data erasure and testing software review

WeSellCellular has earned a reputation for having the strictest and highest quality grading in the industry. As a result, one of the common questions we get from wholesalers is whether we use automated testing software. As of the writing of this blog post, the answer is no. All of our devices are manually tested, as we have found through the years that our approach yields better results in terms of accuracy and speed than the automated options we’ve explored.

That said, WeSellCellular does use software to clear data in compliance with mandates from certain carriers. It’s important to emphasize the importance of data erasure in this industry. Many carriers require that data be cleared using software, rather than manually. Also, while we do not currently use software to test our devices, we are always on the lookout for better solutions.

You’ve probably heard of Blancco and Phonecheck if you’re in the business of selling used phones. The WeSellCellular team has evaluated both solutions. We’ll be drilling down to share some of our findings here. 

Quick Disclaimer on Our Findings

Our operations team has evaluated both Blancco and Phonecheck for data erasure and diagnostics/testing. We present our findings with one very important disclaimer: WeSellCellular does not currently use either of these software products to test devices. Our observations are based solely on speaking with sales teams from Phonecheck and Blancco and going through their respective software demos. We do, however,  have real-world experiences to share regarding erasure.

Blancco

Blancco is a leading software option specializing in erasure methods and diagnosis for a wide variety of technical devices. It is compatible for both iOS and Android smartphones and devices. One of the reasons why Blancco is used so widely is the company’s unparalleled compliance standards. The company’s erasure software has the distinction of being tested, certified, approved, and recommended by more than 15 international governing bodies.

It’s important to note that data erasure and diagnostics require different licenses. This will add additional user costs once you begin. Also, you’re looking at a number of different individual charges. Here’s a rundown of anticipated charges with Blancco:

  • Erasure
  • Grading
  • Diagnostics
  • Find My iPhone (FMiP)
  • Carrier ID
  • Blacklist check

One of the benefits touted by Blancco is the ability to build comprehensive custom workflows that can configure all of the modules listed above. However, we’ve actually found that setting up those workflows is complex. It’s certainly possible that the configuration option may be useful if you have a multitude of different workflows for various product streams. An example might be an enterprise that tests differently for retail than it does for wholesale.

Our Findings: Data Erasure

Blancco claims to be able to perform data erasure on 80 devices at a time. This claim hasn’t been consistent with the personal experience we’ve had at our warehouse. Generally, our team can work on a maximum of 60 devices at a time using Blancco. The most realistic figure based on our real-world usage is closer to 40. 

Regardless of these disparities in data clearing velocity, our experience with the software has been mostly positive. The WeSellCellular team has concluded that Blancco’s data erasure software is mature and is appealing given that it is the software most recommended by carriers.

Our Findings: Diagnostics

On the diagnostic front, Blancco offers three different categories of tests: auto, assisted, and manual. Our impression has been that the assisted prompts aren’t terribly clear and that Blancco requires a lot of user input during the setup process. Overall, our view is that, while Blancco provides an industry-leading software for data erasure, its diagnostics software leaves a lot to be desired.

Phonecheck

Phonecheck offers erase/reset functionality and diagnostics using batch processing and automation for both iOS and Android smartphones. The company claims to make it possible to process thousands of phones per month in batches using any USB. Phonecheck’s diagnostics scans test functionality, capacity, and condition related to more than two dozen smartphone components. The list includes things like WiFi connectivity, face ID, front and rear cameras, microphones and speakers, vibrations, and battery capacity. Phonecheck also validates that a device has not been reported lost or stolen.

Our Findings: Data Erasure

Phonecheck’s erasure software is less well known than Blancco’s. Phonecheck’s data erasure is included with the software’s testing product and cannot be purchased as a standalone product. It’s pretty apparent that testing is Phonecheck’s real bread and butter; however,  this may not be a detracting factor for companies that are specifically looking for an all-in-one solution. Given that WeSellCellular did not opt to use the testing software (described more below), we did not spend as much time evaluating Phonecheck’s data erasure capabilities.

Our Findings: Diagnostics and Testing

We found Phonecheck’s diagnostics software to be very rich in features. This platform earns points for its clear prompts that enable users to verify test results. The platform also has an exclusive 20-point verification system, and reports on testing results can be created by the vendor. Users can also create additional automated custom workflows.

Another notable perk is that Phonecheck will flag devices that use non-OEM parts. It’s also worth noting that Phonecheck will power off Apple devices automatically. 

Phonecheck claimed that 10-20 devices can be tested at any one time and that the average worker can do 30-50 devices per hour with the software. Given that WeSellCellular is able to check 30 to 40 devices manually with a very low defect rate independent of Phonecheck’s software, we ultimately decided that making the switch to Phonecheck was not worth it, especially because throughput numbers are typically exaggerated by any vendor. However, we believe that Phonecheck is a good option for companies with less experience optimizing the speed and quality of testing, or large organizations that are having trouble standardizing and managing quality. 

Final Thoughts

At WeSellCellular, we believe that sharing industry knowledge benefits everyone. Our philosophy of transparency applies not only to our industry-leading testing and grading standards but also to sharing insights and best practices. We remain committed to offering insights regarding product launches and industry forecasts as we navigate these unique times for the used smartphone market.