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Apr 12, 2001
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Amazon maintains lists of its best selling products, and right now, the best-selling smartphone that's available from Amazon is an Amazon "Renewed" iPhone 8, which is priced starting at $178.


That's super cheap for an iPhone, and cheaper than Apple's own refurbished price for the same device, so in our latest YouTube video, we picked up one of these Amazon Renewed iPhones to see if it's worth the savings.

Amazon's "Renewed" devices are all pre-owned and are not Apple certified, but Amazon says they've been professionally "inspected, tested, and cleaned" by Amazon-qualified suppliers. Note that the iPhones come from various third-party suppliers and are not necessarily provided direct by Amazon.

amazon-refurbished-iphone-box.jpg

Amazon has two product grades: Renewed and Renewed Premium. Renewed is the cheapest option and starts at $170 for an iPhone 8 with 64GB storage, while Renewed Premium is a bit more expensive. It's worth noting that prices on Renewed and Renewed Premium devices do fluctuate, and sometimes the Premium versions go out of stock. Apple doesn't offer a new iPhone 8 anymore, but for comparison's sake, charges $339 for a Refurbished version.

amazon-refurbished-iphone-checklist.jpg

Amazon says that its Renewed devices have no "visible cosmetic imperfections" when held at an arm's length and a battery capacity that exceeds 80 percent relative to a new device, while Renewed Premium versions are "certified to work and look like new," so we chose the Premium option to get as close as possible to new iPhone 8.

The iPhone 8 that we received from Amazon looks and feels like a new device, but it did ship with a non-factory charger and Lightning cable. There were a few hairline scratches on the screen that weren't super noticeable, but will likely annoy perfectionists.

amazon-refurbished-iphone.jpg

After charging, the iPhone 8 worked as expected and had a 90 percent battery capacity. Over the course of a few days of usage, we ran into an issue with the speaker. At loud volumes, it sounds off with a noticeable crackling, which was not a problem with an original launch day iPhone 8 that we had on hand. The speaker issue did not impact call quality, so the phone was functional even with this problem.

amazon-renewed-certificate.jpg

If you're looking for an iPhone on the cheap, Amazon's Renewed devices are worth checking out, but don't expect total perfection. We ran into some minor problems, and if you check out the Amazon reviews, other users have also had more significant issues with the used and refurbished iPhones that they've purchased from Amazon.

Amazon offers a 90-day return policy for Renewed devices, while "Premium" versions come with a one-year customer satisfaction guarantee with an option to return the product, so if something is wrong with a device, you can send it back and get a refund.

Article Link: Should You Buy a Super Cheap Refurbished iPhone From Amazon?
 

ianKent

macrumors member
Feb 3, 2014
72
143
Try trademore, it’s owned by Verizon, although not advertised as such. “Used” phones there are sometimes brand new, just had to be sold because Apple “discontinued” the model, but the stock remained. Just make sure to select “excellent” condition. Worked (new phone) for some folks I know.
 

Mousse

macrumors 68020
Apr 7, 2008
2,483
5,008
Flea Bottom, King's Landing
I've brought a "renewed" iPhone 7 Plus before. The phone itself is adequate, but the charger and cable were sub-substandard. It took 12 hours charge my phone. Hook it up to standard quality cable and it charged in 3 hours. Same issue with renewed android phones. Phone was okay, the cable less than useless. They need to either provide a quality cable/charger or knock 50 cents off the price and ship the phones without cable or charger.
 

szw-mapple fan

macrumors 68020
Jul 28, 2012
2,429
2,493
While their return period is very generous, I’ve had bad experiences with the devices from renewed. One had a cracked camera lens cover and the other had deep scratches on the screen (it came with a screen protector to hide the scratches). If you buy from Amazon renewed it’s really up to you to check for every potential issue.
 

Lwii2boo

macrumors 6502
May 12, 2020
346
498
Paris, France
Why is Apple's own refurb store so limited in terms of choice and stock?
Because Apple prefers to increase its profit.
What is best for them selling refurbished iPhone 8 under $200 or selling iPhone 12 at $800 ? ;)

Refurbished for them means lowering their profit in short. And they prefer increasing their margins rather than satisfying those seeking cost effective options
 

HarryWild

macrumors 68020
Oct 27, 2012
2,006
688
I purchased an iPhone 11 Pro 512GB White when I dropped my Space Gray and it was totalled. Got it for $250 less the Apple Refurbished! Battery was 93%. Excellent condition. 90 day warranty/return but I did not want shell out more then need be. I purchased my 11 Pro new at around $1400.00.
 
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Cosmosent

macrumors 68020
Apr 20, 2016
2,026
2,336
La Jolla, CA
Absolutely NOT !

Apple's highest-value iPhone is the one-year-old-Design 6.1" iPhone 11 !

The $649 USD version with 128 GB of NAND Flash Storage is probably the sweet spot.

That's with 3.7 GB of DRAM !
 

aesc80

Contributor
Mar 24, 2015
1,316
3,242
Let's be honest, y'all - this ain't for us. This is for those people who have parents / siblings / hermits who don't care about certain features and just want a working device for FaceTime, iMessage, or whatever sort of communication (including phone calling). I'd personally buy this for my dad who would rock a Samsung Galaxy S < 7. As long as it works, that's all that matters to him.

Us though - we're the class of uppity kids driving year release BMWs and Mercs, laughing at the kid driving the used B6 Audi A4. I know that makes us sound terrible, but look at the iPhone 12 in your hands. Yeah - you wouldn't have it any other way! 😜 🤣 (jokes, of course!)
 
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BGPL

macrumors demi-god
May 4, 2016
538
1,364
California
So in other words, it's in the condition a new phone would be in after a two weeks use. I would buy everything I own from Amazon if I could... their customer service is second to none. Apple is extremely nit picky about returns, warranty and repairs.
 
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llumiaho

macrumors newbie
May 18, 2009
4
0
In Europe, the best refurbished iPhones can be bought from swappie.com. i can highly recommend their phones!
 

splam

macrumors newbie
Oct 23, 2020
1
7
I'd rather deal with Amazon than take my chances with Ebay or Craigslist. Refurbs are great for those older relatives that don't need the latest tech and would rather have touchID in this current mask-covered climate.
 

retta283

Cancelled
Jun 8, 2018
2,846
2,894
Victoria, British Columbia
I'd rather deal with Amazon than take my chances with Ebay or Craigslist. Refurbs are great for those older relatives that don't need the latest tech and would rather have touchID in this current mask-covered climate.
This is an important reality that many fail to realize or just plain ignore. Whether you agree with Amazon or not, there are times that for the sake of expedience for yourself and others, Amazon is the safe (or in some cases only) route.

Great profile picture by the way
 
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