Wholesale cell phones distributors often have vastly different testing and grading standards. While both are critical, it is important to understand that testing and grading are fundamentally different. Grading, as discussed in a recent post, is largely subjective. Suppliers create their own grading scales based on the visual appearance of devices as well as on the size and frequency of blemishes found on the various surfaces (screen, housing, corners, edges, etc.). On the other hand, cell phone functionality tests are objective and based on the device’s functionality. A reputable distributor’s mobile phone testing procedure should always test for the same key indicators of functionality.
However, resellers looking to buy used mobile phones in bulk may find that one supplier’s definition of “fully functional” looks very different from that of another. In other words, while most wholesale cell phones distributors that market devices as fully functional test for basic functionality, they may not test for full functionality. This being said, it is also important not to be fooled by silly marketing gimmicks that focus only on the number of tests. You have likely come across the supplier that proudly markets his (or her) 100-point test. On paper, a 100-point mobile phone testing procedure sounds better than a 20-point test, but in reality, certain key metrics of functionality matter more than others — both to companies looking to buy used mobile phones in bulk to resell and to the end users that are their customers. Your first priority should be to make sure that the fully functional devices that you purchase pass the tests that matter most.
The Tests that Matter Most
The best cell phone functionality test systems are those that give resellers the most accurate description of a device’s ability to meet consumer expectations. Companies that buy used mobile phones in bulk need to know that the devices they order will be fully functional — as defined by end users. At WeSellCellular, we have identified certain key cell phone functionality tests that are absolutely essential for determining whether a device will satisfy the needs of end users. They are:
Battery Charging Test
The battery must charge and hold a charge.
Sound must be heard clearly through the earpiece.
The headset jacks must work and sound must be transmitted through a headset attached to the device.
Sound heard through the speaker must be clear.
Microphone 1 & 2 Tests
The top and bottom microphones must work and that recorded messages must be clear and strong, with no crackling.
Front & Back Camera Tests
Pictures taken with both cameras must be of good quality, with accurate color and no blurriness.
Camera Flash Test
The flash must engage when On or Auto is selected.
Camera Video Test
The front camera must take good quality video with accurate color, clear sound, and no blurriness.
All areas used during normal operation must register and respond to touch.
Screen Dimming Test
Screen brightness must adjust when a user changes the associated settings.
Screen Pixel Test
100% of a device’s pixels must light up and function normally.
Proximity Sensor Test
Buttons must deactivate automatically when a handset is close to a user’s face and the screen must go dark when the device is covered.
The display must rotate with the device.
A device must detect and connect to Wi-Fi networks.
Devices must detect and connect to nearby Bluetooth devices.
SIM Card Test
Devices must recognize the SIM card.
SD Slot Test
A device’s SD slot must recognize the presence of a card and the SD symbol must display.
Devices must be able to make outgoing calls.
Devices must vibrate when vibration is turned on.
Face ID Test
The facial recognition feature must work.
Physical Buttons Test
All buttons (volume/ home/ power button/ back/ multi-screen/ etc.) must work as intended and smoothly.
Touch ID test
Scanners on devices with fingerprint recognition must be able to scan consistently.
Non-Critical Functional Tests
Certain tests performed by wholesale cell phones distributors fall into a gray area. Some suppliers don’t test for any low-frequency issues — especially when the cost of testing outweighs the potential benefit. Others don’t test for issues that are unlikely to bother most end users. At WeSellCellular, on the other hand, we perform numerous additional tests beyond those we’ve deemed essential, but also recognize that these tests are “nice to have” rather than essential.
Battery Health Test
This cell phone functionality test measures battery health (defined by capacity). It’s important to note that regardless of the result of a battery health test, a fully functional phone’s battery will still charge and hold that charge.
Microphone 3 Test
Some phones have a third microphone, and these are tested, too, even though it’s more important that microphones 1 and 2 work.
Back Camera Flash Test
Confirms that the screen flash engages on devices with back camera flash capabilities. However, it’s much more important that the main camera flash functions and that the back camera can take photos.
Additional Camera Test
Any additional cameras are tested to ensure they take a good photo (using the same guidelines of color and blurriness), even though the likelihood of additional cameras failing when the other cameras work is very low.
This extra test makes sure that multi-finger gestures such as pinching and zooming work. Most devices have no issues.
Screen Discoloration Test
The screen is tested for discoloration or burned images, but not all resellers treat this as a functional failure. Given a discount, some end users will be okay with minor display issues.
White Spot Test
Screens are tested for white spots, and they must be free of any significant spots to pass. Again, some consumers might buy phones with white spots for a lower price.
GPS Signal Status Test
Confirms the GPS signal comes on, even though very few phones have issues with GPS.
With the information above in hand, evaluating a wholesale phone distributor’s testing procedure is actually quite easy. Resellers considering where to buy cell phones in bulk simply need to be absolutely sure that potential suppliers are testing for the critical functions outlined before anything else. In short, resellers don’t need to know everything about how a wholesale cell phones distributor tests their devices, but they must be confident that the devices they’ve ordered meet key functionality requirements. As always, the only way to know for sure is to buy a small sample and try it out.
At WeSellCellular, we test for all key functionality and strive to do as many additional tests as possible. Our goal is to develop a transparent and consistent industry-wide standard so resellers around the world can buy phones online with confidence. For more information about how we test and grade, visit https://wesellcellular.com/grading.