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While they used to be a luxury, smartphones have only become more and more of a necessity as time goes on. Having a portable device that looks good and functions just as well as a sign of style and class similar to how timepieces were back in the day.

The problem, however, is that phones are expensive. If you want the latest model from your favorite brand can cost hundreds, if not thousands of dollars depending on the features they’re known for. So how are you expected to keep up with the Joneses at those prices? One way is to buy refurbished phones.

The idea of buying a refurbished smartphone might seem cheap or risky, but rest assured that refurbished phones are just as good as a brand new one and no one will be able to tell the difference unless you tell them yourself. If you were to buy refurbished iPhone X for example, you’d be saving hundreds of dollars and in most cases, the phone would still have a warranty to ease your concerns about the future. While the term ‘refurbished’ can mean many things, if you go through reputable retailers you’ll still be getting the real deal at a great price.

So what is refurbishing? A refurbished phone has been wiped and reset to factory settings and thoroughly cleaned. Screens, speakers, cameras, batteries, and buttons are all tested both on the outside and the inside to make sure they work like brand new.

Phones are opened up and repaired inside if needed, so new chips or a new screen, perhaps a new paint job. In the end, you get a device that looks fresh and clean at a fraction of the price, and the added bonus of reusing a device that would have ended up in a landfill somewhere.

When looking to buy a refurbished iPhone x or any refurbished phone the best place to find a quality item is an original company or a licensed retailer. Often they’ll have a website where they list returned, damaged, or refurbished items at a reduced cost. Check for a warranty if you’re wanting one and be sure to read the fine print and note the grade of the device, if any. Refurbished devices with an A will be practically brand new but anything listed as a C or lower will have visible dings or scratches.

One key thing to keep in mind as well as how recently the phone you want was released. Companies usually won’t list refurbished phones until they have a new model or two in front of them. Other things to consider when looking for a refurbished phone are that the packaging likely will be second-hand or nonexistent. Any accessories like chargers, earbuds, cases, or screen protectors will not typically be included, but many retailers will have a selection on hand so you can deck out your device in one go.

Although the idea of buying something as important as a phone refurbished is oftentimes not even an option in people’s minds, the simple fact of it all is that if you go through the correct channels and double-check what you’re buying, a refurbished phone is a great way to stay current in the world of phones. Being able to enjoy the newer, updated features, firmware, and styles without the hefty price every single year.

Buying phones that have been refurbished also help give new life to devices that have been cast aside, which is good for the environment as well. The stigma about buying used and refurbished items are a thing of the past, with many people opting to go those routes instead of buying new ones specifically because of the high price tags that come with new phones, especially iPhones.

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