How to make sure your mobile phone holds its value

Phone recyclers will pay very fair prices for phones in good condition. So you owe it to yourself to make sure you look after your current phone. Here’s how to do exactly that.

It stands to reason that a recycling site will pay much more for a phone in near-perfect condition than it will for a handset that’s been in the wars.

But you may not realise just how much more.

At the time of writing, recyclers on Sell My Mobile will pay as much as £630 for an iPhone XS 64GB in ‘working’ condition (we define that as a device where every part is working as it did when it was new).

That’s about 60% of its ‘as-new’ price and goes a long way towards the cost of your next handset.

But if your phone’s ‘broken’ (i.e. it has a cracked screen or casing and shows heavy signs of use), you’re looking at a fraction of that.

The maximum price that recyclers will pay for an iPhone XS in that state of repair is around £187. That’s over 70% less.

So what can you do to keep your phone in premium condition? Here’s some simple tips.

Invest in a proper case

If you’re paying the best part of £1,000 or more for your smartphone, it makes no sense to skimp on a protective case.

Especially because more and more smartphones feature a glass construction. Which looks great, but is much more fragile than metal.

Some of the best cases are made by Otterbox, Mous and Spigen. All of which won’t ruin the sleek lines of your phone too much, but still give you excellent impact protection.

So they’ll be pretty much guaranteed to survive drops onto concrete from height. And even emerge free of dents and scratches.

Get a screen protector

A case will protect your phone when you drop. And the Gorilla Glass from which most screens are now made means you won’t pick up scratches when it’s nestling in your pocket next to house keys and loose change.

But it can’t shield it from scratches that sand in your pocket or bag. For that you’ll need a screen protector.

You can pick up five star-rated ones from Amazon from under a fiver. So they won’t break the bank.

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Avoid exposing your phone to extreme temperatures

Nothing damages the innards of your phone quite like extreme hot and cold temperatures.

Not only does it degrade the long-term life of your battery much faster than usual. It causes components to fail too.

All of which will become apparent to recyclers when they conduct diagnostic tests to check the condition of your phone.

To ensure you guard against exposure to heat, it’s smart to keep your phone in the shade and out of direct sunlight when you’re spending time somewhere particularly hot and sunny.

It’s also a good idea to remove your phone from its case in hot conditions, set the screen backlight lower and turn off any apps you’re not using.

Get a model that’ll still be in demand in a few years time


Some phone brands hold their value better than others. Perhaps unsurprisingly older Apple and Samsung phones are still in demand even when they were long ago superseded by newer, pricier models.

And for that reason, they’re much more likely to fetch a good price from recyclers than handsets from rival brands.

Studies show that recyclers pay much less for LG and Sony phones. Even when they’re relatively new.

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Choose the right time to sell your phone to a recycler

When a new iPhone or Samsung Galaxy phone lands, the price a recycler will pay for the older-generation models won’t exactly nosedive.

But you won’t get anything like as much as if you’d headed to a recycler a few months before the new edition was unveiled.

So if you know you want shot of your old or current phone, make sure you get in before they become ‘last-year’s models’.

For the record, you can set your watch by the arrival of new iPhones every September.

Conversely, Samsung always unveils new Galaxy S smartphones in February/March and new Galaxy Note phones in August.

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