From saving money to being more environmentally friendly: five reasons to buy a refurbished smartphone

<span>Buying a refurbished phone gives you the chance to choose the handset that ticks all the right boxes – and save some serious money.</span><span>Photograph: PeopleImages/Getty Images</span>
Buying a refurbished phone gives you the chance to choose the handset that ticks all the right boxes – and save some serious money.Photograph: PeopleImages/Getty Images

Whether it’s eating less meat, swapping your car for a bike or saying no to single-use plastic, many of us are making lifestyle switches to live more ethically. However, fewer of us are aware of the huge environmental impact of something we use every day – our smartphone – and what we can all do to reduce it. Keen to know more? Here are five reasons why your next smartphone should be refurbished …

Keep your carbon footprint in check
The metal extraction, shipping and production that take place before a smartphone ends up in your hands create carbon emissions – and carbon emissions are the number one cause of the climate crisis. Metal mining and the manufacturing of smartphones, which predominantly take place in the global south, are also very polluting and therefore damaging to delicate ecosystems. Extending the lifespan of a smartphone can help to reduce this impact – the longer a smartphone is in use, the less damage is done to the planet. Obviously it’s not always possible to avoid needing a new phone, so this is why buying a refurbished one – and selling or recycling your old phones – is a more sustainable choice.

Find your perfect phone match
You might assume you’ll have a limited choice when buying a refurbished phone but this is far from true. And in fact, once you free yourself from the automatic upgrade system, you’ll be at liberty to find a phone that ticks all your most specifically-you boxes – whether that’s one of the latest models, a top-notch camera or epic battery life.

Related: The right call: how to choose a smartphone that’s better for you – and less harmful to the planet

At giffgaff, the refurbished phones are broken down into four categories: like new; excellent; very good; and good. While all the smartphones available will be running super smoothly – all refurbished phones go through a 30-point check before landing in your hands – these categories help you to determine how much wear and tear they have been through with their previous owner. If you want that fresh-out-of-the-box feeling, choose “like new”, as these look as good as new, with no visible scratches on the screen or body. “Excellent” have seen some light use, while “very good” have some signs of wear and tear on the body, but their screens are in tip top condition, and “good” have some marks on the screen and body but still run perfectly.

Save some serious money
Unsurprisingly, buying a refurbished smartphone is cheaper than buying the same phone new – and in the current climate, who couldn’t do with making some savings? The amount you will save depends on the manufacturer and model as well as the condition of the phone. As you might expect, at giffgaff the biggest savings can be found for “good” models, while you will pay more as you work your way up the scale to “like new”. However, the price of “like new” smartphones compared with the price of buying brand new can be hugely different. Take the Samsung Galaxy S22 5G, for instance – at the time of writing, you can buy this model “like new” for £389 at giffgaff, nearly 50% cheaper than buying the same model brand new.

Peace of mind, guaranteed
Buying a smartphone is a big financial commitment – so it’s understandable that when we do so, we want peace of mind. And the good news is, you’ll get it. All of giffgaff’s refurbished phones are professionally repaired, tested and quality checked, and come with 80% battery health, or better. Beyond this, they also come with a warranty ranging from 12 to 24 months – so if you have any issues, you can return the phone within this time for repair or refund.

Give your old phones a fresh start
We all have that drawer somewhere in our house – the one where we shove all things electrical. Chances are, among the old batteries, cables and chargers, there is probably a smartphone you no longer use. The good news is that this means you essentially have money sitting in a drawer. You can recycle your old phone, chargers and sim cards simply and easily with giffgaff. If your phone is worth something, you could make some money from it or put it towards a phone from giffgaff. In fact, giffgaff’s average trade-in value for a phone is currently £133. To see how much you could get for your unused phone, simply fill in this online form (it only takes a few minutes) and giffgaff will guide you through the rest.

Check out giffgaff’s flexible sim packages, huge range of refurbished phones, and all the ways it’s “up to good” at