Choosing the Phone for You: Certified Pre-Owned vs. New

When it comes to choosing the phone for you, there are a multitude of options. Nearly every year, major manufacturers introduce new smartphones to the market. For some, that shiny new tech is enticing. But for others, it may not be the right choice. 

If you’re not sure what might be best for you, take a minute to read our “Best Phones for Seniors” blog.

New Phones.

New phones have a lot to offer. They’re cutting edge. They usually have upgraded displays, improved cameras and faster operating systems. If those things are a high priority for you, it may be worth the expense of a brand-new device. 

However, if those things aren’t as important, choosing the phone for you may mean choosing a certified pre-owned device. 

Choosing the phone for you may not mean choosing a brand-new device.

What is certified pre-owned? 

Certified Pre-Owned phones were used for some period of time before being returned to the vendor or manufacturer. The company then performs diagnostic testing, makes repairs, cleans the phone and repackages it for sale at a discount. These phones are reconditioned and are judged by the seller’s technicians to be in factory-quality and branded like new. As such, the company is willing to stand by the product.

How is Certified Pre-Owned different than a Used phone? 

A used phone is sold by a private seller, either in-person or online. Although they typically offer the most substantial discounts, they also pose the greatest risk. 

Do I have to buy a Certified Pre-Owned phone from my service provider? 

Not necessarily, but there are a few things to keep in mind if you choose to buy elsewhere. 

  1. The phone you purchase must work with your service provider or be unlocked. Check the specs to be sure the device you buy is either optimized for your network or is an unlocked phone and can work on all GSM and CDMA lines.
  2. Make sure the phone isn’t blacklisted. If a phone has been reported lost or stolen, it can be blacklisted. If that’s the case, it can’t be activated by any service provider.


When you purchase a like new device, be sure to inquire about the guarantee. The terms are likely to vary from seller to seller.

Choosing the phone for you might mean shopping secondhand. This cost-effective method of shopping is a great way to get a new-to-you phone without breaking the bank!