How to tell if a smartphone is new or if its been refurbished.

With how good refurbished phones have gotten, it’s easier for shady dealers and companies to pass off refurbished phones as new ones to unsuspecting buyers to make more profit. Before you go ahead and buy it’s best to cross-check and make sure you’re getting exactly what you want. Today, we’re going to tell you how you can identify if a phone is new, or if it’s been refurbished.

What is a Refurbished Phone?

Refurbished phones are mostly damaged  or previously owned phones that were handed back or sold to retailers to be repaired and then resold. Not all refurbished phones are used phones, some are new phones that were used as display items or opened briefly. We have a whole blog post dedicated to refurbished phones if you’re looking to learn more.

How to tell if your Android is new or refurbished

Is Your Android New or Refurbished?

IMEI Method

To tell if your Android is new or refurbished, first you have to check your phone’s IMEI. To do this, you’ll first open your phone app and dial *#06#. If you dial this number correctly, your phone’s IMEI should now be displayed on your screen. Take a screenshot or take the number down in a paper.

Next open your settings app, then scroll down to “About Phone”. In your “About Phone” you should see Software Status or just “Status”. Click it. From here you should be able to check your IMEI information.

Now compare the two numbers, if they don’t match, then the Android phone you’re using is not brand new.  Another way you can check your phone status using IMEI is to compare the IMEI that is on the phone box with the one from *#06#.

Look For Physical Damage

The number one way to tell if a phone is new or refurbished used to be as easy as inspecting the phone’s body. Now, as refurbished phones have improved greatly in recent time so much that some look as good as their new counterparts.

So this method isn’t as effective as it used to be. Especially if you’re dealing with Grade A refurbished phones. If you’re dealing with Grade B or below, with close inspection you should be able to tell it apart from new mobiles. With that being said, always inspect the device for scratches, dents and signs of use. If you find anything, then your device is probably not new.

Check The Box

New phones ship with boxes made by their manufacturers and typically come with inbox accessories such as charging  boxes and cables. If a device doesn’t come with a box made by it’s manufacturer or some items are missing from the box, then it’s most likely a refurbished device. Watch Youtube videos of the device’s unboxing so you’ll know what items should be inside the box. Also be sure to check the box for scruffs, dents and other signs of use. It could be an indicator that the box/device has been used before.

How to tell if your iPhone is new or refurbished

Is Your iPhone New or Refurbished?

Checking to see if an iPhone is used is very straightforward compared to Android. It can be done easily from the settings apps. 

Here’s how:

  • First open Settings
  • Then go to General
  • Then press About Phone

Here, you will find your phone’s serial number. Take note of the first letter of your iPhone’s serial number. If your iPhone’s serial number start with…

M -It is a brand new device 

N -The device was issued as a replacement for an iPhone that developed issues

F – The device is refurbished

P – The iPhone was originally sold with a personalized message engraved on the chassis.

Is A Refurbished Phone Bad?

This depends. If the refurbished phone was worked on by experts and was done correctly, you should have a perfectly good smartphone option. The other thing to be sure of, is that it was made clear that the device was refurbished when you purchased it, and the price reflected that. 

If you buy from a reputable dealer like SmartphonesPLUS you can get refurbished phones with similar quality to brand new ones for a fraction of the price.

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5 thoughts on “Is Your Phone New or Refurbished?

    Please advise,i bought a new vivi y56.In that it showing imei sv 8, Compile time – 21 june 23 9.23am.Is it new or refurbished

      Hello, could you please provide more information or contact customer support and we can help to tell if the phone is new or refurbished.

    if start with RZ

    Thank you for the education, it was helpful. Blessings!

    İf start with D?

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