What To Do With An Old Smartphone



As technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, it’s not surprising that many of us find ourselves with old smartphones gathering dust in a drawer. These once essential devices are now considered outdated, replaced by the latest models boasting faster processors, improved cameras, and advanced features.

But before you toss your old smartphone aside or let it continue to take up space, consider giving it a new lease on life. There are numerous creative and practical uses for an old smartphone that can save you money, reduce waste, and even enhance your daily life in unexpected ways.

In this article, we will explore ten exciting possibilities for repurposing your old smartphone. From selling or trading it in to transforming it into a dedicated media device, security camera, gaming console, and more, we’ve got you covered with innovative ideas. Whether you’re looking for entertainment, utility, or ways to contribute to a good cause, there’s something for everyone.

By repurposing your old smartphone, not only are you making the most of your investment, but you’re also minimizing electronic waste and reducing your carbon footprint. So, let’s dive in and discover the various ways you can breathe new life into your old smartphone.


Sell or Trade-In Your Old Smartphone

One of the most straightforward options for your old smartphone is to sell it or trade it in. Many online platforms and retailers allow you to sell your old device for cash or credit towards a new purchase. By doing so, you not only free up space but also recoup some of the money you initially invested in the device.

To get started, gather all the necessary information about your smartphone, such as the model, storage capacity, and overall condition. This will help you determine the appropriate price for selling or trading in your device. Take high-quality photos of the smartphone to attract potential buyers and accurately showcase its condition.

Popular online marketplaces like eBay, Swappa, and Facebook Marketplace offer a wide range of users who may be interested in purchasing your old smartphone. These platforms give you the freedom to negotiate the price or set it as a fixed value.

Alternatively, you can explore trade-in options with phone carriers, manufacturers, or electronics retailers. Many smartphone manufacturers have trade-in programs that allow you to swap your old device for credit towards a new purchase. This can be especially beneficial if you’re due for an upgrade and looking to save on your new smartphone.

When selling or trading in your old smartphone, make sure to factory reset it to erase all personal data and remove any associated accounts. This ensures your privacy is protected and prevents unauthorized access to your information. Additionally, include any relevant accessories, such as chargers or cases, to increase the value of the device.

Selling or trading in your old smartphone not only puts some extra money in your pocket but also allows someone else to enjoy the benefits of a refurbished device. It’s a win-win situation that promotes sustainability and helps reduce electronic waste.


Use it as a Dedicated Media Device

One of the great ways to repurpose your old smartphone is to turn it into a dedicated media device. With its large screen and quality speakers, it can serve as your personal entertainment hub for watching movies, TV shows, or streaming content.

Start by downloading popular media apps like Netflix, Hulu, or Disney+ and sign in with your account details. This allows you to enjoy your favorite shows and movies on the go without draining the battery on your primary device.

Another advantage of using your old smartphone as a media device is that you can store your entire music library on it. Transfer your favorite songs and playlists onto the device and pair it with a Bluetooth speaker for a portable music experience. You can also use streaming apps like Spotify or Apple Music to access an extensive collection of songs and discover new music.

If you have a smart TV or streaming device like Chromecast or Apple TV, you can connect your old smartphone wirelessly to these devices and use it as a remote control. This makes it convenient to navigate through different apps, adjust volume, and even mirror your smartphone’s screen onto the TV for a bigger viewing experience.

Additionally, you can take advantage of the smartphone’s camera to capture photos and videos at parties, events, or family gatherings. It can serve as a secondary device solely dedicated to capturing memories without occupying space on your primary smartphone.

By repurposing your old smartphone as a dedicated media device, you not only save the battery life of your primary device but also provide a dedicated entertainment solution. Whether you’re on a long journey or relaxing at home, your old smartphone can keep you entertained with endless movies, shows, and music.


Turn it into a Security Camera

If you’re concerned about the security of your home or office, repurposing your old smartphone as a security camera can provide peace of mind without spending a fortune on a dedicated surveillance system.

Start by installing a dedicated security camera app on your old smartphone, such as Alfred, Manything, or AtHome Camera. These apps offer features like motion detection, remote viewing, and cloud storage for recorded footage.

Position your smartphone in a strategic location where it can capture the maximum area you want to monitor. You can mount it on a tripod, attach it to a wall using a phone holder, or simply place it on a shelf or table.

Connect your old smartphone to a stable Wi-Fi network so that it can stream live video feeds and send notifications to your current smartphone whenever motion is detected.

With the app installed, you can remotely access the camera’s live feed and view recordings from anywhere in the world using your current smartphone or another device. This is particularly useful when you’re away from home and want to keep an eye on your property or check in on pets or loved ones.

By repurposing your old smartphone as a security camera, you not only save money but also make use of its existing features, such as the camera, microphone, and wireless connectivity. This allows you to create a personalized surveillance system tailored to your needs.

It’s important to note that using your old smartphone as a security camera means it will be occupied and unable to perform other functions. However, this sacrifice can provide you with added security and peace of mind, making it a worthwhile repurposing option.


Transform it into a Portable Gaming Console

Don’t let your old smartphone go to waste when you can repurpose it into a portable gaming console. With the vast array of gaming apps available, you can turn your device into a hub for gaming on the go.

Start by downloading your favorite gaming apps from app stores such as Google Play or the App Store. Choose from a wide range of genres, including action, puzzle, strategy, adventure, and more. Many popular game titles are available for free, while others may require a one-time purchase or include in-app purchases.

To enhance your gaming experience, consider investing in a Bluetooth or USB controller that can be connected to your old smartphone. This will provide you with a more comfortable and precise control mechanism, similar to traditional gaming consoles.

With its large screen and high-quality display, your old smartphone can offer an immersive gaming experience. Enjoy visually stunning graphics, captivating storylines, and thrilling gameplay wherever you are.

One advantage of repurposing your old smartphone as a gaming console is that you won’t drain the battery life on your current device. Additionally, you can use your old smartphone solely for gaming, allowing you to free up space on your primary device for other activities.

If you have a smart TV or a casting device like Chromecast or Apple TV, you can even connect your old smartphone to the TV and play games on a larger screen. This turns your smartphone into a console-like experience, providing you with the best of both worlds.

By repurposing your old smartphone into a portable gaming console, you not only breathe new life into the device but also have a dedicated device for gaming wherever and whenever you want. It’s a cost-effective way to indulge in your gaming hobby without the need for an expensive gaming console or handheld device.


Convert it into a Remote Control

With the ever-increasing number of smart devices in our homes, repurposing your old smartphone as a remote control can help streamline and simplify your daily routines. By using the phone’s connectivity capabilities, you can control various devices, from TVs and sound systems to smart home devices and even air conditioners.

To start, ensure that your old smartphone is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as the devices you want to control. This allows for seamless communication and eliminates the need for additional hardware or accessories.

Next, download remote control apps like AnyMote, Peel, or Unified Remote, depending on the type of devices you have. These apps typically support a wide range of brands and models, allowing you to control multiple devices from a single interface.

Once you’ve selected and installed the appropriate app, you’ll often need to complete a simple setup process to pair your old smartphone with the devices you want to control. This may involve entering specific codes or selecting the device’s brand and model from a list.

With the setup complete, you can now use your old smartphone as a versatile remote control. The app’s interface will typically resemble a traditional remote, complete with buttons and controls for different functions.

Not only can you control basic functions like power on/off and volume, but many of these apps also offer advanced features such as touchpad control, voice commands, and customized macros for specific actions or scenarios.

By repurposing your old smartphone as a remote control, you can reduce clutter by replacing multiple physical remotes with a single device. Furthermore, the convenience of having your phone always at hand makes it easy to control your devices from anywhere in your home.

Additionally, integrating your old smartphone as a remote control can be highly valuable for individuals with limited mobility or those who prefer the simplicity of a unified control system.

Repurposing your old smartphone as a remote control not only breathes new life into the device but also adds convenience and efficiency to your daily interactions with your smart devices. It’s a practical and cost-effective solution that maximizes both functionality and usability.


Repurpose it as a Dedicated GPS Device

If you often find yourself relying on navigation apps on your smartphone, repurposing your old device as a dedicated GPS can be a game-changer. By dedicating your old smartphone to navigation purposes, you can free up your primary device for other tasks while ensuring you always have a reliable GPS solution at your fingertips.

Start by installing a reliable navigation app such as Google Maps, Waze, or HERE WeGo on your old smartphone. These apps offer real-time traffic updates, turn-by-turn directions, and offline map capabilities, making them ideal for both local and long-distance travel.

Before hitting the road, download the map data for your preferred regions for offline use. This ensures that even when you’re in areas with poor or no cellular network coverage, your old smartphone can still navigate accurately.

Mount your old smartphone securely in your vehicle using a car phone holder or dashboard mount. This ensures that your GPS device is easily accessible while driving, keeping your eyes on the road and enhancing safety.

With its larger screens compared to traditional standalone GPS devices, your old smartphone offers a more immersive and user-friendly navigation experience. Enjoy detailed maps, clear directions, and helpful features like live traffic updates and rerouting options.

You can also take advantage of additional features built into popular navigation apps, such as searching for nearby points of interest, finding gas stations, and discovering restaurants. These features can enhance your travel experience and make your journey more convenient and enjoyable.

Repurposing your old smartphone as a dedicated GPS device not only saves you the cost of purchasing a dedicated GPS unit but also means you’re using a device you’re already familiar with. This minimizes the learning curve and allows you to take full advantage of the features and functionalities of the navigation app.

Whether you’re embarking on a road trip or simply navigating through your daily commute, repurposing your old smartphone as a dedicated GPS device ensures you never lose your way. It’s a practical and cost-effective solution that offers convenience, accuracy, and reliable navigation every time you hit the road.


Utilize it as a Smart Home Hub

With the rise of smart home devices, repurposing your old smartphone as a smart home hub can centralize and simplify the control of your connected devices. Instead of relying on multiple apps or voice assistants, having a dedicated device for managing your smart home ecosystem can streamline your interactions and enhance your overall smart home experience.

To begin, check if your old smartphone is compatible with the smart home devices you currently own. Most smart home devices use apps and platforms that are available on both Android and iOS, allowing for compatibility with various smartphones.

Download the necessary apps for controlling your smart home devices onto your old smartphone. These apps may include those for smart lights, thermostats, security cameras, door locks, and more. Ensure that you sign in with the same account used on your primary smartphone to sync your devices and settings seamlessly.

Next, place your old smartphone in a central location within your home, such as a kitchen counter or a hallway table. Make sure it is connected to your home Wi-Fi network for easy communication with your smart home devices.

With your old smartphone set up as a smart home hub, you can now control your devices more efficiently. You can turn lights on/off, adjust thermostat settings, monitor security cameras, and even unlock/lock doors—all from a single interface.

Additionally, if your old smartphone has voice assistant capabilities, such as Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa, you can use it for hands-free control of your smart devices. Simply set up the voice assistant on your old smartphone and communicate your commands for seamless control and automation.

By repurposing your old smartphone as a smart home hub, you not only have a dedicated device for managing your smart home devices, but you also relieve your primary smartphone from the burden of constantly switching between different apps. This simplifies your user experience and enhances the integration of your smart home ecosystem.

Transforming your old smartphone into a smart home hub is an excellent way to fully embrace the convenience and efficiency of your smart home devices. It provides a dedicated control center for managing and monitoring your devices, creating a more seamless and intuitive smart home experience.


Donate it to Charity or a Local Organization

If you no longer have a need for your old smartphone, consider donating it to a charitable organization or a local nonprofit. This allows you to give back to the community while ensuring your old device is put to good use by someone who can benefit from it.

Start by researching local charities or organizations that accept electronic donations. Look for organizations that have specific programs or initiatives focused on providing technology access to underserved communities or individuals in need. Some examples include schools, shelters, community centers, or organizations dedicated to supporting veterans, low-income families, or individuals with disabilities.

Before donating your old smartphone, make sure to perform a factory reset to erase all personal data and remove any associated accounts. This ensures that your privacy is protected and that the new user can start fresh with the device. If possible, include any relevant accessories like charging cables or cases to make the donation more complete and useful.

Reach out to the selected charity or organization to inquire about their donation process. Some may have drop-off locations or scheduled pick-ups, while others may require you to mail in the device. Ensure that you follow their specific guidelines and procedures to ensure a smooth donation process.

By donating your old smartphone, you’re providing someone in need with access to the benefits and opportunities that come with owning a smartphone. It can empower individuals to connect with loved ones, access educational resources, find employment opportunities, and stay connected to vital services.

Furthermore, donating your old smartphone promotes sustainability by extending the device’s lifecycle and reducing electronic waste. It’s a small act of kindness that can make a significant impact on someone’s life while contributing to a more environmentally conscious society.

When considering donating your old smartphone, ensure that it is in working condition and that it can still provide a reasonable level of functionality. While older models may not have the latest features, they can still serve as valuable tools for communication and access to essential services.

Donating your old smartphone is an excellent way to make a positive difference in someone’s life and contribute to a worthy cause. It’s a simple act of generosity that can bring joy and opportunity to someone who could greatly benefit from owning a smartphone.


Transform it into a Digital Photo Frame

Repurposing your old smartphone into a digital photo frame allows you to showcase your favorite memories and photos in a dynamic and visually appealing way. With its vibrant display and ability to cycle through images, your old device can become a personalized and interactive piece of decor in your home.

Start by selecting a digital photo frame app from the app store. There are numerous options available, such as Dayframe, Muzei, or Google Photos. These apps allow you to display your photos in slideshow mode, with customizable transitions and settings.

Transfer your desired photos from your primary smartphone or computer to your old device. This can be done by connecting the devices via USB, using cloud storage services, or transferring files wirelessly. Organize the photos into separate albums or folders to easily manage and personalize your digital photo frame experience.

Open the digital photo frame app on your old smartphone and choose the folder or album containing the photos you want to display. Set the desired display duration for each photo and select any additional settings like transition effects or timing intervals.

Place your old smartphone in a stand or holder and position it in a prominent location in your home, such as a living room, bedroom, or hallway. Ensure that it is connected to a power source or consider using a wireless charging stand for added convenience.

With your old smartphone acting as a digital photo frame, you can enjoy a continuous display of cherished photos and memories, adding a personal touch to your living space. The evolving slideshow of images brings life to your home and becomes a conversation starter when friends and family visit.

You can regularly update the photos on your digital photo frame by adding new memories or rotating the selection. This ensures that the display remains fresh and captivating, reflecting the evolving moments in your life.

One advantage of repurposing your old smartphone as a digital photo frame is that you can still use it for other purposes whenever desired. Simply exit the photo frame app to access other apps, check messages, or use it for any other functionality you may need.

Repurposing your old smartphone into a digital photo frame not only extends its usefulness and provides a visually appealing addition to your home decor but also allows you to relive memories and moments that hold significance for you. It’s a simple and creative way to enjoy and share your favorite photos in a unique and personalized way.


Use it as an Emergency Backup Device

Repurposing your old smartphone as an emergency backup device can provide you with peace of mind during unforeseen situations or when your primary device runs out of battery or malfunctions. By setting up your old smartphone as a backup device, you ensure that you have a reliable means of communication and access to essential information when you need it most.

Start by keeping your old smartphone charged and ready for use in case of emergencies. Store it in a designated spot that is easily accessible in times of need, such as a drawer or an emergency kit.

Make sure to establish a Wi-Fi or cellular connection on your old device, if possible, to ensure its usability during emergencies. While you may not have an active cellular plan on the device, it can still connect to available Wi-Fi networks or emergency networks for communication purposes.

Install essential apps and services on your old smartphone that can be useful in emergency situations. These might include a flashlight app, a weather app with alerts, a first-aid guide, and emergency contact information. Additionally, consider downloading a navigation app that can work offline so that you can find your way or reach your desired destination in case of evacuation or other urgent situations.

Ensure that your old smartphone is capable of receiving emergency alerts and notifications. Enable features like emergency alerts, Amber Alerts, and severe weather alerts on your device to stay informed about critical information and stay safe during emergency situations.

It’s also a good idea to save important documents, such as copies of your identification cards, insurance policies, and emergency contacts, on your old smartphone. Having these key pieces of information readily available can be invaluable during a crisis.

Remember to periodically check and update the apps and information on your backup device. Remove any outdated apps or irrelevant information and replace them with current and useful resources.

By repurposing your old smartphone as an emergency backup device, you ensure that you have a reliable communication and information resource readily available during critical situations. While it may not be the most advanced or feature-rich device, it can serve as a lifeline when you’re in need, offering peace of mind and a sense of security.



Repurposing your old smartphone offers an array of possibilities that can not only save you money but also contribute to a more sustainable lifestyle. Whether you choose to sell or trade it in, transform it into a dedicated media device, security camera, gaming console, or remote control, or repurpose it for GPS navigation, smart home control, as a digital photo frame, emergency backup device, or donating it to a charitable organization, the choice is yours.

By repurposing your old smartphone, you extend its usefulness and reduce electronic waste. Instead of allowing it to sit unused in a drawer, you can unlock its potential and find new ways to benefit from its capabilities. Whether it’s for personal entertainment, productivity, convenience, or contributing to a greater cause, there is a repurposing option that suits your needs and preferences.

Remember to ensure that your old device is secure and properly sanitized before repurposing or donating it. Erase all personal data, remove associated accounts, and follow any necessary guidelines from app developers or manufacturers to protect your privacy and security.

In the end, the possibilities for repurposing your old smartphone are limited only by your imagination. Take advantage of the device’s features, connectivity, and portability to enhance various aspects of your life. Give your old smartphone a new purpose, and enjoy the benefits it can bring to your daily routine, your home, and the environment around us.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *