How to Buy a Smartphone on a Budget

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How to Buy a Smartphone on a Budget

Ever since Apple foisted the iPhone onto the electronics market, consumers have become obsessed with smartphones and the technology that comes with them. The market has come on leaps and bounds with devices now able to be picked up for incredibly affordable prices and eBay is one of the best places to source them.

The following buying guide explains how to identify the right smartphone, the best tips on how to pick one up at a sensible price and the safest and simplest way to buy one on eBay.

What is a Smartphone?

· Smartphones are the most technologically advanced type of mobile phone that can be bought and let users keep in contact with people across every social medium around.

· The devices are generally defined as running on some form of mobile operating system (OS) and offer a more advanced level of computing compared to a feature phone.

How to Choose a Smartphone

There are three major considerations to take into account when choosing a smartphone and they are explained in more detail under the following headings.


Most electronics companies have a wide range of smartphones available and deciding on the right brand is key. When deciding on a brand, much will be down to the type of operating system you are used to and if you've owned one of the firm's devices before. Some of the brands that have devices for sale on eBay include: Apple,HTC,LG,Nokia, and Samsung.

Operating System

Smartphones run on what are called operating systems and depending on the brand of phone it will have a different operating system attached to it.

Operating System


Google Android

  • Google's Android OS is the most popular OS.

· Many companies have devices that run the OS including Samsung, HTC, Nokia, LG, and Motorola.

Apple iOS

  • The iPhone is the only smartphone that runs on iOS .
  • Has the highest number of apps.

BlackBerry OS

  • BlackBerry smartphones are the only ones that run on the BlackBerry OS .
  • Not many apps available.


  • Earlier Nokia devices ran on the Symbian OS.
  • Older and very affordable as a result.

Windows Phone/Windows Mobile

· A mix of devices that are both high priced and high tech or lower tech and more affordable.

Locked or Unlocked

The most important thing to consider when buying a smartphone from eBay is whether or not it will be locked to a network or not, with the differences outlined below:

  • Locked – Phone only works on one network. They can be unlocked by contacting the network or visiting a specialist shop. Tend to be more affordable than unlocked devices.
  • Unlocked – Device can be used on any network and as such are able to be used internationally. Are either unlocked by the manufacturer or have been unlocked after purchase. Check to make sure a device hasn't been "jailbroken" as this can affect the warranty.

What Affects the Price of a Smartphone?

Buying a smartphone on a budget means that before anything else the buyer must decide the budget available to them. In the table below, various different factors that will affect the price of the device being sought are explained.




  • Used phones are among the most affordable and will have a large effect on the price.

· Check with the buyer first to find out how used the item has been as well as how many owners it has had.


· How old the phone is will affect how much it is worth and whether it's reliable or not.

OS Version

· The newer the operating system, the higher the cost of the phone and devices that just run older versions will be among the cheapest.

Brand & Model

· These have a large bearing on the cost and it's worth researching the recommended retail price of each phone before buying.

Storage Capacity

· This dictates how much a phone can handle in terms of apps and other content.

· Devices with smaller memories will be cheaper, although they can have microSD slots, which are a great way to expand at a later date.


· Cameras are measured in megapixels and the better the camera, the higher price of the phone.

How to Buy a Smartphone from eBay

eBay offers thousands of smartphones with a band of reputable sellers on hand to assist buyers negotiate every stage of the buying process. Here are some buying tips:

· To find a smartphone on eBay, buyers should first hover over the ‘Electronics' category on the site home page and then select ‘Mobile Phones & Accessories' from the list that pops up.

· When the next page has loaded, select ‘Mobile Phones' to be taken to all of those for sale on eBay. Use the parameters down the left hand side of the page or the search bar at the top to narrow down the search to specific models or brands.

· eBay also gives buyers the opportunity to search for phones in a certain price range – something that is ideal when sticking to a budget.

  • The auction site also offers exclusive deals on smartphones with the latest models available for bargain prices. Everything on the eBay deals section of the site also benefits from free postage.


With so many smartphone manufacturers vying for supremacy, consumers can always be sure of finding a device on a budget with eBay one of the best places to find such a phone.

The buying guide above, along with the site's reliable sellers, are excellent tools in helping buyers choose the right model and both help buyers complete a transaction safely and securely.

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