Ways to Sell Your Smartphone

ScreenHunter_55 Sep. 29 10.00

It’s been quite a year with a lot of new smartphones hitting the market. With that comes the temptation to upgrade to a new phone. Many of you would be more apt to sell your old phone if you knew the good price you can get for selling it.

There is more than one way to sell your smartphone.  They include:

  • selling it yourself on Ebay or Craigslist. 
  • buyback services, such as Gazelle and Glyde. They will offer you a price based on the condition of the phone. You will be paid with cash.
  • buyback services through BestBuy, Amazon, and Apple. They will also give you a trade-in based on the condition of the phone. These services only pay with credits for other purchases through their brick-and-mortar store or an online store.

As mentioned above, the reimbursement method for your phone varies. Let's look at the credits method of reimbursement first.

Amazon

Amazon has among its many programs an electronics buyback program where you can sell just about anything that is considered consumer electronics. Included in that category are cell phones. Go to the Amazon.com website and select the open the Shop by Department menu, then Electronics & Computers, and then select Trade in Electronics. You can do a search for your phone and and based on its condition you’ll get an estimate for your cell phone. Your phone has to be in good working order and must meet one of the following conditions to be acceptable:

  • Like New; the phone is in perfect working order, has all accessories and packaging
  • Good; the phone has some visible wear, some light scratches on the body, has its battery, charger, and USB cable
  • Acceptable; the phone works but shows more visible abuse, and it may be missing accessories such as its charger or USB cable

You do not receive cash from Amazon but will get credit awarded to you in the form of an Amazon Gift Card.

BestBuy

BestBuy is similar to Amazon in that you select your phone among the choices available and then receive credit toward a purchase at a BestBuy store. Go to BestBuyTradein.com. Then locate the “Find Your Trade in Value” and below that you’ll see the electronic categories, including Mobile – Cell Phones, which you want to select. That will take you to a list of phones from which you locate your phone which is also listed by carrier. Based on the phone’s condition you will be given an estimate of your phone according to your response to a series of questions.

Apple

Visit store.apple.com/us and you’ll be taken to a website where you’ll select Shop iPhone. Based on your responses to a short questionaire, Apple will give you an estimate on how much your iPhone is worth. Notice I used the word iPhone. That is the only model Apple will accept. Like Amazon and BestBuy, Apple will give you credit which you can spend at an Apple online store.

Gazelle

Gazelle is a buyback service dealing with electronic items, including phones. Unlike a few of the others mentioned above, you actually get cash for the buyback instead of credit being awarded to you. Some of the buybacks have good prices. For example, involving the HTC One smartphone on a buyback with the phone considered in “Good Condition” meaning that it is good working order and only has average wear and tear on it from normal usage, and using Sprint as my carrier, I would get a $170.00 buyback. Gazelle does not offer buybacks for all phones, only selected manufacturers and models. For example, they only consider smartphones made by Apple, HTC, Samsung, Blackberry, Motorola, Nokia, and LG and only certain models are accepted. The buyback price also depends on your carrier as well.

Glyde

As the seller you would list your phone on the Glyde marketplace with its price. Once a buyer has chose to purchase your phone they will send the purchase amount to Glyde. Glyde meanwhile sends you a prepaid shipping kit for the phone. Glyde retains the money until you have shipped the phone and it safely arrives at the buyers location. Once received by the buyer, and after a two day evaluation period in which the buyer has the the right to cancel if not satisfied with the phone, the money is then released to you from the Glyde account minus a transaction fee. The fee is 2% on the first $100 of the item's sale price and 8% on the rest. You are also assessed a shipping kit fee of $1.00 to $3.50 depending on the phone. The shipments are made through the U.S. Postal Service and are shipped Priority or First Class, depending on the weight and distance involved.

Selling the Phone Yourself (Ebay / Craigslist)

When you’re selling the phone yourself, the risk for getting burned or burning someone else is greater although if you adhere to a few basic precautions you can get through the process with a good deal for both parties involved. Selling your phone this way often brings the seller a better price, and fees such as one might pay with a buybark service are minimal or none. Any kind of financial transaction harm can be minimized by using a pay service such as PayPal or PayQuicker. Both are free services and enable each party involved to conduct the transaction safely and with minimal risk. Ebay has their own buyer protection service, which gives the buyer some recourse on a dishonest seller, so there are many buyers out there willing to purchase your phone safely and confidently.

Edge, Next, One Up, Jump Carrier Service Plans

Earlier this month I wrote about using the new service plans available from the four major cellular carriers. They are Verizon-Edge, AT&T-Next, Sprint-One Up, and T-Mobile-Jump. Keep in mind that if you decide to go with one of these plans, you must turn the phone back in after the term expires, thus circumventing your option to sell your phone.

The bottom line is shop around like you would for anything else. Any of the ways to sell your phone listed above would be excellent choices, but it doesn't hurt to look around too. Remember, it literally pays to take good care of your phone and accessories when you try to resell them.

Phablets and Tablets

Samsung-Galaxy-Note-3-008 (1)

 

With the recent barrage of smartphones, phablets, and tablets hitting the market recently, it seems appropriate to break things down a bit to put items in their proper perspective, lest we become confused, as many customers are today when they walk into an electronics store to shop. The size offerings of the various manufacturers have clouded the line between phone and tablet and one must understand what they're buying.

Phablet Versatility

Smartphones are phones that make voice calls and text messages. Tablets are handheld PCs that process data. . . or so it seemed. With more offerings coming our way, there has become a new niche due to the varying screen sizes available. This new niche is the phablet. A phablet is a hybrid that can make regular phone calls since it has a smartphone form factor, but it also has a larger display than the average smartphone, between 5 and 7 inches. If you frequently surf the Web, play games and videos, the phablet is for you. Although phablets only constitute 3% of the total market, the beauty of that larger display size attracted 25 million sales in 2012, and many predict that number will climb steadily upward.

Tablet Strengths and Limitations

Remember that tablets are not phones per se. The don't make voice calls or text messages, although you can make some types of calls using software, as with Skype. There are also apps that will enable you to make land-line/mobile calls. SIM card swap-outs from phone to an iPad tablet are possible provided you are using software. Some have a costly fee; it is not cheap. The tablet is a versatile portable PC that allows you to use more sophisticated applications, surf the Web, and watch videos and movies.

The attractiveness of the tablet is that they are generally cheaper when purchasing a carrier's plan than a smartphone. The carrier Sprint offers some choices in the $25-30 dollar range for a tablet data plan, which is very attractive to many customers. Of course the amount of data transferred determines the price point, and Sprint as well as other carriers, offer varying choices in this area.

Phablet vs Smartphone Question

The question is not about whether you should buy a phablet or a tablet. The question you need to ask yourself is should I buy a phablet or a smartphone. Phablets and tablets are very distinct devices, with clear functions. A phablet is really a phone that is used more for making daily routine phone calls. A tablet is a handheld PC used for sophisticated applications that need a larger screen for displaying graphics.

Now that you understand the nuances of shopping in this niche of high-tech electronics, you should be able to fully understand what you're buying. I will not go into the carriers since their pricing varies throughout the market. Do your homework on the carriers available in your area, compare plans, and decide what plan features are most important to you. If you're looking for the least expensive carrier, many believe that Sprint would be your choice. Sprint has been slow to implement their 4G LTE service so make sure you check for coverage before deciding. Verizon and AT&T both have good 4G LTE service, so you need to look at the choices offered and decide based on what you value the most for plan features.

 

HTC One Smartphone Review

HTC ONE

The Taiwan giant HTC has hit a home run with it's One smartphone. In the looks department, it outweighs many of its competitors, with its metal frame and awesome looking display. You would be hard pressed to find a nicer looking phone. However, the HTC One lacks perfection, as all smartphones do, and if we look at it carefully, we'll see a few larger than normal blemishes. Let's begin this smartphone review by looking at its basic features first.

Hardware

The phone checks in at just over 5 ounces, making it one of the heavier smartphone superstars. It's .37 inches thick, 2.7 inches wide, and 5.4 inches in height, so it's certainly not small.  You immediately notice that there are 2 grills on the front which equates to two speakers habitating this phone. The sound has good separation, using a feature called BoomSound, with built in amplifiers. The capacitive touch display, at 1920 x1080 resolution, is made of Gorilla Glass, which is very durable and its display has excellent quality. It's a pleasure to watch.  Populating the top edge include various sensors for light and proximity, as well as a notification LED.  The power button is near the top as well, which also doubles as an infrared sensor for remote control operation of your TV. There are 2 touch buttons beneath the screen, Home and Back.  The OS version with this phone is Android 4.2.2.

On the back side there are gyro and accelerometer sensors, with 4G/LTE, Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP, A-GPS, DNLA and WiFi-N/ac (dual band).  The brains include a Qualcomm quad-core 1.6 GHz Snapdragon 600 processor with 2GB of RAM.  There are both 32GB and 64GB memory versions available. The battery (2300 mAh) lasted 9 hours and 37 minutes when subjected to a video battery drain benchmark.

Sense User Interface / BlinkFeed

I'm not sure why smartphone manufacturers install their own interactive interface over the generic Android one. Perhaps they want to leave their brand "signature." This phone definitely continues this trend.  The HTC user interface, Sense, has been upgraded and users that have HTC phones understand how intrusive the interface can be. They will be glad knowing that it's not as bad with this phone. The home screen, BlinkFeed, establishes itself as the first thing you see, as its tiled look quickly reminds you of an RSS feed. Okay, this can be quite fine if you like that as your home screen, but it becomes an annoyance when you realize it can't be disabled, one of the HTC quirks.

Cameras

The front camera is mounted up at the top next to the sensors, and is 2.1 megapixel, at 1080p. The rear camera is a 4 megapixel lens with 2688 x 1520 pixel resolution including an autofocus.  Other camera features include a picture capture during video recording, image stabilization, touch focus, and face detection.  Recording video is at 1080p with stereo audio. The camera takes pictures with acceptable color and detail, but when you zoom in, the quality fades.  The HTC Zoe feature, when enabled, provides a selection of various images taken (up to 20), and produces a short video using the shutter. When in the video mode, you get acceptable quality and the focusing is better. 

Benchmark Speed Test

Benchmark speed test results show the Snapdragon/Adreno chipset in the One decidedly beats 2 other phones: the Tegra 3 found in the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the previous HTC One X. This is one area where the HTC One shines, and shines brightly. It is the fastest smartphone that has been tested. You will not experience much delay in anything you do with this phone. Now, the downside to the speed is that the phone does get warm. In fact it gets very warm and the metal case certainly does not help this effect. This usually occurs when the phone is really being put through its paces.

4G LTE Connectivity

The phone tested on a Sprint network was dismal. Average download speed was 0.45Mbps and upload speed at 0.46Mbps.  An AT&T network was also used with much better results. Downloads on LTE were at an average 24.6Mbps while uploads peaked at a very respectable 12.6Mbps. It should be noted that in a number 0f places in the U.S. Sprint has yet to replace their existing network with 4G LTE and this was the case with this particular test.

Standard Features Missing

There are 2 major features missing that some users may feel as untouchable, as most users are used to seeing these features in a smartphone. One is that you cannot open the body. Consequently, you cannot remove the battery nor are you supposed to. The other quirk is that there is no SD card slot, thus no allowance for expansion.

Overall, the HTC One is an excellent phone and should be a consideration if you're ready for a phone replacement. It's easy to operate, has a great display,  the two-speaker sound is outstanding, as well as superior speed performance. If you can handle the 2 missing features mentioned above, this phone will provide for your needs very well and then some. Keep this phone at the top of your shopping list.

 

 

 

Samsung Galaxy S4 Smartphone Review

SAMSUNG GALAXY S4

The famous Korean smartphone producer, Samsung, has done it again in good style with their Galaxy S4 offering. This smartphone, in traditional Samsung style, is loaded with features and the pro's far outweigh the con's, making this one of the top picks of the year. With a full HD display, an improved processor, and some additional sensors distinguishing it from the S3, let's take a closer look at what makes this phone such a rockstar.

Big and Improved Display

Just when you thought the 4.8 inch screen of the Galaxy S3 couldn't get any bigger, you will be excited to know Samsung has outdone that with a 5-inch screen size, and the phone uses the display real-estate well, with full HD resolution. Inside of this 4.6 ounce beauty, you've got a number of good things going on.

Hardware Improved

Joining it's 2GB of memory, the processor has been improved with a faster 1900MHZ Quad-core, along with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 APQ8064T system chip, and it takes the phone through its paces nicely. There is a place for a microSD chip, which is great for multimedia add-ons, but not good for apps. You must install apps into regular memory.  While we're on that subject, even a 16GB memory version only has half of that amount available due to preinstalled apps that you cannot delete. They are on the phone for the long haul, although if you're going to be stuck with something, it might as well be these since you can't find them anywhere else. You get the Android Jellybean OS 4.2.2 version with it, and it does traffic directing very nicely. USB 2.0 is via a microUSB port, for charging and data. Battery life ends at around 17 hours.

The 32 and 64GB variants come with an octacore design, which is actually two quad-core processors (1.6 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A15 and 1.2 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A7). The battery life ends at 10-hours, substantially less time than the quad-core version.

Features

  • The rear camera has changed considerably, increasing from 8 to 13 megapixels. You'll need to use the 4:3 aspect ratio if you want to take 1080p videos and the microSD chip certainly allows for the additional memory needed.  The front-facing camera checks-in with two megapixels. You can use the camera in a number of other modes as well:  auto mode, night, action/sports, panorama, and eraser,which takes several sequential shots and can erase a moving background object.
  • Searching and mapping do very well with the S4, and if you travel overseas frequently, you'll find you can store all of your locations easily.
  • The Smart-stay technology, which senses if your eyes are watching the screen, has been improved on the S4. Combined with Smart Scroll,  the screen can scroll by moving your head or tilting the screen. Users who are commonly doing other things with their hands while talking will love this feature. 
  • Air Gesture is a great feature that is engaged by waving your hand in front of the screen to answer a call, as well as change music tracks, and move from photo to photo.
  • WatchOn is a nice feature that turns the phone into a multi-purpose remote control, although from time to time it does get lost, and the setting numbers have to be reentered.
  • LTE works well, and although this mode wasn't what you would consider consistent, slipping down to 4g at times, it worked well while in LTE. Going wireless is strengthened by using a dual-channel configuration.
  • Sensors are plentiful. Besides the temperature, humidity, and pressure sensors, there are ambient light and proximity sensors, with a infrared sensor used for the remote function, rounding out the list. The sensors have colored indicator lights that illuminate when in use.

As mentioned above, since the 16GB version only has a little over 8GB of usable memory, you might want to consider a higher-capacity version such as 32/64GB. The Galaxy S4 has a lot of great things going for it that more than compensate for its weaknesses. This is definitely one phone you need to consider when renewal time rolls around for you.