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How to Check if Your Android Phone is Refurbished or Factory-New

Find out if your Android phone is a refurbWhether you’re buying a new phone or getting an existing one swapped out / repaired, you might want to keep an eye out for the casually slipped in refurbished models.  Repair shops, wireless carriers, and eBay sellers would love to hand you a refurb in place of a factory-new one.  Why?  Well, factory-new phones are just that -new- and it costs more money for carriers or stores to swap out broken models with factory-new ones. And, since it’s hard to tell (sometimes) if a phone is a refurb, many will try to “slip one past ya”.  Fortunately for you, your a groovyReader and I’m going to share with you a simple technique for sniffing out a Refurbished Android Phone.

Update:

If the code below does not work for you, try this method instead.

Step 1

Tap your Phone app and open up the dialer.

Open the Android dialer app

Step 2

Using the touchscreen keypad, Dial ##786# (aka ##RTN#).

No need to press dial, the phone should automatically open up to the RTN screen.  From here Tap View

Note: If this code doesn’t work, try *#*#786#*#* instead. Stars and numbers must be entered in the correct order.

dial the rtn codeview android rtn information

Step 3

Scroll down the RTN screen to Reconditioned status. Here there are only two possible status entries:

  • Yes – Your phone is a refurbished model.
  • No – Congratulations, your phone is not a refurbished model.  Instead, it is factory new.

android phone reconditioned status rtn

Why should I care if my phone was refurbished?

Refurbished or “reconditioned” means your phone was previously used or damaged, and then returned, repaired, and polished up to make it look “like-new.”  In most cases this means there is no longer anything wrong with the device, and it should work just like a new one.  However, sometimes ‘refurbs’ have issues.  The warranty is usually never as good for a refurbished device, if it even has one at all… The build quality might also be lower on a refurb since replacement third-party parts are sometimes used rather than the OEM’s (Original Equipment Manufacturer).

Refurbished devices also have a lower sale value, and this also applies to resale value.  If at some point you want to sell your phone on eBay or elsewhere, a refurbished phone won’t garner the same price point as one that is straight from the OEM.

Before buying a phone, or after receiving one you bought online – the first thing you should do is check to see if it is a refurb.  If the sale description did not mention that it was a refurb, you can return it and get a full refund or file a fraud claim.

For example, I recently had Sprint send me a replacement after experiencing problems with my phone, and sure enough –it was a refurb.  Needless to say I spoke to Sprint about the finding and they sent me a new one.

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45 Responses to How to Check if Your Android Phone is Refurbished or Factory-New

  1. Gene Harris May 10, 2011 at 10:58 am #

    Didn’t work on my Droid. Entered ##786# and nothing happened.

  2. johnl May 10, 2011 at 5:11 pm #

    Didn’t work for me. Tried it on an HTC Magic running 2.2. Nothing happens after entering ##786# so if I hit the dial button it comes up with an unknown command error. Is this a 2.3 only command and what do you mean by (aka ##RTN#)?

  3. RPL May 12, 2011 at 9:10 am #

    Did not work on my Moto Droid either. That code may only work on your phone service.

    • grooveDexter May 12, 2011 at 10:24 am #

      Looking like this might be a Samsung only thing, if I can find the HTC and Motorola codes I’ll update the article.

      • sarah November 8, 2013 at 7:56 pm #

        I have a Samsung Galaxy S2 and this did not work for my phone either.

    • John Asamoah January 11, 2014 at 2:18 pm #

      I entered the code but I found nothing

  4. REM May 15, 2011 at 6:16 am #

    Does not work on the Samsung Galaxy S 4G

  5. JoeyG June 3, 2011 at 7:04 pm #

    This does work on my HTC EVO (well, maybe not *my* EVO) Just received my phone back from HTC Repair and I think HTC Repair swapped out my phone because the DEC, HEX and S/N are now different.. I did the ##786# and the “Reverse Logistics Support” screen came up, only under “Reconditioned Status” and “Reconditioned Date” both say . Does that sound fishy???? It does to me. My phone not acting the same and had a different SprintPCS user and phone number when I received it back from HTC!!!

    • JoeyG June 3, 2011 at 7:06 pm #

      sorry it says in brackets under each Reconditioned Status and Date “Not Available”

  6. Zorba October 26, 2011 at 10:16 am #

    Does it comes only with the original stock ROM ?
    If the store changed the ROM, does the Reconditioned status may be lost or be changed ?

  7. chARM October 30, 2011 at 1:15 pm #

    want to know for the google nexus s.. anyone has the code??

  8. Julie November 10, 2011 at 8:38 pm #

    It work on my android , the reason why im looking for these answers is because on the label where is the serial numbers of the phone said REMANUFACTURED, does somebody knows what is this, I though it was refurbished. I got it as New.

  9. Fani November 21, 2011 at 10:54 am #

    Is that a joke?its not working

  10. John M. January 31, 2012 at 10:51 pm #

    Doesn’t work on my Galaxy Note either!

  11. Deiler February 27, 2012 at 11:30 am #

    Try this instead:
    Dial: *#*#786#*#*

  12. Rusty March 7, 2012 at 5:11 pm #

    Deiler, thanks that last code you gave works perfect on my Samsung GN

    • Deiler March 8, 2012 at 7:20 am #

      I am glad I could help!

      • Salman April 16, 2014 at 4:26 am #

        Dailer please help me also.. i have Xperia Z but both codes are not working on them…

  13. Nikki April 4, 2012 at 12:48 pm #

    Neither worked on my Samsung Galaxy 4g. I am concerned because I bought this new and when I got home, after surfing the internet, porn popped up!! Having kids I’m pretty ticked off and would like to prove this is refurbished. Bummer it didn’t work.

  14. harvey cobb April 20, 2012 at 8:50 pm #

    I have an HTC thunderbolt and none of the codes mentioned worked. Any idea of what codes will work

  15. BeeMan May 4, 2012 at 3:17 am #

    I have a motorola defy+ (2.3.6) and none of the code above work.

    The Launcher doesn’t work either. I can see only com.motorola stuff, but no com.android

    Does anybody have a clue?

    Thanks!

  16. SQ*RedReaper July 17, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

    Its for sprint only!

    • Austin Krause July 17, 2012 at 1:14 pm #

      This should work on most Samsung phones. Try the
      *#*#786#*#* if the other code doesn’t work.

      It may work on other phones running Cyanogenmod as well.

  17. MissD July 25, 2012 at 7:52 pm #

    Really appreciate this..I was going crazy wondering if my phone was refurb but the codes worked perfectly and I’m good to go.. Thanks again!
    Motorola Xprt

  18. jordan July 31, 2012 at 12:53 pm #

    do you have any idea how to show the rtn in galaxy nexus with jelly bean? this doesnt seem to work. thanks

  19. Harsh August 4, 2012 at 5:09 pm #

    Neither of the two no.s (##786# OR
    *#*#786#*#*) worked for my HTC one X. Is there any other way to check this?
    ##786# doesn’t work at all while on typing *#*#786#*#* the dialer appears fresh and nothing else happens

  20. Aamer August 10, 2012 at 3:17 am #

    No code works on my HTC sensation xe.

  21. Balaji De Swamy January 5, 2013 at 9:19 am #

    It doesn’t work in NEXUS S. Please give me some suggestion.

  22. Gina May 10, 2013 at 6:37 am #

    It works on my HTC evo ! Thanks

  23. QFanatic May 31, 2013 at 8:47 am #

    ##786# worked on the Samsung Galaxy S4. Thanks!

    • afanatic June 6, 2013 at 2:33 pm #

      It didnt worknon my galaxy s4

  24. Ezra A. July 30, 2013 at 4:38 am #

    Do you think that a seller could tweak with firmware/OS of an unlocked phone to remove the refurbishment status altogether? Meaning, it is still refurbed but doesn’t show the status like that?

  25. Ashok July 30, 2013 at 6:49 am #

    I m getting international sign on my signal bar but i m using my mobile at local service provider

    i have samsung galaxy sprint mobile

  26. Nazim August 11, 2013 at 10:46 pm #

    these codes dosent work on Galaxy S n S2 Either :(

  27. DarkSutra August 12, 2013 at 8:45 am #

    This does not work on my phone.. Iam recently got a samsung galaxy s4. what should iDo? the other thing does not work either.. pls help me. thanks

  28. Jahanzaib Ahmed August 14, 2013 at 7:13 am #

    will this code be work on htc inspire 4g?

  29. Austin September 2, 2013 at 8:29 pm #

    works on the HTC One V
    Thank you!

  30. Shenal September 16, 2013 at 11:31 pm #

    the above process of finding the refurbished status of samsung galaxy core i8262 did not worked properly.please tell me how to find the refurbished status of the new samsung galaxy core that runs on android JellyBean.in Sri Lanka here we use only GSM mobile phones.please answer soon.thanks.

  31. Amila September 22, 2013 at 7:18 am #

    the above process of finding the refurbished status of samsung galaxy core i8262 did not worked properly.please tell me how to find the refurbished status of the new samsung galaxy core that runs on android JellyBean.

  32. right1 October 27, 2013 at 6:40 pm #

    Worked on my Motorola, thanks. Going to sprint tomorrow.phone keeps shutting down and key board keys some dim, knew something was up. Told me it was a new phone.

  33. sourena4ever November 20, 2013 at 2:57 pm #

    So thanks
    i am iranian & finding a factory new android phone in my country is very very hard because chines products are coming into my country very easily.
    so thanks for your help that is useful.

  34. Lumia 820 February 10, 2014 at 7:56 am #

    What about windows-phones?

  35. wabukay March 6, 2014 at 7:12 am #

    Try *#*#4636#*#*

    • beckers March 25, 2014 at 8:25 pm #

      thanks, this one worked for the droid 4

  36. Md Maniruzzaman April 10, 2014 at 12:00 am #

    Both code doesn’t work on my micromax canvas 2+

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