Author Topic: Buying and Selling an Android Phone  (Read 6069 times)

Paul Sanders (AlpineSoft)

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Buying and Selling an Android Phone
« on: April 27, 2018, 08:11:12 am »
I bought a new-to-me phone on eBay recently (Android, of course) and when I excitedly opened the box I got an unpleasant surprise: I was locked out and couldn't actually use it.  Not being well versed in Android matters it took me a little while to work out what was going on so I thought I'd share my experiences.

When I started up the phone it had, naturally, been wiped, but before it would do anything at all is insisted I sign in with the same (Google) account as had been used on the phone before.  Well I can't do that - it's not my account, and I don't suppose the guy I bought it from is willing to share.  So, what to do?  I'd just bought it and didn't want to send it back.  I tried a factory reset from recovery mode but, same result.  Hmmm.

Turns out that Google introduced something called FRP (Factory Reset Protection) a couple of years back as a theft-prevention measure.  This doesn't stop a thief from wiping your phone but it does mean he can't sell it on, unless he can work around it in some way.  I spent a couple of hours Googling for solutions and there are some for my phone (it's a OnePlus 2) but none of them worked, so it looks like all those loopholes have been patched.  Rats.

Then, by mistake, I took the SIM card out while the phone was sleeping.  Whoops!  Then the screen came on.  It was the home screen, not that stupid Google security nonsense.  Wahay!  I entered my account details PDQ, enabled developer mode in the Settings app (which would have helped with my earlier attempts, but I couldn't do with the phone locked) and then rebooted the phone.  Result.  It now works.

So, apart from sounding off, why am I writing this?  Well, there's a moral in this story.  If you're selling an Android phone made in the last 2-3 years, you have to wipe it properly, as described here:

And if you're buying one, make sure the seller does this before he posts it off to you, else you'll be sending it back.  Not many people would have the perseverance (and luck) that I had.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2018, 09:57:50 am by Paul Sanders (AlpineSoft) »