Should I buy a refurbished Samsung Galaxy S21?

A photo of the Galaxy S21+

Samsung is now selling refurbished versions of its Galaxy S21 lineup.
Photo: Sam Rutherford / Gizmodo

For all those whose pockets are not overflowing with cash needed for a brand new flagship device, Samsung will start selling “renewed” versions of last year’s Galaxy S21 series at a discount. Yes, they write it that way.

These refurbishments Galaxy S21 devices are now available for pre-order in the Samsung Certified Re-Newed Store. The store offers smartphones for purchase for anyone on a budget who wants flagship-level specs and doesn’t mind using the latest generation hardware. Models available for pre-order include the Galaxy S21Galaxy S21+ and the Galaxy S21 Ultra.

Samsung says its Certified Refurbished smartphones are “carefully inspected and updated to like-new condition” at its factories. Only Samsung approved parts and batteries are used to repair phones. Each model in the program comes with a one-year warranty, which is the same that extends to brand new Galaxy smartphones.

Galaxy S21 base model with 128GB of storage starts at $675 when purchased through the Re-Newed programwhich is about $124 less than the MSRP for a new device. The Galaxy S21+ and Galaxy S21 Ultra, also with 128GB of base storage, start at $850 and $1,000. Samsung is offer a $100 credit to anyone who pre-orders before April 21.

Should I Buy a Refurbished Samsung Galaxy?

If this all sounds like business, consider a few points before buy a refurbished smartphone. First of all, last year’s Galaxy S21 Ultra is do not This year Galaxy S22 Ultra, which means you don’t get the Galaxy Note redux, with a stylus in tow. The certified renewed program has the Note 10 as part of its range, but I’d seriously avoid a two-year-old device considering how Samsung does software updates. The later you buy a brand new smartphone, the shorter the time you have before software updates end, even with Samsung’s promise of three generations of software updates and four years of security updates. .

You’ll also want to do a price-to-price comparison if you’re choosing between this year’s and last year’s Samsung flagship models. For example, if you like the look and feel of the S21 Ultra and don’t mind that it doesn’t come with the S Pen built in, $1,000 isn’t a bad price for a device with capabilities. cameras similar to its successor, which starts at $200 more with just 8GB of RAM. The S21 Ultra also has 12GB of RAM at the base price, which I always suggest for power users looking for longevity. Anecdotally, that bit of extra memory helps tremendously in the long run.

As for choosing between the regular Galaxy S21 and S22 lineup, first see how much you can reduce the price of the latter with a device trade-in. the S22 features an improved camera system from the S21, longer battery life, and its new look and colorways could be better looking. The S22 series starts at $800 and $1000. Switch to te Galaxy S22+ by getting rid of an older smartphone might help cut the cost enough that you don’t have to consider the standard Galaxy S21 for $850.

The Certified Renewal Program does not include the Galaxy S21 FEor “Fan Edition”, which is a line that offers high-end hardware at a price lower price. As I noted in my review of the device, it’s not worth buying last year’s reduced specs, even at $700.

The Galaxy S21 and S21 Ultra are available for pre-order through the Certified Re-Newed program. They will be officially on sale from April 22 on Samsung.com and at select retailers from April 28.

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