latest software and app capabilities. This means that an iPhone model from a couple of years ago is still advanced for what’s coming out on the market today. The minimum specifications for the latest apps and resource-intensive games can easily be played on iPhones that came out 4 years ago. Most of the hottest games of today can even be played on an iPhone 6s Plus, which came out in the fall of 2015, which also had a 12MP camera with a powerful sensor, better than most mid-range Android phones of today.

By purchasing a refurbished iPhone, not only are you saving money, you’re future-proofing yourself for at least the next few years. As software requirements grow, it’s inevitable that we will need more powerful devices to run these apps without experiencing slow-down and glitches, but you can be sure that the iPhones developed in the past few years are more than powerful enough to handle the vast majority of mobile software that will be on the market over the foreseeable future.

There’s ultimately no reason not to go refurbished unless you absolutely have to have all of the latest features in the brand new phone models. A certified refurbished device is tested rigorously and will behave just like a new model that has never been touched. Here at Mac of All Trades, we guarantee our refurbished phones with a free hardware warranty, which means you know you are in good hands.

When it comes to purchasing quality Apple products at a reasonable price, you can always rely on us to come through. Our online store is packed with Apple laptops, iMacs, iPhones, and other products that are all tested extensively and backed with our warranty. If you want the absolute best in affordability and computing power out of your devices, you will be able to find what you’re looking for in our selection of Apple products.

If you are interested in purchasing an Apple iPhone for yourself, make the smart decision and invest in a refurbished model. You will be shocked at the quality, not to mention how much money you will be saving.