Checking a used smartphone before buying

Buying a used smartphone is always a big risk due to the purchase of a low-quality device, especially if you make a deal with a stranger, so we do not recommend buying a used phone. Truly, absolutely good working used smartphones are few.

In this article, we will tell you how to check the device when meeting with the seller. However, we can immediately say that it is much better to consider smartphones either new or in proven online resale stores. As a rule, experienced stores have social media accounts with a large audience (without the need to buy Instagram followers) and a lot of reviews.

Why is it dangerous to buy a used phone?

A smartphone is a device with a complex electronic filling, which has the widest functional range. Even being an expert in current gadgets, there is a high risk of acquiring a low-quality phone. First of all, the difficulty of identifying problems in these devices comes down to hidden defects and refurbished devices.

That is why we recommend that you find a trusted resale store and find the phone there. Before that, you can at least read people’s reviews, if this company does not buy real Instagram followers to artificially increase reputation. Then you will be sure that you will not be deceived.

Refurbished phones are serious business for dishonest sellers and scammers. When selling, these persons say that the phone was used for several months or was completely new, it was not under repair, in perfect condition, ready for any checks, and, trusting false words, the buyer buys a problem instead of a phone.

Device check: our checklist

Well, if you are still willing to make a purchase of a used smartphone, taking all the risks and understanding that in 95% of cases you will not be able to return the goods to the seller in case of problems, check out some recommendations.

1. Give preference to the device that has the box in which it was sold. Dial *#06# on your smartphone and make a call, and the IMEI number will be displayed on the screen. Your task is to check the IMEI number on the screen with the number on the box. They must match 100% of the time.

The fact is that when flashing / repairing a stolen or restored smartphone, the IMEI number can sometimes change. But, unfortunately, the coincidence of numbers is not at all an indicator that everything is in order, but only one of the ways to check.

2. Undoubtedly, the purchased smartphone must be fully tested by the buyer, the seller should not have any exceptions for lack of time. Five-minute testing is not complete and is equal to buying a pig in a poke. Do not believe the words of the seller. Believe only your eyes and the results of your testing. 

2. Make an outgoing and incoming call, lasting more than 30 seconds, so you check the quality of the speaker and connection.

3. Go through each smartphone menu item. When you do this, you also check for sensor responsiveness, color fidelity, screen flicker, and spots or streaks on the screen. At the slightest remark on the poor performance of the screen, a refusal to purchase should follow.

4. Check the operation of the device in the 4G network and separately Wi-Fi, at the same time, it is advisable to check Wi-Fi in public networks, by logging in. Recently, there have been comments on failures to connect to Wi-Fi in some smartphones with public networks, moreover, the problem cannot be solved either by flashing or resetting the settings. Sometimes the first registration and use goes well, but if you disconnect and try to log in again after a few minutes, the network does not connect.

5. Test the operation of the headphones and the input for them. Play a short section of the track for listening, make a call and check the microphone.

6. Check the connectors of the device, nothing should be damaged.

7. You need to check the operation of the power supply, and, in the absence of an outlet, at least check through the car charger in your car or through a portable power battery.

8. Checking the shooting of photos and videos. At this point, you need to check the operation of the focus and the operation of the sound recording for the video. Pay attention to the integrity of the camera lens and the absence of haze in the picture.

In addition, the purchased device must be reset to the factory settings and do not contain files and downloaded programs. In this case, testing will be more correct. The device must be completely reset and unlinked from the user’s Google or Apple ID accounts.


As a note, it is worth adding that the inspection of the gadget should take place in places where there is a stable mobile and Wi-Fi connection. So meeting in the subway or places with poor networks is not a good idea.

We do not recommend making purchases of used smartphones, unfortunately, even with maximum testing, it is impossible to fully evaluate the performance of modern high-tech devices.

Passionate about design, especially smartphones, gadgets and tablets. Blogging on this site since 2008 and discovering prototypes and trends before bigshot companies sometimes