As much as we love hearing about announcements for brand new phones and seeing how manufacturers push the limits of their portfolios, we definitely aren’t fans of the lack of sustainable offerings and hefty prices that manufacturers charge for their latest and greatest.
If you’re like us and want a decent phone for less while making your smartphone purchase a bit kinder to the environment, the refurbished smartphone market is the place to look. Refurbished phones offer ‘like new’ functionality at sometimes hefty discounts on what you’d typically pay for a brand new device.
Here are our top picks in 2022 for any budget:
The iPhone 11 still feels like a flagship even though it's seen two iterations of upgrades, the iPhone 12 and 13 lineups. Apple has carved a place in its lineups since the iPhone XR for non Pro models to tap into sub-flagship category with somewhat lower starting prices. While iPhone 11 has slighly less premium display than its Pro siblings, it's a decent piece of tech and the great news is that you can get it for a very accessible price these days when buying refurbished.
This refurbished iPhone has a notch for its FaceID authentication technology on top of the 6.1-inch Liquid Retina LCD display. A 3,110 mAh battery will get you through the day, and the A13 Bionic chipset will act more intuitively when it comes to system management settings and performance optimisation.
The refurbished iPhone 11 received the latest iOS 15 and will keep on having software updates at least for the next 4 years which packed with the phone's features is a great combination and value for money. Search for your perfect refurbished iPhone 11 on our comparison where you can find deals under £400 with warranty from our featured retailers.
The Samsung Galaxy S20 5G has distinctive features and offers premium specs in an elegant body. The display tech consists of a Dynamic AMOLED panel at 6.2 inches at 1440 x 3200 resolution with HDR10+ coated with Gorilla Glass 6 and will deliver a crisp and sharp viewing experience. The device is powered by Exynos 990 processor and offers 8 GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.
Spectacular shots in any lighting condition are delivered by the triple rear camera setup which features an ultra-wide, a telephoto and a wide sensor. The Galaxy S20 can easily be titled as one of the most feature-packed devices, even though it is from 2020. In addition to a fantastic camera setup, the refurbished S10 offers a long-lasting battery and launched with Android 10, it is going to receive Android 12 with One UI 4 in early 2022 under Samsung’s promise of 3 years of guaranteed software support . Decent specifications list and OS support make the refurbished Galaxy S20 5G a decent pick for under £400.
Samsung decided to create an 'almost-flagship' and S20 FE is what it turned into. There is no 8K video recording available, and the S20 FE misses out on the megapixel count of the rear cameras, optical in-display fingerprint senson instead of an ultra-sonic one, but these features Samsung left behind are barely noticeable. The refurbished Galaxy S20 FE 5G has everything you need in 2022 for less than £400.
The iPhone XS offers one of the best dual rear camera setups to this day. A wide-angle 12MP camera paired with a 12MP telephoto lens, OIS and 2x zoom will produce quality photos in daylight and low-light conditions. Getting a refurbished iPhone XS will deliver a perfect balance of features and value for money three years down the line as Apple is not going to drop software support any time soon. It doesn't have an old-school design and if you don’t mind embracing FaceID technology and a powerful dual camera sounds like enough for you, the refurbished XS is your pick. On our comparison you can find one for less than £300, if you don't mind minimal signs of wear. Going slightly over £300 can get you a top notch iPhone XS in Pristine condition.
Even though there are now iPhone 11, 12 and 12 Mini to choose from if you're shopping for an affordable iPhone, the iPhone XR is still an outstanding piece of hardware powered by A12 Bionic and on track to receive at least two more generations of iOS upgrades. On top of that, buying a refurbished model will help you save a considerable amount of money on your next iPhone without compromising on functionality or look as you can easily find one in Pristine condition for under £300.
The Pixel 4 is among those several high-end phones with 5.7-inch screen that can be found today on the market and it sports undoubdetly one of the finest camera setups. The vibe around Pixels at the moment is that budget models deliver better experiences than the flagship Pixels, and getting it refurbished will further boost your savings. Keep in mind, though, Google guarantees OS updates until October 2022, so if you want to future proof, take a look at refurbished Pixel 5 options.
With Apple releasing larger devices year after year, the iPhone 8 has cemented the compact phone spot in our hearts and is one of the few with home button and no Face ID. Being one of the most popular headsets that get traded in daily on Compare and Recycle, it is also very popular among refurbished smartphone buyers as its a capable device running iOS 15 which makes it a budget friendly option for under £200.
Talking about the phone, the Galaxy A20e looks identical to the Galaxy A20, but features a smaller 5.8-inch screen and smaller battery at 3,000 mAh. Released with Android 9, Galaxy A20e has received its last OS update - Android 11 in 2021 and is on track to continue to get security patches well into 2023. If you’re on a tight budget, the refurbished Galaxy A20e can be a good option, but keep in mind that security updates will become less regular, switching to bi-annual until being completely dropped.
Once again we have reviewed Apple's iPhone 15 lineup Environmental Reports in order to see whether the iPhones are more eco-friendly.
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