What is a renewed phone? Everything explained

Going through products on Amazon especially in the phone section and you saw your favorite phone which you want to buy, looking at the price and seeing it is lot cheaper than you thought, you immediately opened the page and what you saw is renewed iPhone 12 Pro Max or renewed samsung galaxy s21 ultra.

Definitely you will get confused at first.

What will come into your mind will be what is a renewed phone?

Is it actually a brand new phone or maybe a refurbished phone. This article explains all you need to know on renewed iPhone and Samsung phone.

What is a renewed phone?

A renewed phone is a phone returned by an unsatisfied customer due to defects, and which has been rebuilt or repaired and certified to work properly before being put out for sale by the manufacturers.

Whenever you see the term renewed phone on Amazon or any online stores, you should know that these are phones returned by customers due to damages they noticed on the device.

For example, when you buy a brand new Iphone 13 pro max from Amazon it will definitely come with a warranty.

Upon using the iPhone 13 for two months you noticed that the volume button isn’t working properly or the phone turns off on it’s own an its just two months of using the phone, you decide to return the phone.

Now if the company founds out the problem is from them and not the customer, they will collect the iPhone 13 and issue a new iphone 13 to the customer.

What do you think will happen to the returned iPhone 13? 

They will throw the phone away or probably destroy it. No way they won’t do such but rather will find a way to fix the problem on the phone.

If they fixed the problem on the iPhone 13 and certified it to work properly with the problem fixed, they will put it out for sale and this time it won’t be as a new iphone 13 but rather a renewed iPhone 13.

There’s no way the company will sale the phone as a brand new phone because it has already been sold to someone and was returned.

No company would want to take a risk of selling a returned or refurbished phone as a new phone because you can never tell if the customer has an interior motive on returning the item.

If someone bought a new Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra today and noticed that there’s a defect on the phone and returned it back to the seller or the company that same day, it won’t be sold a new phone if the company happens to fix the problem and put it out for sale.

What is a renewed phone


  • Renewed phones usually look brand new as company tends to change the back cover and the screen.
  • Renewed phones are lot cheaper compared to brand new phones.
  • The term renewed phone is same as refurbished phone.
  • Some of them do have a warranty especially buying from Amazon.
  • The accessories may not be original especially if you are not buying directly from the company.
  • They can last for a long time as I have once bought a renewed phone which is up to three years and I’m still using it.

For the the fact that I said renewed phones are phones that was returned because of defects doesn’t mean they are so bad. I bought a renewed samsung galaxy s9 plus in early 2019 and up till this moment of writing this article the phone is still in good condition and I haven’t repaired it for once.

Maybe because I’m very lucky? I don’t think so because I’ve seen quite number of persons that bought renewed phones and they are still using it without any issues.

Basic guide on buying a renewed phone

Before you buy a renewed phone, there are certain things you need to look out and they are as follows. 

1. If there’s a warranty

This is why I do recommend buying a renewed or refurbished phone from Amazon because Amazon has a premium program for their renewed phones.

That is the customer will get a one year (365 days) warranty for the refurbished phone.

So in this scenario, you are virtually covered and shouldn’t be afraid because if something goes wrong along the line, you have the phone returned back to the seller and you will be issued a new one.

But only if the problem is not caused by you the user.

2. Properly check if everything is working

As renewed is same as refurbished, one of the major things to do after buying the phone is to check if everything is working properly starting with the volume rocker and other buttons.

Tap everywhere on the screen and run a diagnostic to see if it will detect a software or hardware issue including the battery life.

Once everything is in order then there’s nothing to be afraid of, you should go ahead and enjoy your new phone.

3. Inquire if the seller will accept returns

Most mischievous sellers will never accept to offer returns on refurbished or renewed phones, please avoid those sellers.

So before buying a refurbished phone, first you need to know if the seller will accept returns if you happens to find a defect on the product. If the seller says yes then go ahead and buy the phone but if the answer is no, please kindly avoid such seller cause you will end up regretting buying the renewed phone.

4. Buy from trusted seller or store

This is very essential when buying a renewed phone, make sure the seller is trusted and has a good ratings. Better still check people’s reviews if you are buying from online and see what people are talking about the product.

There are reputable renewed or refurbished sellers on Amazon which you can buy these types of phones from and they usually look like a brand new phone.

5. Beware of buying a stolen phone

This is one of the major drawback of buying a used or rewnewd phone, in the case of the phone being stolen from the original user.

You can never tell but there’s a way to prevent yourself from buying a stolen phone.

Try to get an invoice with the IMEI number for the renewed or used phone. Check to verify the IMEI of the device, the invoice, and the box and they all should be the same. To check the IMEI number on the device, dial *#06#.

If they are not then it is likely to be a stolen phone.

But the truth is that most sellers may not give you the invoice if you request for such and that’s why I prefer to buy from reputable sellers.

Where to buy renewed phones?

Having bought my old Samsung galaxy s9 plus in early 2019 and which I’m still using, I recommend buying a renewed phone from Amazon.com and you will get Amazon renewed premium which is warranty given to the buyers.

The warranty ranges from 90 days to 365 days though it depends on the seller.

What is a renewed unlocked phone

A renewed unlocked phone simply means a refurbished phone which is not locked to a specific cellular network service and is compatible with any network carrier or sim card.

However, renewed locked phone means the phone which is refurbished is locked to a specific network carrier and can’t be used on any other carrier network or sim card.

Renewed unlocked phones are but costly than renewed locked phone just like brand new unlocked and locked phones.

what does it mean when a phone is renewed


If you ask me which one is the best to buy between a renewed unlocked phone and renewed locked phone, I will recommend the unlocked phone as it accepts every network carrier unlike the locked phones.

Thie means you can use any sim card in renewed unlocked phone without any restrictions. For me, I always go for unlocked phones as I have multiple sim cards or network carriers.

What is the difference between a renewed and new phone?

The main difference between a renewed and new phone is that a renewed phone is a returned phone due to defect, while a new phone has never been used by anyone. 

You can also say that a renewed phone has been bought and used by a customer and upon finding a defect returned the phone back to the seller or manufacturer, while a new phone never been used by anyone.

This is why renewed phones are lot cheaper than new phones.

What is the difference between a renewed phone and a refurbished phone?

There’s no difference between a renewed phone and a refurbished phone as the two terms have the same meaning. Some sellers do use refurbished while some normally use renewed especially Amazon merchants or sellers.

Wheh you see the term renewed phone kindly note that it is the same with refurbished phone. Just like in the UK they say University while in US they will say college but they have same meaning and which is high institution.

More Related Questions

Is it good to buy renewed phone?

There’s no harm buying a renewed phone as they are mostly good and reliable especially when buying from the right source or a trusted seller. A renewed phone can last up to seven years without any issues based on what I have seen so far.

When you see renewed or refurbished phone, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are bad or not worth buying, and if you check their prices on Amazon you will see the are not relatively cheap especially on latest iphones.

Do renewed phones have new batteries?

Yes of renewed phones do come with battery and a very good one. You will get a good battery health when buying a renewed phone especially buying from a trusted seller.

Where you should be disturbed is buying a used phone from any store or seller, sometimes you will noticed thar the battery health has dropped dramatically or it is on average.

Does renewed mean unlocked?

No, renewed doesn’t mean unlocked but rather a phone which was returned because of its defects and was repaired and certified to be working before it is put out for sale.

You can get an unlocked renewed phone and locked renewed phone online.

What’s the difference between unlocked and renewed?

Unlocked phones are phones which are compatible with any network carrier and they can be a brand new phone, used phone or a refurbished phone. While renewed phone is a phone which has been bought and returned because of issues factory issues found and which has been fixed and certified to be working properly.

Before I go, what does it mean when a phone is renewed?

It means a phone that has been repaired and certified to be working before being put out for sale. In other words renewed phones are not new phones as they were once purchased by other consumers before they were returned due to factory defects found.

About Kennedy

I'm Amaechi Uchenna by name, a mobile tech enthusiast who love writing articles about tips and tutorials especially relating to gadgets.

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