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Do Americans Really Know What They’re Buying in a New Mobile Phone?

Upgrading your cell phone is a great feeling. Your shiny new phone has amazing capabilities, a top-of-the-range camera and tons of storage for all of your favorite apps and pictures. When you look past the megapixels, storage space and model name – do you truly understand what your cell phone is capable of?

Decluttr spoke to Americans of all ages to find out how much they really knew about the cell phone they use every day.

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When do you upgrade and how much do you pay?

The majority of Americans reported that they had upgraded their smartphone within the last year. The most popular reason for upgrading is because their last device had broken (31%), followed by the need to have a faster cell phone (26%).

In terms of cost, 43% of Americans spent $500 or more on their latest upgrade. An overwhelming majority of 86% of respondents feel the price they paid for their phone was worth it.

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What can your phone do?

As happy as Americans are with their cell phones, only half of respondents were able to correctly identify their cell phone model by image, compared to other devices by the same manufacturer. The most recognizable device is the Samsung Galaxy S9+, with 71% of respondents correctly identifying it.

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The hardest devices to spot are the iPhone 7 and the flagship iPhone XR, with only 44% of people knowing which model they were.

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Did You Know

Scratching under the surface, many American smartphone owners aren’t fully aware of what their device is capable of. Less than half (40%) of Samsung Galaxy S7, S8 and S9 owners are aware that their cell phone has wireless charging.

For the Apple users, only 14% of iPhone XR, XS and X owners know that their device has NFC-capabilities, whereas just over half of iPhone XS, XS Max and X owners are aware that their cell phone is water resistant.



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Are you using 5G?

When it comes to smartphones, all eyes are on the 5G network. The 5G rollout across the United States is currently in motion, but is set to become much more widely available over the coming months and into next year.

Whilst 5G may be the word on everyone’s lips, many Americans don’t truly understand this upgrade to the mobile network. Around a third of Americans state that they own a 5G-capable device, despite the select choice of devices, the limited availability and the huge cost.

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The majority of those who stated they owned a 5G-capable device (62%) claim to have noticed improvements to their mobile service while using the 5G network, which is not widely available. Although so many Americans aren’t fully aware of what their devices can do, very few are making the decisions to cut costs and buy refurbished devices. Around 18% of the population were unaware that purchasing a refurbished phone was an option.

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Brand new vs Refurbished

What is the difference between a refurbished phone and a brand new one? For 68% of Americans, they could not identify a difference between the two.

As many as 60% think they could save as much as $399 by choosing a refurbished phone over a brand new cell phone yet only 6% of Americans currently own a refurbished phone.

However, although a small percentage currently own a refurbished smartphone, the majority (51%) of Americans have shown that they are likely to consider purchasing a refurbished device to ensure they’re saving money.

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Popular misconceptions with refurbished tech

There is a lot still to learn of the benefits of refurbished cell phones. There are a number of misconceptions amongst American consumers, with the most popular being that things can go wrong with refurbished phones (64%). As many as 44% of Americans felt that warranties were not as good for refurbished devices, and 36% thought buying a used phone would never feel the same as a new one.

At Decluttr, our cell phones are certified refurbished, going through an extensive 70 point check including the battery health, screen and data security alongside the functionality. A 12 month warranty is provided as standard for every tech item bought on our Store.

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More than 3 million incredible value refurbished tech devices have been sold in just 12 months as more people choose refurbished tech.

Survey of 2,000 U.S. consumers, age 18+ who currently own a Smartphone.