How to Choose an iPhone: Which Used iPhone Should You Buy?

We'll help you decide which used iPhone you should choose to buy

Choose a refurbished iPhone

Let's help you choose a used iPhone!

You have a problem… a massive one: you want a used iPhone but don’t know which one to choose. Thankfully, many others in the world have experienced the same problem, and we feel we have some info we want to share to help you make an informed decision. Ok, now let’s put on those work boots and help you choose your next used & refurbished iPhone!

Did you know that refurbished iPhones from Back Market feel exactly like their new counterparts? Refurbished is the new trend: it's better for the planet, cheaper, and celebs love it! Did you see Brad Pitt with his Back Market iPhone? Ok, I'm joking, I don't know if Brad Pitt shops with us... but if he cares about the environment, he should!

Screen size matters when choosing a used iPhone

In terms of screen size, not all iPhones are created equal. The iPhone 5, for example, has a 4-inch LCD screen while the iPhone XS Max contains a whopping 6.5-inch OLED display. Our advice to you is this: go to a store and check out your options. Feel out different phones, and figure out which screen size is right for you. Depending on your intended uses and personality, you will prefer a different screen size.

Then there’s also the difference between OLED and LCD screen technology. OLED will give you deeper colors, and the technology behind it is slightly different, too, but let’s not get too technical here. Both screens are sharp, but OLED is seen as the slightly more premium option. 

Pro tip: don't be misled by specifications when it comes to screens! Judge the screen by how it looks to you, not by the numbers or marketing lingo. 

Apple usually slaps some crazy marketing names on their devices to reference their screen technology (e.g. Retina, Super Retina XDR) but you should honestly ignore these terms. Higher-tier iPhones like the 11 Pro and XS have OLED panels, while mid-tier models like the XR or 11 have LCD panels. And all older models before the X (e.g. iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 7, etc) have LCD screens. Rumor has it that all new iPhones will now receive OLED displays, but I would take this with a grain of salt. It wouldn’t be the first Apple rumor that proved to be wrong. 

And let me clarify this topic a little more: don’t pay more for a screen you don’t need. Get the iPhone that is the best fit for you, not the one that has the craziest marketing terminology.

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Choose a used iPhone that has enough battery life for your needs

Even though iPhones are generally known for keeping their charge longer than their Android competitors, there are some models that overshadow the rest in this category. An easy rule of thumb: the bigger and newer the iPhone, the longer the battery life. Therefore, the iPhone 11 Pro Max, XS Max, and XR are some of the top performers in this category. Nonetheless, any used & refurbished iPhone that you choose on Back Market should be able to easily give you a whole day of battery life (unless you’re a super heavy user).

Pro tip: you shouldn't buy a used iPhone from a third party that doesn't check for quality! With intense use, an iPhone battery can significantly deteriorate in less than two years. That's why Back Market's sellers check internal components and replace old batteries! Always choose a reputable retailer when buying a used & refurbished iPhone!

If you want to play games, choose a recent iPhone

Once again, a big part of this comes down to how new the iPhone is. The newer the iPhone, the newer the chip (e.g. Apple A9 being older vs A11 being newer) the better the overall speed. Thing is, though, that unless you’re a pro user running games or some other strenuous apps, you really won’t notice the difference (unless the iPhone is really really really old). So once again, don’t worry too much about this if you’re an ordinary user. If you are a gamer, though, we would suggest choosing a used & refurbished iPhone that isn’t more than 3 years old.

Pro tip: if you're a gamer, I will let you know I was just doing some crazy gaming recently on a used iPhone 5S, and I couldn't believe how the game ran flawlessly, despite the 5S being released in 2013. Crazy how long iPhones can last.

How to choose a used iPhone with the best camera

I hate to sound like a broken record, but once again, all iPhones have good cameras, but each generation of iPhones makes a series of small improvements, so once again, you probably won’t notice the difference, but the newest, most premium iPhone will have the best camera.

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Starting to notice a trend?

Apple keeps upping the game progressively year after year in each of these departments, but only ever-so-slightly. And you probably know this already. There really haven’t been any crazy innovations, and therefore no real reasons to buy a new iPhone from the Apple store (sorry, Apple). So a lot of it really depends on how much money you’re willing to spend on an iPhone.

If you see yourself as a modern day Marco Polo who loves to explore, consider getting an unlocked iPhone! Most of these will work with just about any service carrier!

We hope this helped you choose your next iPhone!

We hope you have a better idea of what used & refurbished iPhone you want to buy! It’s easy to overthink this choice, and there are no bad choices when it comes to iPhones, so I would really suggest going with your gut and choosing whatever phone you think works best for you :) And if you end up not loving your used & refurbished iPhone, feel free to send it back within 30 days for a full refund from Back Market! In addition, we also offer a 1-year warranty so you can be sure you won’t have any repair-related expenses :D

I’m dreaming of a place that has the best refurbished deals in the Milky Way Galaxy. Except it’s not a dream, it’s reality. Check out our best deals to get some jaw-dropping cheap iPhones, MacBooks, iMacs, PCs, desktops, and more.

Andre from Back Market
By Andre Kopacki, Content Manager

The kind of guy that likes technology a little too much and can't stop talking about it. Good thing I work at Back Market :D

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