Wednesday, 10 July 2019 13:01

Refurbished smartphones – a super smart way to seriously save money

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With top of the line smartphones costing anywhere from $1500 to $2500 and beyond, and with smartphones lasting longer than ever thanks to OS and security updates, safely buying second hand via the security of a refurbished model can be a totally smart saving.

Yesterday, iTWire reported on Boost Mobile's new deal with the launch of big-brand name refurbished phones at prices vastly cheaper than retail, with the security of a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, a 12 month warranty, and "industry-leading 72-point inspection process" and even free delivery, plus a free $30 Boost SIM card powered by Australia’s biggest mobile network, which is Telstra.

The brands on offer are the ones you know and love – Apple, Samsung and Google Pixel, at prices starting from $249 for Apple's 16GB iPhone SE, which will be fully iOS 13 compatible when that astoundingly good OS upgrade launches in what is expected to be late September 2019.

Need more space, as most people do these days? The iPhone SE 32GB model is just $30 more at $279, the 64GB is $309 and the 128GB model is just $329!

Then there's the iPhone 7 with 32GB for $399, 128GB for $469 and 256GB for $529, while an iPhone 8 with 64GB is $659 and a 256GB model is $739.

Other iPhone models on offer include the 7 Plus, the 8 Plus and the iPhone X.

Are you on the Android side of the fence?

Here, a Samsung Galaxy S7 starts at $339, the S8 starts at $439, the S8+ from $479, the S9 from $579, the Note8 from $579 and the S9+ from $649, depending on storage capacities.

Then there's the Pixel 2 from $479 and the Pixel 2 XL from $519, again depending on capacities, showing just how affordable models from the recent past can be – with even Zip Pay being an option from $10 per week from Boost, making refurbished smartphones an even more affordable option!

These prices are similar to what you'll find at places like Dick Smith, which also sells refurbished smartphones and indeed a range of refurbished technologies.

Boost Mobile's deals are powered by a company refurbished device company called Alegre, a licensed second hand dealer, and with the prices of refurbished models on par with the kinds of second hand prices you'd find at sites like Gumtree, and at sites like Computer Exchange (WeBuy), you can have complete confidence that you're buying goods that aren't broken, aren't filled with dodgy parts, aren't stolen and come with peace of mind guarantees that buying from Gumtree can never deliver.

So, buying refurbished is a smart way to save money, one of the reasons is because today's smartphones have longer than ever lifespans - while the range of brilliant value MVNOs like Boost, Amaysim, OVO, Kogan Mobile and others make phone and data costs incredibly affordable in 2019. 

As an example on the hardware side of things, Apple's iOS 12 operating system worked on smartphones as old as the iPhone 5s, 6 and 6 Plus, so 7 generations of smartphones, while iOS 13 will work on the iPhone SE, 6s and 6s Plus as the oldest models support, which again, is remarkable, and far longer than Android devices are supported for.

That said, Google has extended support on its Pixel 1 smartphones to support Android Q 10 due later this year, while companies like Samsung and Huawei do offer updates to older models too, so Android longevity has also increased, making older models more desirable, especially when they are vastly more affordable than when they were brand new.

Boost Mobile commissions research which found that "74% of young Australian’s would consider purchasing a refurbished phone", alongside a finding that "75% of young Australian’s would only be willing to spend up to $1,100 on a phone".

Well hey, when a flagship smartphone can cost anywhere from $1500 through to $2500 and beyond, and with today's youth hardly being flush with cash, then again, refurbished smartphones make sense - and no wonder this has become a booming market.

Indeed, I have helped several friends over the past year - and even my own Mum - to get a refurbished smartphone, in many cases the iPhone SE, simply because of the exceptional value provided, and those particular people's desire for a small smartphone that still offered compatibility with and the full power of today's awesome apps.

Now, as you can read about in iTWire's earlier article Boost Mobile has some special deals on offer for those wishing to purchase a refurbished smartphone, with significant data inclusions on new Anytime Plus Plans, most with Data Rollover too, making young and older smartphone users happier than ever. 

Peter Adderton, the founder of Boost Mobile, said: “For 18 years Boost Mobile has been connecting Australians, seeking to find the best value for our customers, and giving them more choice. Refurbs are a great option for consumers who are looking for a great smartphone at a fraction of the price".

Boost Mobile also uses the Telstra network, unlike most of its competitors, which is well known to have the best mobile call and data coverage in Australia, giving it a competitive advantage against MVNO competitors that use the Optus and Vodafone networks - even though those networks are nevertheless also awesome value in 2019, too. 

Russell Lornie, the marketing director of Alegre, said: "We have seen an exponential rise in the interest and acceptance of refurbished phones over the last few years, as people realise the high calibre of phones on offer that have gone through rigorous testing and cleaning.

"There are also a growing number of consumers actively seeking out refurbished phones with a view to having access to the latest technology while playing their own part in trying to minimise their personal e-waste.”

To see what deals Boost has on offer, check out its refurbished smartphone shop here, and as noted above, you'll find refurbished smartphones from Dick Smith and a range of other stores online – with even Apple itself selling refurbished models of its own, although usually at higher prices than you'll find elsewhere.

So, if the very newest flagship smartphones are priced way too richly for your liking, sometimes with far fewer new features than you'd like, and if you'd prefer to avoid being locked in with 24 or 36 month contracts from the telcos, there are real alternatives out there that come with a guarantee, warranty and are free from the risk of being barred from telco networks due to being reported as stolen, while coming at very nice prices that are very wallet friendly.

Viva refurbished!

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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