Home Highlight The right way to purchase a secondhand mobile phone

The right way to purchase a secondhand mobile phone

by Grace Sundram

What would you do if you bought a phone without checking it thoroughly and it actually comes with a dysfunctional touch screen, camera, and more?

If you ever had the chance to purchase a secondhand phone that is up to par as a new one, certainly you will go for it in a heartbeat. Especially if your luck turns out good and you get half the price for the phone that you’re looking for so why not right? However, before you get excited and instantly make the payment transfer, it’s best to check out these few pointers so you don’t wind up on the losing end.

Make sure it’s a trusted seller


Instead of buying a phone online, it’s better to inform the seller that you’d like to check the phone in person rather than making an instant purchase. That way in the future, you wouldn’t have any regrets and you’d have the gist of what you’re really paying for.

It may be half the price but who knows, it may not even be worth it if the phone doesn’t even work.

In the end, it is all about the trust between both buyers and sellers and it’s most important when they both agree on the terms and conditions that have been set.

Touch screen display

phone (1)

One of the most important things a phone has is the display screen. What’s the use of having a dysfunctional screen if it doesn’t respond to your touch. Test out the screen brightness and look out for any dead or stuck pixels on your screen.

To do so, you can just google for a blank white picture or an RGB one. For a much easier option, just log on to the Dead-Pixel Check website.

Quick note: Stuck pixels are usually red, green, blue or yellow whereas dead pixels are black.



Doesn’t matter what phone it is, the camera is the sole reason why most people would make the purchase. If you can own a phone with a camera that is as good as a DSLR, then it’s a complete steal, isn’t it? So remember, before deciding if it’s a go for the phone, ensure you have tested out the camera and its features.

Speaker and microphone


Note: Put in your own sim card and test the phone out.

Apart from that, testing the microphone and speaker by making a phone call is another crucial element. Test out the loudspeaker and audio jack. If you’re making a phone call to the buyer who is with you,  try to go further from him or her when you’re doing a test call — just in case. You can never be too careful.

At the same time, record a voice memo or video and check the audio quality. If it sounds good, then you can go ahead with the next step.


phone (2)

For iPhone users, you might be dependent on the assistive touch however most Android phones don’t come with one unless the user downloads a third-party app. That said, it’s still important to check the different buttons on the phone to confirm it is still functional.

Battery Health

If you’re planning to get a secondhand phone, we reckon you to check the battery’s health. It should be at 85% or more in case you decide to go ahead with the purchase. Not only would it deteriorate faster, but you would also eventually wind up spending more to get a newer battery for the phone.

In case everything is well, go for the next test which is charging the phone with the cable provided. Charge it via a power bank and also a power outlet to guarantee it works.

Restart and turn off

recipe (1)

At times, we can never know the intentions of secondhand phone sellers. Perhaps they might want to get rid of the phone quickly because there are issues with the device. So it’s always important to check out the pointers that have been mentioned. One more thing to add on is that you should turn off the phone a few times as well as trying out the restart feature just to confirm that the device is able to turn on.

Most of the time, we don’t really switch our phones off but it’s best to check all these minor details out before making a big purchase.

Compare the market prices


Despite it being a good price for a secondhand phone, always check out other platforms in case there are ones out there with a much better price or better condition.

Ask yourself this, would you rather pay RM2k for a phone that comes with scratches and hardware damages or pay RM2k for one that functions better without any prior damage? Think about it.

Now that you know what you should do prior to making a purchase of a secondhand phone, we trust you on making the right decision.

Pictures by Bagus Hernawan, Juniperphoton, Thegiodidong, Mika Baumeister, Hello I M Nik, Daniel Korpai, Joshua Oluwagbemiga, Luis Villasmil & Waldemar Brandt



You may also like