When Google joined the phone game in 2016, they were already slightly ahead of the curve, as any google pixel review will tell you. The original pixel phone came out with Google Assistant, high resolution, and storage, a large display - all things the iPhone and Samsung series had to work their way toward.
Of course, as with Apple and Samsung, Google had to keep improving and releasing new phones, with the Google Pixel 2 coming out just a year later. But are the updates worth the price tag?
Why so Many people are Choosing the Refurbished Google Pixel
Do you really need that shiny new Google Pixel 2? What's the difference between the pixel and the pixel 2? Let's take a look:
Design: Both phones have an aluminum exterior, however, the Pixel 2 has a matte coating that makes it easier to grip and more pleasant to hold. The display screen is also more durable on the Pixel 2 than on the original, though both screens have the same resolution. The pixel 2 also moved its speakers to the front of the phone, creating more bevel space around the screen, but for a good cause.
Camera: The Pixel already had an amazing camera, but Google found a way to improve it. Both phones shoot a series of ten exposures and stack them for the best possible image, which helps with minimizing blur if you can't steady your hand. The Pixel 2, however, comes with a wider aperture, allowing a reduction in pixel size, which means cleaner photos.
Bluetooth: The original Pixel's greatest weakness was its Bluetooth connectivity. If the phone was at all obstructed, even by putting it in one's pocket, you would lose the connection to the Bluetooth device. The Pixel 2 has fixed that problem.
Headphone Jack: The Pixel 2 jump on board the train of getting rid of the headphone jack only two phones into its new series.
Storage: The original Pixel rolled out with 32 GB of storage, while the Pixel 2 starts at 64 GB.
Price: Unsurprisingly, the Google Pixel 2 price is a lot higher than what an original Pixel is currently going for. The Pixel 2 costs $650 for what amounts to very minimal upgrades, while you can get a refurbished original Pixel for half that price.
Considering a Used/Refurbished Phone
You've decided that you want to go with the Google Pixel instead of the Google Pixel 2. Now what? The easiest way to go is to turn to the internet and the endless options for used and refurbished phones. What's the difference?
- Refurbished: Refurbished phones have been inspected, wear and tear buffed, broken parts replaced, and packaged for resale. You may not get the original packaging, but your phone will be as good as new.
- Used: Used phones sold by the former owner, rather than going through a middleman. Have some wear and tear, but are ultimately functional if you don't mind a ding or a scratch.
Consider an Unlocked Phone for More Freedom
We all know the "Big Four" phone companies - AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile. These phones are locked to two networks - GSM (AT&T and T-Mobile) and CDMA (Sprint and Verizon). An unlocked phone allows you more freedom.
- Unlocked phones are not tied to any carrier.
- Can be used on any network, though there are limits (see below).
- You can unlock your own phone if you want.
What You Need to Know About Unlocked Phones
While they have their benefits, there are things you should know before hopping in and unlocking your phone:
- Unlocked phones work better on the network they were made for - i.e. a T-Mobile phone runs on the GSM network, so it would be better to switch to another carrier which is also on the GSM network.
- A CDMA phone will work on the GSM network, as long as you have 4G LTE signal. If you lose 4G, all functionality will be gone.
- You have to buy a phone outright in order to unlock it; if you're on a contract, you'll need to wait until the phone is paid off.
There's no lack of unlocked phones available online, giving you the freedom to go with whatever carrier you think is best for you - as long as you keep these limits in mind.
How to get the Best Price on an Unlocked Phone
Now that you've learned why buying a refurbished Pixel is a wise choice, you need to know where to get a quality device.
Shopping around can be overwhelming. So let us do the work for you! Not only do we give you the pros and cons of all the best-used phone sites, we also make it a snap for you to compare refurbished smartphones using our handy cell phone comparison tool.
Looking for the best deal? Check out these cheap unlocked Google Pixels.
You can also use these same sites to sell your old phone and put some money BACK into your pocket.
Save Even More by Switching to an MVNO
Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) are smaller carriers which piggyback off the "big four" cell towers and offer services at a far lower price. Payment is month to month and can be canceled at any time if you decide you're not happy with the service.
Many MVNO companies operate entirely online, allowing you to shop around for a new phone or phone plan without leaving the comfort of your home. It also has the added benefit of staying with a network you like, or one that's convenient in your area, without having to pay the "big four" price. Check out our guides on the big four MVNOs: