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Best used smartphones 2020

used smartphones 2020

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

We know how satisfying it can be to own a brand-spanking-new handset, but there are two very good reasons to consider a used one instead: dollars and cents. If you're willing to stay a step or two behind the cutting edge of mobile tech, you can find some big discounts on the best smartphones on the market. And with some owners upgrading on a yearly cycle, your chances of finding a gently-used flagship with standout features are greater than you'd think.

We've rounded up prices for the most popular used smartphones from top retailers and resellers. Whether you're eyeing last year's big iPhone or Galaxy, or are looking to maximize your discount by snapping up something a little older, you're assured to find something here to put an end to your smartphone search.

(Image credit: Future)

1. iPhone X

Still fast and beautiful after all these years

Display Size (Pixels): 5.8-inch OLED (2436x1125) | CPU: A11 Bionic | RAM: 3GB | Storage / Expandable: 64GB, 256GB / No | Cameras (Back / Front): Dual 12MP / 7MP | Weight: 6.14 ounces | Battery Life (Hrs:Mins): 10:49

Apple's first-ever OLED display
Gorgeous full-screen design
Face ID really works
Stellar performance
Brilliant dual cameras
Only 64GB of storage on entry model

The iPhone X is more than two years old now, and Apple recently added its 2017 flagship to its refurbished resale program. These devices start at $599, though you could do a bit better than that if you decide to go with a third-party vendor, like Swappa or Decluttr, which are offering unlocked versions of the handset starting at $360 and $389, respectively. Of course, these models are not guaranteed to be in perfect working order as Apple's certified refurbished devices are, but secondhand retailers still ensure protections for buyers, like refunds if the item received is not as described. And that peace of mind is worth every penny, because the iPhone X — with its powerful A11 Bionic processor, Face ID technology and full-screen design — holds its value better than any other smartphone out there. Just be wary that these prices are falling even lower since the iPhone 11 series emerged in the fall.

What you'll pay for a used iPhone X

From $599 at Apple (Refurbished)
From $360 on Swappa
From $389 on Decluttr
From $430 on Amazon
From $539 on Gazelle

used smartphones 2020

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

2. Samsung Galaxy S9

A compact flagship that can still do it all

Display Size (Pixels): 5.8-inch AMOLED (2960x1440) | CPU: Snapdragon 845 | RAM: 4GB | Storage / Expandable: 64GB, 128GB, 256GB / Yes | Cameras (Back / Front): 12-MP / 8-MP | Weight: 5.8 ounces | Battery Life (Hrs:Mins): 10:52

Bright, colorful display
Sleek design
Great battery life
Solid low-light camera
Headphone jack
AR Emoji is dismal
Bixby fails to make itself useful

The Galaxy S9 was something of a modest evolution of the S8, with a more powerful processor and new dual-lens cameras with adjustable aperture. Although it may lack the futuristic Infinity-O Dynamic AMOLED panel of the newer S10 series, as well as ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensing and reverse wireless charging, the S9 is still a power-packed handset that will undoubtedly last you a long time if you choose to buy one now. And now is the right time, because it's cheaper than ever to score a used unit, and Samsung's 2018 flagship has since been updated to run the firm's new OneUI Android software. In fact, thanks to a promotion at Best Buy right now, you can snag a brand new S9 for almost the same price you'd typically spend on one secondhand.

What you'll pay for a Samsung Galaxy S9

From $449 at Best Buy (New)
From $244 on Decluttr
From $259 on Swappa
From $279 on Amazon (Renewed)
From $309 on Gazelle

used smartphones 2020

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

3. Samsung Galaxy Note 8

A premium phablet for less

Display Size (Pixels): 6.3-inch AMOLED (2960x1440) | CPU: Snapdragon 835 | RAM: 6GB, 8GB | Storage / Expandable: 64GB, 128GB, 256GB / Yes | Cameras (Back / Front): Dual 12MP / 8MP | Weight: 6.88 ounces | Battery Life (Hrs:Mins): 11:11

Gorgeous 6.3-inch Infinity Display
Fun and useful S Pen enhancements
Handy App Pair feature
Strong overall performance
Very good battery life
Awkward placement of fingerprint sensor

Samsung's S Pen-equipped, 6.2-inch Galaxy Note 8 is a fine choice for those who want something a bit more versatile than an ordinary smartphone, but much more portable than a full-on tablet. However, it's always been a bit too expensive. Thankfully, since the Galaxy Note 10 has hit the market, Note 8 prices have dropped to the point where you can snag a used example of one of Samsung's workhorse phablets for a low price of well under $300, depending on where you look. And that's a great deal for a dual lens-equipped, Snapdragon 835 handset with 6GB of RAM and a microSD slot for expandable memory up to 512GB.

What you'll pay for a used Galaxy Note 8

From $263 on Amazon (Renewed)
From $219 on Decluttr
From $219 on Swappa
From $339 on Gazelle

used smartphones 2020

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

4. Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus

Go big with your next Galaxy

Display Size (Pixels): 6.2-inch AMOLED (2960x1440) | CPU: Snapdragon 835 | RAM: 4GB | Storage / Expandable: 64GB, 128GB, 256GB / Yes | Cameras (Back / Front): 12-MP / 8-MP | Weight: 6.1 ounces | Battery Life (Hrs:Mins): 11:04

Sleek design
Great OLED display
Good performance
Excellent battery life
Sharper selfie cam and improved rear shooter
Bixby isn't a great assistant
Fingerprint sensor is awkwardly placed
Lacks dual cameras for optical zoom

Many criticized the Samsung Galaxy S9 for its design, which remained virtually unchanged from the previous generation. The benefit to Samsung playing it safe, though, is that you can nab a 6.2-inch Galaxy S8 Plus with the same great exterior and AMOLED Infinity Display as the newer model, but for an extremely low price. The Galaxy S8's Snapdragon 835 processor may not be the most powerful anymore, but it's still plenty speedy for practically everything, perhaps aside from running the most demanding games at the highest graphical settings. And now that the Galaxy S20 is nearly out, the S8 generation is far cheaper than its ever been.

What you'll pay for a used Galaxy S8 Plus

From $397 on Amazon (New)
From $215 on Swappa
From $219 on Decluttr

used smartphones 2020

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

5. iPhone 8

Still the best compact iPhone

Display Size (Pixels): 4.7-inch LCD (1334x750) | CPU: A11 Bionic | RAM: 2GB | Storage / Expandable: 64GB, 128GB / No | Cameras (Back / Front): 12MP / 7MP | Weight: 5.2 ounces | Battery Life (Hrs:Mins): 9:54

Solid A11 Bionic performance
Supports wireless charging
Bright display
Compact design
Affordable price
Large bezels
Battery life not the best

Since Apple's 2018 iPhones went with a notched display, the 4.7-inch iPhone 8 was truly the last to offer the original iconic iPhone design, with its Touch ID-equipped home button and 16:9 LCD display. That said, it was a design many people loved, and the iPhone 8 modernizes it with Apple's still-speedy A11 Bionic processor and wireless charging. With newer iPhones in stores, the iPhone 8 can be had for a several hundred dollars less than what it cost new at launch (and less than the reduced $599 asking price for a new model at Apple). While the savings might not be as remarkable as other phones on this list, these are still excellent all-around handsets that will certainly last you a couple of years — especially if you spring for the larger 5.5-inch iPhone 8 Plus with its extra RAM and dual-lens cameras.

What you'll pay for a used iPhone 8

From $269 on Amazon (Renewed)
From $219 on Decluttr
From $225 on Swappa
From $299 on Gazelle

used smartphones 2020

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

6. LG G7 ThinQ

The Galaxy S9's top features for less

Display Size (Pixels): 6.1-inch OLED (3120x1440) | CPU: Snapdragon 845 | RAM: 4GB | Storage / Expandable: 64GB / Yes | Cameras (Back / Front): Dual 16MP / 8MP | Weight: 5.7 ounces | Battery Life (Hrs:Mins): 8:35

AI camera with low-light mode
Boombox speaker and surround sound
Tight Google Assistant integration
Almost bezel-free display
Underwhelming battery life
Unoriginal design

Although LG's share of the global smartphone market has dwindled in recent years, and although the company's latest handsets aren't quite as compelling as competitors from Samsung, Apple and Google, LG still makes good phones. 2018's G7 ThinQ was one of them, thanks to a respectable pair of cameras on the back, an expansive, 6.1-inch LCD display on the front with a notch and slim bezels, and strong power from Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 chipset. The phone's Boombox speakers get extremely loud as well, owing to an acoustic chamber design that puts other flagships' tinny, quiet audio to shame. With the LG G8 and V50 5G out, the G7 has fallen in price considerably — making now a great time to buy one of 2018's most underrated phones.

What you'll pay for a used LG G7 ThinQ

From $294 on Amazon (New)
From $148 on Swappa
From $194 on Decluttr