Confused what to do with old mobile phones? Here are 11 ideas
Bought a new smartphone? Congratulations! Now that you’ve upgraded to a better mobile phone, you’re probably wondering: what to do with your old mobile device?
Yes, you can always sell your old mobile phones or recycle them, but if you are looking for some innovative ways to use your old device, this article is for you.
Here are 10 ideas that’ll help you with what can you do with old mobile phones:
1. Use it to (remote) control your environment
In today’s connected world, there’s so much that can be controlled by mobile apps – smart home devices, TVs, music libraries, etc. Why not turn your old mobile devices or tablets into remote controls? Even the most basic smartphone has the capability of being used as a universal remote control.
Even if your tiny stick remote (that came with your set-top box) isn’t lost yet, your old smartphone can act as a secondary remote. Its onscreen keyboard that comes with most applications makes typing passwords easier.
There are numerous third-party universal remote control apps available. Many tech giants, like Amazon, Google, Apple, LG Electronics, and Samsung, also have their own programs.
You can also connect the old phone to your Amazon’s Alexa or other virtual smart assistant. In fact, a speaker organization ‘Sonos‘ says that it can run Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa together.
2. Treat it as a ‘media’ device
Use your old smart device as an extra screen in your bedroom, kitchen or home office. If you are a subscriber of any OTT platform or streaming service, you can set up the old device solely for entertainment.
All you need to do is download the app of the streaming service (like Netflix, Hotstar, Disney+, Hulu, etc.) and log into your account from your spare device. Make sure you set this device up near an electricity outlet so you don’t have to run towards one when the battery is low.
You can also use the old mobile device as a music player for listening to songs or your favorite podcasts. You can download your favorite songs on the device or download a few music streaming apps (like Spotify).
Bonus tip: you can also connect this device to a bluetooth speaker for an amplified music experience.
3. Use your old mobile phone for reading
If you’re an avid reader and love indulging into books every now and then, setting aside your old mobile phone as a device solely for the purpose of reading is a good idea. Though you probably love reading books in hardcover or paperback, having a reading device as backup isn’t the worst idea.
4. Use the old mobile device only for work
Tired of receiving work calls after work hours? Or of the confusion if it is Sam from work or an acquaintance you met at a wedding? Not anymore. Use this old mobile phone for separating your work life and personal life.
Share this number with your colleagues and clients. Use this device when at work and switch it off when your work is done for better work-life balance.
5. ..Or for play!
This one depends on the condition of your device’s battery and processor. If your phone supports these two conditions, you can use your old mobile phone as a gaming device. All you need to do is transfer all your other important data to your new phone, delete what you do not need and download your favorite games on the old device.
If tapping the screen while playing isn’t your ideal gaming scene, you can consider clipping your phone into special controllers, like the Razer Kishi and Backbone One, that bring physical buttons to the gaming experience.
6. Make it a hub for learning
With the pandemic bringing education to home, your little one needs a mobile device for attending classes, doing homework as well as other activities. You can hand them your old mobile phone for doing the same and setting a few parental controls. Moreover, you can download a few educational apps and games for them too.
7. Turn it into a webcam
If your webcam or your laptop or computer’s camera are damaged, you can consider turning your spare device into a webcam. Free apps and software like EpocCam and DroidCam enable you to turn your smartphone into a webcam for your laptop and computer.
8. Turn your old mobile device into a security camera
You can use your phone’s camera and Wi-Fi as a security system. This could be a good way for easily surveilling your office, shop or home while you’re away. Again, just make sure your phone is connected to a charging plug so it never runs out of battery.
9. Use it as a baby monitor
Thanks to the advancement in technologies and apps, you don’t need to buy fancy connected cameras for keeping an eye on your baby while he’s in the other room. Just download an app like Dormi, connect it to your Wi-Fi and the app will alert you if your baby is feeling uneasy.
What’s more is that you can also comfort and soothe your little guy remotely by talking back to them.
10. Keep it as a backup or emergency device
While most of the people have their phones on them 24*7. But it doesn’t hurt to have an emergency/backup device at your disposal. For example, you can keep your old mobile device in your car for emergencies. Emergency numbers, like 911 allow you to make calls even without a SIM card or a data plan. So, if your primary phone’s battery is dead, you can use this emergency phone to make calls in situations of crisis.
11. Donate your old mobile phone
If none of the above mentioned options make sense to you or aren’t feasible due to any reason, you can always choose to give your old phone away to charity or someone who might need it and can’t afford to buy one.
There are so many non-for-profit organizations that you can donate your old cell phone to. Alternatively, if you know someone (like your house help or office security guard) who might be in need of a smartphone, you can choose to donate your old cell phone to them as well.
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