You don't have to be a genius to work out that the price of smartphones is only going to go up, and with Apple and Samsung set to release their shiny new models later this year, people are going to have to dig deep in order to afford them. It's no surprise then that the popularity of recycled phones has risen. In fact, many people see buying a recycled mobile phone as a far more convenient – and far cheaper – option compared to buying the latest device.
Likewise, more and more people are seeing recycling as the best way to get rid of unwanted handsets, whether that be privately, with an online recycling company, or on the high street. Despite this, some people are still unsure of how to prepare their device before recycling, so, to make things a little easier, we've put together this short rundown of what to do when you want to recycle your mobile.
1) Wipe Your Data
If you've had your smartphone for a long time, the chances are that it'll have a lot of your personal information stored on it. This could be anything from private contacts to addresses and even bank details – not the sort of thing you'd want a stranger to get hold of by accident. To ensure that your private data is protected, you should always perform a data wipe before you recycle your phone. The easiest way to do this is to reset your phone to factory settings, an option that's easily available in your phone's settings menu. This will return your device to the state in which you bought it, making it ready for recycling.
2) Make Sure Everything Works
This may seem obvious, but it can't be overstated – after all, you want to get the best price for your phone and the best way to do that is to make sure it works perfectly! This includes everything from the touchscreen, speakers, charging port, and earphone jack, on top of aesthetic elements such as ensuring the screen isn't cracked and the case isn't scratched. Furthermore, it's good practice to clean your phone before you recycle it, otherwise you might not receive as much as you'd like.
3) Remove the SIM Card
Your SIM Card is just another part of your phone which holds personal data – such as text history, calls, and contacts – so it's extremely important that you remove it before recycling the handset. On most modern smartphones this is a relatively simply process, although it can be a bit fiddly if you don't have the right SIM ejector tool. It's also important to keep hold of your SIM card if you're planning to switch to a new device and stay with the same network, as it'll allow you to retain your data. If you're planning to throw it away, ensure that you cut through the metal chip on the card, so no one else can use it.
4) Remove Any Memory Cards
Most modern devices have plenty of internal storage for everyone's needs. However, if you find that your phone's memory is lacking, the chances are you'll use a Micro-SD memory card, which definitely needs to be removed before you recycle the device. SD cards are perfect for storing photos, videos, which could hold personal information, as well as large downloaded files such as movies and games which you may have spent money on. In either case it's not the sort of thing you'll want to recycle with the mobile, so ensure that it's removed for future use.
5) Cancel Your Mobile Phone Insurance
We'd like to think that this wouldn't happen, but when you're in a hurry to recycle a mobile, some things can be forgotten about. Unless you tell your mobile phone insurance provider that the device no longer belongs to you and you need to cancel your policy, you could potentially be paying a monthly fee for absolutely no benefit. Make sure you transfer your insurance policy on to your new device before recycling the old one.
6) Remove Your PIN
This should go without saying but it's imperative that you remove the PIN lock if you're recycling your phone privately. While a factory reset will automatically do it for you, it's better to be safe than sorry. No one wants to get hold of their brand-new recycled smartphone, with all the excitement that brings, only to find that they can't unlock it because the previous user hasn't given them the date of their dog's birthday!