24 Apr 2019
So you’re in the market for a new Sony phone, and you don’t know which one to buy from all the offers that range from suspiciously cheap to borderline criminally expensive.
Fear not, here you will learn what to look for, and what to stay away from when searching for a new or used phone. There is plenty of different locations and sites you can choose from while looking for your new device and there is always a chance that someone might want to take advantage of your hard earned cash.
We will start by covering the process of purchasing from places such as Amazon or Craigslist, although there are differences between them as well and not every website is equal. Most of the time websites that have the option of shipping the item will also have some teams of service so the buyer will not buy a cat in the bag, but in terms of sites that base their sales on personal pick up, you will have to validate the product yourself, and here are the key aspects to watch out for.
You found your shiny new Sony phone, start by checking the IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number of the phone. It’s a 15 digit number that can be accessed in a variety of ways, but we’ll stick with the quickest one that can be found the same way no matter the phone. Open the dialer app and input the following code *#06# and immediately you should see a message appear with the IMEI number.
This 15 digit number is unique for each device and can give you all the info about the device that you will need to make an educated decision. If you’re shopping for a new phone that’s sealed, the phones box will also have all the information you need. All boxes should come with a sticker on it with the model number serial number and IMEI number. Once you have the device's IMEI number, open a web browser and navigate to IMEI.info. When you fill the IMEI and proceed further you will see all the necessary information of the specific phone, along with information specific to the device the IMEI belongs to. From there you will find Check Firmware / Simlock / Country and Blacklist status but we’ll focus on the first one at the moment.
At the very beginning, open the browser and go to www.imei.info.
When the unique number is typed, click on CHECK and go through the CAPTCHA protection.
In order to get some advanced knowledge of the particular smartphone, pick one from the Free or Paid Checks.
You now have access to all the info you will need. The important parts would be Simlock, Serial Number, Model Number, all necessary to validate the authenticity of the device with a quick Google search. There might be various things that someone might want to hide and I would not rush with checking the phone. Start by examining the device from all sides for some visible scuffs and marks of being dropped, always a nice way to knock couple bucks of the final price, assuming it was not pointed out in the description of the offer. You should also take with you a spare SIM card or someone with a phone so you can insert your SIM card In the phone in order to test the phone connectivity. Make a call to see if the reception works and to check the quality of the phone call on both ends, connect to the internet and see if LTE, 4G or whatever the connectivity it uses works properly.
The second option will allow you to check the status of the phone called Blacklisting, meaning if it has been reported as stolen or not. A message stating device is clean is the desired one if you wish not to have longer interactions with the police. Now that you know more about the device than the person you’re buying it from, you can make a conscious decision if this particular device fits your needs. All those info can be done without moving from your home, a simple message to the seller should result in acquiring the number. If for some reason the seller makes some excuses why he can’t give it to you, move on the next one. The site along with the IMEI is the quickest way to check any phone and if the seller can't provide you with basic information, do not waste time and possibly money.
The last thing worth checking, and probably most important would be the charging port. There might be a chance it's damaged and won't charge the phone or needs to be constantly readjusted to make contact. There are other things like batter longevity but that will be based on how old the phone might be and will vary depending on the device manufacture day and how long it has been used. Lastly, if the phone comes with the box you might want to check if there is a warranty there and all the necessary paperwork and proof of purchase.
Shopping for a new Sony phone won’t be as complicated as a used one. Most of the phones will be under manufacturer’s warranty as long as the phone has been manufactured in recent years. There still might be phones that are designed to be a mere imitation of the real thing marketed in a description in a clever way to mislead you but there is not much of a problem within Sony market. Read the description of the offer thoroughly to avoid hidden messages in the long description designed to discourage you from reading it.
Shops sometimes might be selling as an example phones that have been damaged during transport and will market them as new even though it might have been run over by a car while being dropped out of a plane, but it wasn’t used so it's new. Bad scenarios are not the only thing that can be found, there might be a time when an offer is sublime and someone is genuinely trying to get rid of something fast. This kind of offers is the most desired because of the possibility of making a profit on it, but we’re not looking for profit just an attractive offer and that kind of situations provide sometimes the best offers.
Hopefully, by now you have a decent idea what to look for when shopping for a new Sony phone. To give a general tip, when shopping for used phone try to look for things that are missing in the offer instead of what is there. The content that is missing is usually missing intentionally. If you’re looking for a new Sony phone, it will be more expensive but in return under warranty as a result. Another benefit is a result of buying from an online retailer is the safety of having laws and regulations associated with an official online store and sites they use to sell the products on.
I personally bought phones online and in person and never had any problem with it, but I do pay a lot of attention to photos or lack of them and the information provided in the description of the (used) phone. For a new phone, it is much more simple. In my experience, buying a new phone from a private person not a store or company rarely makes sense, those individuals expect to get more for the device that a store is selling it for and for a majority of the time they pick the highest price they can find and run with it. Stores have various prices and from time to time they will also add something to make the offer more enticing while keeping the price still the same or minimally higher. For the safest result I advise on finding a certified store on sites like Amazon and finding the cheapest offer of the particular model, but if you’re looking for something cheaper then use a phone is the way to go and it will require a bit more work to find a decent offer.
Whatever your choice is, wish you luck in finding your new phone.
By Marta Luber on 24 Apr 2019
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