Unboxing Apple Refurbished vs reboxed Refurbished. Can you tell the difference?
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With smartphones only getting a little better every year for the average customer and the latest top-of-the-line iPhone costing more than a thousand dollars, it's no wonder that over 22 million people in Britain alone (like you) are thinking about buying used or refurbished tech. 

The preloved and proud trend is happening in many industries, and thankfully tech is quickly following suit.

Throwaway culture, constant upgrades, shopping hauls and convenience have created mountains of e-waste, which now holds the sorry title of being the fastest growing waste stream on the planet. 

There's also the hidden carbon impact of constantly upgrading your phone. Learn more about the carbon footprint of your phone here.

That old mobile you had in 2010, the printer you chucked for not working one time, the camera memory cards lost and discarded from the bottom of bags - that’s what we’re talking about.

With inflation and the cost of living going up, now is a good time to think about reusing, and a refurbished phone could save you up to 40% compared to a new phone.

What is a reboxed® refurbished phone?


reboxed sells three grades of phones:

  • Premium: In perfect or near mint condition

  • Great: Some light scratches you can only see up close

  • Fair: Light signs of wear with moderate scratches and scuffs

Typically, our premiums are most likely to have been refurbished or are 14-day returns.

Are they legit?

Each reboxed phone is Techcheck certified using our 70-point TechCheck which combines AI-driven automated diagnostics of all the phone’s key functions and a thorough cosmetic inspection before being wiped, cleaned and sterilised.

When you unbox a reboxed phone, you’d never know it had been owned before.

Oh and we chuck in a 12-month warranty too so you can kick back and think about what’s for dinner, not worry about your phone.

Our warranty covers all of our phones which fall into the following categories:

  • Old phones that are used but may have been repaired with new parts
  • New phones that people have simply opened and sent back to be sold again
  • Brand new phones that had technical issues from the manufacturers, but look brand new so were sent back to be sold again after being repaired

So what's the difference between a reconditioned Apple and a reconditioned reboxed iPhone?

According to Apple’s website, they say that you will get an iPhone with genuine Apple parts if you order a refurbished iPhone. It will have been cleaned and checked carefully. 

Every device will come with all of its parts, cables, and software. 

All Apple-certified refurbished products come in a brand-new white box and are shipped to you for free. 

You can also send them back for free. 

Apple backs up its promise of quality by giving you a one-year warranty as standard, and you can also get AppleCare if you want. And there is service and support for up to 90 days.

So, if we take Apple's words at face value, they're saying that you'll get a completely new-to-you phone with all of the parts working as expected, just like if you bought a new one. 

The reboxed reconditioned iPhone

Most of the time, our high-end phones are either fully refurbished or have been sent back to Apple after 14 days.

Our 70-point TechCheck uses automated diagnostics and tests to look at the whole inside of your phone. 

We also do a thorough check of the phone's appearance. 

Most of the time, high-end phones will look as good as new, with hardly any marks at all. 

We usually sell these phones for up to 23% cheaper than new ones, saving you a huge whack on a top-of-the-line phone that’s as good as brand new.

The Apple unboxing experience

Apple’s box is a pretty big box, probably as it’s an older model. 

I didn't think the box would look like this. 

Apple-certified pre-owned is what you got. Apple says that this phone comes with the usual stuff like a USB-C charger and all the rest, which is pretty good, - and some people even get headphones.

The reboxed unboxing experience

This is the box we use to send mail. 

It's a branded iPhone box.

We have some candy and a book, and our squad put a TechCheck sticker on it once it’s been certified and ready to go. They personally sign each one off too.

Inside, there’s a cable, a polishing cloth and info that will tell you what tests the phone has passed. 

Here’s what the phone looked like:

No marks on the screen and no marks on the outside of the phone either.

I would even go so far as to say that this reboxed iPhone 11 Pro Max and the Apple version are exactly the same.

reboxed vs Apple’s unboxing — the verdict

We paid £699 for the refurbished Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max 64 GB in space grey. The new price would have been £1022. That’s a saving of £323 or 30%.

On the reboxed website, for the same premium iPhone 11 Pro Max in the same condition, we paid £420 at the time. That’s a saving of £602 or 58% - you could go on holiday with that saving or put it towards Christmas. 

You've seen them. You judge.

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