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How to Assess the Condition of an iPhone

Before you try out Gazelle's condition calculator, it's time to clean your iPhone and check for water and cosmetic damage to ensure an accurate inspection.

How to Clean Your Phone

You'll need these basic supplies to properly clean your iPhone:

  • A gadget-safe cleaner, such as non-ammonia glass cleaner or isopropyl alcohol
  • A soft microfiber cloth
  • A good source of light, such as a small flashlight, a lighted magnifying glass, or an adjustable desk lamp

First, remove any screen protectors, skins, or cases from the iPhone body. Apply a small amount of cleaner to the microfiber cloth and gently buff the screen and casing until they look as "like-new" as possible. Be careful to avoid the headphone jack and charge port while cleaning with liquids.

How to Check iPhone for Water Damage

To check your iPhone for evidence of liquid damage, locate the SIM tray slot on the right side of the device. Apple uses a white field indicator that will turn red if the phone experiences any water damage. This applicable for iPhone models 6 through XS Max. Any previous models will have the indicator located in the charging port.

How to Check Basic Functions on Your iPhone

Before you check the cosmetic condition of your iPhone's screen and body, you should perform a basic function test to see if the most important hardware and features are in good working condition. Starting with your phone off, press the power button until the screen turns on. Allow the software to complete the boot process. Once that is finished, conduct these simple tests:

  1. Test the charge port: Connect your iPhone to your computer with the USB sync cable. Open iTunes and verify that the software registers your phone in the dropdown "Devices" menu in the left column. If you're unable to get to a computer during this step, connect your phone to the AC adapter and see if the battery icon indicates a charge. Once you confirm the functionality of the phone's charge port, disconnect your iPhone from your computer or AC adapter.

  2. Test call functionality and volume controls: Open your phone's dial pad. Before placing a call, press both volume buttons and switch the mute toggle on and off. Look for an icon registering changes in the volume setting and feel for the vibration when activating silent mode. Reset the volume to your preferred level, call a friend or family member and note the functionality of the microphone, speaker and speakerphone over the course of the conversation.

  3. iPhone Touchscreen Test: Open the calculator app. While holding the phone vertically, press all of the calculator buttons to test measure the responsiveness and accurate calibration of the touchscreen. Then, rotate the phone horizontally; the accelerometer should detect the change in orientation and switch the calculator to scientific mode. Continue pressing all the scientific calculator's keys to thoroughly assess the touchscreen.

  4. Test the camera hardware: Open the camera app. Take a test photo and examine the results for distortion or discoloration.

  5. Test the Wi-Fi antenna and screen backlight: Open the Settings menu. Select the Wi-Fi option and activate the antenna by toggling the switch to "On." The iPhone should scan for nearby channels. If you're in range of any Wi-Fi networks, the service names will be displayed under the "Choose a Network..." heading. Return to the Settings menu and select the Brightness option. Adjust the slider from minimum to maximum brightness and note the changes in backlight intensity.

Calculating Your iPhone’s Value

Finally, all your hard work pays off! Now that you've cleaned your iPhone and performed a basic function test, you can return to Gazelle's condition calculator. The calculator asks you to combine the results of your function test with an assessment of your iPhone's cosmetic condition. Pay particular attention to the screen, edges of the phone's body and its back casing. Then, consider how you would complete a statement that begins "My iPhone can...” We’ll ask you the following questions.

1 - Does the device power on?

2 - Does the screen fully light up? If your iPhone’s screen doesn’t fully light up, it will appear to be on but very dim.

3 - Is your iPhone fully functional? This means that all of the following features are in working order:

  • Speakers and microphones
  • Cameras that take pictures and video with flash
  • All exterior buttons
  • Touchscreen
  • Cellular, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS functions
  • Headphone jack and charging port functions
  • Facial recognition and fingerprint sensor

4 - Are there scratches anywhere? These can be determined by holding your iPhone out at an arm’s length with the screen on. Remember to remover any case or screen protector.

5 - Are there cracks anywhere? This includes a shattered front or back screen, minor chips, hairline or multiple cracks anywhere on the iPhone.

And that's all - no other questions are required. Even though submitting accessories does not increase your Gazelle value in any way, feel free to send them with your transaction if you no longer have a use for them. Now that you've calculated your iPhone's Gazelle Value, just select your payment method to continue.

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