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5 tips to keep in mind before buying a second-hand smartphone

Planning on purchasing a second-hand smartphone? Here's a checklist of the top 5 things you need to check for while buying one.

Second hand smartphones feature

Here we will be taking a look at everything you should take a look at while testing out a second-hand smartphone you are looking to buy. (Image: Amritanshu Mukherjee/BGR India)


The pandemic has changed the way we use smartphones and also laptops. We all have been dependent on our mobile devices more than ever before and that’s because of the popularisation of remote working. This led many people to look to change their smartphones to get better models that will help them get faster and more efficient at work. In this situation, while many of us will choose to buy a brand new smartphone, there is a bunch of people who prefer buying a good second-hand device, which will not pinch their pocket as much. Also Read - Samsung Galaxy A22 5G India release date, more specifications leaked: Here's a look

Even though buying an older smartphone could benefit you in monetary terms, you could still end up with a device that doesn’t serve your purpose. So, today, we will take a look at everything you must keep in mind while testing out a second-hand smartphone that you are looking to buy. Also Read - Apple iPhone 13 Pro to sport major camera improvements with sensor-shift image stabilization

Before we start with the tips, take note that you should wear a mask at all times during your meetups while purchasing the second-hand smartphone and also maintain a safe distance. Also Read - Redmi Note 10 Pro Max, OnePlus 8T, Samsung Galaxy S21: Phones with 120hz screen refresh rate

Do your market research well

Now that you have decided to purchase a second-hand smartphone, first, decide on which model you want to purchase. After that is decided, go to all websites that sell second-hand smartphones and start taking a look at the general prices of the smartphone.

Once a set price is decided, now take a look at how many people are selling the smartphone, this will help you decide on how much you can bargain with the seller. It will also help you in deciding what condition are you willing to accept the device in. Then you can connect with the desired seller.

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(Image: BGR India)

Look for physical damages (This is really important)

Now that you have contacted the seller and set up a meeting. You need to be prepared to test the device thoroughly. The first check that it needs to pass is the physical damages test. This is when you need to check the device for any visible damages that you can spot. Check it for any dents, scratches, water damage, or any parts wobbling or coming out. If you find any major damages, then you must leave the device and look for another one, but if you find minor damages that you are ready to put up with, they might help you in bargaining a bit more.

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(Image: BGR India)

Checking for water damage might be a bit difficult as most smartphones these days come with the water damage indicator sticker inside of the chassis. However, you can Google the model number once, to check if the model you are looking at has an indicator sticker on the outside too.

Check the internals properly

If the physical state of the phone is good as per your requirement, you now have to move on to testing the internals. This is a long step, for which we recommend that you take your own sweet time. First, you need to check if the smartphone is accepting SIM cards or not. Insert a SIM card into the device and try making some calls, this will ensure you if the device works with Indian SIM cards or not. It will also help you in testing the earpiece and microphone quality. Note, test both SIM card slots, if there are two. If the device accepts microSD cards, then you need to insert one and check if the slot is working or not.

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(Image: BGR India)

For checking the battery, you will have to take along a battery pack. Take your time in performing this step, by connecting the phone with the power bank, and checking out if it is charging properly, then try to drain it to calculate the daily battery life it will provide.

If the phone can be taken apart, check to see if the battery is not bloated. Lastly, touch everywhere on the display to see if the display is working properly. Also open a white photo, to check for any dead pixels.

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(Image: BGR India)

After all these checks are complete, continue using the device for some time. This might even help you find something that you missed in the above tests.

Software check

After the phone checks out on its internals, now check if the software is in the proper condition or not. By this, we mean that you check to see if the smartphone is not rooted or jailbroken. If it is then you can assume that the previous owner would have tinkered a lot with the device, which would cause problems at a later date.

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(Image: BGR India)

To check, you can download a rooted device check tool from the Play Store on Android. And on iOS, you can head over to the App Store to check if the phone has been jailbroken, as jailbroken iPhones cannot access the App Store.

One final step before making the payment

Now that you have tested the phone thoroughly, one final step remains, check to see if the device is stolen or not. Ask the seller for the original invoice and box. If he is unable to provide you with none there are high chances that the device could be a stolen one. If you still like the phone a lot, you can ask him to sign a paper stating that he sold you the phone along with his attested ID proof.

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(Image: BGR India)

If all of these steps check out, you can get the smartphone of your choice and use it till you want. And a good thing about getting a second-hand smartphone is that you will end up losing a lot less money when you sell the smartphone in the future compared to selling a new smartphone.

Enjoy your the smartphone!

For the latest tech news across the world, latest PC and Mobile games, tips & tricks, top-notch gadget reviews of most exciting releases follow BGR India’s Facebook, Twitter, subscribe our YouTube Channel.
  • Published Date: January 25, 2021 7:39 PM IST



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