Look What You Can Do with an Old Smartphone

What happens to your old phone once you get a new one? Maybe you have a child who isn’t quite ready to have their own phone or an older person in the family who may not understand all of the phone’s capabilities but might enjoy limited use of a Smartphone’s cool features. Or you might want to dedicate an old phone with an app to replace another gadget, rather than buying a new one. The opportunities are endless.

Top 12 Ways to Recycle Your Old Phone

We have organized 12 great ways to put your old smart phone to use after you've retired it for a new device.

  1. MP3 Player - This might be an option for a child who likes music. Or, retire your car CD changer and use your old smartphone instead. You can load your favorite playlists and leave the Smartphone in the glove box to give you access to your songs anytime you’re in the vehicle. This idea is even better if your car has a USB port, so the phone stays charged, and you won’t have to take it out every now and then to recharge it.
  2. Gaming Device - You can still access your App store with Wi-Fi to download games.
  3. Bedside Alarm Clock - There are lots of neat clock apps out there. You can get a Moviepeg stand for your phone or make your own to keep your device conveniently within view.
  4. Pocket PC - Smartphone features such as the Address Book, Calendar, Digital Notepad, To-Do Lists, and Calculators can be useful to have around.
  5. e-Reader - While not as cool as a Kindle and more challenging to read on a small screen, you can download e-reader apps to get the same basic functionality.
  6. Camera & Photo Album - Let your Mom have your old Smartphone to take photos of the grandkids and also showoff all of those cute baby pictures to her friends!
  7. Video - You can record video and transfer it with a USB connector onto your laptop, but you can also stream live video with Qik. It captures video from the webcam on your mobile device and streams it live to anyone in the world over the internet. The process is easy – all you need to have is a web enabled mobile phone and a valid email.
  8. Chat Online - You can still use most video chat apps on your Smartphone if you have Wi-Fi access, even if you no longer make payments to a carrier. You can use free Voice-over-IP (VoIP) services like Skype or GrooVe IP. You’ll need to download an App that is compatible with your Smartphone.
  9. Emergency Phone - Any old cell phone can serve as an ideal emergency phone. All cell phones are required by the FCC to function for calling 911, even if there is no cellular plan or phone number attached to it. Keep an old phone accessible in the car or around the house if you don’t have a landline.  The only concern for this purpose is that you’ll need to have a power supply available, whether it is an AC adapter, a car charger, or a backup battery.
  10. Basic GPS Unit - Just download a GPS app that stores the maps locally--like TomTom  or CoPilot. Also, a generic windshield mount can be purchased for approximately $10.
  11. Remote Control - This may not work in every case, but there are apps that will turn your Smartphone into universal remote for WiFi enabled home network components.
  12. Sell/Donate - Many people give their old phones to family members, sell them on eBay, or donate them to a good cause. Just remember if you choose to pass it on, to safeguard your personal data. You’ll want to pull out the SIM card and perform a master reset to wipe out any stored information. This process can be different for various carriers, so you might want to check with them on the best way to accomplish that. On some systems, it could involve a few simple keystrokes to reset the device. Verify the data is gone before passing it on. Cell Phones for Soldiers is a great charity that you can donate your old phone to.

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