By now I am actually using my 6th iPhone (and I am only talking about the iPhone 4S series here). I keep on loosing it and the first 3 I walked into the next best shop in Hong Kong and bought a new one off the shelve, no more. Simple reason, I can’t afford it anymore, so I find myself again and again in the situation of searching for good deals with used phones, here are my tips on what to watch out for!
Quick check of your Situation (Upgrade)
There are plenty of options on how to proceed once your iPhone is gone, first you should check how deep you are into your contract in if it makes sense to extend it by a certain amount, if your provider is willing to either upgrade or provide you a replacement model for free.
- Make sure your warranty is not valid any more, otherwise, lucky you!
- This makes sense if you already know you gonna stay in Hong Kong for longer and you are happy with the current service of your provider
- Also only go this way if you are in the last third of your contract, meaning you would require a new one any time soon regardless
Do you really need the top notch model?
By now you probably have realized that carrying an iPhone with you isn’t the safest thing of your private activities, hence, if you expect to loose your phone again (be realistic, how much do you really drink?), then go for the lowest model, no fancy 64GB, no fancy super fast subscription plan, maybe consider getting the previous model, you will find them heavily subsidised in one of the many shops in Hong Kong (A list of best places to buy iPhones in Hong Kong)
Where to buy your used iPhone
Computer / Phone Mall
There are mainly 3 options for you here, the easiest, and one with the shortest waiting list, is probably walking in to one of the major PC / Phone Malls in Hong Kong. Now here you gotta be extra careful on what the sales person will try to sell you (More under the next point)
Also called Apple store, try and see if they have any refurbished models, sometimes you might even find some online. (Here is the link to go) Same goes for the other official retailers, its definitely worth checking and you will have a peace of mind if you are successful (Important List of all Apple Retailers in Hong Kong)
Online Shops / Auctions
Although Craigslist isnt that big yet you will very likely be able to find something usable there. You have quite a bit of daily offers for used iPhones, and the same goes for the local Hong Kong Yahoo Auction place, or the following 2 busy market places (The Best Places to buy Apple Products in Hong Kong)
Trust worthy? Check anyways!
Once you hold your potential new used iPhone in your hands, its worth going through the following check list, especially if you are standing inside one of the Phone malls or local sellers shops, don’t let them hurry you, take your time, it’s your money and you don’t want to end up having to buy another phone the next day!
Check the exterior, connections and Buttons
First look for obvious, scratches on the glas pannel, back panel, how well do the buttons perform (presure point), and also very important, are there any marks on the connector dock, resp does the connector cable click on without problems.
Play a example song and check if the external speaker performs well or has any cracking, then plugin your headphones and check if the headphone jack puts out good quality sound
Display Check Next
Get intimate on the display once again, this time with the phone switched on, check for dead pixels or problems with the color (for the ultimate test, simply visit iphonedpt.awardspace.com)
Check the Internet connections (WLAN and Network)
Switch on both options and surf to some webpages to see if the antenna has issues and the signal is clear
Calling and Texting
Make a call to one of your friends and send them a text message to see if transfer and quality is ok
Yes, probably one of the most used features of iPhones sold these days is the camera, so go ahead and snap some pictures and a short video
Last check, battery life
Go to “Settings -> General -> Usage and check the most important points, now if you get the chance fully charge the phone (or ask your sales person up front to charge it before you drop by) and use the phone for a day, to see if you get the expected battery life!