Things to do before selling an Android Device
Technology moves very fast. In fact, some device cycles can get as short as a few months to just one year. There is a huge second hand market for smartphones and tablets as well, so you always have a way of at least getting back some of the money you used to purchase your device and use that towards your next purchase.
When you sell an Android Smartphone or Tablet, you are selling a very personal device. For many of us, we have learned to tinker and play with the software of this device. It houses our customizations, our preferences, our designs. In short, it reflects the personality of the buyer. Now, are you really sure you want to sell a part of who you are?
As you can see, selling an Android Tablet or Smartphone is not as straightforward as selling your old Gameboy. What people fail to realize and regret later on is the fact that there are things you actually need to do in preparation to sell a device. Here are but a few standard things you should do before selling your precious smartphone.
Backup, Backup, Backup
For any electronic device that you own where you store data, backing up that data should be hard wired to your system. The fact of the matter is that there are a lot of data and data types that you can and should backup from your Android device.
1. Multimedia Files
It is hard to find great multimedia. When it comes to organized videos and music, searching and reorganizing them can be such a hassle. One can easily backup playlists as well as the actual video and music files on Android. There is also the matter of the Photos in your device. Most of us use our phones to take pictures. Imagine the dismay you will have if you lost these precious memories simply because you forgot to back them up.
2. SMS Conversations
Unlike most instant messaging apps, you can’t really backup SMS messages without an external application or support from the hardware vendor. With that in mind, you might also want to back up your SMS conversations manually since some conversations are very important to keep. For Instant messaging solutions with no automatic or cloud backup function, take this time to manually back them up.
3. App and Game Data
As a gamer, there is nothing worse than losing your game data. Imagine having all your hard work gone in one full swing? You are most likely rooted are you not? So go ahead and make sure that app and game data is backed up so you can continue playing your games after switching devices and selling the old one.
Some of us work really hard at configuring our home screens to look just perfect. It probably took you many hours to finish your little masterpiece, even going so far as to creating your own wallpaper for the job. It would be a shame if you completely lost it and had to start again from scratch so make sure to back up. This applies to your customizable widgets and other configurations that you can back up.
5. Sync to the Cloud
If you have files and data that can by synchronized with the cloud, now is the best time to whip them out. Google backs up plenty of data types such as your all-important contacts list. Make sure to at least sync your PIM data to make sure you will never miss a thing once you are on your new device.
Some of us may have a tendency to encrypt the memory card to prevent theft or other problematic issues regarding the data stored in memory cards. Chances are that you still want to be able to use that memory card for your next smartphone especially if you have already invested a lot in a very fast memory card.
What you need to do is to take all the data from your memory card while you still have the decryption key in your smartphone. After that, simply format your SD card and it should be good as new. Just encrypt it again if you want to on the new device. Remember that once encrypted, only that device you have will be able to manage the data in your SD card.
Wipe the Slate Clean
Now that you have backed up all your personal information and all your important data, it is now time to wipe the slate clean for the next customer to leave their mark on your soon to be sold Android device. Of course, there is still the matter of which factory data reset measure to use at this point.
If you have not installed a custom ROM or kernel into your device, all you would need to do is navigate through your settings and look for the Factory Data Reset option. Depending on your device maker and firmware version, the location of this elusive setting may vary between the security options, the storage options, or maybe even the privacy settings. You might have to look around but it is definitely there.
For devices installed with custom ROMs and kernels, you must first launch your custom recovery. From there, there should be a wipe data option which will wipe the device clean of any data while not touching the ROM configuration. Be wary as depending on your phone model and the way it handles data, if you use the normal method of factory reset while running a custom ROM, you may end up with a boot loop.
Undo the Customization
Let’s face it. Rooting and custom ROMs are not for everyone. There are those who will be happy enough with the stock configuration. In fact, for some people, the stock configuration is the only choice since they would get lost in your fully customized look and feel.
The buyer may end up returning the device if it doesn’t quite work as they expected to. How awkward would it be when your buyer calls customer support and the rep informs them that the device has been “tampered with”. You certainly don’t want to ruin your selling record.
To undo a customization is very easy. Simply download the latest stock ROM for your device’s real country code and flash the ROM to the device. This will leave your phone in a stock look and feel that anyone that has seen advertisements of your phone model will recognize.
Maintain the right charge
Now that you have it in stock configuration and all the potentially battery draining activities are done, you need to ensure that you maintain the right charge. According to studies, the best and safest storage battery charge is around the 40% to 50% mark. You’ll probably notice that new phones will come with batteries around this much battery charge. It is like the most neutral ground for a battery to ensure a safe storage life.
Wipe Again and Turn Off
Now you may be asking, why bother wiping it again? Well, think of it as courtesy to the next buyer. When you have a stock rom installed and you factory reset it, you would see tutorial for the first time setup as if you newly bought the phone. After the phone reboots during the wipe just turn it off and let the next guy or gal have a shot at that first time use tutorial. It helps you look like a better seller, which can help your next phone sale, whenever that may be.