In 2020 I made a refurb iPhone XS from Back Market my daily driver, and I love it

Iphone Xs Hero Shot
Iphone Xs Hero Shot (Image credit: Jared DiPane / iMore)

I've been writing about phones for over a decade at this point, and for a long portion of that time I strived to have the latest and greatest. A few years ago that itch started dying down, and I preferred having nicer things in my house than a newer phone in my pocket, and that has caused me to "upgrade" to an iPhone Xs now that the iPhone 12 is official.

It sounds crazy on the surface, I realize that, but to say 2020 has been a crazy year would be an understatement. While I am extremely lucky that my job remained unscathed by everything going on, I know plenty of people who have been affected by everything going on, and it's made me want to be a bit smarter with my money. For a while I had been using an iPhone XR and briefly checked out the iPhone 11 as part of a review, but I've always longed for the smaller phones and both of these just ended up feeling too big for my daily use.

The iPhone SE 2020 is a great size for me, personally, but I tried using one and ended up missing FaceID and the bigger display size, so it went back. Now, when Apple took the stage for the iPhone 12 launch, I was left with a tough choice. Did I keep my current phone, upgrade to an iPhone 12, which I knew would be too big, or try for the iPhone 12 mini, which I feared would seem too small for me. I took some time to think about it, and even weighed the option of getting an iPhone 11 Pro, but ultimately ended up going for an iPhone Xs because Back Market's Black Friday deals ultimately just made it the smartest choice.

Why an iPhone XS in 2020?

Iphone Xs With Cases

Iphone Xs With Cases (Image credit: Jared DiPane / iMore)

In all honesty, it was a combination of the size and price. For the past few years, Apple has been releasing extremely powerful devices and working really hard to keep older iPhone models supported with new operating systems, and this combination means that older devices last much longer than you'd expect. When breaking down my actual phone usage these days, I realized most of it is spent doing silly things like scrolling social networks or browsing the internet. I am one of those whom still prefer to get out my real digital camera when I want to capture great pictures, so the older camera tech wasn't a concern to me.

I knew that with the iPhone XS I could very easily get a few years out of the phone without even a single worry about performance or it not being supported any longer. When I combined that with the price of the device, it made a whole lot of sense for me to pick one up as my next phone.

iPhone XS Refurb

iPhone XS Refurb

Back Market sells a lot of great refurbished devices, including the iPhone XS. There are several options available in different storage capacities, colors, and overall conditions.

But Apple doesn't sell the iPhone XS anymore

Iphone Xs Looking Down

Iphone Xs Looking Down (Image credit: Jared DiPane / iMore)

That's true, Apple no longer sells the iPhone XS as a new phone anymore, but that wasn't a concern to me. I've covered Back Market before and have since become a big fan of what the company is doing. One of the reasons many people stay away from buying refurbished phones and older devices is a worry that they have no warranty, but that wasn't even something that crossed my mind since Back Market offers a one-year warranty on any device purchsaed from it.

I wanted it to look and feel like I got a new phone, not that I had a refurbished one so I sprung for the Mint Condition version of the iPhone XS, which wasn't much more than the other variants at the time. When it arrived it looked brand new, not a scratch to be seen on the whole phone, and the only difference was really the box that it shipped in.

I don't regret not getting the latest

Iphone Xs Camera Module

Iphone Xs Camera Module (Image credit: Jared DiPane / iMore)

I've had the iPhone XS in hand for a little bit now, and I've done some comparisons with my wife's iPhone 11 and my son's iPhone SE 2020, and honestly I don't think I made the wrong choice at all. The phone is everything that I wanted: it's still fast, a great size, has two cameras, and will be supported for years to come. And best of all, it didn't break the bank. It's easy to long for the latest and the greatest, and we often get caught up in the need to have the "best," but in reality sometimes you don't really need that and something a little bit older, and cheaper, can do just as great of a job.

After updating to iOS 14 I got all the latest and greatest features of the platform without the newest phone. It works as I hoped it would, and I don't need to baby it like I would a new phone normally. Another small benefit I've grown to realize is that accessories are also cheaper. Since most people have upgraded beyond the X line, acceessories like cases and stuff are super cheap now, and Apple even still makes new versions should you wish to buy it new.

Maybe refurbished is right for you

Iphone Xs Edge

Iphone Xs Edge (Image credit: Jared DiPane / iMore)

Buying a new phone for yourself doesn't always mean buying the top of the line device. It's time to rethink your needs, see what you actually want in a device, and consider buying a refurb instead of going new. With its great pricing and amazing warranty and support, Back Market is a great place to consider when hunting a new to you phone.

Jared DiPane

Jared started off writing about mobile phones back when BlackBerry ruled the market, and Windows Mobile was kinda cool. Now, with a family, mortgage and other responsibilities he has no choice but to look for the best deals, and he's here to share them with you.