If I have a new phone, can I tell if it has been used before - i.e. previous talk time text messaging? I.e. to verify if it is 'brand' new or not. Also if there is any previous talk time/text messaging can I find out when this was?
look under the call timers and duration option..... depends on the phone but its usually under settings somewhere
All the talk time counters etc can be reset to 0 fairly easily
I guess the networks may have a record of any activity on that IMEI number, but you'd need to know which network to ask. And actually, IMEI numbers can be cloned. I think the short answer is no - there's no definitive way you can confirm a phone is completely unused.
*#0000# on Nokia phones should show the date of their manufacture, which whill give you an indication of it's age. Generally phones are made 2 months before buying, so if it's six or more be suspish!
However, if you can't tell by the cosmetics and packaging, does it really matter?