Guide for buying a second hand smartphone

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If you’re willing to buy a high-end device but your budget just ain’t right, then you probably could go for the second-hand smartphones. There is a high chance that every time you buy a second-hand product, you get fooled in one way or another. Here is a brief guide for those who want to buy a second-hand phone without making a fool of themselves.

1. Physical Inspection:

First things first, when you buy a second-hand product, you have to closely observe the hardware of the phone see if there are any external damages like scratches, cracks, tempered body and bruised edges. Check the edges thoroughly to see if the phone has undergone multiple drops.


2. Battery and Port Inspection:

Take off the back cover if it’s removable and check the battery and other parts that are there. The battery will have a white square/rectangular sticker on one of its edges, all you need to do is just check that the color of the sticker hasn’t turned red or pink. Test the ports for charging, USB, SD card, Headphone jack and Sim Card to see if they work correctly. Look for discoloration as these ports are usually of metal and discoloration means water damage. Type *#*#4636#*#* on the phone’s dialer then select “Battery Information”. In there, you’ll have an overview of the unit’s battery and other useful information about it.

Moto X style-2

3. Display Test:

The most important part of your phone is its screen, you have to thoroughly check if the screen is responsive and clear and any other cracks and smudges are easily recognizable.   Apart from the physical inspection, to check other aspects of  display such as dead pixel and multi-touch, there is secret service code for most of the devices, for android devices try *#*#2663#*#* or *#*#2664#*#*. For Samsung phones, try: *#0*#


4. Connectivity Test:

It is a hard thing when it comes to checking the connectivity of the phone.  But there is secret service code for these things too, to make the job easier.


i. Wireless LAN or Wi-Fi test:
*#*#232339#*#* OR *#*#526#*#* OR *#*#528#*#*
Try to connect to Wi-Fi hotspot if applicable.
ii. Bluetooth Test:
Try to transfer a file over Bluetooth.
iii. GPS Test:
*#*#1575#*#* OR *#*#1472365#*#*
Also bring a data-enabled SIM card to test mobile data of the handset and also don’t hesitate to place a call from that phone to test the smartphone’s ability to pick-up a signal and check the microphone and earpiece of the device.

5. Camera Test:

For camera test, try to check if there are any dirt or scratches on the lens. Also take some pictures and videos to ensure you’re satisfied with the cameras performance.  Dial *#*#34971539#*#* on the phone’s dialer to see the camera information.


6. Check for the warranty claim:

Checking the warranty is the easiest thing you can do to test the device. This will show how many times the phone has been repaired or has faced issues. Also, if there is warranty left on the device, Kudos for that! Also, ask for the Box which proves that the phone belongs to the seller.

7. Check if the device is rooted or Jailbroken:

Always buy a phone in its original state, never go for rooted and jailbroken phone unless you really want to. There are many issues and bugs on the phones that are rooted or jailbroken. Also, it voids the warranty if there is any. Know more about rooting here in this link.


8. Getting at the right price:

You will have to check a couple of online stores and local shops to get an idea of the minimum price that you will have to pay to buy a second-hand device. This price may differ depending on the condition of the phone, warranty and guarantee if any, accessories bundled and so on.  You may have to pay a little extra if the device is bundled with accessories or comes with a warranty.

Here are a couple of questions you should ask the seller before buying their product:

-What is your Reason/s For Selling?
-When and where did you purchase this smartphone? (Ask for a receipt if possible)
-Have you encountered any issues with the device?
-Did this unit undergo repair in the past? (If yes, ask the seller what was repaired)
-Have you dropped the phone in the past?

Wrap Up:

Lesser the time period for which the phone is used, better its condition but this may not be applicable in all the situations. Also, we highly suggest that you research about the model of the device that you’ll be purchasing and take note of the IMEI/Serial numbers of the devices that were known/reported to be inferior to other models. Also, make sure the phone is not stolen cause you could be getting into some legal issues. And you can always buy second-hand products from trusted online sellers like the “iCandy.”