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What To Do With An Unwanted Mobile Phone

How many phones have you got hanging about the house? Maybe you’ve got one you don’t use any more or are looking to buy a new one – here’s a guide to your recycling and re-using options for your smartphone.





Got an old Nokia languishing in the drawer? As mobile phone technology becomes more and more prevalent, lots of us have extra phones hanging about the house. You should see the state of SellMyMobile HQ – we’ve got loads!


Now, instead of letting your old mobile pointlessly gather dust in a never-looked-at drawer, put it to good use by recycling it,  donating it or breathing new life into it. Here’s some things you can do with an unwanted mobile phone.


Recycle it


In the UK, we recycle about 115 million tonnes of products and materials every year, according to estimates from Wrap, the recycling charity. That sounds a lot, but there’s still more to be done to bring us up to speed with some of the better performers.


So why not start by recycling your mobile phone? At SellMyMobile – we compare tonnes of mobile phone recycling companies across the UK. Simply enter your phone in the search box, find a buyer and bingo – sell your phone. SellMyMobile compares more phone buyers than anyone else – so you’re guaranteed to get the most for your mobile.


Currently you can get up to £114 for an Apple iPhone 5, £103 for a Samsung Galaxy S3 and £155 for an HTC One M8.


Donate it


Lots of organisations and charities will gladly take an unwanted mobile phone off your hands. They either recycle them to raise money for vital causes or put them to good use around the world – giving people a vital communication tool many of us take for granted.


Let’s take Oxfam as an example. You can donate a mobile phone at any Oxfam shop (find your nearest one here ) – simply pop along and drop it in.


Or you could donate it via Freecycle – this is a listings network that allows people to give away unwanted items to someone else for free. It’s all about keeping items out of landfill – from sofas to deckchairs to mobile phones to televisions. Just find your local Freecycle group by entering your town or city into the search box on the homepage.





If you simply can’t bear to part with your favourite old mobile phone then here’s some alternative uses for it…


Use it as an alarm clock


In need of an alarm clock? Make sure you get up for work on time by turning an old mobile phone into a wake-up device. This probably won’t work for Android phones (if you turn them off, the alarm function tends not to work) – but a good idea for an older Nokia or BlackBerry.


It’s your latest kitchen gadget


If you have an unwanted smartphone, consider turning it into a kitchen whizz by loading it up with helpful cooking apps. As well as the timer function (perfect for frying tonight’s fish to perfection), you could:


  • Download MealBoard – an interactive menu planner through which you can create shopping lists and plan create weekly menus. Perfect if you’re always in a rush.
  • Get the BBC Good Food app – this comes with recipes, tips and a handy timer app


And an emergency flashlight too…


Having an emergency torch around the house is a great idea – you never know when the power’s going to cut out. Keep an old mobile phone with a decent torch function in your bedside table or other handy location – you’ll be thankful for it if you need to change a lightbulb in the middle of the night!


It can double as an in-car music system


Cram an old phone with as many MP3s as you can shake a stick at, connect it to your car’s stereo and you’ve got your very own in-car music system.


Do you have any tips for alternative uses for a mobile phone? Let us know!





So what do we use our mobile phones for?


  • Sending text messages
  • Reading text messages
  • Reading emails
  • Surfing the internet
  • Setting an alarm clock
  • Making calls
  • Sending emails
  • Checking the time
  • Using the calculator
  • Checking Facebook


According to a survey of 2,000 people by taxi app Hailo

Mobile phones of the stars

Just like us, famous folk are fond of their phones – and just like the celebs themselves, our mobiles are now part and parcel of our everyday lives. We use them to call, text, do work, take selfies and much more. Here we pick some of our favourite celebrities and the phones they use.


Stephen Fry



Unsurprisingly, Apple advocate, gadget geek and polymath Fry is the owner of several mobile phones. Although his fondness for all things Apple is, of course, well documented, he once blogged that he owned the following:

  • A Samsung Galaxy III
  • A BlackBerry Z10
  • An iPhone 5
  • An HTC Windows 8x
  • An LG Nexus 4

Someone’s got a busy life…however, despite the prevalence of phones, the QI presenter did proclaim the iPhone 6 the “best and most beautiful mobile telecom technology ever yet produced”, so maybe that takes pride of place in his gadget cabinet. High praise indeed.


Barack Obama



Nearly everyone else hates them, but not the US president. He’s a fully paid-up member of the BlackBerry club. On becoming president in 2009, Obama’s security team warned him off his beloved BB, but he resisted, saying: “I’m still clinging to my BlackBerry…they’re going to pry it out of my hands.”

Here’s some other world leaders and their smartphone-of-choice:

  • Angela Merkel – the German chancellor is thought to use a Nokia 6260 Slide and a BlackBerry Z10
  • French president François Hollande is a fan of the iPhone 5
  • North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un reportedly uses a HTC Butterfly




Once upon a time, payphones were so popular you’d see people forming (orderly) queues just to use them. Today, though, they look like relics of an ancient, pre-mobile-phone age. At least, that was until Barbadian singer Rihanna opted to use a payphone late last year (from the White House, admittedly).

Then RhiRhi really switched things up by using an old-school flip phone, those throwbacks to the glory days of the ‘90s, with other celebs including Vogue boss Anna Wintour and actress Kate Beckinsale also using them.


Lindsay Lohan



Earlier this year the actress was spotted in London using what looks to be an iPhone. In the past she’s been known to use a BlackBerry too. Like many of us, Lohan is fond of her tech and it’s rumoured she became addicted to mobile phone and internet use, seeking treatment for this during a stint in rehab, where her use was capped at 2 hours a day.


Celebrities who don’t have a mobile phone…

Not everyone likes being contactable 24/7. For us mere mortals an influx of calls, texts and email pings can be stressful; in parazzi-flush celebrity-land, it’s likely much worse. The following celebrities are thought to happily shun the modern world:

  • Vince Vaughn – the actor is thought to employ the ‘buddy system’ – borrowing a pal’s blower when he needs it
  • Christopher Walken – in an interview with Jon Stewart on the Daily Show once, the actor said he doesn’t own a mobile or a computer. When he’s on set, he’s given a mobile to use

How To Back-Up Your Mobile Phone To A Cloud Service

If you lose your mobile phone and it’s not backed up, you could lose lots of precious things, from treasured photos to vital work documents. Thankfully, help is at hand in the form of cloud-based storage systems which ensure your digital possessions are secure should you misplace your smartphone.


However, many of us still avoid backing up – because it sounds complicated, or time-consuming, or boring. So here’s a handy step-by-step.

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Which cloud service should I use?


There are lots of competing cloud services in the digital sky, and most of the big players have their own. Some of the main ones are:



Most offer free storage, but only up to a certain point. Once you reach a data ceiling (typically 10GB or 15GB), you’ll have to pay if you want more space.


Top tip: remember that a cloud system might already be linked to your phone. This will offer the easiest and most direct way to protect and preserve your data.
OK – once you’ve settled on a cloud service, it’s time to back-up. Let’s look at how to do it for Android, Apple and Microsoft phones.


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For Android


Uploading your information to Google Cloud couldn’t be simpler on an Android device.


  • Head to ‘Settings’ and select ‘back-up & Reset’
  • Log-in to your Google account
  • If it’s not already ticked, select ‘Automatic Restore’ – this will remember your data and preferences when reinstating any app


For iPhone and iPad


Apple’s iCloud is also one of the more fiddly clouds to deal with.


  • Start at ‘Settings’ – selecting ‘iCloud’, then ‘Storage and back-up’
  • On this screen, turn on the switch for ‘iCloud back-up’
  • Next, go back one screen. Here, there are toggle options to turn on or off the data you want backed up from your Apple apps.
  • To save data from any other apps, return to the ‘Storage and back-up’ page and select ‘Manage Storage’. Your device will be listed at the top of the screen.
  • Next, select ‘Show All Apps’. This will list all of your treasured apps, so you can choose the data you wish to save.


Top tip: When you’re deselecting an app, it may offer you the opportunity to ‘Turn Off and Delete’. That may sound dramatic, but it’s fine to proceed – this is only referring to deleting the pre-existing back-up, and the app and its existing data will not be harmed.


  • Once you’ve sorted that – plug your device in, connect to the WiFi and leave your phone locked while you go and make a much deserved cup of coffee.


For Windows Phone


Really simple.


  • Navigate to Settings from your App List.
  • Select ‘Back-up’. To back-up manually, select ‘Apps + Settings’, then turn on ‘Settings back-up’ and choose ‘Back-up now’.


Top tip: If you want to protect your app data as well as your phone data – crucial particularly for work documents and those priceless email threads – make sure to turn on ‘App back-up’ once you’ve selected ‘Settings back-up’. That’ll do it.


A matter of minutes, and that’s all your data safe in the cloud, ready for when you need it and updating automatically. Who said it had to be difficult?

How To Find Your Mobile Phone’s IMEI Number

If you want to sell or recycle your mobile phone or report it stolen, then it’s likely you’ll be asked for something called an IMEI number. This 15-digit code can prove tricky to find, so we’ve created this handy guide to help you do just that.

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It stands for International Mobile Station Equipment Identity. But what’s more important is that you’ll probably need your mobile phone’s IMEI number, used to identify mobile devices, if you want to:


  • unlock your phone
  • sell it, recycle it
  • get it repaired
  • notify your provider if it gets nicked or you lose it


Every single mobile phone owner in the UK (there’s 35 million of us, according to Deloitte) is the proud owner of one of these unique codes – ain’t that great? Need your IMEI? Here’s how you find it.


A quick win is to dial the following into your phone’s keypad:




The IMEI should then flash up. Jot it down and get on with your day. But this method doesn’t always work, so here are some other options…


If you have an iPhone, some models have the IMEI printed on the back of the device, in a itsy-bitsy teeny-tiny font. But if you don’t have an iPhone or your model doesn’t have it…


Go to the Settings menu on your phone


You should be able to get the IMEI from the Settings menu (or similar) on your device. Here’s a simple walkthrough using my HTC One:


Go to SETTINGS then scroll right down to the bottom and touch About:


Screenshot (2)


From there, touch Phone identity:






Et bingo, le IMEI:





But if even this proves fruitless, continue your hunt for the IMEI by checking under the battery. Whip the back of your phone off, pull it out, wipe away that gunk that always seems to accrue and you should see it on a sticker somewhere.


Last but by no means least, the IMEI will usually be stickered on the nice shiny packaging your phone was originally delivered in (if you kept it, that is. I didn’t).

Galaxy Note 5

Once you’ve found your smartphone’s IMEI number, remember to keep a note of it somewhere. You never know when you might need it next!


Got an old phone you don’t want anymore? Compare the best prices for your phone on SellMyMobile.

5 Upcoming Phones to Challenge The Smartphone Throne

We all love getting our mitts on a brand new phone, there is nothing more exciting than receiving your phone and opening the cellophane to reveal your new toy. Let’s face it, there are nowadays more Smartphone’s to choose from than ever before, and they are all very, very good.

5 Upcoming Phones to Challenge The Smartphone Throne

Did you know that Brits tend to upgrade their mobile phones every 12 – 16 months? No longer can we wait until that 24 month period where our contract renews, we want the latest phones as soon as they are released. (source:

The subject of today’s post is to take a look at the top 5 phones that you can still expect to see in 2015, along with some advice on trading in your older models.

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