Ready to replace your current phone? You’ve got plenty of options. And whether you’re eyeing the newest Google Pixel or a used iPhone X, there are lots of great choices to help you stay on a budget, maximize your speed and get top-notch features. Read on for helpful advice about how to decide your must-haves in a new device. 

You want a model released last week.

If you’re looking for a refurbished phone, your options are limited to models that other shoppers have already returned to the store. That means it can be very difficult to find a pre-owned version of a new phone that’s currently in high demand. 

Verdict: If you really want the latest and greatest phone the minute it comes out — say, the iPhone 11 Pro Max with a triple camera — you’re probably going to need to buy a new device.

You’re on a budget.

This is one of the more obvious reasons for purchasing a pre-owned phone. Typically, a pre-owned model offers significant savings, especially for a high-end model. The savings might make the difference between being able to afford the phone you want versus having to settle for a second choice.

phones on a budget

Verdict: If your heart is set on a certain smartphone but the new-model price will put a strain on your budget, a Verizon Certified Pre-Owned phone (sometimes referred to as a certified refurbished phone) is a good solution. The program might enable you to get close to the latest Samsung Galaxy S10 in great condition for less.

You want a longer warranty.

When you spend extra for a high-end smartphone, you want some assurance that the device will last. Many new smartphones come with 1-year warranties in the case of manufacturing defects (often with the option to purchase extended protection as well). By contrast, refurbished phone warranties are typically much shorter. All Verizon Certified Pre-Owned devices, for example, come with a 90-day limited warranty. 

Verdict: If you want the protection of a longer manufacturer’s warranty, then a new device is probably the way to go.

You want an environmentally friendly phone option.

To make a new smartphone, manufacturers must use electricity, water and other resources such as precious minerals. By buying a pre-owned device, you can minimize your environmental impact and extend the life of a still-useful device. 

Verdict: If you want to reduce your eco footprint, a Certified Pre-Owned device is a great option.

Battery life is your top priority.

Many smartphones have batteries that are essentially built into the device and are difficult to remove. As a consequence, refurbished phones won't always come with a new battery. Verizon Certified Pre-Owned phones have been tested to ensure that batteries fully charge and charge indicators work, but a new phone will usually provide the best battery life.

Verdict: If you rely on your phone all day long, a new device’s battery life may better suit your needs.

You’re replacing a lost, stolen or broken phone.

If something happens to your phone and you don't have insurance to cover the cost, a brand-new device may be something that's not in your budget. In that case, a Certified Pre-Owned device can be a great, lower-cost option.

Verdict: If you need a temporary replacement, Certified Pre-Owned is a good choice.

certified pre-owned phones

You’re going to keep the phone for years.

A very old mobile device may not support software updates, leaving it more vulnerable to hackers and incompatible with newer apps. (Depending on the model and vendor, a smartphone might get updates for anywhere between 1 and 5 years.)

Verdict: If you’re the type of person to hold on to a phone longer without trading up to a newer model, a brand-new phone ensures a long period of support.

You’re in love with a discontinued model or certain features.

Sometimes the only way to get certain older, smaller versions of smartphones that have since increased in size is to buy a pre-owned device. 

If you're like a lot of people and have your heart set not only on a particular model but one in a specific color, size or storage capacity, finding what you're looking for on the pre-owned shelf may be more difficult. Stores will almost always have a wider array of options for new phones than for pre-owned devices.

Verdict: If you’ve been eyeing a model that’s not the latest and greatest, a Certified Pre-Owned device is a great option. But if you have a long list of must-have features and options, a new phone might be the better fit.

Performance is your number-one concern.

Some used phones may have scratches, scuffs or other cosmetic issues. Luckily, Verizon assigns all of its Certified Pre-Owed phones 1 of 4 grades (“Like New,” “Great,” “Very Good” or “Good”) depending on condition. All Verizon Certified Pre-Owned devices have also passed Verizon’s Total Quality Inspection, which ensures that buttons, ports, pixels, speakers and other functional components are in working order. If you keep a protective case on your phone, you’ll almost never see the dings or dents anyway. 

Verdict: If you want performance and a discount, Certified Pre-Owned can give you both.

Find your just-right phone.

Any smartphone purchase, from a brand-new device to a Certified Pre-Owned, is a big decision that requires a lot of consideration. Determine your absolute must-haves, then shop at Verizon for your new or pre-owned device.

Interested in finding the right pre-owned smartphone to fit your lifestyle? Check out a large selection of refurbished devices here. And if you're a loyal Apple iPhone user, take a look at used and refurbished iPhone devices here.