How to check a used phone before you buy it

ОтChecking a used smartphone before buying

Buying a used smartphone is always a big risk, because of the acquisition of a low-quality device, especially if you do the deal with a stranger, so we do not recommend buying a second-hand phone. Truly, absolutely good working second-hand smartphones are few and far between.


A smartphone is a device with sophisticated electronics that has the broadest range of functionality. Even as an expert in current gadgets, there is a high risk of buying a low-quality used smartphone. First of all, the difficulty of identifying problems in used devices comes down to hidden defects and refurbished devices. 


Hidden defects of a used smartphone may not be obvious during the test, for example: periodic self-rebooting of the gadget, the battery that works only 4 hours in standby mode, or a failed navigation module, which can show the correct route initially, but completely fail in the correct route even while driving. You never know if your phone has been exposed to moisture, or has been dropped heavily, which can cause internal wreckage and subsequent malfunction. 


Reconditioned phones are a serious business for unscrupulous sellers and fraudsters. When selling, these people tell the legend that the phone is used a few months or even new, hasn't been repaired, is in perfect condition, ready for any checks, and the buyer, trusting the false words, buys the "problem", instead of the phone. Reconditioned devices appear after the repair. For example, if the screen was replaced in the device, there is no guarantee for the quality of the repair and the screen itself. It is worth considering that the manufacturer's original displays are expensive, so they are very often replaced by non-original ones, which do not support the correct operation. Practice shows that the majority of remanufactured smartphones do not work satisfactorily on a permanent basis. 


Well, if you're still ready to make a purchase of a used smartphone, taking all the risks and understanding that in 95% of cases you won't be able to return the goods to the seller in case of problems, take a look at some recommendations: 


Give preference to a device that has the box it was sold in. Dial *#06# and handset on your smartphone and the IMEI number will appear on the screen. Your job is to check the IMEI number on the screen against the number on the box. They should match 100% of the time. The thing is, when reflashing/repairing a stolen or refurbished smartphone, sometimes the IMEI number "flashed" inside the device might change. But, unfortunately, the coincidence of numbers is not an indicator that "everything is fine", and only one way to check;


Undoubtedly the purchased second-hand phone should be tested by the buyer thoroughly, there should not be any exceptions for the lack of time. A five-minute test is not a complete and is equal to buying a "pig in a poke". Do not believe what the seller says - believe only your eyes and the results of your testing. These points should be made by all means


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


3. Go through each menu item on your smartphone. When you do this, you, among other things, check the responsiveness of the sensor, color rendering, screen flicker and the presence of spots, streaks on it. At the slightest notice of poor screen performance, a rejection of the purchase should follow;  


4. Check the 4G network and Wi-Fi separately, preferably check the Wi-Fi in public networks, with a login. Recently, there are remarks about Wi-Fi connection failures in some smartphones with public networks, and the problem is not solved by either reflashing or resetting. Sometimes the first registration in wi-fi network and use is fine, but if you disconnect and try to enter again after a few minutes, the network is not connected;  


5. Test the operation of the headphones and headphone input - turn on a short section of the track to listen to, make a call and check the microphone;


6. Check the connectors of the unit, nothing should be damaged or loose;


7. You need to check the power supply works, 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 photo and video camera. At this point, you need to check the focus operation and sound recording operation for video. Pay attention to the integrity of the camera lens and the lack of turbidity in the picture.


smartphone catalog.jpgPurchased used device should be reset to factory settings and not contain files and downloaded user programs. It is in this case, the testing will be more correct, all third-party programs are removed and there will be no locks, which is also necessary for your continued use of the gadget. The device must be completely zeroed out and disconnected from your Google or Apple ID user accounts. Restore the factory settings, thereby zeroing out the system if this has not been done before you.


9. It is necessary to compare the particular instance you are buying with the original, sold in the store; to do this, take your time before the intended purchase of a second-hand gadget, and examine the original device at some official point of sale - hold it in your hand, examine the body and the curves of the screen, turn it on and look at the controls and operating speed, the menu structure, the functions that interest you. After that, take or download pictures of the original device, including the ends, back panel and connectors. Why? Your goal is to compare the device offered to you with the original, not only to rule out counterfeiting, but also to try to rule out defects or prior exposure. The used device you are purchasing should have a 100% identical appearance, there should not be any enlarged gaps or elements that differ from the original. For example, if the phone has body mounts, screws visible to the eye, there should be no traces of unscrewing these screws, again, mounts and screws can only be identical, otherwise, it shows that the device has been opened earlier for inspection and repair, which automatically indicates the rejection of the transaction.


Checking a used smartphone

As a note, it is worth adding that the examination of the gadget should take place in places where there is a stable mobile, Internet and Wi-Fi connection. So, meeting in an underground subway or places with a bad network is not a good idea. The seller should give you as much time as you need for your testing, without any "I'm in a hurry" or "I wouldn't want you to put your SIM card to test". Any covert psychological influence preventing you from testing the device, coming from the seller, should be regarded as questionable, which is absolutely unacceptable in terms of a risky transaction. We do not recommend buying used smartphones, unfortunately, even with maximum testing, it is impossible to fully evaluate the performance of modern high-tech used phones.


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