Refurbished iPhone, important things to know before getting one

Refurbished iPhone


Quite alright, you will agree with me that most iPhones are expensive. Although, you could get a very good deal online and then wonder if that is even possible. However, I will drop you some simple tips on how you can find out if your iPhone is actually New or Refurbished. Meanwhile, I will put you through the necessary things you need to check when purchasing an iPhone. Also, how to tell what has been replaced inside an iPhone without even opening the iPhone. But before then, let’s take a look at what does it mean when an iPhone is refurbished. 

What is a Refurbished iPhone?

A Refurbished iPhone is also referred to as “Certified Pre-Owned iPhone”. Pretty much, the Refurbished program is actually based on two scenarios. Well, I will explain both scenarios with examples. Meanwhile, for the first example, assuming I go-ahead to get one of these new iPhones, then after a couple of months or a few days, I find out that there are some technical issues. Meanwhile, these technical issues could be that the display is burnt or the camera stops working or Face ID, Touch ID isn’t working, or whatever the issue might be. So, finding out these technical issues and based on the fact that, the iPhone is still on warranty. Then, take it to an Apple store and they give me a new iPhone. 

While the second scenario is when you get a new iPhone, and after for period and later find out that you don’t like the iPhone. Knowing fully well that you can return an iPhone within its returning period. Then, you go to an apple store to return it. So, Apple will retain the previous one that was returned based on two scenarios. Then, they will check for any technical issues and then ensure that it’s 100% resolved. Also, Apple will then change the battery and the phone’s shell so it all looks like a new one and then resell it.

Meanwhile, iPhone basically does it to every one of their products, and one can easily tell if an iPhone is Refurbished because the box it comes with is just plain white, without any color phone design at the top. Well, there are other ways to tell too( we “ll see this as you read on). It’s expected to know that, Refurbished iPhone is being sold on discounts, cheaper than a new iPhone. A Refurbished iPhone as retaining its one year warranty, just the same way as that of the new one. It also comes with a menu, accessories, and pretty much everything that comes with a new iPhone. 

How to get a Refurbished iPhone 

Basically, Refurbished iPhones are iPhones that had technical issues and had been fully fixed by the iPhone technical team to be just like that of the new ones. 

Getting a Refurbished iPhone is pretty much earlier. Apple’s website has a dedicated page for Refurbished iPhones. On other websites too, like Amazon, eBay, or big retailers too. So, it’s super easy to get a Refurbished iPhone and as I earlier mentioned, they are cheaper because they come with discounts. A refurbished iPhone can be $350 cheaper than a brand new iPhone. That’s very cool, right? Well, I do recommend a Refurbished iPhone for use, no issues because it’s already fixed and it comes with discounts with a year warranty. I have used one before and I can attest to it. Meanwhile, you have to be careful when getting one because some persons actually get a Refurbished iPhone, pretty much the same price as the new one and I don’t recommend that.

How to Check if iPhone is Refurbished or New

One of the amazing things about iPhones is that you can find pretty much all the necessary things about the iPhone just inside the iPhone itself( in the iPhone’s settings). Well, not everyone knows about this stuff. You can find an iPhone authenticity just right in the settings-general-about. There you can find the Model Number, Serial Number, and IMEI Number(International Mobile Equipment Identity). Meanwhile, the most important information about the iPhone is stored in the Model Number itself. Well, you can visit the apple website: and with the serial number, you can check the authenticity there. But that’s not an accurate way to check if an iPhone is Refurbished or new. 

Accurate authenticity of an iPhone can be seen from the Model Number, this number could start with M, F, N and P, you can view it completely when tagged. But this number of identity varies with different iPhones. Meanwhile, when getting yourself any iPhone product, whether refurbished or new, it’s best to do some self-check, although, in this article, you will find some necessary things that you need to check for. Just sit and read through. 

Model Number Explanation 

The starting word “M” simply implies that the iPhone is a new device, which was purchased from Apple Store online or Apple Retail Store. Well, in a different scenario, you might have an iPhone with Model Number starting with the word “N”. What this simply is that your iPhone is a replacement device, which means that it was replaced by Apple or Apple-authorized service due to a problem. Replacement iPhones are usually refurbished devices as well. 

For Model number starting with Letter “P”. It then implies that the iPhone is a personalized device, which means that the device has a personalized engraving. That is, having a personalized statement written on it. Although, this is very rare and the personalized device from iPhone is very few in the market.

Meanwhile, suppose the Model Number is starting with “F”. This implies that the iPhone is a Refurbished device and this is very common. As earlier explain about Refurbished device, as returned iPhones under the warranty period and Apple works on it and place it back on the market under discounts. Meanwhile, the returner gets another iPhone also. 

Although, for Refurbished iPhones, there isn’t full(100%) guarantee that it will work well in the future and that’s why iPhone gives you a year warranty for the Refurbished iPhones too. Well, ideally, nothing lasts forever, so it’s pretty much okay if you want to get a Refurbished iPhone because it comes with discounts. Moreover, a Refurbished device of its new product can be seen in the Market only after six(6) months after the product had been launched.

How to Check for Problems on Refurbished iPhones

When buying a Refurbished iPhone, here are some necessary things you need to check out for.

Refurbished iPhone

External part:

  • The very first thing to check for is the phone edges, check for dents, and spaces between the screen. It’s very important not to see any gap between the screen and the base. 
  • Secondly, you can go ahead to check the bottom of the phone. I mean, where you have the two screws, having the charging port between them. Make sure these are in place. Carefully look around the phone, make sure that there isn’t any dent or scratches on the surface.
  • Make sure you check the vibration switch, that’s the switch above the volume button, just by the side of the phone. Most times, this switch isn’t done correctly, so it’s best you check this by turning it ON and OFF a few times and when doing it, you should feel a vibration.
  • The most important part of any phone is the power button and the home button. So, when getting any Refurbished iPhone, it’s best you check it properly. 

Internal part:

  • Go to the settings on the phone, then General-About. Check for the IMEI number, then copy it and visit There you will get important information about the phone. This will help you negotiate for the purchase price. Next, you have to visit This website tells you whether the phone is iCloud lock or reportedly stolen.
  • Next, ensure that nobody has signed in to the iPhone because this is important for downloading Apps, iCloud, and basically anything associated with that. After doing that, you will need to check for the Touch ID(fingerprint). Make sure Touch ID and the passcode works.
  • The next thing you’re going to do is to hold on to any of the icons, then move it across your screen and set it to different locations. This helps you check for any dead pixels or bad part on the screen. 
  • Next, visit YouTube, this is to test for the sound, WiFi strength, CPU, and battery. If there’s any problem with the CPU, the phone will probably crash at the point when you access YouTube. You can also test the volume button here too.
  • It’s also best that you check the microphone, and the easiest way to check this is to use the phone’s record. Also, check how sensitive the sensor is. Meanwhile, you can check this by covering the top surface of the phone and if the phone screen turns off when doing this, then it means that the sensor is working properly.
  • Lastly, you have to check the camera, both the front and back camera has to be check and the video too. It’s very recommended to run your video for at least five(5) minutes and if there’s an issue with the CPU, the phone will probably crash at this point. Check on the clarity based on the phone’s grade. Again, check for the flashlight when taking shots. 

How to tell what has been replaced inside an iPhone

Imagine you went to get your iPhone repaired without even knowing what exactly is wrong with the phone. Having the repairer fixed the phone and now you are wondering what he did or change from the phone. Well, you can actually check this without even opening the phone

Meanwhile, this can be achieved using software called 3uTools, you can get it at, and again, the software is pretty good for back-ups too. All you just need to do is connect your iPhone with your iPhone cord to the software. It will tell if it’s connected. After connecting, it shows you information about the phone. You can click on the “View Verification Report” to get more information about the phone. Well, you may want to keep this information private because it’s your phone.

Meanwhile, after clicking on the “view verification report” just in the last column, you will find the “Test Result”. There, it will tell you if anything had been changed or still normal. 

Well, you made be wondering how the software is able to tell all these. Every part on your phone has a serial number and this is what 3uTools utilizes to produce results. So, it matches the manufactured factory value of a particular part and matches it with the read value. If both don’t correspond, then it tells that something had been changed, else it’s still normal. 

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