Is it better to buy new or used smartphones?

OnePlus 7T in its retail box
OnePlus 7T in its retail box (Image credit: Android Central)

When buying a smartphone, there are a lot of factors to consider — battery life, screen size, and camera quality, just to name a few. In addition to all of that, you also need to think about what sort of condition you want the phone to be in.

Buying a new phone is typically the more expensive way to go, but you also have the guarantee of the warranty it comes with and peace of mind that you're the only person who's owned it. Used phones can often be the source of great savings, but you need to be careful you're buying through a reliable source and that you can trust the individual seller.

Some of our AC forum members recently got to talking about whether they prefer buying new or used, and this is what they had to say.

I think, with me, buying new is that safe idea. If something isn't right, simply return it. Again, with a private sale, that's out the window. The sellers are offering "brand new, unlocked" phones. I'm curious how they got them. But the price could be worth the shot. I'm a Public Mobile user..... So going to the carrier won't work. The sellers say they have original receipts from...

Mark Squires

I never buy used phones anymore...... it's WAY too easy to find great sale prices on 1 or 2 year old brand new flagship phones. I like having the flagship experience with budget to mid-range pricing. Plus used smartphones have become scam central..... it's not worth the hassle to save a few bucks.

J Dubbs

I bought my first used phone, a Note 9, via Swappa and had a good experience. In order to sell on Swappa, the IMEI number is vetted to make sure the phone is unlocked, pictures are required before they allow the post to go live and they provide a confirmation number that the phone is eligible. That confirmation number is then required to be included with the ad. Some sellers have warranties up...


Me personally, I would go for new. You get the warranty, and no questions as how the device was used before you.


What do you think? Is it better to buy new or used smartphones?

Join the conversation in the forums!

Joe Maring

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.