How to activate new phone from Swappa

Hello RW Community,
I have several questions.
My old phone (Moto G 5S plus) was run over by a truck. It is still alive but the screen is destroyed and doesn’t respond to touch. The battery on that phone is not working well, so I decided to buy a new phone. I ordered a Galaxy Note 9 from Swappa. Here are my questions:

  1. Assuming it’s not damaged, can I use the SIM card from my old phone and activate my new one? I don’t know if it’s CDMA or GSM, and I can’t access my settings to find out.

  2. What should I do with my old phone? I can access my photos and contacts via Google, so I’m not too worried about lost data.

Thank you!


  • To identify which SIM you have, look at the color of the text on the SIM card. If the “Republic” text is gray, it’s CDMA. If the “Republic” text has green in it, it’s GSM
  • Once you identify which SIM you have, consult this Tips & Tricks article by @rolandh

Moving a Current Republic SIM When Upgrading to a New Compatible Phone


Thank you. It is a GSM card.
Any advice as per my second questions (what should I do with my old phone)?

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Factory reset the phone and take it to a local electronics recycler. Alternately, Motorola offers a recycling service:


Thank you.
My screen is destroyed and unresponsive. How can I do a factory reset in this case?

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Can you read the screen? If so, try an external factory reset:


No, unfortunately the screen is unreadable and unresponsive to touch. I was still hearing notification sounds, for what that’s worth.

Ultimately it’s up to you. Put it in a drawer for all eternity. Use it for target practice. Recycle it without factory resetting. Whatever you feel is appropriate.

This is the rare opportunity for me to suggest a hammer. Of course, if you choose to do so, please take appropriate precautions such as safety goggles.

Bottom line, it’s more or less impossible to factory reset a phone with an inoperable screen. If you feel the information on the phone is sufficiently important to warrant it, physical destruction of the phone is about all that’s left.

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If you do decide to somehow destroy the phone, make sure you do not puncture the battery!

Good advice! I’m thinking I may try to replace the screen myself–what do I have to lose? At least that way I could then perform the factory reset and recycle it so it doesn’t just end up in a landfill.

When looking to do it yourself, IFixit is always a good source of information

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