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How to Spot a Quality Refurbished iPhone: What to Look For


5 Mins

Purchasing a refurbished iPhone can be an excellent way to get a high-quality device at a fraction of the cost of a new one. However, ensuring you get a reliable, well-functioning phone requires some knowledge about what to look for. This guide will help you identify a quality refurbished iPhone, giving you confidence in your purchase.

Visual Inspection

The first step in assessing a refurbished iPhone is a thorough visual inspection. This involves checking the device for any physical damage or signs of wear and tear. While some minor scratches or scuffs are acceptable, especially for lower-graded devices, significant damage could affect the phone’s performance and longevity.

Start by examining the screen for any scratches, cracks, or dead pixels. Hold the phone at different angles and in varying lighting conditions to spot any imperfections. The screen should be free from significant blemishes and responsive to touch. Check the edges and corners of the phone as these areas are prone to damage from drops or impacts.

Next, inspect the body of the phone. Look for dents, deep scratches, or discolouration. A quality refurbished iPhone should have minimal cosmetic damage. Pay particular attention to the camera lens, as scratches or dirt can affect photo quality. Ensure the buttons, such as the power button, volume controls, and home button (if applicable), are intact and function smoothly.

Functionality Tests

Once you’ve visually inspected the iPhone, the next step is to test its functionality. This ensures that all features of the phone are working correctly. Here’s a comprehensive checklist:

  • Touchscreen: The screen should be responsive without any dead spots. Test by dragging your finger across the entire surface.
  • Battery: Check the battery health by navigating to Settings > Battery > Battery Health. A good refurbished iPhone should have a battery health of at least 80%.
  • Camera: Test both the front and rear cameras. Take a few photos and videos to ensure they capture clear images without glitches or distortions.
  • Audio: Play music or a video to test the speakers. Make a phone call to check the microphone and earpiece functionality.
  • Connectivity: Connect to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to ensure these features work correctly. Insert a SIM card to test cellular connectivity.
  • Buttons and Ports: Test all physical buttons for responsiveness. Plug in the charger to ensure the charging port works and connects securely.

Checking for Warranty Coverage

A reliable warranty is a critical aspect of buying a refurbished iPhone. Warranties provide peace of mind, ensuring that if anything goes wrong with the device, you’re covered. Here’s what to look for in a warranty:

  • Length of Warranty: Aim for a minimum of 90 days, though one year is ideal. Longer warranties indicate greater confidence from the seller in the quality of their refurbishment process.
  • Coverage Details: Understand what the warranty covers. It should include parts and labour for any repairs needed due to defects in materials or workmanship. Some warranties might also cover accidental damage.
  • Return Policy: Check the return policy to ensure you can return the phone if it doesn’t meet your expectations. A good return policy typically allows for returns within 30 days of purchase.

At Used Mobiles 4 U, we provide a comprehensive warranty with every refurbished iPhone, ensuring that you can buy with confidence and peace of mind.

Verifying Authenticity

Ensuring the iPhone is genuine and not a counterfeit is crucial. Here’s how to verify the authenticity of a refurbished iPhone:

  • IMEI Check: Each iPhone has a unique International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number. Verify the IMEI number by navigating to Settings > General > About on the iPhone. Cross-check this number on websites like CheckMEND to ensure the phone isn’t reported stolen or blacklisted.
  • Apple’s Activation Lock: Ensure the iPhone isn’t locked to another user’s Apple ID. You can do this by checking if the Activation Lock is disabled, which can be found on Apple’s support page.
  • Original Parts: Confirm that the phone has original Apple parts. While it’s not always possible to verify every component, checking for original screens and batteries is crucial. Sellers like Used Mobiles 4 U ensure that all parts are original or of equivalent quality.

Understanding the Refurbishment Process

Knowing how a phone was refurbished can provide insight into its quality. Reputable sellers will have a transparent refurbishment process. Here’s what a thorough refurbishment process typically involves:

  • Inspection: The phone is carefully inspected for any damage or defects.
  • Repair and Replacement: Faulty parts are repaired or replaced with new or certified components.
  • Cleaning: The device is thoroughly cleaned, both internally and externally.
  • Testing: The phone undergoes extensive testing to ensure all functions work correctly. This includes battery tests, connectivity checks, and performance assessments.
  • Restoration: The phone is restored to factory settings and loaded with the latest compatible iOS version.

At Used Mobiles 4 U, our refurbishment process adheres to these rigorous standards, ensuring each phone we sell meets high-quality benchmarks.

Buying from Reputable Sellers

Choosing the right seller is crucial when buying a refurbished iPhone. Reputable sellers provide detailed descriptions of their devices, transparent grading systems, and comprehensive warranties. They also have positive reviews and a track record of customer satisfaction.

Avoid buying from unknown or unreliable sources, such as classified ads or unverified third-party sellers. These sources may not offer warranties or returns, and the phones may not have been properly refurbished. Instead, opt for established sellers like Used Mobiles 4 U, who are committed to providing high-quality refurbished iPhones with excellent customer support.


Purchasing a refurbished iPhone can be a smart, cost-effective choice if you know what to look for. By conducting a thorough visual inspection, testing the phone’s functionality, checking for warranty coverage, verifying authenticity, understanding the refurbishment process, and buying from reputable sellers, you can ensure you’re getting a quality device.

At Used Mobiles 4 U, we pride ourselves on offering top-notch refurbished iPhones that meet high standards of quality and performance. Visit our website to explore our range of certified refurbished iPhones and find the perfect device for your needs. Buy with confidence, knowing that our rigorous refurbishment process and comprehensive warranty have you covered.

Royal Mail Delivery by 1pm
Royal Mail
Delivery By 1pm
12 Month Warranty
12 Month
Certified Refurbished Phones
Refurbished Phones

Why Choose Us?

At Used Mobiles 4 U, you are guaranteed to receive a second hand phone that is fully functional to factory standards.

Another plus point is that we sell second hand phones that are thoroughly tested and working, ready to be used.


12 April 2024

Very pleased with my purchase

Purchased a phone from these guys a few years ago and was completely satisfied then so when it came to my latest requirement I thought I would return. The phone I wanted was out of stock for a few months but I was in no rush so I waited until one became available. I received it a few days ago and am completely happy with it. The condition is exactly as described, in fact it’s better than that in my opinion. Well done chaps, keep up the good work, I will certainly recommend you if someone should ask.


9 April 2024

Great customer service – highly recommend

Went back for a second purchase today as so impressed with customer service and products. Very prompt repair on warranty with no quibble. Would definitely recommend.


8 March 2024

Decent price delivered on time BUT when the iphone microphone was erratic I contacted Used Mobiles 4 U to arrange a replacement or refund. This is when they showed their excellence. Arranged return for MY convenience and sent through a postage QR for my ease. A real pleasure doing business with them – and I’m likely to again. Oh, and by the way, the new (used) phone works great…