10 Fun Ways to Reuse Your Old SmartPhone


Technology changes at lightning speed, especially when it comes to smartphones.

And chances are, like me, you’ve got an old cell phone or three tucked away, collecting dust on your shelf. Lucky you if you have been able to trade them in each time you upgraded to a new one. But that’s not always possible.

How to reuse your old smartphone?

In my case, the phones were still in good working condition, and I just couldn’t bring myself to exchange them for next to nothing. Oh, I did donate two old phones, but there’s one that I use as a second phone. I suspect I may have to retire it shortly, though.

I know a super-geeky person who is a whizz at doing all kinds of things with old electronics. Not only does he create art, but he also finds ways to give them new life with new uses. I was dazzled by some of his brilliant suggestions.

So if you are wondering what to do with your old cell phone rather than have them wasting away and clucking every time they get in the way, I’ve got ten solid ideas for you.

Top of the mind is, of course, as I mentioned earlier, to donate them to charity or gift them. You could also sell them or trade them in. Alternatively, if you do not want to keep your old phone or re-purpose it, you always have the option of selling it and using that money to buy a new phone.

Or explore the following fun ways to keep them AND use them.

1. As an e-reader

Yeah! Put a reading app on it, and you’re good to go! And congratulations — you just made your phone child-friendly!

2. Photo Library

Use the storage/SD card as a photo library. If the camera still works, yay!

3. Wall art

You can add a nice touch to any room by reusing your phone as a piece of wall art. Unlike other static pieces, a phone presents you with many aesthetic choices.

For instance, how about putting on a slideshow or setting up your old phone to display meditative video art? Or use it to add a new point of focus that brings more than static imagery to the table?

There’s one thing, though; this idea might not work 24/7 because your phone needs charging. So if you want, you can plug it into the nearest outlet or wait for it to fully charge before it can be turned into a piece of wall art.

4. Add a touchscreen to your car

Have an older car model without a fancy interface? Use your old phone to add a touchscreen UI. You could use many third-party apps to update your car’s technology, but that’s an expensive proposition. Instead, just use your old phone to update the system without breaking an arm or a leg.

You just need a wired adapter to charge the phone, and you have a handy display for podcasts and music. If you want to add GPS to your new phone system, you’ll need to invest in a data plan to keep your maps functioning. There are offline maps, but those don’t give you real-time traffic information.

5. Emergency 911 phone

If your old phone still works, it will have the ability to access emergency services. Every phone can contact 911 even if it does not have a SIM card. If you find yourself in need of assistance and your working phone has no charge, you can use your emergency phone to call for help. Is that a brilliant way to reuse your old smartphone or not?

6. Dedicated music player or radio

Have a subscription to a music streaming service? Then you have access to loads of music. You can use your old phone as a dedicated music player at home. If the quality of your phone’s speaker is low, think about connecting it to another speaker via Bluetooth

7. Clock

Your phone’s big display will still function even without a network connection. Use it as a timepiece; it has more versatility than your average wall clock. To get the best time display, try a few clock apps to find the best one for you.

Also, as a sleek alarm clock, it totally rocks. Bonus? Different sounds to choose from!

8. TV remote

If you have a phone that can double up as a remote, you only have to download a remote app to use it. You do not even have to spend any money on a new remote — just use your old phone instead of throwing it away.

9. VR headset

If you love gaming, this is the ideal way to reuse your old smartphone. There are many impressive and high-end VR headsets in the market meant for serious gamers. You can also use shells such as Google Cardboard made to transform your phone into a VR headset.

10. Baby monitor

I was stunned to read about this. Old phones and tablets make excellent baby monitors, particularly when you are out, and you want to keep an eye on your little one at home. There are apps that, once connected to a Wi-Fi connection, can alert your current smartphone when your child wants to communicate. Better still, you can chat with your baby. Imagine the money saved on setting up a security camera!

Do you have ideas to add to this list?


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