For a while, it seemed like the price of Apple’s much-loved iPhones would go nowhere but up. But once the handsets broke the $1,000 threshold, they started to test the limits of even their most ardent fans. And Apple didn’t wait long to correct its overreach.
They started to launch more budget-friendly phones like the iPhone 8 as a way of getting their latest major innovations into more peoples’ hands. And it worked. The iPhone 8 was a hit that remains popular today. But as it starts to age, it’s getting harder for people to justify buying one, even at its new low price of $499 from the Apple Store.
But what about refurbished versions of the iPhone 8? Do those offer enough value to make them worth buying? Let’s find out.
The Case for Refurbished iPhone XRs
For those who still want an iPhone 8 today, considering a refurbished model is a great option. Trusted resellers often have them available for under $350, which is much cheaper than their retail price. And for that price, you can have a phone that’s in like-new condition that’s all but indistinguishable from a brand new one. And for those willing to accept a bit more cosmetic wear, a refurbished iPhone 8 can even be had for under $300 – which is practically a steal.
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Whatever the price, though, the iPhone 8 is still a top-notch handset. It boasts a 6.1-inch screen that’s comparable in size to the one in the iPhone 12. And although it can’t match the iPhone 12’s superior resolution, it’s a difference most people wouldn’t notice under normal usage conditions. And the iPhone 8’s processor should give it enough horsepower to keep running well for at least another two years before beginning to show its age.
The case Against Refurbished iPhone 8
Even though a refurbished iPhone 8 is a great buy at the moment, some things should give potential buyers pause. The first is that it doesn’t have a 5G radio in it. That limits how much longer the phone will remain useful in the real world. And then there’s the fact that you can just as easily buy a used iPhone 8 for a good price in pristine condition – under $200 to be exact.
And even though the iPhone 8 is smaller and packs less of a processing punch than the iPhone 8, it will likely remain useful for just as long. In other words, by the time the owner of either phone is forced to upgrade by the continued adoption of 5G networks, they’ll have gotten more bang for their buck out of the cheaper iPhone 8. And the money saved can go straight toward purchasing a new iPhone 12 or whatever makes the most sense at the time.
The Bottom Line
The fact is, the iPhone 8 is a fantastic smartphone. And even two years after launch, it hasn’t lost a step. It remains competitive with its younger sibling, the iPhone 12. But at full retail price and the timer of obsolescence ticking, a new iPhone 8 is a tough sell.
Purchasing a refurbished model makes quite a bit more sense when you consider the price savings. And it’s probably the best option for anyone that wants a phone that’s comparable in size and capability to the iPhone 12. And there are enough available on the secondary market that finding an appropriate model shouldn’t be hard.
On the other hand, choosing to buy a used iPhone 8 for a good price makes just as much sense. It’ll last as long as an iPhone 8 will and makes an excellent bridge model to use until it’s time to upgrade to the latest and greatest iPhone.
So the bottom line is simple. Buying a refurbished iPhone 8 is a good idea for most. And although there are cheaper options, they would all involve compromise of some sort. And as Apple fans – why compromise when you can have the phone you want at a price you can afford?