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Refurbished iPhone SE 2: How to Get the Cheapest iPhone SE 2 in Like New Condition

Looking for the best deal on a refurbished iPhone SE 2? Buy it as cheap as possible with our roundup of new and refurbished iPhone SE 2’s for sale.

Jump to: Refurbished Deals | Carrier Deals | Specs & Reviews | Common Problems | Daily Depreciation | Is the iPhone SE 2 a Good Buy?

 iPhone SE 2 (Refurbished) where to buy compared

StoreiPhone SE 2 64GBiPhone SE 2 128GBiPhone SE 2 256GB
Gazelle$209$249$269
Amazon$289$327$375
eBay$261$290$350
Decluttr$270$300$365
Swappa (mint)$262$307$356
* Retrieved 10/12/2021. iPhone SE 2’s for sale on the Verizon network/unlocked in “good” condition. Swappa average recently sold in “mint” condition. eBay averages. Amazon “renewed” devices.

iPhone SE 2 carrier deals

Prefer to buy a new iPhone SE 2 from your carrier? Here are the cheapest iPhone SE 2 deals from Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile.

  • Verizon: Free iPhone SE 2 w/new line & unlimited plan (see deal)
  • AT&T: Up to $200 off iPhone SE 2 w/trade in (see deal)
  • T-Mobile: 50% off iPhone SE 2 w/new line (see deal)
Considering a different iPhone model? Check out all current iPhone deals

iPhone SE 2 specs & reviews

Is the iPhone SE 2 right for you? The following specs and reviews can help you decide.

iPhone SE 2 specs

  • Capacity: 64GB, 128GB or 256GB
  • Processor: A13 Bionic chip
  • Network: 4G LTE
  • Water resistance: IP 67
  • Display: 4.7-in. Retina HD, 1334×750 resolution (326 ppi)
  • Camera: 7MP front camera, 12MP rear camera with 4K video recording
  • Battery: 1,821 mAh, up to 13 hours video playback and 40 hours audio playback

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iPhone SE 2 reviews

“… looks like an iPhone 8 but works like Apple’s top-of-the-line iPhone 11 Pro.”Cnet

“The iPhone SE 2020 is an outstanding phone for under $400, delivering fast performance and very good cameras in a compact design… one of the best phones for those on a budget.”Tom’s Guide

“Battery life and screen tech could be better, the headphone jack is a miss, but – for the price – this is one of the best iPhones Apple has ever made.”TechRadar

“No other phone that costs less than $500 can claim to be this good.”The Verge

“The 2020 Apple iPhone SE is a petite powerhouse with no-compromise performance for hundreds of dollars less than other recent iPhones.”PC Mag

“It’s a smartphone that delivers all the tech that we care about, without making us pay through the nose for it.”The New York Times

“The iPhone SE is a solid entry-level iPhone. You can buy a better device, but you don’t need a better device.”Digital Trends

“If Apple’s new iPhone SE proves anything, it’s that you can get an excellent midrange iPhone, one with the processing power of a top-of-the-line smartphone, for $400.”Wired

Common iPhone SE 2 problems

Frozen screens, overheating and fast battery drain are some of the most reported iPhone SE 2 problems.

Frozen screens

Some users have reported screen freezing issues with the second generation iPhone SE. If your iPhone SE becomes nonresponsive or gets stuck during startup, you can fix the problem with instructions found on Apple’s support page.

Is Apple’s iPhone upgrade program worth it? Probably not. Here’s why

Overheating

Several iPhone 2 owners have visited Apple’s forums to report overheating issues. Recommended solutions include using only the provided charger and avoiding running too many processor-intensive apps at once. Others have said the problem is related to an iOS update, and you can follow the steps outlined on Apple’s website to reinstall the update and potentially fix the issue.

Limited battery life

Some users have reported fast battery drain, sometimes in conjunction with overheating issues. To resolve limited battery life, you can check out recommendations detailed on Apple’s community forums or adjust a series of settings as outlined by Gotta Be Mobile.

These issues could come into play if you want to buy a refurbished iPhone SE 2 or if you find a pre-owned iPhone SE 20 for sale on a peer-to-peer platform like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. Be sure to ask questions and thoroughly inspect any iPhone SE 2 before you buy it.

iPhone SE 2 daily depreciation

iPhones typically depreciate by around 40% over one year and up to 75% over three years. Released in April 2020, the iPhone SE 2 is currently depreciating by about 0.08% per day.

Note that depreciation applies to refurbished iPhone SE 2’s. New iPhone SE 2’s are still being sold at or near $399, which is what the phone cost on its release date.

What depreciates faster, a phone or a car? Find out

Which is a better buy? iPhone SE 2 VS iPhone 11 VS Samsung Galaxy S20

A refurbished iPhone SE 2 currently goes for approximately 42% less than an iPhone 11, which was released in 2019, and 38% less than a Samsung Galaxy S20, which was released in 2020.

The iPhone 11 has the same A13 bionic chip found in the iPhone SE 2, though it has a larger screen (6.1-in. versus 4.7 in.) and dual 12MP rear cameras plus a 12MP front camera, which is 4MP greater than the SE 2’s front camera. The iPhone 11 also boasts up to 4 more hours of video playback and up to 25 more hours of audio playback on a single charge.

The Galaxy S20 is even bigger at 6.2-inches and offers a triple rear camera system plus a 10MP front camera. The device has a large 4,000 mAh battery, though some report disappointing battery life.

Many reviewers tout the iPhone SE 2 as a feature-packed budget phone, which means it might be a good buy if you prefer a compact phone in the iOS ecosystem and you’re willing to sacrifice a little battery life and camera quality.

Of course, it’s up to you to decide which phone is best for you, but it’s worth noting that Samsung phones tend to depreciate at higher rates than iPhones – an important consideration if you plan to resell your phone later.

How to avoid refurbished iPhone SE 2 scams

Though buying a refurbished iPhone SE 2 can be a cheap way to get a great phone, you need to watch out for phone scams.

If you buy from Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace and on other peer-to-peer platforms, check the IMEI to make sure the phone hasn’t been reported lost or stolen.

Don’t get scammed! Here’s how to avoid scams when buying a used phone

It’s also best practice to ask for proof that the phone is paid off. If the seller has not paid the phone off, it’s finance locked, which means you can’t transfer it to a new carrier. You should additionally make sure any activation locks like iCloud and Find My iPhone are disabled.

Other scams to watch out for include counterfeit iPhones, defective iPhones and sellers who have swapped OEM parts for aftermarket parts.

One way to protect yourself is to buy a refurbished iPhone SE 2 from a trusted company that has good reviews. Another is to use a payment method that offers buyer protection.

What to expect when you buy a refurbished iPhone SE 2

A refurbished iPhone SE 2 is one that has been inspected and repaired, if necessary. It’s important to note that the term “refurbished” is not a legal designation (PC Mag). Here’s how to ensure you’re getting an iPhone SE 2 that meets your expectations.

Ask what “refurbished” means – and who is doing the refurbishing

Stores like Gazelle and Decluttr have technicians who conduct multi-point inspections, make repairs and fully test refurbished phones before they sell them.

You might find reputable stores that likewise employ trained techs on marketplaces like Facebook and eBay; however, you might also find random individuals who claim to refurbish phones themselves.

Make sure you understand what they mean when they say “refurbished” and who is doing the work before you buy a refurbished iPhone SE 2.

Ask if they offer returns or a warranty

It’s easier to trust stores that offer returns or warranties on refurbished iPhones. Gazelle, for example, has a 30-day money-back return policy.

Decluttr offers free money-back returns within 14 days plus a limited 12-month warranty when you buy a refurbished iPhone SE 2. Both eBay and Amazon have buyer protection policies.

Ask what condition it’s in

Refurbished iPhone SE 2’s are pre-owned, which means they may have wear and tear from normal use. Expect the phone to be fully functional with some light scuffs and scratches. In some cases, a brand new iPhone SE 2 might have been repaired in near perfect cosmetic condition.

Either way, be sure to ask what condition the phone is in before you agree to buy it. Both Decluttr and Gazelle have tiered grading systems to help you understand exactly what you’re getting.

Ask if it comes with accessories

Refurbished iPhone SE 2’s do not typically include accessories like earbuds and chargers, but it never hurts to ask.

Ready to buy an iPhone SE 2? You can offset part of the cost by selling your old phone to a buyback store. Our free service instantly finds the best deal for your old phone – with zero risk and fast payment – guaranteed. Compare offers now.

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