The excitement of getting a new phone is often held back by persistent regret. A lot of times, it doesn’t look like there’s anything really wrong with old phones (unless yes – a bulging battery or a broken screen is always a bad look). If it was a breakup, the conversation with an old phone would start, “You’re great. That is not you. I’m here. I just want a newer model. “
Shame on yourself? Don’t be like that. There’s no need to tuck your old phone in a drawer or use it as a door shield or furniture. There are many ways you can get your old phone to work. After all, most old smartphones still have a lot of horsepower. Think of your device as a connected device that doesn̵7;t need a SIM card anymore. Here are some pointers on what to do with that additional, older phone.
(All of this assumes that you don’t recycle or resell your older Android or iOS device – two great options you should consider.)
I’m a guy who likes to wear belts and straps, especially when it comes to devices that I rely on, like phones. I always have a spare phone in my travel package (assuming one day things will get easier and I can hit the road again). Nothing can interfere with the trip like smartphones are damaged, lost or stolen. If your main trip gets lost when you’re away from home, grabbing a SIM card from a vending machine or a cigarette vendor and stuffing it in a spare can literally be a lifesaver – and much cheaper. Much, faster and less complicated than buying a new phone in an unfamiliar city or country.
Add a remote
I was late to discover that a smartphone makes a great remote for a TV or streaming device. Apple TV has a great remote control app for iOS, and the Google Home app will control Chromecast devices on iOS and Android. The Roku app for Android and iOS recreates its iconic remote. Other remote control apps include the Amazon Fire TV app for Android and iOS, as well as the TiVo app for Android and iOS.
In a way, phone apps are better than they really are: they have a keyboard, which makes entering titles much faster than scrolling around the keyboard on the device’s own screen.
You can use your old phone as a gaming device. Creative-minded gamers; there are plenty of add-ons, like the Moga Mobile Gaming Clip For Xbox Wireless Controllers, that allow you to clip your phone onto an Xbox or Playstation controller to boost your game. If you’re already jealous of the Switch, Razer Kishi gives iPhone and Android owners something to cling to. But keep in mind: compatibility isn’t common across platforms or with all games, and some controllers make more sense for some types of games. A puzzle player will have different needs from someone who loves first person shooters. Consider how and what you play before you buy a game.
Set up a webcam
We have run several articles about this (see below), and you should check them out. Webcam is really useful for both security and for Zoom meetings, but they have a lot of needs and can still be difficult to find today. If Amazon asks you to wait three weeks for an expensive webcam, try using an older phone.
Old style communication equipment
In the old days, before you got an iPhone, you had to carry two devices: a cell phone and a separate music player, maybe an iPod or maybe not. (Ed note: Please tell us another story about Olden Times, dad.) Your old phone can still function as a standalone media storage device, for library backups, or for real use. Because (if it’s still in active condition) Wi-Fi is still working, you can even use your older phone as a streaming platform – assuming your account is authorized many devices. It can also be a perfect solution to make children laugh while on the go.
Their first phone
Speaking of little kids, your old phone is a great boot device (yes, we did get it.) You can bring approved games and apps to your phone, activate parental controls, and you’re ready to go. If the device is damaged or lost, there could be tears from the child, but from you? Not much.
Donate it to charity
There are organizations out there that take old working phones, refurbish them and put them to good use. Some of the places to check are Mobile Phones for Soldiers, which provide free communication for soldiers and their families, and Medic Mobile, which recycle old phones to fund new phones for employees. Health care in Asia, Latin America and Africa. There are others too – but before you donate to any organization you don’t know, always check them out with Charity Navigator or GuideStar.
For some, there’s an elemental joy in taking things apart and seeing what makes them so remarkable. Your old phone has been a part of your life for many years; Not curious to see what’s inside? Websites like iFixit have detailed shredding instructions. Combining success is an advanced course. With patience, luck, and skill – and maybe some unusual tools you might find online – you could even reassemble it with just a few parts left.