Company that tested over 1 million used phones says that one part fails more often



A report from OptoFidelity (via Android Authority), a company that tests used phones, reveals that it is generally okay to purchase a previously owned handset. After testing over 1 million second hand units, the company says that the risk of purchasing a used phone is low. OptoFidelty's SVP Hans Kuosmanen says, "First of all, if you buy the phone from an established supplier, you can trust them. They are testing and repairing the phones, if needed, before putting them on sale. We have been working with quite a number of them, and they do take the issue of quality very seriously."

OptoFidelity says that no more than 3%-4% of the used phones they have tested had "functional failures." With 95% of problematic handsets caught by the company, less than .5% fail when being used. Ilmo Lounasmaa, VP Marketing at the firm, notes that many used phones are sold with a warranty. She says that refurbished handsets make sense for businesses since the features are more important to them than the age of the handset.


There are some things to watch for. OptoFidelity's tests show that the buttons on a phone are the part more apt to fail. The constant pressing of these buttons would tend to wear them down over time. Next on the list is the LED notification light, if the phone has one, followed by the speakers. Less likely to fail are the modem, the flash and the vibration engine.

The buttons are the most likely part of a used smartphone to fail

The buttons are the most likely part of a used smartphone to fail

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13 Comments

1. libra89

Posts: 2252; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

This is very fascinating and also good to know, thank you. I wonder why or how the LED is the 2nd most likely to fail.

2. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3098; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Diodes (LEDs) fail mostly through no fault of their own. Usually, they fail because of power spikes caused by an unstable power source such as a defective battery. Overcurrent is the number 1 culprit.

5. bambamboogy02

Posts: 834; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

Figured the Charging PORT, it says Connectors, which has to be either 3.5mm headset jack/or charging port, no?

3. SyCo87

Posts: 286; Member since: Sep 19, 2013

Thank good I never had any of those fail. Curiously, I did have 2 screen defects though(iPhone 5s and S8).

4. mahima

Posts: 719; Member since: Nov 20, 2014

Mine always have a problem with charging in those micro usb port or charger to battery connector. Hope usb c last longer for me

6. yalokiy

Posts: 902; Member since: Aug 01, 2016

Haven't seen failed LEDs on smartphone yet..

7. matistight

Posts: 927; Member since: May 13, 2009

Used to on HTC phones but that's about it. This test is extremely flawed. I mean look at the battery health section. Baseband issues happen so often as well. Maybe they didn't include the iPhones, because baseband, touch, fingerprint, and display would be a lot higher.

8. matistight

Posts: 927; Member since: May 13, 2009

Maybe it applies to Finland, but the US is way different

9. Rocket

Posts: 626; Member since: Feb 24, 2014

Bad usb ports are the only problems that i have encountered with my phones so far.

10. maherk

Posts: 6703; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

What about batteries?

13. worldpeace

Posts: 3099; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

It's in order, from Z to A.

12. warrenellis93

Posts: 540; Member since: Jul 21, 2011

Galaxy note 4 had a motherboard issue that would cause it to turn off by itself

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