Buying Guide : Used iPhone

I start this post with a popular quote, “If you don’t have an iPhone, you don’t have an iPhone”.
However, with the price of apple products, this one sounds better (not literally true though), “If you have an iPhone, you may not have anything else”.
But then there is an option of buying a used iPhone from ebay, OLX or any other place. Used iPhone, hmmmm.
Hundred questions + Thousand queries + Million doubts + One Decision = I have an iPhone. 🙂
By now, it’s prevalent that this post is about a buying guide to used iPhone.
Before we get to a check list, I must highlight why buying a used iPhone is by no means similar to buying a used phone of other brands.
One of the key notable factors in used phones is the degradation in hardware performance over a period of time. I have personally experienced this with native Sony phones and then on Samsung with android platforms. Somehow, the phone fails to perform with the same efficiency after 18-24 months and there could be multiple reasons for it. However, that is not the focus area of this post.
On the other hand, apple products including the iPhone seems to have little or negligible performance degradation over a period of time.
It is this key factor that can lure one into buying a used iPhone.

There can be an endless check list for buying a used iPhone. We have tried to put together as many as we could after multiple experiences. It will be enhanced as and when we come across new items for this list.

S.No. Category Item Result
1 Structure Physical Condition:
1. Look for scratches or chips in the glass. Check the physical condition.
2. Does the dock connector show noticeable wear?
3. Plug it into charger to make sure it will take a charge from both electricity and laptop.
4. Listen to music through the headphone jack.
5. Check the home,power,lock,silent and volume buttons.
2 OS 1. Verify iOS version
2. Free space available
3 Display Display:
1. Check for dead pixels or color issues. The easiest way to do this is probably to visit the iPhone Dead Pixel Tester, which lets you set the screen to a solid color and make sure there are no stuck pixels.
2. Check the touch quality. Play a game or Type a mail.
3. View a video or picture.
4 General Restart the phone
5 Battery Battery:
1. In Settings -> General -> Usage, check the time since last full charge.
2. If you have a return option, charge the phone to full then use it normally for a day or two. See if you are getting the battery life you expected.
6 Calling 1. Make a call from the handset, send a text.
2. Do the above mentioned activity after inserting your sim card.
7 Calling 1. Make a call to the handset, send a text.
2. Do the above mentioned activity after inserting your sim card.
8 Calling 1. Use hands free for call.
2. Use Bluetooth for call.
3. Use speaker for call.
9 Media 1. Take a picture front camera.
2. Take a picture back camera.
3. Try various options in camera like modes,burst click,etc.
4. Check camera flash.
5. Record a video.
10 Media 1. Use hands free for music.
2. Use speaker for music.
11 Web 1. Surf the Web over Wi-Fi and the cell network
2. Do the above mentioned activity after inserting your sim card.
3. Check for Wi-Fi hotspot tethering (if applicable).
12 Apps 1. Prepare a list of daily used apps.
2. Try to run those apps on the handset.
3. Try to simulate some multitasking by running apps.

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These are some basic to intermediate level checks one can perform before buying a used iPhone. Though, we have pulled this list from experiences related to iPhones, the list has been prepared with an intent that it’s applicable for other phones as well.

We’re hopeful that it will be helpful.
Please share feedback and any other suggestions.

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One thought on “Buying Guide : Used iPhone

  1. If box is available, check the IMEI number on the box and verify it against the number in the phone settings. Re-selling the phone becomes easier and more profitable if you have original box.

    Ask the seller if phone has ever been repaired. I don’t know how to verify this but price of repaired phone drops drastically

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