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Best and worst Android brands for trade-ins revealed: Is your phone on the list?

Some smartphone brands lost over half their trade-in value in 2019. Ouch.

Published onMarch 4, 2020

The Moto G7 series doesn't hold its value, seeing a quick rate of depreciation according to a new report.

Smartphones generally don’t hold their trade-in value after a few years, but phones from some brands do hold their value more than others. Now, a new study has revealed the big winners and losers.

Trade-in company BankMyCell has published a report which found that iPhones typically lose 45.46% of their value after two years. Meanwhile, the average Android flagship loses 45.18% of its value after just a single year, and 71.41% of its total value after two years. In other words, you’ll get much more for a two-year-old iPhone than you would for a two-year-old Android flagship.

The phones our readers used the most in 2019
android authority device readership

Budget Android phones lose even more value than flagship Android devices, according to the report, with average resale value dropping to 79.66% in two years. In fact, the Motorola One, which was released in October 2018 for $349, lost 87.68% of its trade-in value in December 2019 (valued at $43).

BankMyCell’s report singled out LG, Google, and Motorola as being the worst Android brands for price retention in 2019. More specifically, it noted that LG devices lost an average of 56.76%, Motorola phones lost 59.41%, and Google handsets lost 51.68% of their value. By comparison, Apple devices lost 25.98% of their value in 2019.

The best-performing Android brands in terms of value retention were Nokia (27.68%), Sony (31.30%), and HTC(32.01%). BankMyCell notes that the data was collated from, “multiple stores covering almost 300 devices, including all storage capacities.”

bankmycell 2019 report

The report also looked at the top five depreciating phones released in 2019, and the Moto G7 series occupied the first three spots. This was followed by the Google Pixel 3a and the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus. It’s also worth noting that the Samsung flagship’s depreciation was much higher than the Galaxy S9 Plus‘s drop (45.26% vs 30.21%).

bankmycell trade in value top 5

That isn’t to say that you can’t get more for your phone by selling it on the thriving second-hand market. It’s also worth stressing that just because your phone might be on the fast depreciation list doesn’t mean it’s not a good phone. After all, who cares if the Pixel 3a made the above list when it has a great camera and brisk updates?

For more on smartphone depreciation rates, you can check out the full post with even more charts and tables right here.

Do you take future trade-in value into account when buying a smartphone? Give us your thoughts in the comments!

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