A lot of people have the wrong idea about buying pre-owned mobile devices. Misconceptions about buying these older, less expensive devices may be common, but they don’t have a firm basis in reality. Here are a few smartphone myths that you shouldn’t worry about when buying a used phone from a reseller.
1. They Have Viruses
This is one of the biggest myths about used cell phones and mobile devices—but it’s also one of the most complex.
The short answer is that pre-owned smartphones can be “wiped” of all data and reset back to factory standards so they don’t harbor any viruses or malware. But the way this is done is important.
Mashable reports that smartphones have their own built-in processes for securely deleting—and re-writing—data with the new user’s information. This means that a factory reset alone may not be enough to completely wipe a device of remnants of its last owner. There are tools that professional reselling services use to ensure their pre-owned phones are wiped properly to protect both the buyers and the sellers.
2. They’re “Dirty”
No, you can’t put a used phone in a washing machine, but that doesn’t mean you can’t clean it. All the smooth, hard surfaces of today’s smartphones can be thoroughly cleaned with isopropyl alcohol or other agents. In fact, if it weren’t for a few small open ports for power and input/output, you could actually wash a smartphone much like you’d wash a car. In any case, pre-owned smartphones should come without any lingering germs or cooties, but CNET lists a few phone-cleaning methods you can use just to be sure.
3. They Won’t Hold New Contacts, Pictures, Etc.
This myth is easy to dispel. Just a cursory look at the instructions for pre-owned phones with newly installed operating systems, such as this iPhone 4s manual from Sprint, shows that they are in excellent condition to receive their new owner’s personal data, just like new phones. Depending on whether aftermarket or secondhand sellers have provided better instructions, these types of tasks might even be easier.
4. They’re “Ready to Break”
With exciting new models released every few weeks, many people are led to believe that a cell phone that has been used for a year or two is ready for the scrap yard. But the reality is that the hardware in these phones is often perfectly serviceable for the better part of a decade.
This PhoneArena article shows that phones can last for six or more years, and users in other countries often hold on to their device long after a two-year contract in the United States would have ended.
5. They’re Going to Run Slowly
Used smartphones can be refurbished back to manufacturer specs, so the software won’t be bogged down with apps and saved data. They’ll be as speedy and as capable as they were when they originally left the factory. Some older models may not be eligible for upgrading to the latest operating system version, however.
Don’t give any credence to these smartphone myths—take a look at everything that’s available from secondhand mobile phone resellers, and get your hands on a super new-to-you phone at a fraction of factory prices.
Are there any other used smartphone myths that you would like to see busted? Let us know!
Image courtesy of MorgueFile