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My Year Refurbished

Lucie Spraggs's picture

This time last year, I began thinking to myself that it was time for a new phone. My trusty iPhone 6 was slowing down and was ready to be retired.

I spent a long time researching different devices, determined to look outside of Apple and Samsung. My priority was a good camera, a good (not too big) size and a decent price.

I started looking into refurbished devices, specifically on MusicMagpie.

Refurbished Huawei Mate 20 Pros

Eventually I settled on a Huawei Mate 20 Pro 128GB which at the time had a retail price of £899.

I bought 2 models from Music Magpie, both unlocked. The only difference being the condition. The first I bought for £399.99 was ‘Very Good’, the second I paid £249.99 was ‘Good’.

The phones came in neat ‘MusicMagpie’ branded boxes with and a pin for opening the SIM tray and a UK charger and cable.
When the 2 phones arrived, I could instantly tell which was which. The ‘Very Good’ version was perfect, I couldn’t see anything wrong with it at all. The screen and case were completely scratch and mark free.
The ‘Good’ condition device was pretty close to perfect, though it had a few minor scratches on the screen. Though these were almost impossible to see once it was in a case and screen protector.

The refurbished phones were also fully wiped, so there was no trace of the former owner’s data. Or any intimate photos that you really don’t want to see.

My partner and I took a phone each and have used them as our main handset ever since.

Since then we've found the refurbished phones to be just as speedy and smooth as a new one. From the camera to the responsiveness of the screen, everything was in full working order. And we found no difference between the 2 devices in battery life either.

Why I chose refurbished…

One of my main reasons for looking at refurbished devices (other than the obvious cost difference) was due to the environmental impact. Although it looks like and works like new, buying refurbished means less waste, and an improved environmental footprint to boot!

Another reason is that unlike ‘used’ or ‘second-hand’ devices, buying refurbished often means that your new device comes with a 12-month warranty. So, even if buying a refurb feels like a risk, it’s mitigated.

Over a year on…

I’m still head over heels with my Huawei. The camera continues to amaze me and as far as I can tell, the phone still holds its own among the most recent flagships.


I’m pretty careful with my phone, it has always been wrapped up in a screen protector and case. Thankfully, because I’ve had a few close calls including an incident involving an open bag and a flight of stairs. So, cosmetically my phone is no different from last year.


As far as we're concerned, both Mate 20 Pros are working perfectly after a year.

The battery life of the Mate 20 Pro has also always been excellent. I've never been disappointed here, if what you're looking for is a smartphone with good autonomy that, with intensive use, only needs to visit the charging in the evening before going to bed, the Mate 20 Pro is a good choice, and the battery charging speed is also important. The Huawei phone can be recharged from 0 to 70 percent in 30 minutes.

My only issue with this phone is the under screen finger print scanner, it's a bit ropey. But that has nothing to do with it being refurbished. It works as well now as it ever has. Despite Huawei's software updates, it still takes some time to unlock the phone.

I've used my smartphone a lot and the camera is a feature I really appreciate: three focal lengths, resolution up to 40 megapixels: the Mate 20 Pro's triple camera is excellent. The speed of focusing, improved Artificial Intelligence, 5x zoom, and ultrawide-angle allow you to obtain very precise shots, even in low light situations. When I compare pictures I have taken to those taken on newer phones, I'm still impressed with the Huawei.

Photo from refurbished Huawei
Picture taken using my refurbished Huawei Mate 20 Pro

I would 100% recommend buying a refurbished device, but only from a trusted provider who will offer a 12-month warranty. The phones we have, have lasted well and as far as we’re concerned are still as good as new.

When it comes time to move on from my Mate20 Pro, I’ll definitely be hitting up MusicMagpie for a new device. And I’ll most probably sell my trusty Mate20 back to them!

Buying Refurbished today...

The iPhone Xr 128GB

£549 bought new from Apple

£459 (Condition: Very Good) bought refurbished from MusicMagpie

The Samsung Galaxy S10+ 128GB

£685 bought new from Samsung

£459 (Condition: Very Good) bought refurbished from MusicMagpie

Can you buy other refurbished tech?

Smartphones aren’t the only gadgets that are available as refurbished. You can also get your hands on refurbished TVs, laptops and even headphones for a fraction of the original cost.