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.

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.