What Does ‘AT&T Refurbished Phones’ Mean?
‘AT&T refurbished phones’ refers to AT&T Certified Restored phones. This is a special category of phones that are not new (have either been used, displayed, opened), however, they have been refurbished or restored to a new-like condition. This means that these phones look like-new phones, are packed in original boxes and even come with a warranty.
Here is the exact AT&T’s definition: “AT&T Certified Restored may be previously opened or used devices that undergo a series of rigorous tests and inspections, and may be refurbished or remanufactured. Devices in this category meet a higher visual cosmetic standard than AT&T Certified Pre-owned devices, may contain original or non-original replacement parts and may be up to four years old.”
As you can see they also have ‘AT&T Certified Pre-owned’ devices, which can contain scratches and other visual imperfection. We will not focus on those. By AT&T refurbished phones we are always referring solely to NEW-LIKE phones.
NOTE: Pre-Owned and Refurbished are two very different things!
Which At&t Refurbished Phones Are Best?
Let’s put AT&T aside for a moment and look at the two general refurbished options – manufacturer refurbished vs. seller refurbished. Between the two, manufacturer refurbished is the more advanced option and the one you should aim for.
At&t Manufacturer Refurbished
Manufacturer refurbished phones are the ones that are refurbished by the company (manufacturer) that produced them in the first place. This means that they have been tested at the highest standards and for all necessary parts replacements (if applicable), original parts have been used. This means that Apple refurbishes Apple phones, Samsung refurbishes Samsung phones and so on.
At&t Seller Refurbished
In other cases, a seller has its own team of phone technicians that perform the refurbishing process. The quality of their refurbishment varies from seller to seller. In the case of small retailers or shady shops, this kind of refurbishment isn’t something we would recommend, however, in the case of large and reputable sellers, which AT&T is, the quality of seller refurbished can be as good as manufacturer refurbished.
Note: AT&T doesn’t specify whether their ‘AT&T Certified Restored’ phones have been refurbished by their own phone experts or have they send the phone to their manufacturers for the manufacturer refurbishment. In our honest opinion, the first option seems more likely.
10 Best AT&T Refurbished Phones
AT&T has their online store, where you can purchase their ‘AT&T Certified Restored’ phones, however, as those phones are highly popular due to their price, there is often a very small selection for you to choose from. As such, it makes sense to look at manufacturers directly for their manufacturer refurbished phones. Those phones will always be unlocked, so you can easily bring them to AT&T based on their Bring Your Own Phone option.
That said, not all of the refurbished phones presented below are currently available at AT&T online shop.
Apple iPhone X – AT&T Refurbished Phones
The iPhone X features a 5.8-inch Super Retina display with HDR and True Tone. An all-screen design and a surgical-grade stainless steel band. It also charges wirelessly. It resists water and dust (IP67 rating). It packs 12 MP dual cameras with dual optical image stabilization, which offers TrueDepth camera with Portrait mode and Portrait Lighting. It also has the Face ID that lets you unlock and use Apple Pay with just a glance. It is powered by the A11 Bionic chip, iPhone X supports augmented reality experiences in games and apps, and iOS 12 with powerful tools that make iPhone more personal.
The iPhone X is currently available at AT&T online store. It comes in either silver or space gray color and with 64GB or 256GB internal storage. You can save up to $160.
Apple iPhone 8 Plus – AT&T Refurbished Phones
The iPhone 8 Plus features an all-glass design and an aerospace-grade aluminum band, it can be charged wirelessly, and it resists water and dust (IP67). It shines through the 5.5-inch Retina HD display with True Tone. The iPhone 8 Plus packs a very good 12MP camera with an advanced image signal processor. The phone is powered by the A11 Bionic chip, which supports augmented reality (AR) experiences in games and apps. It is also equipped with a solid battery life that can last you for up to 21 hours of talk.
The iPhone 8 Plus is currently available at AT&T online store. It comes in three colors: gold, silver, or space gray. Moreover, you can choose (if available) between 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB of internal storage, which highly affects the price. You can save roughly up to $130.
Apple iPhone 8 – AT&T Refurbished Phones
The iPhone 8 is very similar to its Plus-sized big brother presented above. Instead, it packs a smaller display of 4.7”. It is also water and dust resistant (IP67) and has a solid 12MP wide camera with auto HDR. The iPhone 8 is a great option for those looking for a high-performance phone that they can operate with one hand.
The iPhone 8 is currently available at AT&T online store. It comes in three colors: gold, silver, or space gray. Moreover, you can choose (if available) between 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB of internal storage, which highly affects the price. You can save roughly up to $120.
Apple iPhone 7 – AT&T Refurbished Phones
The iPhone 7 features a 12MP camera with 4K video and optical image stabilization, a 4.7-inch Retina HD display with wide color gamut, Touch ID, A10 Fusion chip for high performance, great battery life, and water and dust resistance (IP67). Thanks to its size, it is also highly suitable for all users who want to be able to handle their phones and basic function with a single hand. It comes in 32GB, 128GB, and 256GB internal storage options.
At the official AT&T online store, the 256GB is currently the only available model, though it does come in 5 different colors. You can save up to $100 by purchasing a refurbished model.
Motorola Moto G7 Power – AT&T Refurbished Phones
Motorola Moto G7 smartphone packs a large 6.2-inch HD+ touchscreen that delivers detailed visuals. It operates on advanced LTE connectivity provides the bandwidth to stream high-definition content. This Motorola Moto G7 smartphone has a 1.8GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 processor and 3GB of RAM, which provides responsive user experience and runs multiple applications at once. One of the most impressive features of this smartphone is its battery capacity of 5000mAh that surpasses all other smartphones on the market.
A refurbished Motorola Moto G7 is currently available at Best Buy and lets you save up to $100.
Google Pixel 4 – AT&T Refurbished Phones
This one is a great option for all Google and Android fans. The Google Pixel 4 smartphone comes with the 5.7-inch HD+ OLED display that provides bright, crisp visuals for watching movies and playing games, while the 128GB of internal storage offers ample space for storing files and applications. This smartphone has a water-resistant, dust-resistant design (IP68) for durability, and the 2800mAh battery delivers power for seamless use.
A refurbished Google Pixel 4 is available at Best Buy and lets you save up to $300.
Samsung Galaxy S10+ – AT&T Refurbished Phones
The Samsung Galaxy S10+ packs a 6.4-inch AMOLED Infinity Display that lets you enjoy immersive content, while the 12MP wide-angle rear camera is ideal for taking professional-looking HD videos and photos. This smartphone comes with 8GB of RAM for a flawless experience when multitasking and the 128GB of storage are enough for hours of video content.
A refurbished Samsung Galaxy S10+ is available at Best Buy and lets you save up to $370.
Samsung Galaxy A50 – AT&T Refurbished Phones
The Samsung Galaxy A50 is powered by a powerful 4000 mAh Li-Ion battery that offers up to 14 hours of talk time for all-day use, while the 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display delivers crisp visuals, letting you browse the internet and play games smoothly. This smartphone has 64GB of internal storage for storing all your files and applications. The Samsung Galaxy A50 smartphone boasts 4GB of RAM for working with multiple windows simultaneously. It never was a Samsung’s flagship phone, however, it is a perfect combination between the affordability and performance.
A refurbished Samsung Galaxy S10+ is available at Best Buy and lets you save up to $95.
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge (32GB) – AT&T Refurbished Phones
Galaxy S6 Edge is no longer the latest model, however, it is still an amazing smartphone that was (at the time of its initial release) a real sensation as it reimagined design inside and out. It packs an amazing Dual-Edge 5.1″ Quad HD Super AMOLED display, a powerful 16MP rear-facing camera, a powerful processor and so much more.
Galaxy S6 edge 32GB (AT&T) Certified Pre-Owned, Black Sapphire, Samsung Certified Pre-Owned, is currently available at Samsung’s official online store. It comes with an impressive 12-month limited warranty and lets you save $315.
Samsung Galaxy S5 – AT&T Refurbished Phones
Samsung Galaxy S5 is an even older model, which makes it even more affordable. It has a quality 5.1” full HD Super AMOLED display, fingerprint scanner, heart rate monitor, 16MP camera and much more. If you don’t mind an older model, the Galaxy S5 may be a solid choice for you.
Galaxy S5 Certified Pre-Owned, Shimmery white, Samsung Certified Pre-Owned, is currently available at Samsung’s official online store. It comes with an impressive 12-month limited warranty and lets you save $200.
What You Should Look At Before Buying an AT&T Refurbished Phone
Herein we will present you with useful information that will help you choose the right refurbished phone for you. Consider it as a short refurbished phone buyer guide.
Unless you are purchasing a refurbished phone to save the environment, you are most likely considering this option to save some money, right? As such make sure to perform your own research and find a model that is in your price range. Refurbished prices vary greatly and it can save you a lot of money to look at several sellers and manufacturers (consider the list provided below).
Make sure the seller takes returns
You should always make sure that the seller offers some sort of return policy. Remember, the refurbished phone must be like new ones and new phones always come with some sort of return option. If the seller doesn’t offer a return option, step away and look elsewhere.
Make sure you get a warranty
Refurbished phones must always include some sort of warranty. In many cases, this warranty is the same as for new phones (in case of manufacturer refurbished phones). However, sellers will normally offer you a 90-day warranty, which is not great but definitely better than nothing. Also, look into details and check what exactly is covered by the warranty to avoid any future (negative) surprises.
Buy only from reputable vendors
There are still many shady vendors selling “refurbished” phones that are basically just cleaned used phones. It is hard to say that reputable vendors don’t do that too, however, they have their reputation to look after and more strict policies set in place. As such, you are slightly more protected and on definitely on a safer side if you focus your attention on reputable vendors.
AT&T Refurbished Phone Replacement and Return Policy
Replacing your phone can be done either based on following the return policy or warranty of your AT&T refurbished phone. Besides, you have the option to insure your phone and extend your warranty and coverage, which may not be such a bad idea. Whichever the case, you must meet their conditions to get a replacement phone.
AT&T backs its Certified Restored devices with its standard 14-day return period as well as a 90-day warranty on phones and accessories. If a device is received as a replacement through AT&T Mobile Insurance, the warranty period is 1 year. Check out more https://www.att.com/wireless/refurbished-phones-devices/
During the return policy, you may ask for a replacement phone or money back. Further, if your phone malfunctions (not to your misuse) within the warranty period, you may get either repair for your phone or a replacement phone, which will not necessarily be the same model as your current phone.
Are AT&T refurbished phones good or bad?
As mentioned above, we highly doubt that AT&T sends their phones to be refurbished by the manufacturers, which means that they offer seller refurbished phones, which are, generally speaking, always a less reliable option. However, they are a reputable company and do offer returns and a 90-day warranty on their refurbished phone.
As such, it may not be a wrong idea to have a look at their online store and check their currently available refurbished phones. If you like the price and plan on using AT&T services, it may not be a wrong idea.
AT&T refurbished phones Pros:
- 90-day warranty
- 14-day returns
- Reputable company
AT&T refurbished phones Cons:
- Most likely not manufacturer refurbished phones
- A very limited selection of refurbished phones
- Prices of refurbished phones tend to have higher discounts elsewhere
Where To Buy At&t Refurbished Phones?
Since refurbished phones are typically unlocked, which means that can be used with any carrier, you can basically purchase a refurbished phone anywhere you like and then bring it to AT&T through their BYOP service or simply plug in your AT&T SIM card if you already are their user.
However, there are several places where you can buy AT&T refurbished phones directly. Here is the list:
- ATT online store – AT&T has refurbished phones available only in their online store (not in local stores). You must visit their official website, then click on the “Phone & devices” item in their main menu bar. Once in the store click the “AT&T Certified Restored” in the filter menu bar.
- Amazon – Amazon offers a wide selection of refurbished phones. Those can be seller or manufacturer refurbished, however, the greatest selection is of those that have been Amazon renewed and come with a Renewed Guarantee. On Amazon, there are many shady sellers so pay extra attention and read all the details before your purchase.
- Best Buy – Best Buy is a reputable electronics store and as such a rather safe place to buy phones. They offer AT&T refurbished phone, however, the selection may not be as large as you’d like. The best chances are if you visit their online store and find a model you prefer.
- Walmart – Walmart online store is another place where you can find some AT&T refurbished phones, though their selection may be very limited as well. However, since it is a safe and reputable place, it makes sense to check it out.
- Samsung – Official Samsung store is without a doubt the best place to look for Samsung refurbished phones. They offer very solid discounts and you know that phones have been manufacturer refurbished. Only older models are available.
- Apple – Apple also offers high-quality refurbished deals and is as such the best place for iPhones. However, they do tend to run out of popular models rather fast.
Why are AT&T refurbished phones so much cheaper? Are they lower quality?
To be honest, they are not that cheaper. On average you can save no more than $150 by purchasing an AT&T refurbished phone (at AT&T online store). Looking at other places you can save more.
The quality of refurbished phones should always be high. Remember the whole point is for the refurbished phones to be LIKE-NEW.
So, if the seller or manufacturer does what it is supposed to do, the refurbished phones meet the quality of new ones.
Can I buy AT&T refurbished phones with no credit check?
This depends on where you plan on purchasing your AT&T refurbished phone. In general, you can always get an AT&T refurbished phone with no credit check if you pay the phone’s full price at the moment of purchase. However, if you want to make monthly payments, a credit check is most likely required.