The best refurbished phone deals in December 2018

A new smartphone deal need not mean a new mortgage too. There is a way to get the best phone for your money without spending it all – refurbished phones are the key.

Refurb may still sound like a dirty word for some, but those red flags can be put away as there are lots of reputable sellers that offer you peace of mind as well as a wallet-friendly price on your next mobile phone.

If you're imagining a slightly warn handset dogged by the fingerprints and smell(!) of a former owner, that's not what refurbished mobile phones are generally about these days. You can read more about what a 21st century refurb is all about with our advice below.

And refurb doesn't mean you can't have your dream phone either, as there are many flagship phones available - all the big players including the iPhone 8, Galaxy Note 8 and Google Pixel 2, to name a few, can be bought refurbished.

Today's best refurbished mobile phone contract deals

Today's best SIM-free refurbished phone deals

How much can I save with a refurbished phone?

Cutting to the chase, yes you can get an iPhone X refurbished and yes you save on that whopping £999 price. Because of the vast cost that the iPhone X costs new, it's a great example of what you can save. We've seen it being sold from the likes of Amazon, for around the £750-mark - so that's a 25% saving.

And for anyone in team Android, you can go to a site like Envirophone and grab a Samsung Galaxy S9 64GB for £489, saving you over £50 on a new SIM-free version.

What is a refurbished phone?

More often than not, a refurbished phone is a device that has been bought and then returned to the retailer or network. They can no longer sell it as a new phone, so have to call it refurbished. So many refurb phones out there will never have even been out of the box.

In some cases they may have been returned due to damage, but the phone will be repaired by an expert technician before being sold. This not only saves you money but can also be a more environmentally responsible decision as it can help re-use components that may otherwise have gone to waste.

Can I trust refurbished phones?

Generally speaking a refurbished phone will be sold to you so that it looks and works like a new phone. You shouldn't be able to tell the difference.

On top of that, you should get a warranty for a year at least. If you go for a big name seller you should be safe – as opposed to online marketplaces where it can be more hit and miss with who you're buying from. Make sure you get that warranty.

What are certified refurbished iPhones from Apple?

If you buy from the top end, meaning Apple and Samsung phones, then you can purchase with their backing by using a certified seller. Amazon, for example, has Certified Refurbished devices from Apple that have been refurbished to work and look like new and they come with a one-year warranty for your peace of mind.

Where can I buy a refurbished phone? 

There are lots of places to get yourself a refurbished phone deal right now. As mentioned, Amazon has some great Certified Refurbished Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy deals. O2 and Carphone Warehouse both offer refurbished deals with 12-month warranties. MusicMagpie and Envirophone specialise in refrub re-sales so they're also great, safe options. eBay also sells refurbished phones but be careful to make sure you get a warranty here as there are lots of different, unauthorised sellers.