A gazelle isn’t just a nimble antelope. Now, it’s also a Dalek-a-like machine that can ingest your phones, buy them off you – for instance, £431 for a 256GB iPhone X – and help make the world a bit better.
Created by ecoATM, the largest direct-to-consumer smartphone trade-in company in the US, the Gazelle has already been rolled out in North America, with the UK being the market of choice for phase two – Morrisons and Westfield domination.
The efforts have already begun, and below you’ll find everything you need to know about it, including how the system works and where it’s available.
Why is it so good and how does it work?
On first impression, the thing that strikes is the convenience Gazelle is trying to bring to the smartphone recycling process. The kiosks have been rolled out in places most people go to as part of their routines, and they’re easy to operate.
Walk up to one, and you’re greeted by a big touch display. Easy-to-press buttons are coupled with spoken instructions (complete with a British accent), guiding users through the journey of selling their old phone.
Even if you don’t know what smartphone you have, the Gazelle can ingest it. The first step is to punch the condition of your phone into the system, with three presets ranging from ‘as good as new’ through to ‘not working’ on the other end of the scale.
Next, it prints out a sticker which acts as a phone identifier. This can be stuck on the back of your phone, after which, the Gazelle’s mechanized mouth opens.
It’s definitely intimidating, but it’s also enticing (in a ‘cave of wonders’ way) with an inviting glow that bathes your smartphone in light as you insert it into the Gazelle.
It also makes your phone’s relevant charger available, so you can hook it up, then as its mouth closes, the Gazelle gets busy identifying your device.
Scanning your phone for scuffs and scratches, reading information via the data port, which can relay everything from battery degradation right through to water damage, it pauses, then gives you a price.
Once done, you can choose to accept the offer, or reject it. Pick option number one – accept offer – and you can opt to receive either a PayPal or bank transfer payment, as well as being very well guided on how to make it ready to sell, without compromising your personal data.
As for option number two – reject the offer – the Gazelle’s jaws open up and your freshly-priced phone is ready to take back.
Gazelle is also big on security. In addition to filming the transaction process with a camera at the top of the kiosk, it grabs key information from customers, including an email address and a scan of a form of ID.
Why Gazelle is planet-friendly and where you can find one
ecoATM’s big claim is that all the phones that its Gazelles process are recycled responsibly, or resold.
There’s no landfill that happens off the back of a kiosk transaction, and ecoATM even audits every one of its partners, (though we weren’t told specifics as to how it goes about doing so).
Conflict minerals found in all smartphones are still being mined en masse in the Democratic Republic of Congo. An increase in phone recycling therefore is only a good thing, as it means these materials would become available by extracting them from old devices that can’t be resold.
Recycling with Gazelle is also way more convenient than sending your phone off to a postal service, provided you’re going to one of the destinations a kiosk is set up anyway – and with austerity in full-force in old Blighty, there has never been a better time to get some cash for your old tech.
With expansion across the US having been swift – 3,500 kiosks deployed since its first iteration launched in 2015, they could be plentiful in the UK in the coming years if the current trial proves successful.
As it stands, the initial rollout has seen the Gazelles let loose in nine locations in London, and seven locations across the rest of the UK. So if you want to get a machine-audited price for your phone, here’s where you can do it:
- Morrisons, 1 King St
- Morrisons, Chalk Farm Rd
- Morrisons, 10 Hertslet Rd
- Westfield London, Ariel Way (x2)
- Westfield Stratford City, Olympic Park (x2)
- Morrisons, 19 Aldermans Hill
- Morrisons, 6-7 Salisbury Hall Gardens
- Morrisons, James Watt Way, Erith
- Pentagon Shopping Centre, High Street, Chatham (Kent)
Midlands and others
- Newlands Shopping Centre, Gold St, Kettering
- Morrisons, Redditch, Warwick Highway
- Chelmsley Wood Shopping Centre, 33 Maple Walk, Birmingham
- Morrisons, 264 Chester Rd, Birmingham
- Waterside Shopping Centre, High St, Lincoln
- Idlewells Shopping Centre, Sutton in Ashfield
- Morrisons, Rushton Ave, Bradford