Refurbished smartphones are becoming more and more popular – no wonder, because buying a refurbished device isn’t just easy on your wallet. The environment is also happy, since fewer resources and energy have to be used to produce new mobile phones.
Nevertheless, many customers still have concerns : What about the quality of refurbished smartphones, for example? Is there a guarantee if the mobile phone is defective, and what is the difference between used devices and second-hand goods? We clarify these and other questions below.
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Advantages Of Refurbished Smartphones
Smartphones are becoming more and more powerful and versatile – for example in terms of hardware, display quality and cameras. This is reflected in the prices , which have been rising for years . For example, if you want to buy a high-end model from Apple or Samsung, you have to reckon with costs of 1,000 euros or more .
Let’s look at refurbished smartphones for comparison: Since these devices are already used, they are offered at significantly lower prices than their new counterparts. Savings of up to 50% are not uncommon.
Another advantage: Particularly popular smartphone series such as the iPhone, Samsung Galaxy S or Google Pixel receive a new model every year. As soon as this appears, the price of the predecessor drops automatically, and if you buy this predecessor refurbished, you can save twice as much money .
As practical as smartphones are, their environmental footprint is anything but positive . Over 1 billion devices are sold every year . If you now consider that the goods are mostly new, it becomes clear how many resources and energy are required for production – not to mention the transport from distant countries.
It is estimated that smartphones generated as much as 146 million tons of CO2 in 2022 alone , and it is interesting how the CO2 emissions are distributed: 83% is attributable to production, transport and use in the first year, while the recycling of used devices only accounts for 4 % of emissions .
In addition, minerals such as tungsten, tin and, above all, cobalt are required for the production of smartphones. These so-called ” conflict minerals ” are often mined illegally , which is not only a problem for the environment. In countries like the Democratic Republic of the Congo, armed groups are fighting for control of these raw materials – with devastating consequences for the civilian population . Anyone who buys a refurbished smartphone can help reduce the demand for conflict minerals.
Of course, the disposal of cell phones is also a problem . It is estimated that over 5 billion devices are thrown away each year and not always disposed of properly. Recycling is one solution – but not all components of a smartphone are an option. If, on the other hand, the device is refurbished and resold, the amount of waste is significantly reduced.
Anyone who buys their smartphone used from private individuals – for example on swap platforms or flea markets – usually has no guarantee that the device will also work. “Bought as seen” is the principle that makes complaints almost impossible, and defects often only show up later.