I have some questions about buying a refurbished iphone 6s
October 5, 2017 5:16 PM   Subscribe

I'm leaning toward buying a iphone 6s, and wanted to see if there is any reason not to do that, at the moment.

I'm thinking of getting a 128gb refurbished iphone 6s for $549.

1. Is there anything amazing in an iphone 7 or 7 plus that I'm going to be upset that I don't have. I'm currently on an iphone 5s, and really happy with it, so I think going up to the 6 will be fine.

2. Is there some point when Apple might stop selling the refurbished 6 iphones, and switch over to selling the refurbished 7 iphones? When might that be?

3. Any idea if the phone I linked above will work with my current metro pcs plan? It's the $50 unlimited 4g LTE on this page.

4. Anyone have a case they want to recommend to go with a 6s?

5. I've never bought a refurbished phone before. Any issues around buying one of those from apple?

6. I've been thinking about upgrading for about six months since I do a lot of livestreaming and photos and videos at protests. I just want to make sure there isn't anything obvious that I'm missing about getting a 6s right now. Thanks!
posted by andoatnp to Technology (10 answers total)
 
I've never bought a refurbished phone before. Any issues around buying one of those from apple?

No. This is actually the best way to buy a refurbed Apple product and the only way I'll recommend. You get the full year of AppleCare warranty like a new phone, plus you can buy the extended options like AppleCare+.

Anyone have a case they want to recommend to go with a 6s?

Speck products, hands down. The CandyShell Grip are my favorite cases. Takes a ton of abuse without showing it.
posted by JoeZydeco at 5:25 PM on October 5 [1 favorite]


Is there anything amazing in an iphone 7 or 7 plus that I'm going to be upset that I don't have

Hmm. Let's see. The biggest differences are: the 7's more water resistant, has a considerably faster processor, a somewhat better camera, and a very slightly longer battery life. It's also got stereo speakers finally, but throws out the headphone jack. I wouldn't classify any of those as amazing, but obviously that's subjective.

Is there some point when Apple might stop selling the refurbished 6 iphones, and switch over to selling the refurbished 7 iphones? When might that be?

Haha, there absolutely is such a point when they will do that, but I have no idea when, and I doubt anyone else does either! They only started selling refurbished phones on their website last November, and that was already the 6S.
posted by aubilenon at 6:23 PM on October 5


On your question about cases, I like the Zerochroma Varioprotect. The nifty rotating kickstand really comes in handy and you can use it with this car mount.
posted by kittydelsol at 6:45 PM on October 5


If you take a lot of photos and videos, get the bigger drive size. It's so nice not to have the phone fill up constantly.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 7:09 PM on October 5


Specs on this particular model from EveryMac. MetroPCS uses the T-Mobile network, which is GSM/LTE, so really any recent iPhone will work on it (and AT&T, who run a similar network), but it is listed explicitly there. (It gets more weird if you're on a Sprint or Verizon-based network, and Apple is good about telling you if you're getting a Sprint or Verizon phone.)

I have had this case for roughly 2 years now and, other than actual defects in my iPhone 6 Plus, haven't had any bad times with it. I like it because it's relatively slim but has a hard plastic shell with a rubber bumper, which helps a bit more with drop protection. Only complaint: after having had that case for so long, the rubber is kinda meh looking and the shell itself is pretty scratched up. I'm mostly a desk jockey, though, that leaves the phone on the desk most of the time; you may want to look at something by LifeProof or OtterBox instead. Their cases are a lot more rugged (and potentially bulkier too).

The camera and video stuff on the 7 is better. The 7 Plus especially has the dual-camera setup, which means you get for-real 2x optical zoom on it - and it can use the 2x optical zoom to make the digital zoom a good bit better. The signal processor on the 7 is also better, and the lens on the regular camera is faster (f/1.8 vs f/2.2) so it will be better in low light situations. This would be the dealbreaker for me; I take enough really good photos with my 6 that I'd much, much rather have the improved optics/DSP/zoom in the 7 over the 6s. Some links from a pro photog about this (with lots of fancy photos):
- iPhone 7
- iPhone 6s

The 7 also comes in a Jet Black finish, which is supposed to be way grippier than the regular bare aluminum finishes of the other phones. This matters less if you've got it in a case.

One caveat: the Plus versions of these phones get the optical image stabilization stuff. The (physically) smaller ones do not. The Plus is going to be a pretty massive change, physically, from a 5s-style device. (Personally, I prefer it now, coming from a 4s.)

I'd personally get the 128GB 7 Plus (note the 256GB version is gone) over the 128GB refurb 6s Plus; the difference is about $220. You may be able to save some cash by waiting until the 7 Plus models hit the refurb store - I've bought a lot of refurb Apple gear over the years and it's always been at least as good as new - but there's no telling when that will be. (If I were a betting man, I'd wait for the X to start shipping to see, just to see if any regret purchases of the 7 Plus make their way back in sufficient numbers.)
posted by mrg at 7:23 PM on October 5


I'm on my second 6S (first went to a relative when the battery got a bit tired). I won't buy a phone without a headphone jack until I'm absolutely forced to. It is a primary use case for me. I love the 6S. It takes superb photos and videos and has a beautiful screen. It's plenty fast enough for any use I make of it. It's the perfect size for me.

Case? MBLAI make a $10 knockoff of the $40 Otterbox defender that is actually a better case - the screen protector is more durable and the fingerprint sensor cover works better. Search Amazon. I beat the shit out of my phone and love the case.

Apple direct refurbished are in new condition and warranteed for a year as if new. They are the only refurbished iPhones worth buying. You really can't tell they aren't new.
posted by spitbull at 7:26 PM on October 5


IMHO the biggest disadvantage to buying a 6S vs a 7 is that it means you will get one year less of OS support, and probably one year less of acceptable performance. In other words, it’ll become obsolete in some way one year sooner. That may be fine with you, but it’s something to be aware of. It’s a two year old model at this point and my experience is that at about 3 years is when things start getting noticeably slow, etc. (To some degree you can avoid this by not updating the OS, but then you may end up with newer apps not working, missing out on security updates, etc.)
posted by primethyme at 9:08 PM on October 5


When iphones slow down at year 3, it's because the battery is going. This happened to me with an iPhone 5s I bought about a year ago. I just had Apple replace it for $75, and I'll now get another three years.
posted by Violet Blue at 11:25 PM on October 5


I just had Apple replace it for $75

If you have a steady hand and a good eye, YouTube will help you do this yourself, and eBay will sell you everything you need to get it done for closer to $10.

Just don't buy the gold-wrapped batteries offering twice the capacity of the OEM originals; those are a scam. Yes, lithium battery technology does improve over time. No, you can't buy a lithium battery with twice the energy density you could get three years ago.
posted by flabdablet at 4:49 AM on October 6


> I've been thinking about upgrading for about six months since I do a lot of livestreaming and photos and videos

>>The camera and video stuff on the 7 is better. The 7 Plus especially has the dual-camera setup, which means you get for-real 2x optical zoom on it... and the lens on the regular camera is faster (f/1.8 vs f/2.2) so it will be better in low light situations. This would be the dealbreaker for me; ... I'd much, much rather have the improved optics/DSP/zoom in the 7 over the 6s.

I went through this same agonizing choice recently, and ended up getting a 7 Plus (got the not-available-as-refurb-nor-new 256GB model) for about 30% more than what you plan to spend ($700 vs $550). Yes the size takes some getting used to, but man the photos sure do look great.

Of course if you get the 6S you'll be pleased with the quality, you won't know what you'll be not getting with the 7 (or 7 Plus). No regrets for me to spend the extra money.
posted by scooterdog at 9:23 AM on October 6


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