Trying to keep up with the latest in phone technology can be costly, especially if you’re the kind of person who updates their smartphone on an almost annual basis. For some, it can be hard to validate spending over $1,000 to buy a brand new phone outright, or, if they bundle it with a telco plan, trying to factor in the additional bill fee into their monthly budget.
The safe way to a buy a second-hand phone
If you don’t want to buy new, your only other choice is to go the second-hand route and pick up an older model. It’s a great alternative, but it’s important that you avoid any potential risks.
It’s not hard to find someone selling an older iPhone on Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree or even from a friend, but these phones can come with their fair share of wear and tear, ranging from chipped or cracked screens to degraded batteries that no longer hold their charge.
There’s also the possibility that the seller has purposefully not specified any of the phone’s faults before selling it to you.
To avoid taking a risk with second-hand phones, you’re best buying a refurbished phone through a telco like numobile. To make sure you’re getting a smartphone that runs and looks the way you’d expect it to, numobile puts their phones through a 51-point test. They also have different grades available at different price points, making it easy to choose a phone that suits both your needs and budget.
These refurbished smartphones are also covered by Australian Consumer Law, and come with warranties, so if the smartphone suffers a major failure, you’re entitled to a replacement or refund (provided you weren’t the cause of the failure).
While a refurbished phone might be missing the cutting edge technology of its latest iteration, they still have plenty to offer in the way of user experience.
If you’re currently in the market for a new phone and are considering the second-hand, refurbished route, these are some of the older smartphone models you should consider picking up.
Released back in 2017, the iPhone 8 is a good meeting point between quality and affordability. It still holds its own when compared to the current state of smartphone technology.
Its A11 Bionic chip has a maximum clock rate of up to 2.39 GHz. It also comes with a battery life that, according to Apple, can support “up to 13 hours of video playback” (although this amount isn’t exact for a refurbished model). The iPhone 8 has a 4.7″ retina HD display, and comes with a single rear-mounted 12-megapixel wide (ƒ/1.8 aperture) camera.
As far as older models of iPhones go, the X series is still pretty impressive when it comes to performance. If you can pick up a refurbished phone from this series, you’d be doing pretty well.
The standard iPhone X runs on the same A11 Bionic chip as the iPhone 8, with a similar battery life. The iPhone XR and XS use an A12 Bionic chip, which Apple is still using in the eighth generation iPad that launched back in September of this year. The A12 has a maximum clock rate of up to 2.49 GHz.
The XR is larger, with a 6.1″ display compared to the X and XS’ 5.8″ displays. The iPhone X and XS’s screen is a Super Retina HD display, which is what the current generation of iPhone 12’s use. The XR uses a Liquid Retina display, which was also used by the standard iPhone 11.
The base model X has dual, rear-mounted 12MP wide (ƒ/1.8 aperture) and telephoto cameras (ƒ/2.4 aperture). The XS has similar rear cameras, although with an upgraded sensor. The XR only has a single, rear-mounted 12MP wide (ƒ/1.8 aperture) camera.
Samsung Galaxy S9/S9+
The Galaxy S9 was released back in 2018, but as phones go – be it a Samsung or just smartphones in general – it’s still a solid choice.
The S9 has a 5.8″ Super AMOLED display, and runs on an Exynos 9810 chip, which is an octa-core CPU (4×2.7 GHz Cortex-A55 & 4×1.7 GHz Mongoose M3). The Galaxy S9 has a single, rear-mounted 12MP camera that can swap between a ƒ/1.5 and ƒ/2.4 aperture.
If you’re after a Samsung with a little extra kick, the Galaxy S9+ is a reliable choice. For the most part, it’s similar to the S9 but bigger. It has 6.2″ Super AMOLED display, 6GB of RAM and runs on a 3,500 mAh battery (the standard S9 is 3,000mAh).
The Galaxy S9+ has dual, rear-mounted cameras: a 12MP wide-angle lens that uses a dual-aperture system (ƒ/1.5 and ƒ/2.4), and 12MP telephoto lens (ƒ/2.4 aperture).