It feels like this page needs to start with a disclaimer - refurbished phones need not be a dirty word. Despite what the stigma maybe now, a refurbished phone is the perfect way to save money on a new phone, especially considering phone prices now!
In fact, the refurbished phone market is often filled with brand new phones, sent out to someone and returned within a matter of days. You could save hundreds on a brand new phone which still looks and feels brand new.
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 but expect an almost brand new device with a few days of use.
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 XR, Galaxy S10 Plus and Huawei P30 Pro, to name a few, can be bought refurbished.
Today's best deals on refurbished phones
Today's best SIM-free contracts on refurbished phones
How much can I save with a refurbished phone?
Lets cut to the chase, how much are you saving with a refurbished phone? Well, on average a good few hundred. If you go down the contract route, say with a Huawei P30 pro deal, you could end up paying around £100-£150 less by going refurb.
The case is the same with SIM-free devices, with costs drastically reduced. No matter if you want a new phone or the cheapest bargain bin option you can find, refurbished phones offer some stellar discounts.
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 refurbished 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.
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.
What are certified refurbished iPhones from Apple?
If you buy from the top end, meaning a refurbished iPhone or Samsung device, 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.