Smartphones contain a lot of valuable materials, and the environment is polluted to make them. What’s more, up to 5.3 billion of the 16 billion mobile phones owned by people around the world will end up in landfill, a drawer or a cupboard by 2022, according to the WEEE Forum.
Under these circumstances, recycling or reusing these devices is essential, as they contribute significantly to the growing e-waste problem.
That’s why companies and services that refurbish electronic devices – such as Klap.ro, Flip.ro, Yoxo or Amazon Renewed – are welcome, and I encourage as many people as possible to use them.
I responded to Klap.ro’s challenge to test a refurbished smartphone from its offer. The phone received is a Samsung Galaxy S20, a model that debuted on the market in March 2020.
How the phone is delivered and what you find in the box
The smartphone came in a box with the Klap.ro logo on it. The company points out on the packaging that it is made from 100% recycled cardboard. The box is sealed, and on one end is a label that gives information about the device inside: the Samsung Galaxy S20 smartphone, with 128 GB internal storage capacity, in Cosmic Gray and A+ status.
At Klap.co.uk there are several refurbishment grades, showing the condition of the phone, from A+ (the best quality), to A, B and even C (the lowest grade). The A+ description is, according to the company: “We say this is an exceptional, grade 10 phone that looks like new with no visible signs of use.”
On opening the box we notice that the phone is securely held in place by a cardboard holder – which holds it in the middle of the packaging, so that it doesn’t get bumped during transport – with a soft but sturdy transparent foil. Underneath this holder are several accessories: charger, cable and key for the card slot.
In this case, the charger and cable are original Samsung ones and allow charging the phone at full power, 25 W. Klap.co.uk states that the charger is offered as a gift and does not influence the price of the device. Very many new phones come without this accessory nowadays, and on other competing services it has to be purchased separately. The company points out that the charger supplied in the package is not always the original one.
In the box we also find a flyer with various information about Klap.ro. From the flyer I learned an interesting detail about the startup, which I didn’t know. If you want to give someone a gift of your old phone, you can technically check out and refurbish the device, for a fee, through the company.
The other options are selling the smartphone through Klap.ro or recycling it in exchange for a 25 lei voucher that can be used later on the site.
Galaxy S20 phone tested, surprising condition
The phrase “an exceptional, grade 10 phone that looks like new” is one that sets your expectations high. Admittedly, I was pretty sure the phone had little wear and tear, though, having been released in 2020. That is not, however, the case.
The smartphone even looks brand new. The USB-C port, speaker and microphones were, on first use, very clean, spotless. At the same time, there is not the slightest trace of wear or scratch, neither on the edges nor on the back (what you see in the picture above are traces of dust and dirt that appeared during use; I was not able to clean the phone impeccably for the picture). That’s not always the case when it comes to refurbished phones. YouTube’s Unbox Therapy channel found dirt and dust in the ports of an Apple iPhone 8 purchased through Amazon Renewed.
Also read Flip.ro vs Klap.ro: 3 popular refurbished smartphones offered by the two services, compared
The screen on the Galaxy S20 phone tested is also in excellent condition and comes with protective film applied. Due to an accident (I put another object with the phone in my pocket) the foil came off and I could also see the condition of the Gorilla Glass 6 underneath the protection. Again, I couldn’t notice any scratches with the naked eye.
The phone booted up immediately after I took it out of the box, and after setting it up I was able to check the battery status. Klap.ro claims that all phones sold have over 80% of battery capacity remaining. If the percentage is less, the battery is changed before the phone is sold.
The apps I’ve used for measurements show me that this Galaxy S20 has battery capacity at 97% (3,880 mAh out of 4,000 mAh). That level is extraordinary for a phone that is more than two years old. I don’t know whether or not the battery was changed during the verification process or if the device simply wasn’t used much by the previous owner.
Klap.ro states that the phones they sell are not second-hand, but “expert-hand”. That is, after buying them, the company’s technicians refurbish them and then they are put back on sale.
I was pleasantly impressed with the experience offered by Klap.ro. None of the promises made by the startup in promotional materials or on the website about the condition of the phone were broken. I can only hope that the company has equally good after-sales service (customer support, delivery, warranty, etc.).
As for the prices of the phones on Klap.ro, they are up to 60% lower than the prices at which the phones were released.
I hope that more and more of these services will appear and that more and more Romanians will give these devices another chance at life. There are great used phones that still have a lot to offer other people.