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storyblocks woman holding up cell phone SnrCAO2tw SBI 346273342

Everything you need to know on refurbished iPhone safety

With the rise in people opting for refurbished iPhones increasing due to the many benefits that follow, there is still a negative reputation around refurbished iPhones, which are commonly confused with ‘second hand’ phones. It’s common to hear stories of used iPhones having faults and making them unsafe for the user, however, it’s important to understand that used and refurbished phones are not the same.

Paul Walsh, director of WeSellTek ( – specialists in refurbished mobile phones and tablets, has used his expert knowledge to provide insight into the iPhone refurbishment process and the safety checks carried out, to reassure people interested in buying a refurbished piece of tech that if done correctly by a trusted provider, the process is 100% safe. He has also provided tips on how to check that your device has been fully refurbished correctly. 

Refurbished iPhone battery checks

A refurbished iPhone should function like a brand new one which is why it goes through various tests and checks to ensure it is safe before being sold. Most of the safety checks carried out on refurbished iPhones are focused on the iPhones battery as this is where most of the safety faults can occur. The main battery checks are: 

  • Battery cycle count
  • Signs of swelling
  • Battery health rating

Battery cycle count 

The battery cycle count is the number of charges the phone has received. This should be checked in the refurbishment process and at WeSellTek if the battery cycle count is over 400, the battery will be replaced. It is important to ensure the battery is strong and will not have any signs of battery degradation.

Signs of swelling

Swelling of the battery is a process caused by a chemical reaction breakdown, which normally keeps your battery running. The chemical reaction breakdown causes the release of gas and the bloating of the battery. It is important to check your refurbished iPhone has had this test carried out as it is a crucial step in the refurbishment process.

Battery health rating 

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This is a check that analyses the health of the existing iPhone battery to determine whether the battery needs to be replaced. If the health of the battery is below 80% it should be changed. At WeSellTek, battery health is calculated by our in-house diagnostics software which checks the cycle count and capacity to give an overview of how hard the battery has worked over its life and if it does not meet our requirements, a replacement is fitted.

Water Damage checks 

It is also equally as important to check iPhones for water damage during the refurbishment process. This is done by checking that no water or moisture has entered the device which could cause corrosion over time. 

After all checks have been carried out, devices will be thoroughly tested in a 70 point diagnostic check. This includes testing all the main features of the iPhone and if needed, changing parts, polishing the screen and glass, and clearing or replacing the microphone parts. 

How to check that your phone has been refurbished correctly

There are a few ways you can check if your new device has been refurbished properly yourself. You can check the health of the battery by going to the setting and checking the percentage of the charge. If it’s below 80% then it could mean that the battery should’ve been replaced. ​

To check if the phone is not a stolen device you can use the serial number or IMEI number which is a unique number that allows you to identify the specific phone. Every device has one of these and if it is locked it means the phone was lost or stolen. Any credible retailer will have already carried this check out. 

A quick and effective way that you can check for water damage in your device is to play music or a video with sound and turn the volume up and see whether you’re experiencing any issues with the sound system. If you are, this is most likely due to water damage. 

Ultimately a refurbished iPhone from a reputable retailer will be trustworthy, safe, and just as great as a brand-new device, but it is great to have an understanding of the processes it has been through so you can ensure this is the case. Refurbished iPhones are very safe and on the rare occasion it isn’t right, most retailers have a great warranty scheme in place to save you any losses. 


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