What to Do With an Old Phone

What to Do With an Old Phone

Smartphones are incredible devices… until a new one comes out and everyone shotputs their current device aside for a more incredible one. However, that begs the question of what to do with an old phone.  

Many still work just fine, and while you could trade it in for a really humble amount of cash towards a new one there’s actually plenty you can do that might make it more valuable to hang onto. 

We break down the best uses for a smartphone or other devices you have laying around. Most of these tips will be with Android devices in mind, but there are several Apple ones we’ll point out. 

What to Do With an Old Phone: Use it As a Universal Remote 

We already have too many remotes as it stands to deal with our devices so wouldn’t it be nice to have one that just handles everything?  

Luckily, you can. 

Your old phone should still be able to use many apps like Netflix, Nest, and other smart devices so load all of those onto your phone. 

The next part really depends on your setup. For instance, you could purchase a Google Chromecast stick and control all your media from your new universal remote or use an app or service like Plex to control your media on your TV. 

Old phone used as security camera

Turn It Into A Security Camera 

This is one of the simplest solutions on our list and it works for most devices, including Apple ones. There are plenty of free apps you can purchase that allow you to simply set up your phone or device where you want to monitor and simply walk away. 

You can check in through the app throughout the day to either watch your front door, check in on pets or even watch for packages getting dropped off. 

Convert It Into a Digital Picture Frame 

Do none of those sound appealing and you’re still wondering what to do with an old phone? Admittedly, this is probably better for old tablets, but depending on the size of your phone (Android or Apple) it can still work.  

Digital picture frames are perfect for showing off your favourite memories with your friends and family and can be simple to customize through apps or even your phone’s built-in features for some phones with “slideshow” capabilities 

Use It as a Dedicated E-Reader 

Store all your favourite books on your old device and browse them at your leisure. Your local library probably has many you can even sign out online for free so touch base with them or sign up for their app to get access to all of that media. 

Alternatively, you can make it the kitchen recipe book and watch YouTube tutorials and view online recipes to help you while you cook. 

Old phone mounted in car for media syst

Make It Into a Permanent Car GPS/Media Centre 

GPS navigation can easily eat through your phone’s battery so why not just dedicate one plugged-in device to your car? That way you always have at least one fully charged device that can help you get where you need to go. This works for both Android and Apple devices too, so just make sure to have the latest version of Google Maps Installed your device can handle. 

Already know how to get there? Just convert your old device into a media library of music, podcasts or streaming servicesThis is especially helpful if you don’t own a newer car with built-in media centers 

Donate Your Phone to People Who Can’t See

If you’re not actively using an old phone, and really have no plans to use it, you could donate it to Phone it Forward. This organization repurposes old phones with specific equipment and software to help the visually impaired.  

Don’t worry, all your data is totally wiped before it’s passed on so any embarrassing photos of you won’t get out to the world (you can do that yourself on Facebook or Instagram). 

Because many of these people have a tough time making ends meet, they can’t afford a smartphone advanced enough to help them with their daily lifeBy donating your phone you help them stay connected to the people and media they care about. 

Clearly, you don’t need to throw away an old device or even just leave it in storage. So if you’re wondering what to do with an old phone, even if you feel it’s not going to be able to help you or anyone else, make sure to either take it back to a phone recycling service (after wiping your data of course). This will avoid filling up your city’s landfill with more electronic trash that doesn’t need to be there and you can reduce your impact on the environment that much more. 



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