One of the largest factors affecting the value of your smartphone is its physical condition. Here at Movaluate, the two primary cosmetic conditions we are concerned with are the state of the phone's display and housing. Just about every modern smartphone is shaped the same way - a slate with large glass front and a polymer body—both of which are susceptible to abrasion and drop damage. Let's take a look at the different types of damage, and how they affect a phone's condition/resale value.
A device in excellent condition should have no damage to the display or housing. Only the housing may exhibit light wear in the form of fine swirling. Typically devices that have lived their entire lives in cases and screen protectors will be classified as being in excellent condition. Make sure to examine the display in multiple lighting angles to spot any scratches. You can lightly run your fingernail around suspect areas of the bezel or housing to check for scratches.
A device in good condition will show typical signs of use, including scuffing and scratches. The display may have scratches or scuffs from being put in and out of pockets or purses, and the housing may show signs of light impact damage such as nicks, dings or even deep gauge-like scratches. The majority of devices will fall in this condition range.
A device in poor condition will show major impact damage resulting cracks in their display or housing are classified as being in poor condition. Egregious denting and scratching will also render a device in poor condition even if the display is in good condition. Make sure to double check the functionality of devices in poor condition as they may have been roughly handled.
A device in broken condition will show severe damage and do not function properly or require part replacement are considered broken. Shattered displays and cracked housings are telltale signs of imminent or existent hardware failure such as broken touchscreens and buttons. These devices are typically sold for their parts value, and their price may vary greatly depending on popularity.
A device can become water damaged when exposed to liquids or high humidity environments. Although it may not be immediately apparent, water damage can corrode a device's circuitry and/or battery. Most phones have some indicator tape that changes color when water damage has occurred, but you can also tell if there is some erratic behavior such as random resets, inconsistent charging, or screen anomalies.