Unlock the Hidden Value: Don’t Throw Away Your Old Android Phones


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If you’ve been utilizing smartphones for an extended period, it’s likely that you possess more than one stowed away in your drawers. Repurposing them is a worthwhile notion; they can function as a security camera or even serve as an Android Auto screen. Additionally, you might be able to breathe new life into them and, as a bonus, earn some moneyā€”especially if the mobiles in question have become coveted collector’s items.

Android isn’t particularly conducive to selling second-hand devices, given that the resale value tends to drop significantly over time. In contrast, iPhones generally maintain better resale value, but this doesn’t negate the potential worth in selling your old Android device when you opt for an upgrade. However, it’s important to be cautious, as some smartphones may hold more value than initially apparent.

Discover the Worth of Your Old Android Devices

In general, most Android phones tend to lose approximately half of their original value after a year of use, provided they are in perfect condition. If you engage in buying and selling through platforms like Wallapop, you’ve likely observed the substantial depreciation of smartphones, particularly affecting mid-range and low-end devices. In many cases, it becomes more worthwhile to give away these phones with a new purchase rather than attempting to sell them second-hand.

Androids experience significant devaluation right from the outset, even for those with distinctive features. Nevertheless, there will always be models that remain challenging to obtain and command higher prices than usual. As a collector, I’ve witnessed the second-hand value rise for certain models, even years after they became obsolete. Examples include the Motorola Milestone, especially the first version, the BlackBerry Priv, and the Nexus Oneā€”considered an Android gem. If you still possess Google’s first smartphone in good condition, you might have a valuable item on your hands.

Models that marked a significant revolution in the market tend to garner greater interest among collectors. Based on my experience in buying and selling, here’s a general overview of the devaluation timeline for most Android phones:

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  • Six months after purchase: Typically experiences a 30-40% devaluation, influenced by factors like the phone’s range (preferably high-end), brand popularity (brands like Xiaomi or Samsung have more appeal), and overall condition.
  • One year after purchase: In perfect condition, you may expect to sell it for 40-50% of the original price. Premium range phones like those from Xiaomi or the Galaxy S series may even reach up to 60%.
  • Two years after purchase: It becomes challenging to exceed 20-30% unless the mobile is a high-end and well-known model. It’s often more practical to offer it as compensation for a new purchase.
  • Beyond five/six years: Some particular models may retain value, especially if they were groundbreaking in the market. While it’s not common, certain devices can be considered valuable.
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Saving the first mobiles from each brand, as well as historical ones and Android phones with distinctive features, is advisable. This principle extends beyond Android to classic phones, including iPhones, which can command significant value among collectors.

Certain elusive Android models can indeed become valuable collector’s items. If you believe yours falls into this category, ensure it is in impeccable condition. Verify that the battery is still functional; if not, consider finding a replacement. Confirm the presence of accessories and, ideally, the original box. Meeting these criteria can enhance the value of your item for potential buyers or collectors. Allowing you to potentially raise your asking price.

Some of the hardest Android to find are expensive

The Android smartphones I previously mentioned serve as prime examples of devices that marked a significant turning point and are highly sought after, often commanding substantial prices if they are in pristine condition. However, it’s important not to overestimate their value, as selling an Android device for more than $300-400, even if it’s rare, is uncommon.

Here are some Android models that have maintained their value despite the typical devaluation:

  1. Samsung Galaxy Note 7: Recalled due to an epidemic of explosions and subsequent brand crisis, the Galaxy Note 7 is sought after by collectors. An example on eBay is currently listed at $750.
  2. LG G5: Though it may not fetch a fortune, the LG G5 has gained appreciation over time. In good condition with its original box, it can be valued at more than $200. The addition of modules can further increase its price.
  3. Motorola Moto Z: Motorola’s foray into modular phones with the super-thin Moto Z has retained value. A good Moto Z with its box can be priced at $200 or more. And the inclusion of modules can elevate the value.
  4. LG Wing: A unique experiment in smartphone design, the LG Wing easily exceeds $300 in the second-hand market, making it one of LG’s sought-after recent models.
  5. Samsung Galaxy Round: An early example of experimental form factors, the Samsung Galaxy Round, featuring a curved OLED panel, is extremely rare to find second-hand. Owning one could be considered a valuable treasure.
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