5 Uses For Your Old Smartphone



As smartphones become more and more powerful they become more useful in your everyday life. The average American buys a new smartphone every 18 months, but what do they do with their old one? If it hasn’t been lost, broken, or stolen, there are several useful purposes for that old device. Rather than tossing it in a drawer or closet and never seeing it again, here are 5 uses for your old smartphone!

Music Player

Most phones have at least 16Gb of internal memory and some even have removable SD cards. Load up that old phone with your favorite songs and keep it in your car or take it with you to the gym instead of risking your brand new [and probably expensive] phone! Most places even have free Wi-Fi, so you can connect your phone and listen to an Internet radio service such as Pandora or iHeartRadio if you don’t have free space on your device or you’re just tired of listening to the same playlist over and over again.

Wi-Fi Security Camera

Every smartphone these days comes equipped with a pretty decent camera. If you’ve been wanting to add a security camera or a baby monitor to your Wi-Fi-connected home, you’re in luck! Instead of going out and buying an expensive security camera, just use that extra smartphone that’s been sitting in your drawer. There are several apps for Android and iPhone such as Presence that help you do just that! Simply connect the old device to your home network, pair it with your shiny new device, and then mount it in your home. This gives you an inexpensive home security system while repurposing your old phone!

Remote for your “Smart Home”

As we move into the modern age, everything seems to be connected to a network in some way or another. Wi-Fi-connected devices are moving into our homes and making our daily lives that much easier. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, let me assist you. Devices like Nest are Wi-Fi devices connected to your home network that can be controlled by a smart device such as a phone or tablet. There are already several devices on the market that can control anything from your air-conditioning system to your surround sound in your living room. You can use your old phone or tablet to control all of these networked devices from a central device similar to a universal tv remote.

Gaming / Netflix

If you have small children at home, chances are they enjoy playing games and watching cartoons. If you don’t feel like giving your toddler a brand new iPad Air 2, you can always use your older tablet or smartphone. Since you would have probably thrown your old phone into the desk drawer anyways, why not just make it a kid-friendly device with an assortment of video games and Netflix account (make sure to select the kids profile!).

Sell it!

So you’re the type of person who has to have the latest iPhone and iPad at all times and you probably just spent over $1,000 buying Apple’s latest devices. To help recover part of that cost, you can sell your old electronics. While there are a lot of companies who offer to buy your gently used electronics, I don’t recommend using them unless you’re desperate for cash. Websites like these offer you a lower amount than what you could get so that they could turn around and sell them for a profit on eBay or the Amazon Marketplace. My suggestion to you would be to create an eBay or Amazon account (who doesn’t have one of these?) and list the device you want to sell. The reason I suggest these methods over the mail-in services is because you’ll get what your device is worth.

On the other hand, if you have an older device that isn’t worth top dollar anymore, you could always donate it or trade it in when you upgrade to the latest and greatest. I believe Best Buy is currently offering a minimum $100 gift card when you trade in a working Samsung Galaxy SII or higher. $100 is a pretty good deal for a phone that is over 3 years old and it doesn’t even have to be in great condition.

Did you like my 5 uses for your old smartphone? What are some of yours? Let me know in the comments!

Header image based on “Wiggle Wiggle” by Holger Eilhard, CC-BY-2.0.

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About Alex Wolfe

Alex Wolfe is an Accounting/Information Systems major at Texas a Tech University. When he's not busy with school, he enjoys playing outside with his dog and gaming on Xbox One. He has a huge interest in mobile devices and future technology.

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