Refurbished phones and devices aren’t necessarily bad, despite what many may believe. However, when you pay for a brand new device, it’s more than a little frustrating to find out that you received a refurbished, repaired, or swapped out device instead.
You should always know, before receiving it, whether a device it refurbished or not. Short of that, a business is using some pretty shady tactics to get one over on you. It’s happened before, and it will likely happen again. While shopping for a smartphone, you need to know the difference between a refurbished phone and a brand new phone.
Refurbished products are available from retailers and manufacturers, for example, through Apple’s official refurbished shop and Amazon’s Renewed program. Parts of the phone may have gotten replaced in certain instances; however, trade-in smartphones have gotten categorized into several types based on their condition and state of operation. To avoid buying a refurbished phone, you must remain alert at all times because it may impact things such as the guarantee that is provided and how long the phone works. With this in mind, here’s how to put your detective abilities to work for you so you can be confident in the product you’re receiving.
Companies and businesses will lie or deceive to get more money out of their customers. What a world we live in, right? So, how do you go about checking whether or not your phone is truly brand new? Is there a way to tell if you’ve received a refurbished Android device?
What Is A Refurbished Phone
A refurbished phone isn’t a second-hand phone. It’s just a device that may have been handed back into the store because it was faulty, the phone was repaired and then sold to consumers as a refurbished phone. It’s typically damaged phones that are handed back to retailers for them to be repaired, but new phones can also be given back to retailers for them to be sold as a refurb, although they’re new.
When a phone is handed back to a retailer, it has to be checked, repaired, and checked that it’s up to a certain standard. This phone is then sold back to consumers, usually without the original box or accessories. When a phone that’s been repaired and checked to make sure it’s up to a certain standard, it should tell you that the phone isn’t new and it’s instead refurbished. Retailers may use other terms such as recondition or refreshed.
How to Check If a Phone Is Used or New
If you want to find out if your phone is brand new or used, you can either check if it’s refurbished, or you can simply use a logical process to check for any signs of use that will let you know right away if it’s been used or it’s brand new. Checking for a used phone involves inspecting the phone and the respective box it came in.
At a glance, it may be possible to see whether or not you’ve been given a used or refurbished phone. Look for the following:
1. Look For Scuffs
It is natural for a phone to show regular wear and tear symptoms as it is used more and more frequently. Some nicks may be present on the back from being jostled around in a bag. A brand new phone will not have any scuffs. Before using it, examine the gadget thoroughly for any evidence of apparent damage, such as scratches or minor fractures around the edge of the display.
In contrast, dents in the chassis are a little more worrying since they might indicate damage to interior components such as the battery. Check if the phone lays flat on a surface when placed face down since this will show whether or not force has caused the chassis to flex. Examine the camera assembly to determine whether any lenses have been damaged or scratched. If you notice any scuffs, but the seller maintains that it is a new phone, try to purchase a phone from a different seller that will be honest with you.
2. Was Everything In The Box
When purchasing a new phone, you know what to expect. With all the unboxing videos online, you know which brands come with earphones and which brands don’t come with chargers. Inspecting what’s in the box is one of the best ways to see if you are getting a brand-new original phone. If you expect a phone, charger, and headphones and have a few components missing, you should contact the retailer. It may be a genuine mistake, or you may have bought a phone that is not new, and the previous owner kept some of the new accessories. It is always best to open a new phone in the store where you buy it so that if anything is missing, the seller can see you are being genuine. Unfortunately, most of us buy phones online, and if you notice anything missing, you will need to spend hours on the phone trying to contact the retailer.
3. Was It In Its Original Retail Box, Or Was It Packaged Another Way?
When buying a new phone, you need to ensure that it comes in its original packaging. Unfortunately, you can purchase an open box phone. A device that has been opened and returned to a retailer or manufacturer is known as an ‘open-box’ product. There are various reasons why an item could get returned, and none of them has anything to do with damage. Sift through everything for signs of fractures. All seams must be the same width. There should be no discoloration or fragments of plastic protruding from the surface of the water. It is not always the case that ‘open-box’ goods are a brand new product that has just been opened and not been used previously, as the term implies. Many electronic businesses allow buyers to return things within a few days or weeks of purchase. Given that many of these ‘open-box’ items have been in the hands of prior buyers, it is not surprising that they show a slight amount of surface ‘wear and tear.’
4. Use The Serial Number to Check The Condition Status
The phone’s manufacturer mainly uses a serial number to identify the device. It can tell you where the phone was manufactured, if it is still under warranty, and if you ever need to take it in for repair, it can assist you in getting the identical phone back when it gets returned. It may get found in the ‘About’ section of your phone or on the rear of some models. The serial number identifies the date and location of the manufacturing operation.
5. A Cheap Or Loose Casing Around The Back Or Edges Of The Device
Look at the device’s edges to check if you are getting a brand new phone. Sometimes you need to inspect the machine closely to ensure you are not getting a phone that has gotten refurbished. Remove the back panel, apart from the Samsung and iPhone models; all other models are held together by screws that have a warranty label adhered to them. The handset has been opened for repairs if the sticker has been torn. Take a close look at the screws on your Samsung and iPhone; if there are any markings on the screws from screwdrivers, you may be able to tell. It is something that requires a solid vision to see. Another method of determining whether or not your phone’s screen has been replaced is to examine its brightness.
The LCD panels provided by the OEM are often substantially brighter. Colors on fake or replacement displays might occasionally be a little bland. They also retain their black appearance even when the brightness is adjusted to the maximum setting. Using weight to identify refurbished phones will assist you in identifying them because locally refurbished handsets are lighter than brand new devices. Even if the phone appears in proper working order, double-check to see whether the phone’s case has been altered.
6. Where Did You Get It From?
Where you buy your phone will ultimately determine what type of phone you get. When purchasing from licensed retailers, they are obligated to share if you buy a refurbished phone or a new phone. If you buy a new phone from Jack and Jill, you will not get a refund if your phone has a problem. While brand new phones are expensive, it is vital to ensure that you buy from retailers that offer a warranty. If buying from a private seller, the phone has probably been used. Any claims to ‘like new’ or refurbished means that the seller has maintained the phone in good condition or the device has been opened but not used. If they cannot provide a receipt from an Apple store or another merchant, believe there is no warranty in effect.
How to Check If Phone is Refurbished
1. Check the Condition Status of Phone (4.0 and below)
If you want to check if your phone is refurbished, you can do this by checking the condition status of your phone. The condition status is data stored in your phone that will let you know its reconditioned status. You do this by simply dialing in a number into the keypad, and it’ll tell you if your phone is refurbished or not by saying YES or NO.
- Open the phone or dialer. You’re going to enter a hidden menu.
- Use the keypad to dial ##786# (##RTN#). As soon as you complete the last entry the RTN menu should open up. If that doesn’t work enter #*#786#*#. You’ll see two options if it works, one labeled View and the other Reset. Tap on View.
- Scroll down until you see Reconditioned Status.
- If you see a NO, then your phone is brand new. If you see a YES then you have a refurbished device.
2. Check the Condition Status for Newer Phone (4.0 and above)
It’s very common for Samsung devices to be sold as refurbished devices since they are the most common devices in the Android game. Common Samsung devices that can be sold as refurbished devices include the Note, Galaxys, and A series.
On most newer Android devices — and many Samsung models — the hidden RTN menu has either been disabled or is not available at all.
If that’s the case, you must download an app from the Google Play store that will provide the necessary information.
The app shown here is Phone INFO *Samsung* by vndnguyen. You can download any comparable app or tool if you prefer to use something else.
- Open the Phone INFO app. If this is your first time it will ask for a variety of permissions including access to phone calls and the device camera. These permissions are necessary to gather information about your phone.
2. Keep in mind that some of the tools within the app require root access, which you may or may not have.
- Tap the sidebar button and click Refurbishment Check. Not to be confused with the settings button in the top right (three dots). Give the app a minute to gather the necessary information.
- You will receive a message telling you whether your phone is new (original) or refurbished.
3. Judge Phones Originality using IMEI number
It is possible to check the legality of a phone by using its IMEI number. IMEI numbers are frequently absent from counterfeit models or used in conjunction with a forged number. For those examining the iPhone in person, you can locate the IMEI number on the product package, beneath its battery, or by tapping *06 on the phone.
Dial *#06# from your Android phone to find out your IMEI number. To obtain your IMEI number, go to the Settings menu, select About device, and press Status in the bottom-right corner.
Input your IMEI number into the dialogue box and click Check when you have obtained your IMEI number.
The information about the phone will be shown instantly by the system. If the system is anything other than what the Android device is displaying, there is a potential that you are using a counterfeit or reconditioned device, which is not uncommon.
If your phone is squeaky clean with no bad signs, and it looks like a device that would be new, then chances are your phone is new. It also depends on where you got your phone from. If you got it from a retailer that says they sell brand new phones, then chances are the phone is new. If you got it from a retailer that would normally sell used or refurbished phones, then chances are your phone is used.
Outside of the more obvious physical signs, there is a way to use your phone’s software to find out the condition status of the device.
4. Check If The Phone Is Refurbished By Checking for Shortcodes
There are shortcodes you can dial to quickly check if your phone got refurbished or if it’s new. With iPhones, you can also check the model number. It will contain a string of letters and numbers that will indicate the state of your device and the sort of device you have. The first letter is the most essential, as it means whether the equipment is brand new, reconditioned, or a replacement for an original item returned to the store. The serial number will start with M if the phone is brand new.
For Android phones:
- Open the dialer on your Android phone.
- Now, enter the number ##786# # # on your dial pad.
- Put the code in the correct sequence to open the page.
- The RTN screen will get instantly shown on your Android phone. You don’t need to push the call button.
- On this screen, select View. You will see some information on your computer screen.
- You will find the Reconditioned tab at the bottom of the screen if you scroll down.
- You will discover your response in the Status section of this tab; it will either be a YES or a NO.
If the package was shrink-wrapped and the phone and accessories got protected with protective plastic coverings, you may be sure that no one had previously used them. If the item has gotten professionally refurbished, there is nothing wrong with it at all, as long as it was made clear to you when you purchased it that you were not buying a brand new phone.
When purchasing an older phone with a battery that may have degraded over time, it is often preferable to go for a refurbished model versus a used one that retains the original factory parts. It is especially true when purchasing a phone that includes a brand new battery or display. What you need is for a retailer to be transparent about the phone’s condition so that, as a buyer, you are aware that the phone has been refurbished.
##786## is not working on my note 10