We once paid hundreds of dollars for a shiny new smartphone. Do you remember the great iPhone 6 or the Samsung Galaxy 4? They did everything we needed from them back then. Now they’re probably gathering dust in a junk drawer. They’re not worth anything to anyone else, but provided you can remember the passcode, you can find a good use for them. Even if they’re cracked, old smartphones have some great uses.
People used to spend money on iPods for music on the go, but if you have an old smartphone that you don’t use, convert it into a portable music player. First delete all apps and photos and load the device with your favorite songs from your computer. 16 or 32 gig phones can store a lot of songs. Use it at the gym or plug it into your car’s USB port and you’ve got a music player that won’t stop when your new phone rings. You can also connect it to your current device’s mobile hotspot and stream music from Spotify or another service.
Old smartphones are ideal as bedside or table clocks. Apps that show the time and forecast are free and even the default app from Apple or Google can show the clock. To use it as a bedside alarm clock, plug it in and change the display setting to always on or turn off the automatic screen close. You can set an alarm just by asking Siri or OK Google.
The FCC requires all smartphones to be able to call for help, even if they don’t have cellular service. Keep one in the car or in the kitchen so the kids can always call 9-1-1, even if they don’t have a smartphone. Teach them how to call 911 by firmly pressing the side button 5 times.
Old smartphones make excellent TV remote controls. Download the app for Roku, Amazon FireStick, Google TV, or Apple TV. The apps are easier to use than the remote that came with the streaming device.
You can use old smartphones as surveillance cameras. Download the “Alfred” app on your main device and any old smartphone. Plug the old phone into a power source and prop it up where you want to watch for movement. You can use it as a nanny cam or pet cam to talk to your dog or cat while you are at work. You’ll even get a notification when motion is detected.
Your kids can use an old smartphone to play video games provided you can still download the game app or the app is already installed on the phone.
Use it as a wearable webcam with the EcoCam app.
You can also use it as a dedicated Facetime or Zoom camera so the kids don’t have to borrow your phone when they want to video chat with their grandparents.
Or use it as a dedicated camera so you don’t run out of space on the phone you have now.
If your phone can connect to your home WiFi or your main phone’s hotspot, you can use these ideas to give your phone a new life, or you can probably think of other uses for old smartphones. Whether they’re cracked or not, they’re not dead yet.