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How long do refurbished phones last?

Updated on February 26, 2024

How long do refurbished phones last? About as long as its new counterpart. Here’s what you need to know about refurbished phone longevity and other FAQs.

If you’re new to the world of refurbished phones, welcome. We’re glad you’re here. This article is about to dispel what a refurbished phone is, how long it really lasts, and what you can expect. Spoiler: If purchased from a reliable retailer, refurbished phones should last as long as their new counterparts. Unfortunately, retailers with poor quality standards can sell refurbished phones that don’t make it past a month. 

If you’re stuck on where to begin your search, look no further. Back Market customers receive a 1-year warranty to provide peace of mind. Phew. 

What is a refurbished phone? 

We’re here to answer the big question on everybody’s lips. A refurbished phone is one that was previously owned but has since been expertly restored to work like new. You can think of refurbishing a phone as similar to book restoration. Let’s break it down:

  • New: A brand new book has never been read before and still has a spine that’s never been broken open. This is similar to a brand-new phone.  

  • Used: A used book from a thrift store has been used, but not restored. It probably has signs of wear and tear and has no guarantees for its condition. This is similar to buying a used phone from eBay or other online sellers with no certification or warranty process.  

  • Refurbished: An old classic book that’s been properly restored will be as close to its original as possible. This often requires expert knowledge and the use of time-appropriate materials. Restored books often come with certificates of authenticity, just like a well-refurbished phone will come with some kind of guarantee or warranty.      

Done well, a refurbished phone should look and operate like it was new. 

How long does a refurbished smartphone last? 

Because a refurbished phone is meant to work like its new counterpart, the question of how long a refurbished phone lasts really depends on the type of phone. In general, it’s typically between 2 and 8 years, and big-name brands often last longer than smaller brands. 

Refurbished iPhones that are less than 4 years old can generally get another 2-3 years out of them before you notice a drop in speed. They become noticeably slower by the 6-year point. However, it really depends on what kind of apps you run on the device.

Samsung phones have a slightly shorter life span. They typically last between 5 and 7 years before users begin noticing a dip in performance. Smaller brands like Oppo have shorter life spans of 3-4 years.  

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Tip: Buy refurbished phones from retailers that offer lasting guarantees. Otherwise you could be stuck with a phone that doesn’t work after only a few months with no way to replace it.

A quick note for you: The above lifespans are based on when the latest software version stops being available for the device, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the phone will stop working. For example, although the iPhone X doesn’t support iOS 17, iPhone X users aren’t left without a phone. They can still use it and download apps as normal without the latest version of iOS.

Factors that affect refurbished phone life spans 

The type of phone you purchase isn’t the only thing that can impact its life span. Here are a few other factors to consider when purchasing a refurbished phone. 

Battery  

There are only a certain amount of charges a phone battery can take before permanently losing its charge. This is why Back Market’s sellers check to ensure batteries are either replaced or still in great condition before being sent out to you. We also provide the option to replace the device’s battery with a brand-new battery to ensure you enjoy your new refurbished phone.

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Certification 

Hiss. Pop. Buzz. All sounds that used iPhones (with old batteries) bought from unreliable third parties can make. A used iPhone from a nonspecialized retailer can last you literally no time at all. Quality refurbished phones will come with some kind of guarantee. With Back Market, though, you’re getting the best deals on smartphones that have been quality-checked and a 1-year warranty.

“I am honestly thrilled with this company. The phone exceeded my expectations, and my son is happy. Never will I be purchasing electronics anywhere else.” — Mia D 

Refurbished phones FAQ

Have other questions about how long a refurbished phone lasts? Here are answers to some commonly asked questions.

Do refurbished phones have new batteries?

Sometimes, but not always. Not all refurbished phones get new batteries because they don’t always need one. At Back Market, all our smartphones are quality tested to ensure a healthy battery life of at least 85% capacity. For extra peace of mind, users can also boost many of our smartphones to come with a brand-new battery.

Where can I buy a refurbished phone?

You can buy a refurbished phone from many online retailers, but with Back Market, you get a 12-month guarantee and a history of trusted business. For anyone wondering whether Back Market is legit or not, you only need to look at our customer reviews:

Plus, Back Market comes with a 30-day guarantee for extra peace of mind. If, for any reason, you’re dissatisfied with your purchase, send it back for a full refund.   

Are refurbished phones good?

Absolutely. Not only are they an affordable technology option for college students or anyone looking to save, but they work just as well as their new counterparts. Just remember to always purchase from a retailer that offers a warranty, like Back Market’s 12-month guarantee. 

Whether you’re looking to purchase a reliable iPhone for less, for the same quality as new, or need the best deals on a new laptop, Back Market provides top-quality items you can trust.

Miguel G.

Written by Miguel G.Sr. Tech Copywriter (US)

Miguel is always looking for new ways to provide unique perspective on popular tech and has taken his writing to the refurbished industry to promote sustainability. Outside of creating content, you might find him travelling the globe, coaching a fitness class, or cheering on his favorite sports teams (Go Dolphins!)

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