Mobile device grading guide

The first thing we aim for is trust. We value transparency in grading and constant improvement. Each device coming to our facility will go through an extensive testing process where we assess its condition. Devices will be diagnosed by their visual appearance, functionality, and capacity. The devices sold by Foxway will have extra information detailing their condition.

We group together smartphones, feature phones, iPods and tablets under the Mobile devices product category. This guide mostly focuses on smartphones, but the same general guidelines apply to others. 

Click here to go to the laptop grading guide.

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We make sure to check the following:

  • Power up and battery capacity 
  • Rear and front camera (including video recording) 
  • LCD 
  • Microphone and Speakers 
  • Face ID 
  • Touch ID and fingerprint sensor 
  • Buttons and switches 
  • If parts are missing 
  • Connectivity (wifi, Bluetooth, GPS) 
  • Sensors (light, proximity) 
  • Cloud lock 
  • Knox warranty 
  • Water damage 
  • SIM card detection 
  • Front glass condition 
  • Back cover condition 
  • Frame condition 

Mobile device visual grading guide

The following paragraph will give details about our visual grading. We follow a simple guide to check the screen, frame, and back cover. The grade will most likely reflect the screen condition – a device with a C screen will end up as Grade C, no matter how few wear marks it has elsewhere. Check the additional information field in the Reseller Store for any specific notes for each device

Visual inspection process

Visual grading for mobile devices looks at three main components: screen, frame, and back cover. Visual Inspection takes 15-20 seconds per device and devices are held at arm’s length (40-50cm).  

Our mobile devices are divided into 7 visual grades – Brand New, Swap, A+, A, B, C+ and C. C+ is a mix between B and C, where at least one component must be graded as B or higher. Only working and minor fault devices have visual grades. 

When grading, we take the device’s overall appearance into consideration and how it looks under normal conditions. This means that imperfections that can only be seen under a microscope are not taken into consideration.  

Although the biggest factor when assigning a grade is the overall appearance, there are also specific signs of wear, which disqualify it from a higher grade, even when the device is otherwise perfect. For example, a perfect device with a noticeable deep scratch (scratch that is felt under a finger) can’t be Grade A.  With this in mind, the following grading description states the maximum level of wear, or some other specific detail, that each grade can have. The vast majority of devices are better than described. 

Visual grading is always subjective, and all possible imperfections cannot be disclosed in this manual. This manual is intended for general use to give an overall idea of the grades.

Mobile devices – Brand New

The device has never been used or activated and is in original packaging.  

Note: The package is factory sealed. If it isn’t, then that is stated under the additional info field (broken seal). 

Mobile devices – Swap

These devices are of very high quality and are used as warranty replacement devices by the manufacturer. The devices look completely new. 

Note: Devices are shipped in a sealed package without accessories, if not stated otherwise under the additional info field. 

Mobile devices – Grade A+

The device is in “like new” condition. Only a few minor marks are allowed that are not noticeable at arm’s length. Most devices have only 1 or 2 of the following wear marks, not all of them. 


Only a few hairline scratches are allowed on the frame. For example, tiny scratches on iPhone’s silver frame and antenna bands. 

Hairline scratch – scratch that is only noticeable at a certain angle and can’t be felt with a finger. 

Back cover

The back cover is without any defects with a few hairline scratches allowed. For example, 1-2 hairline scratches on the Apple logo. 


Up to 5 hairline scratches allowed on the screen. We allow minor scratches on the home button. 

Mobile devices – Grade A

The device is in Excellent condition with minimal wear. Some minor marks and wear signs are allowed that are not noticeable at arm’s length. Most devices have only some of the following wear marks, not all of them.


A couple of hairline scratches usually near the charging socket and a few isolated pinpoint-sized marks allowed on the frame, showing light signs of use. 

Back cover

Small amount of scattered hairline scratches. The device can have one miniature defect on the back cover. For example, barely noticeable wear on the edge of the camera module.


Hairline scratches, which are not noticeable at arm’s length nor while the screen is turned on, are allowed. 

Mobile devices – Grade B

A used device that is in good condition with a few wear marks noticeable at arm’s length. Light to medium scratches and marks are allowed. Most devices have only some of the following wear marks, not all of them.  


Scratches and a few smaller dents allowed on the frame. Deeper marks from falling are not permitted. 

NB! A device with a plastic frame, that is otherwise in excellent condition, might end up as a Grade B even if the frame has a crack in it since this is a common fault for certain models and doesn’t affect the functionality of the device. 

Back cover

Collection of hairline scratches, shallow chips or slight discoloration allowed on the back cover. 


Collection of hairline scratches or a few scattered deeper slight scratches allowed on the screen.

Mobile devices – Grade C+

The device is in medium condition with medium wear and tear.

Deeper scratches and dents are allowed on the frame. Plastic frames may have cracks in them. Deep scratches, collection of scratches, deeper chips, shallow dents and discoloration allowed on the back cover. Collection of hairline scratches or a few deeper slight scratches allowed on the screen.

Grade C+ devices have one component (screen, frame, back cover) Grade B or higher and others are Grade C. Usually these are devices where a screen protector or protective case has been used by the previous owner.

Mobile devices – Grade C

The device has clearly been in use. Can have deeper dents and scratches. Devices that have extreme signs of wear are assessed as minor fault (heavy cosmetic wear).


Deeper scratches and dents are allowed on the frame. Plastic frames may have cracks in them. 

Back cover

Deep scratches, collection of scratches, deeper chips and discoloration allowed on the back cover. 


Multiple deeper scratches, missing miniature fragment and slight discoloration are allowed on the screen.

Mobile device functional grading guide

The functional grade is always checked in the following order from the most impactful to the least:

  1. Does the device power on and stay on without a charger? 
  2. Is the LCD without faults? In the case of discoloration, the level of severity is determined. 
  3. Is the device physically intact and working as intended? 
  4. Does the device have some minor cosmetic issues that don’t affect the normal use of the device? 

We test the device until the fault with the highest impact is identified. Because of this, the device may have faults from a higher grade as well. For example, a Grade E device may have a cracked screen or a faulty volume button. 

All working devices have batteries that hold charge and work under normal conditions. We guarantee a minimum of 80% battery health (according to Apple’s maximum capacity measure) for Apple iPhones and iPads released in 2016 and later. 

Mobile devices – Working

The device is physically complete and fully functional. No fault has been identified during functional testing. 

Mobile devices – Minor Fault

The device is fully functional with a minor cosmetic fault that does not interrupt the normal use of the device. Appearance is determined independently of the Minor Fault status and in case of physical faults, without taking the fault into account. For example, a device with a small chip on the edge of the back cover can still be Grade A+, if the device’s overall look is perfect. An exception to this rule is devices with heavy cosmetic wear which are always visually Grade C. Check the additional information field to see the specific fault for each device. 

Read the full post about our Minor Fault grading and information.

The faults can be one of the following: 

  • Slightly loose parts (screen, dust),
  • Cosmetic details (deliberately scratched enclosure),  
  • Minor physical damage (chipped front glass, frame, home button and/or back cover),  
  • Minor LCD fault (spots, lines, screen burn and/or discoloration), 
  • Minor camera fault (spots),  
  • Heavy cosmetic wear,
  • Reduced battery performance.*

*This category is used for models where we guarantee a certain battery health level (Apple devices launched in 2016 or later). Units with this additional info have a fully functional battery (they hold charge and work under normal conditions), but the battery health is under 80%. Minor Fault units with any other fault, can also have reduced battery performance – in these cases the other fault is marked under additional info and reduced battery performance is not.

Mobile devices – Grade D

A damaged device with a working LCD that boots up and is operational – LCDs may have some discoloration. Apple devices must have working Touch- and Face-ID. 

Removable batteries and back covers may be missing. 

Damage can be (one to many): 

  • LCD damage (loose parts, dust, not original LCD),  
  • Cracked glass,  
  • Bent, damaged or incomplete frame,  
  • Cosmetic damage to the enclosure,  
  • Not original parts, 
  • Buttons (home buttons, fingerprint scanner, volume, keyboard etc), 
  • Connectivity issues (Wi-Fi, network, Bluetooth, not EU region), 
  • Faulty speakers and/or microphone, 
  • Vibration issues, 
  • Activated water indicators,  
  • Camera (physical and/or functional damage), 
  • Charging issues, 
  • SIM reader and/or proximity sensor, 
  • Motherboard*
  • Lock**

* 10% of units have a motherboard damage. Returns of these devices are accepted with the purchase of an extended warranty. Check with your account manager for more info about the warranty. 

** 3% of Android devices can have a Cloud or Network lock. This may occur because the device’s functional condition doesn’t allow lock detection.

Mobile devices – Grade E

A damaged device with a damaged LCD that boots up and is operational. Apple devices must have a working Touch-ID and Face-ID. Removable batteries and back covers may be missing. 

Fault can be (one to many): 

  • Faulty touchscreen, 
  • Extreme LCD fault (black screen, severe discoloration and/or screen burn, spots, lines, exposed or loose LCD, backlight issues for high-end devices).

All faults state for Grade D can also be present 

Mobile devices – No Power (NP)

A device will end up here if it doesn’t boot up or stay on without a charger.  

Identified state can be (one to many): 

  • Not charging with built-in battery, 
  • Not turning on or doesn’t stay on without its charger connected, 
  • Displaying restore or boot error during start-up, 
  • Extremely swollen battery with the screen cracked open. 

All faults stated for Grade D and Grade E can also be present. 


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