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Choosing your next smartphone with Zoobbay’s 3-Point Grading System

An overview of the high standards we use to classify the cosmetic and aesthetic condition of our refurbished smartphones.

Measuring Excellence

When it comes to refurbished devices, the Quality Assurance Standards of the refurbisher are always the most important to consider. The best refurbishers today use extensive testing and classification systems to ensure that they always provide the best smartphone possible — both inside and out. (Learn more about our QAS process here)

Cosmetic and Aesthetic Grading Systems are used by refurbishers to classify the exterior condition of a device. At Zoobbay, we take pride in the high standards we use in our 3-Point Grading System to always deliver top-quality refurbished smartphones to our customers. 

How it works

All Zoobbay refurbished smartphones must first pass a rigorous 42-Point Control Test that ensures each device is 100% functional and all its bells and whistles work like new. This process includes simple things like the flash and auto-focus functions of the camera; all the way to more technical things like the proximity captor and Touch ID. 

Once the device has passed our 42-Point Control Test and is up to our 1-Year Warranty backed quality standard, we classify the exterior condition of the device. Here’s how:

3 Grades

All devices we sell fall into one of these three grades: Silver, Gold and Diamond. We start our grading process with a comprehensive exterior checklist. All Zoobbay devices must meet all of the following conditions to be eligible for grading:

✓ No cracks on the glass
✓ Original-brand screen
✓ Touch screen 100% working
✓ 100% cleaned and disinfected

✓ 100% cleaned and disinfected
✓ Original-brand back

✓ 100% functional as factory settings

✓ Original-brand battery
✓ Minimum 90% of its initial capacity

After the device has checked off all the above, these are the key quality indicators we use to determine the device’s grade:

These small but important differences in exterior quality are how we price the products available on our site. Once you’ve determined which model you’re interested in, it’s simply about choosing which grade works best for you. (See how our grades differ in price on our product page)

How we ‘measure up’

Providing the highest-quality refurbished devices at great prices to our customers is what we love to do. For us, this started with looking at our industry and understanding what we could do better. While most providers of refurbished devices use aesthetic grading systems, many include lower level grades with harsh exterior scratches and even dents that could compromise the device’s performance after purchase.

At Zoobbay, this didn’t make sense for us. We saw many providers of refurbished devices only had a warranty period of 30-days or less on the same devices. So, we decided to only provide our customers with refurbished devices that we can confidently put a 1-year warranty Zoobbay promise on — so our customers can believe in our quality as much as we do. 

(Read reviews from our customers)

Grading Success

As technicians, we’re passionate about how the refurbishing industry can impact our world by progressing toward a more circular economy. We designed our grading system so that our customers can feel great about that progress with a refurbished device that they love. 

Zoobbay’s mission is to bring new life to pre-loved devices to increase their product lifespan and reduce e-waste. Join us by shopping your new pre-loved device today! 

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6 Things to Know Before Embracing Refurbished Smartphones


One of the first things that may surprise you when purchasing a refurbished phone is that the phone looks, feels and functions exactly as a new one. That’s because in the background, refurbishers will go through a strict and rigorous testing mechanism to bring the phone’s hardware and software literally, up to speed. Remember that there are various levels of qualities available on the market and price isn’t always the first thing you should look at.

Longer Life cycle

It’s a common misconception that when one buys a refurbished phone, it is on it’s last few legs of its life. It is important that you make sure you are buying from a refurbisher who remodel its phones using the original parts from the same brand manufacturer, without which you may encounter issues in the long run. This gives it a new chance in life, which can wind the clock back to when it was almost brand new, giving the phone, and its new owner, the experience and life cycle of nearly the same as that of a brand new phone.


The prices of refurbished phones on the market, are pretty difficult to resist. Savings for refurbished phones often range between 30% to 70%. That’s more than half the price of a new phone, for a phone practically as new.

Customer service care

Companies that care often put the customer at the heart of their business. They understand that the first refurbished phone purchased may come with slight worries, which is why good trusted refurbishers will provide a minimum 12-month warranty and round-the-clock service to answer any queries, provide efficient and professional quality aftercare and continue that relationship with the customer long after the first purchase.

Environmental impact

When more than 40 million tons of electronic waste are produced every year, experts estimate that only 15–20% of that e-waste is recycled, the rest of these electronics go directly into landfills and incinerators further polluting the environment. This, at its core, is the principal reason why many refurbishers like Zoobbay go to market. Refurbishment allows consumers to shop greener and consciously, at fairer prices. 

Shop stress free

Refurbishers will often allow customers a 14-day trial period for them to check out their new purchase. This is to allow customers to have a first look and feel of their new purchase at home, bringing the experience they read online at the palm of their hands.

In a nutshell

Refurbishing smartphones isn’t something one can improvise. Specific skills are required to ensure the best quality. We recommend reducing the number of intermediaries between you, as a customer, and the refurbisher. Marketplaces usually have many refurbishers selling smartphones that have been tested and refurbished following different quality assurance controls and processes. At Zoobbay, we source, we refurbish and we distribute all smartphones by ourselves to ensure a smooth experience for end users.