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Get Buff on a Budget: 7 Best Free Fitness Apps
Wed, 01 Jul 2015 02:38:46 -0400

2015 is the year that exercise ceased being a mind-to-body experience, and became a mind-to-fitness-tracker-device-to-body cultural movement. Advancements in wearable technology and increasingly intuitive health and fitness apps have helped kick-start the digital fitness revolution.  

The great thing about this new wave of fitness apps and tracking software is that many of them are free, so if you have a smartphone, a pair of running shoes and a smidgen of willpower you’ll be a bronzed Adonis in no time - whilst avoiding the costly gym membership or personal trainer fees.

Here are 7 of the very best free fitness apps to help you trim down and tone up:

Fitocracy – Making fitness fun

Gamification is the process of applying gaming mechanics – power-ups, collectables, rewards and level progression – to traditional non-gaming environments to help drive participation, and Fitocracy does this brilliantly.  Blending the fun of online gaming with a detailed and effective workout program, Fitocracy will have you shedding the pounds without the boredom.  As in all great computer games, there are bad guys that need defeating, but you won’t find alien invaders or zombie hordes here - no, you’re battling the bulge instead. As you progress through the game you’ll be rewarded by earning points based on increasingly difficult workouts; this, in turn will unlock new levels and features. Fitocracy also allows battles and gameplay with friends which adds that all-important element of competition.

Nike + Running – Make every run count

Whether you’re a serious marathon runner or just like to do a few loops of the block of an evening to tick over, the Nike + Running app is the perfect digital companion. This feature-rich app covers all your running goals and by tracking distance, time and pace on every run, it can help you plot your progress over time.

LoseIt! – For those battling the bulge

We’re in the midst of a paunch pandemic! Nearly two-thirds of men and women in the UK are obese or overweight, according to new analysis of overweight and obesity data conducted by Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, so apps like LoseIt! are a welcome addition to the war on our expanding waistlines.  

We’ve all heard the well-worn phrase: use more calories than you take in, and you’ll lose weight. This message has been drilled into us ever since we were old enough to reach the cookie jar. But losing weight isn’t always this simple, or doesn’t come as easily to some as it does to others. This is where LoseIt! Really steps up. With the LoseIt! app you can design a custom plan tailored specifically for you and your weight-loss goals.  You can then track your calorie intake and exercise regime to help you hit your targets.

There’s no need to ditch the donuts alone, either, as LoseIt! app serves up a number of group and social functions meaning you can connect and chat to others hoping to Loseit!

BMI Calculator – The gut-busting formula

The tide of scientific opinion has turned recently and many weight-loss experts would argue that your BMI is not a reliable measure of general health and wellbeing, but it remains a quick and simple guide to whether you’re carrying a bit too much timber. This BMI Calculator measures your body fat percentage using the ratio of height to weight. It also stores and tracks all your information, helping you to plot your progress as the gut goes into retreat.

NexTrack: Lose weight and earn points

Motivation is key to achieving any health or fitness goals. If you’re not motivated to stay the course or complete the program you’re likely to ditch the sit-ups and dive headlong into the Ben & Jerrys. NexTrack keeps user motivation at its core by turning all forms of exercise into a game and rewards for completing workouts. NexTrack keeps you interested in keeping trim with a points-based system which rewards you for completing any number of a huge range of activities. From high-intensity aerobics, to housework or walking the dog, NexTrack dishes out reward points for those ready to get off the couch.  What’s more, NexTrack uses mPoints in its reward system meaning you can make real-life purchases with your accumulated reward points.

Johnson & Johnson 7 Minute Workout – For those in a hurry

Our lives just seem to be getting busier and busier and our spare time is at a premium. Of course we’d all love to dedicate 30 minutes of our day to rigorous exercise, as per the recommended daily allowance, but really – who has the time! Surely, though, even those with the most hectic of schedules can squeeze in a 7 minute workout?!

Nailing this time-sensitive issue expertly is the free Johnson & Johnson 7 Minute Workout app on iOS which targets those of us who haven’t the time for a marathon spin session or half-a-day’s yoga.  The exercise routines are split by easy, moderate or difficult level so there’s something for everyone here, and, if you do find yourself with a few extra minutes spare in your day, there are a range of extra workouts which last a bit longer than the advertised 7 minutes.

Atari Fit – Keeping fit with retro gaming

Now this is genius. Atari Fit app motivates the user to keep fit and track their fitness by promising a bundle of classic Atari games for those willing to get a sweat on. Again, the Atari Fit app uses a points-based system to reward users and features over 100 exercises to get stuck in to. Tracking exercise earns you points which can be used to unlock vintage Atari games like Centipede, SuperBreakout and Pong. If you’re not a gaming fan (though who doesn’t like Pong?!) and want to crack on with your fitness goals, your accumulated points can also be used to unlock additional workouts and exercises.

1 billion electric miles and counting
Sun, 28 Jun 2015 16:58:06 -0400

Tesla Motors’ press team have recently revealed that the world’s Tesla drivers have passed the ‘billion miles driven’ mark, at a time when the company is gearing up to unveil their new SUV, Model X, in a bid to attract more female drivers.

Tesla fans have been starved of information about the long-awaited Model X, which was first publicised as early as 2012 when the Tesla CEO unveiled a prototype of the electric crossover.

The electric car giants now appear ready to launch the Model X, in a move which sees them diversify their product offering and target the fastest-growing market in the US – women drivers – with America’s favourite type of vehicle, the SUV.

Tesla Motors’ flagship vehicle, the Model S, disrupted the automotive space, finally bringing the electric car into the consumerist mainstream. And a very large part of this continued success is that, with its sleek curves and sporty lines the Model S proved electric cars needn’t look like suped-up mobility scooters. Electric is now cool.

Tesla Motors are now out to prove that as well as sexy, they can also do functional.

Tesla’s big cheese, Elon Musk, has gone on record with his intentions for Tesla’s change of direction, calling the hugely successful Model S “a little too guy-centric” and stating the new Model X would be a product “paying more attention to the needs of women.“

Tesla’s marketing blurb on the new Model X explains, “Model X combines the space and functionality of a seven seat sport utility vehicle with the uncompromised performance of a Tesla.”

“Every Model X comes with all-wheel drive standard, powered by two independent, digitally-controlled electric motors. Brilliantly functional Falcon Wing rear doors fold up and out of the way to allow easy access to third row seats.”

The word on the road is that the all-wheel drive Tesla Model X will have three engine variants whose power will come in 70 kWh, 85 kWh and 100 kWh. Mileage-wise, the Model X will be able to churn out 230 miles on a single charge.

1 billion miles. Who’s counting?

Aside from being an extremely impressive distance – 1 billion miles is the equivalent of 4,200 trips to the moon – this latest achievement from the Tesla Motor brand is evidence of the ever greater flow of information from the products we use back to the manufacturers.

Modern tech has introduced the performance feedback loop into the consumer experience. Without us really knowing what the dickens is happening under the bonnet of our electric cars, behind the screen or deep within the bowels of our devices, manufacturers are picking up and pouring over rivers of data about how our products are performing.

This new era of product feedback comes at a time when our daily lives are becoming increasingly connected (and recorded) with smart tech.

Tech journo from the Washington Post, Brian Fung, elaborates: “Teslas and many other cars are constantly collecting information about the way we drive, and sending that data back to their manufacturers.”  

The data being collected from our journeys ranges from the dull and perfunctory — are you wearing your seat belt? — to potentially far more consequential figures, such as how hard you hit the brakes and how fast you drive.

Fung expounds, “This kind of logging and monitoring is going to become increasingly common as connected cars become their own software platforms.”

Cars, just like our computers, mobile phones and even our home thermostats are now just operating systems, monitored and to a large extent, controlled, by the manufacturer (one of the benefits of owning a Tesla is that your vehicle is constantly being upgraded with regular operating system updates that help keep your car tuned-up and competitive).

Just how much information drivers are willing to yield to the manufacturer is a lurch into the unknown, as we have only really scratched the surface of the data harvesting times we live in. What can be said with a fair amount of certainty, however, is with record numbers of Model S cars shifted and the new crossover Model X waiting in the wings, it won’t be too long before Tesla drivers are being clocked racking up their 2 billionth electric mile.

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Apple are always second - that’s why they’re #1
Sun, 21 Jun 2015 15:37:07 -0400

Apple is the 1000lb gorilla in the consumer technology space. It’s enormous. Whenever Apple makes a move, the entire industry turns its head. It is for this reason that the Californian tech giants have garnered the reputation for being industry trailblazers. They simply make so much noise, it is assumed they’re always the first to market and the company which all competitors are seeking to emulate.  

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This reputation as industry innovators has not just given them an enormous loyal following, it’s also made them the world’s most profitable company. Their quarterly balance sheets have passed into legend and every year their profit margins seem to grow by another couple of zeros as consumers, the tech press and the media at large, all fawn over their latest high-end offering. But many industry commenters believe that, far from being richly deserved, Apple’s reputation as innovators is misjudged, and that their real skill as a brand is in identifying the perfect moment to enter a market and then blow the competition out of the water with a slicker, more polished product.

There is a sense that Apple’s latest offering, Apple Music, is a perfect example of this “me too” product play – entering a seemingly saturated marketplace with a glossy, well-produced alternative which has Apple’s relentless marketing machine behind it. The consumer is swiftly scooped up in to Apple’s warm, premium-feel embrace and we all willingly part with our cash.

Tech commenters will point to Apple’s acquisition of Beats Music for $3bn and suggest that we all knew the day would come when Apple launched their own music streaming service. Couple this with the recent news that music streaming revenue has now exceeded download revenue, and it would seem that music streaming – a space currently owned by Spotify - is the next key battleground for Apple.

But it’s not just music streaming that Apple have swooped down on lately. Look back at Apple’s most iconic and era-defining product, the original iPhone, and again you’ll find the same pattern: the perfect product at the perfect time but not, as many would believe, the first product of its kind.

It was 2006 when Blackberry released the first consumer-friendly smartphone, a full year before Apple’s iconic 1st series iPhone. The Blackberry device was so popular (read addictive) the wonderfully unsubtle phrase ‘Crackberry’ became word of the year in 2006. Ironically, whilst Apple have gone on to conquer the world and are now the richest brand on the planet, BlackBerry are clinging to life in what has become a hugely competitive market.

This wily product play from Apple has seen them come under scrutiny from both cheesed-off competitors and the law, with many anti-Apple campaigners suggesting that Apple not as innovative as the tech press would have us believe.  

Because of its monolithic reputation as the industry front-runner, Apple has become accustomed to the fierce back-biting and accusatory finger-pointing from rivals in recent years. The telecommunications industry is a thick soup of litigiousness, with claims of copyright and patent infringements covering all the major mobile phone sellers.  This brilliant infographic from David McCandless’s Information is Beautiful collection shows the industry’s legal wrangling in all its messy glory, with Apple bearing the brunt of the majority of law suits and patent attacks.

Apple Music – too late, or perfect timing?

Apple Music takes off on June 30th for Apple devices (Android owners will have to wait until autumn) with a pricing structure similar to that of Spotify - the first few months will be free, followed by a subscription of £10 a month or a very inviting £14.99 for a family plan.

Apple’s sheer market power and the weight of promotion will ensure that Apple Music certainly gets noticed and their recent marketing spiel, ‘we want to give you the right song, at the right moment, all on demand’ makes all the right noises, just as one has come to expect from Apple’s brand management team.

Whether or not Apple’s reputation as the great innovator will endure after the hubbub surrounding Apple Music dies remains to be seen. But while the fans keep snapping up new products and the piles of cash keep stacking up at Apple HQ, Tim Cook and co will probably be resting easy.  

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The Uberization of Everything
Sun, 07 Jun 2015 12:44:44 -0400

We are riding a wave of Uberization. The digitally-driven phenomenon which plays on people’s innate desire to contribute, give back and share is busily disrupting everything from financial services to holidays and has investors, start-ups and consumers climbing over one another to get their hands on the next big ‘peer-to-peer’ platform.

Uber is seen as the pin-up product of this new economic model and the well-known taxi service disruptor, under constant attack from regulatory groups, embodies the energy and innovation driving the new wave of socially-driven marketplaces. Uber, as with all peer-to-peer platforms benefits by connecting a keen network of buyers and sellers. Crucially, the more of each the platform serves the more value it creates for all parties. It is this virtuous circle effect which is the key to social-centric platforms and the Uberization of the global economy.  

Of course, underpinning all these new e-social businesses is our lust for the latest smart tech and the added insight these devices afford the user. With our trusty smartphone in hand, we have become the ultimate savvy shoppers; comparing prices, products and services at the point of sale and ready, at the flick of a finger, to leave either a glowing review, or a scathing appraisal, depending on the customer service we receive. Factor in also the speed at which a negative customer experience or an ugly patch of brand PR can spread throughout our social networks, and it’s no wonder well-established brands and industries are getting a little jumpy. We have all become part of a consumer loop, which constantly reviews and compares all manner of brands and products.      

The feedback loop powering Uber in particular (riders who rate drivers and drivers who rate riders) depends on a structure that serves mutual interests. It is very un-capitalist in that respect. The success of brands like Uber, Airbnb or Waze depends on people sharing; giving back to the system they’re using to the benefit of the next consumer. It’s no wonder, really, that traditional marketplaces and established platforms (the taxi service to name but one example) are running scared from Uberization.

Indeed, it could be argued that in many ways the Uberization of today’s most familiar industries is society’s mass reaction to the global financial crisis and a conscious movement away from a marketplace in which the power, risk and reward is held by the brands, rather than spread equally, amongst its customers. The e-social world we now live in means that peer review and instant feedback are the new dividends and we are all stakeholders.

From cooking or cleaning to shopping or shipping, the Uber model gives the consumer a small say in the way these businesses are run. The constant feedback and contributions pouring into the business from its connected users all go into effecting the next sale. It is this feedback from the wired-up consumer which these new Uber-style platforms depend on.

The true beauty of the Uber model, aside from the egalitarian, self-regulated dynamic, is that it can, theoretically, be applied to almost any additional product or service. At its heart, Uberization is all about sharing knowledge. If enough people start sharing knowledge on a product or service, it can be said to have been ‘Ubered’.

Crowdfunding is another big area where peer-to-peer trust plays a key role in our increasingly interactive society. Millions of dollars have changed hands through sites like Kickstarter, which has given rise to countless new products, services and start-ups as the consumer, literally, ‘buys in’ to the new socially driven funding circle.  

The Uberization of Everything is the exciting by-product of our new e-social world, where connected communities operate in mutually beneficial networks based on trust, and good intentions which can be harnessed to create huge economic value and change the way we do business forever.

Only Elon Musk Could Make Energy Storage Cool…
Sat, 16 May 2015 13:30:04 -0400

The movement toward a battery-powered future has been struggling against a headwind of inefficiency, storage limitations and concerns around scalability for years, but earlier this month, electric car, solar champion and space gazillionaire, Elon Musk, launched the Tesla Powerwall, the compact, wall-mounted battery for home energy storage.

Few individuals have had a greater impact on the consumer tech landscape than Elon Musk. He founded PayPal which revolutionised online payments and sold for over $1 billion before taking on the automotive industry with his electric car company, Tesla Motors; his solar company is the largest installer and most efficient solar energy producer in the United States; he’s even dabbled in a bit of private space travel with his company, SpaceX.

Musk’s track record for taking on the biggest tech challenges of our time has now led him and his considerable fortune to the problem of efficient energy storage, in the form of lithium-ion batteries.

The Tesla Powerwall is essentially a backup generator which can be used by homes and businesses to take on old school fossil fuel dependency. With greater efficiency, beefed-up storage capacity and full solar integration, a few solar panels on your roof means you can run on live solar energy during daylight hours and then switch to battery-stored solar power when it gets dark.

The new battery packs measure in at 51.2 x 33.9 inches and 7.1 inches in depth, so they’ll be compact enough to go relatively unnoticed.

Powerwall’s fully rechargeable lithium-ion battery unit is built from the very same batteries Musk uses in his Tesla Motors. The units come with a 10 year warranty and will be available in red, white, blue, black, and grey casing.

Powerwall units will come with a generous 10 year warranty and are Internet-connected (what isn’t these days?) allowing you to hook up your battery pack to your smartphone and monitor its performance and your energy consumption remotely.

Despite the now all-too-familiar showbiz excess surrounding the launch of a major new tech product, the Powerwall’s live media launch event in Hawthorne, California, felt like a far more profound event than simply another here-today-gone-tomorrow must-own gadget spilling out from Silicon Valley on a seemingly daily basis. The Powerwall is an attempt to overcome the decisive commercial challenge of our age – the biggie - the need to safely store green energy at an affordable price.

And initial reaction to the Powerwall’s unveiling suggests that Musk may have nailed it. Again.

The breadth of Musk’s eco-vision reflects the enormity of the quest - to find an affordable, reliable and efficient energy storage solution.

Musk explained at the Powerwall launch: 

“Our goal here is to fundamentally change the way the world uses energy at the extreme scale”, adding “The goal is the complete transformation of the entire energy infrastructure of the world to completely sustainable zero carbon.”

Can Musk pull off such a grand plan?

Solar energy has always been held back by the obvious problem that night follows day and energy production drops off the chart as soon as the sun goes down. Despite the end-of-the-world problems associated with fossil fuel energy, today’s electricity production has been built to meet peak demands throughout the day and keep enough in reserve to serve the grid’s overall demand.

The solar industry has thus far failed to crack this problematic nut and green-bashers have always been quick to yelp at the prohibitive cost of large-scale solar ventures.

But if anybody can overcome these challenges it is ‘Brand Musk’ and his multi-billion dollar tech empire. Musk brings to the table not only the know-how and the capital, but also that Silicon Valley chic, which has the power to elevate stuffy, functional tech to desirable, must-have symbols of ‘cool’. Musk and his crew will point toward the success of Nest Labs, which turned the drab, hearing-aid-beige home thermostat into an intuitive, responsive and sought after piece of kit. Musk has the gravitas to make battery storage…well…sexy.  

 

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Compare Mobile Phone Prices Offered By These Mobile Phone Recyclers

To enable you to sell your mobile phones for a good price, we compare the prices offered by the following selected mobile phone recycling companies. Companies are chosen based on their level of service, fairness in the process of selling your mobile phone and the length of time they’ve been in the mobile phone marketplace:

Why Price Comparison Sites To Sell Mobile Phones For Cash?

It's never been so easy to get cash for your old mobile phone. A hassle-free service comparing mobile phone recycling prices makes it easy to ensure you're getting the best deal.

These especially selected mobile phone recycling companies offer best prices as well as a good service. So, what are you waiting for? Sell your mobile phone and get some cash now.

How Do You Sell Your Mobile Phone?

Selling your mobile phone is very easy. Just search for your mobile phone model in the search box, or click on the list of manufacturers, then choose your mobile phone by clicking on the model that’s yours. You’ll be presented with a list of mobile phone recyclers in order of how much they pay. Select the company you wish to recycle the phone with and follow the instructions on their website. They’ll pay you for your mobile phones within a few days.

Why Use A mobile phone recycling Company To Sell Mobile Phones?

We’ve been operating for over 2 years and one of the first websites to compare companies that recycle mobile phones, trade in mobile phones or help individuals and organisations with mobile phone recycling. We’ve specially selected mobile phone recycling companies that offer fair prices but most importantly provide the best service.

Also, the companies featured on our website have been in the mobile phone recycling business for a number of years so you can trust the company you sell your mobile phone to. Another reason to sell your mobile phone to one of these companies is they provide a genuine recycling service by either reusing your old mobile phones in developing countries or by recycling phones and batteries that can no longer be used.

Steps To Sell Your Mobile Phone

There couldn't be an easier way to get cash than by selling your mobile phone. Search for your mobile phone in the search box, or by clicking on the list of manufacturers, and select your mobile phone by clicking on the model that's yours.

The list of leading UK mobile phone recyclers will be presented and you simply select the one that offers the best price for your phone. You'll receive cash for your old mobile phone by way of a cheque in just a few days. And, when you sell mobile phone, you'll not only get money but you'll also be helping the environment.

Yes, recycling helps save our planet. It reduces the rapid depletion of precious substances, found in mobiles as the substances are reused when you give phones for mobile phone recycling.

What You Get When You Sell Mobile Phone For Recycling?

  • The best deal for old, or used mobile phones
  • An easy/safe process that saves time
  • Cash plus mobile phone recycling is environmentally beneficial
  • Fast payment within 48 hours
  • Payment received directly into your bank account

Old mobile phones that are disposed off in landfills can have a damaging and harmful effect on the environment, especially soil, water supplies and plants and wildlife. That's why we're encouraging new mobile phone buyers to search out their old, unused or broken handsets and sell them. The price you get will however depend upon the condition and age of your mobile. So check your phone and find out what it's worth today. Compare mobile phone recycling prices and obtain the best price for your old mobile phone.

Companies Offering The Best All Round Service:

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Cash Comparison before You Sell Your Mobile Phone

Before you sell your old mobile phone you need to compare the top recycling companies to get the best price. Use the mobile phone comparison tool to check how much your mobile phone is worth and compare prices offered by all the top companies, then simply select the one that offers you the best price!