Before selling a smartphone, observe these tasks to perform

Do you want to sell a smartphone to buy a new model? Are you thinking of giving it to a family member or friend? In both cases you will have to perform a series of tasks before delivery or sale.

The second-hand smartphone market works very well, both in the retail channel or companies specializing in used, as in the direct sale of user to user in online portals, social networks or forums. Without major innovations in recent years, there are models (especially high-end) with 2-3 years old they still offer great performance and can be obtained at a very economical price.

Except for some counted models (iPhone or Galaxy Note mainly) the loss of accounting value is brutal in a mobile as soon as it reaches the market and increases only one year after its launch when its successor is announced. In this way, if you want to sell your smartphone to buy a new model you will not have too many problems as long as it is in good condition and do you adjust to the prices that the retail market marks. They are cheap in second hand (reconditioned mobiles) and it is even possible to continue selling new, so you will have to adjust downwards.

Before selling a smartphone

Whether you sell or give away, before you get rid of your device you have to think about a couple of things that should be basic, but that we don't always do. One of them is totally disconnect from the mobile that we are going to deliver to safeguard our personal information. The second has to do with backup tasks to save our files and data, and transfer them to the new device in a more secure, simple and fast way. We review them:


The first and main thing is to create a backup copy of all the terminal data. This includes photographs, videos, documents, messages, contacts and more. There are several ways to do it. Personally, I like to make a complete copy to a PC or external drive, both of the internal memory of the terminal and of the microSD (if we have it installed) in case there is a problem in the change of terminal or in the synchronization after the Cloud services that we are surely using.

We must also ensure that these cloud services are updated with the latest changes and files added to the terminal. This includes general online storage services such as Dropbox or OneDrive or those specialized in photography such as Amazon Photos or Google Photos.

The same with the rest of the applications we use. Most have their own backup system and usually synchronize regularly, but make sure of it. One of the most used, WhatsApp, creates automatic backup copies of the chat history (and content) connected to Google Drive, but must be managed by the user in the configuration.

Both Android and iOS have a backup tool integrated in the general settings and it is another point that we must review to ensure that they have made a backup of the data. On Android, you are probably using a Google account and this facilitates the task, since it automatically saves the important section of contacts, calendar, Gmail, Play Store applications, and even other settings such as wallpapers, language, time zone, etc.

As for the rest of the apps, there are free tools to make a backup of them. I personally like it reinstall them "by hand" and clean every time you change your device, but if you are interested, Titanium Backup is one of the most popular and powerful although it requires the terminal to be rooted. There are many generals of this type and also specialized for other tasks such as saving all SMS. An example is SMS Backup & Restore.

sell a smartphone

Transfer data to the new smartphone

If you have purchased the new mobile before you part with the old one, you can try to transfer all the data. However, the problem is that it is not easy to transfer application data between Android devices. There is no official Google solution for this and, although some original equipment manufacturers do offer it, it usually doesn't work well with other brand devices.

If you are going to switch between Samsung devices, you can use Smart Switch. Other manufacturers have their own as OnePlus, which offers the OnePlus Switch application. The results tend to be unpredictable and even with terminals of the same brand there are mistakes when it is done (as usual) on different versions of Android.

In most smartphones for consumption it is a matter of minutes to update the terminal, so we would not recommend this option betting on the safest option that we mentioned in the first point, a good backup of files, data and apps where appropriate, and installation from scratch.

Delete Google account

If your old terminal is Android, it is very likely that it has the Factory Reset Protection (FRP) It is an additional layer introduced by Google as a security measure, which prevents the reset of the terminal for situations of theft or loss of the terminal.

Obviously, you have to remove that protection before selling a smartphone or giving it away so that a third party can use it. To do this, you must delete all Google accounts that are signed in to the device. Go to the Settings> Accounts tool, select and delete the Google account you used for the first time to sign in to the device.

Factory reset

Once you have finished safeguarding your data, you must reset the terminal to its factory state to completely disconnect from it. This will remove all accounts, files and data from internal storage and essentially return the software to an unused state. In this way, when the new owner of your old phone has the device in their hands, they will configure it from scratch just as we do when we buy a new mobile.

The same of the microSD card. If we are going to leave it included with the terminal, it must be ensured that it does not contain any of our personal data. There are many apps to delete those files, although another option is to connect the phone to the PC and format the card to delete the data.

Withdrawal of SIM, microSD, cleaning and packaging

Once the software tasks have been completed, touch the hardware section, removing the SIM card that we are going to use in the new terminal and – where appropriate – the microSD memory card if we do not see it included in the sale or gift. It is advisable to make a good cleaning of the terminal and accessories, that there are quite a lot of second-hand devices ‘nursery’

Five tasks you should do before selling a smartphone or giving it away 33

At this point, do not forget to take a few photographs of the terminal and the accessories in case you are going to put it on sale in online media. If we keep the original packaging (as recommended), we only have to keep the cell phone, the charger, the accessories it will bring as standard and those that we have purchased separately as covers, covers or screen protectors. It is also convenient add the invoice if the terminal is still under warranty. If we have used them, headphones are not usually included for sanitary reasons. If the battery is removable, it is better to include it outside the mobile.

And a little more. If it is in good condition and the price is reasonable (remember that the second hand -conditioned- retail is very cheap) we will have the opportunity to sell a smartphone on websites (eg eBay), chats or forums specialized in buying and selling as one of the that we like in Spain and where sellers are usually quite serious: HTCMania. If it is not possible to sell it, there you will also have the opportunity to exchange it for a superior model and an extra payment.

And if not, it is given away. Surely some family member or friend can take advantage of it and stretch its use Because not all users have the same needs or can spend 1,000 euros on a new high-end smartphone. Always with security, it is understood, safeguarding our data and completely decoupling from the terminal we deliver.

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