Is there a way to tell if an Android phone is an original or a refurbished product?

  • Wouldnt the packaging most likely be different ? – Simon Dec 4 '12 at 23:08

On some devices, yes, there is a way. I am not certain which specific devices this works on, but there are two methods you can try. The most platform agnostic way to do it is generally the following:

  1. Install a launcher that allows you to create shortcuts to Activities. ADW Launcher and Launcher Pro are both free and allow this.
  2. Long press on an empty space on your home screen and select Shortcut->Activity.
  3. Look for one of the following in the list of Activities. Either:

    A. A package named com.android.hiddenmenu which you can expand to reveal the RTN activity OR B. An activity simply named com.android.RTN (this is what I have on my Galaxy Nexus, CM9).

  4. Create a shortcut to the RTN activity. If given a choice between multiple ones, select the "View" activity.

  5. Launch RTN from the shortcut and look for the "Reconditioned Status" entry in the list. If it says "Yes" then it's a refurb. If it says "No" then it isn't (or it has not been properly noted as one for some reason).

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The less portable (manufacturer dependent) way of doing this is to open your dial pad and enter the dialer code ##786#, which will also take you to RTN if the dialer code is supported. On some devices it may also work with *#*#786#*#*. All of the above directions were summarized from this blog post.

  • Nice, I would never have guessed there was anything like this. – Matthew Read Mar 28 '12 at 0:50
  • I actually got my replacement phone the other day and the Reconditioned status still said: No , but the call history shown above in this menu showed the phone had been used. So I was able to tell it was recondition through that. All in all very helpful, thanks! – Nick Apr 2 '12 at 15:13
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    None of the above helped me find the reconditioned status. I used Launcher Pro, and even searched IN most of the files found in the "activity" folder. Then, I tried dialing the ##786#, and then *#*#786#*#*. Both did not work. I even tried pushing send after those different numbers to make the phone run the code. The shorter number indicated the number was an invalid code. The longer number said it was not a valid number. I have a Samsung Galaxy S3 through AT&T with the new JB update. Any suggestions welcomed! – user24550 Dec 4 '12 at 22:49
  • @Marian: Like I noted, this is (unfortunately) not a foolproof method. What exactly do you mean by "searched in the files found in the activity folder", though? Were you looking at files on the filesystem? – eldarerathis Dec 5 '12 at 0:53
  • do the stats about the number of calls and call time reset if a factory reset is done or the firmware is reflashed? – mnd Jul 25 at 10:31

Dial *#*#4636#*#*. If an app starts, your phone is original. It won't work on refurbished phones.

  • 1
    FYI: the app that starts with that code is the settings app and that code opens testing activity. What are you suggesting here? – Firelord Jan 20 '16 at 6:39
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    Why won't it work on refurbished phones (I'm assuming a "refurbished" phone means a phone which had been previously used and factory reset before resale) – Tamoghna Chowdhury Jan 20 '16 at 13:25

protected by Community May 13 '15 at 18:10

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