How Much is My Phone Worth? A Compare and Recycle Guide

image of Compare and Recycle website on a mobile phone screen in a woman's jeans pocket

As you can imagine, knowing how much your phone is worth when looking to sell holds so many advantages and can also have an impact on your decision-making process of where to sell your phone and get the most money for it.

The mountain of trade-in schemes and marketplaces is never ending and the sheer volume of information available online can make it overwhelming. That's why we’ve created this guide to break down what determines how much your phone is worth, paired with a few selling tips to get the highest payout and our expert advice on brands that retain value the most which is quite handy when planning your next upgrade.

In this guide:

What Determines How Much Your Phone Is Worth?

Which Phones Are Worth the Most Money?

How To Evaluate The Condition Of Your Phone

Where To Sell Your Phone

Ready To Sell Your Phone? Here's What You Should Do

How to Take Care of Your Phone to Maintain its Resale Value?

What Determines How Much Your Phone Is Worth?

Well, there are several factors that influence how much a mobile phone is worth:

  • Brand
    Mobile phones manufactured by reputable brands can generate higher payouts as they retain their value better over the years.

  • Model
    A premium flagship compared to an entry level mobile phone will have more high-quality build and configurations which boost the value of the phone (similarly at launch premium models are more expensive to buy).

  • Specifications
    In newer phones there will be high-performance specifications, for example bigger storage and more processing power which counts towards how much the phone is worth.

  • Age
    Naturally, the age of a phone will of course have an impact on the overall market value. If your phone has been on the market for 5 years, then you can expect there to be a hefty price cut compared to a 3 year old phone being traded in.

  • Condition
    Although you can still sell a phone with a cracked screen and get a pretty penny for it, a phone in good cosmetic condition will be worth much more.

Which Phones Are Worth the Most Money?

The most expensive phone of the moment will depend on how long ago it was released and software support, but historically the most valuable are the models such as iPhones, closely followed by Samsung Galaxy S, and most recently foldable smartphones. Chinese brands like Huawei and OnePlus tend to cost a lot to buy, but their resale prices drop significantly. Especially for Huawei phones after the trade ban has been introduced and Huawei phones no longer come with Android. Then, there are the budget devices like Honor, Motorola and Nokia, where the recycling prices are going to be lower in relation to their retail price due to these models being less desirable.

The higher the cost of your phone when it was bought new, the more you will make when the time comes to sell it. So, if you splashed out on an iPhone 14 Pro Max for example, the good news is that if you want to sell it in a couple years, you should get a sweet deal. But keep in mind, every new iPhone release gradually decreases the resale value of your iPhone over time.

Sell your Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max nowGet up to £790.00!

Here’s an example: the iPhone 7 Plus came with the price tag of £719 for the 32GB version when it was first released back in 2016, which was reasonably expensive at the time, but has since significantly decreased in value dropping to under £50. Not only have other devices vastly superseded this model in terms of price (Apple have been releasing phones that cost twice the price since then), but other flagships now have a much higher resale value.

Sell your Apple iPhone 7 nowGet up to £50.00!Sell your Apple iPhone 7 Plus nowGet up to £60.00!

When Apple released iOS 16 in 2022, they exluded the iPhone 7 Plus from the lsit of supported devices, which has significantly affected its value and the number of recyclers willing to buy it. All of this is to say that if you’re thinking of selling your device and you want to get the most for it, you should do it sooner rather than later.

How To Evaluate the Condition Of Your Phone?

Given you know the make and model of your phone and its build-in storage capacity, your next step is to evaluate the condition of your phone. Pay attention to the following:

  • Physical Appearance
    Give it a good clean and ensure that you check for any visible signs of damage such as cracks, scratches or dents and assess the overall exterior of the phone.

  • Screen Condition (Internal)
    Check to see whether there are any signs of screen burn in e.g. discoloration and touch responsiveness.

  • Battery Performance
    This is more relevant for iPhones and means checking to see whether there is battery degradation. You will be able to check the battery health in General Settings.

  • Functionality
    Does it power on is a crucial one. It is also worth checking your phone's microphone, camera, buttons and speakers are in working order.

  • Operating System and Software
    This is arguably one of the most important features to check when finding out the value of your phone. By checking the operating system and software updates / capabilities, you are able to determine whether the phone can run smoothly and is up to date.

  • Camera Quality
    Check for any cracks or scratches on the hardware that may affect the lighting, focus and overall quality of your pictures.

  • Repair History
    It’s helpful to remember whether your phone has undergone any past repairs and if genuine parts were used, because this can impact the quality and functionality in the future.

When selling your phone at Compare and Recycle, phones are graded as ‘New’, ‘Good’, ‘Poor’ or ‘Broken’. Regardless of which condition your mobile phone falls under, you will still be able to bag a decent deal.

  • New: a phone in this condition has not been used and comes in a sealed original box.
  • Good: a phone has no hardware faults, is fully functional and may present minimal wear with room for fine scratches.
  • Poor: similarly to ‘Good’, this phone has no faults and is in good working order, but of course presents heavier wear and tear with more scratches, scuffs and marks.
  • Broken: this grade will mean that a phone has cosmetic damage beyond a few fine scratches, usually presents cracks or hardware faults or both.

Relevant reading:

Where To Sell Your Phone

As you are probably aware, there is no shortage of choices of where you can sell your old mobile phone. Although this can be seen as a positive, it can certainly cause a headache when trying to find the best price. It’s tempting to use an online marketplace such as Facebook or Ebay, but do you really want to respond to counteless ‘Is this still available?’ messages after which the potential buyer disappears? We thought so. Luckily there’s a much better alternative.

Compare and Recycle It

Selling your phone on our comparison site is a no-brainer and certainly has no place for time-wasters. We’ll help you to find the best deal from a network of recyclers in under 60 seconds and all you have to do is fill in your details to lock in the quote and send your phone off. Once you receive your payment, you can put the money towards your next gadget or spend it however you please.

For easier navigation, click the links below to visit different device categories that you can sell at Compare and Recycle:

Selling Your Phone? Here's What You Should Do

First things first, it’s important that you ensure your privacy and data are protected before selling your phone. By taking the time to do the necessary steps, you’re making it easier for the next person to use your phone and also making sure you have all the data you need to transfer onto your next device.

What To Do Before Selling Your iPhone

  1. Backup your data
  2. Remove your iCloud account
  3. Reset your iPhone back to factory settings
  4. Take a note of the IMEI number
  5. Remove the SIM card, cases and screen accessories
  6. Gently clean the iPhone to get ready for selling.

What To Do Before Selling Your Android

  1. Backup your data
  2. Remove your Cloud and Google accounts
  3. Reset your Android back to factory settings
  4. Take note of the IMEI number
  5. Remove the SIM card, any expandable storage and screen protectors
  6. Clean the phone with a suitable cleaner.

Once you have done this, you should have an even more accurate idea of the condition of your phone and ultimately the overall value of it too.

For more detailed steps to take before selling your phone, follow the link below:

Relevant reading:

How to Take Care of Your Phone to Maintain its Resale Value?

As we mentioned earlier, a new device will get the most money out of all the device categories that we have listed on our site. If your handset is still new, these are our top tips to help you to get the most money for it when the time to sell it comes:

1. Case Protection

We can’t stress this enough: put a case and a screen protector on your phone from day one. There’s simply no better way of minimising any cosmetic damage. Once you’ve added both, you’ve protected your phone against common mishaps that could reduce the value of your device in the future.

2. Prevent Screen Burn In

If you have a device with an OLED screen, these are more susceptible to burn in, which basically means pixel discolouration and is something to be aware of if you want to get the highest price at a later stage. Ways in which you can prevent this from happening include regularly changing the wallpaper, using Dark Mode if your device has this capability. You can find more tips in the blog post we linked to above.

3. Insurance

Lastly, you can get cheap phone insurance from certain bank accounts, home insurance, or even as a job perk. Accidents happen and buying phone insurance lowers the cost of repair. It ensures a professional job covered by warranty to maintain a high working price when the time comes to sell your device. Unauthorised parts fitted in a phone will downgrade its resale price, and several recyclers do not offer a working price for a device on which unauthorised repairs were carried out.


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