With the great technological advances that we have had in recent years in the mobile world, updating our smartphones periodically is something common. Every year, every two years we usually buy a new smartphone. But … what do we do with the previous one? What uses for an old cell phone can we have?
Here I give you 10 practical ideas to give a new life to that old Android smartphone!
1) Uses for an Old Cell Phone: Security Camera, with Alfred
One of the best uses for an old cell phone in the more than 10 years that I have been reviewing smartphones is that of a security camera. I have been changing apps with El Paso del tiempo and right now, the best and most complete you will find, for both Android and iOS, is Alfred!
Alfred allows us to place smartphones as Wifi security cameras, capable of detecting movement (and alerting us). Then, we install the same app on our current smartphone, and we can monitor everything! Alfred also has an excellent night vision mode. Definitely one of the best uses that can give an old cell phone!
2) Dashcam / dedicated GPS: Uses for an old cell phone
Nexar is an excellent application that will turn our old cell phone into a Dashcam. A Dashcam is a camera that is permanently recording what happens in our car. In Catholic cities like Lima, where collisions and accidents are common, having a Dashcam gives us irrefutable proof against possible collisions. Having the proof in the video (in case they hit us, for example), is a great help.
Otherwise, another similar solution in the vehicle is to leave a phone permanently connected with an offline navigation / GPS app. The best app for this is Here WeGo, which allows us to download city maps, and then use offline navigation!
3) Game machine / Emulators
Another GREAT use that we can give to that old phone, is to turn it into a video game console or emulator machine. Android has a wide variety of emulators for all kinds of classic consoles such as SNES, Mega Drive, Playstation, Nintendo 64. With the power of recent phones we can run these games without any problem. So instead of wasting time with Pokmon Go, we could be playing the real Pokmon! Or what to revive classics like Zelda: A Link To The Past?
And if we combine this with a Bluetooth control, which we can get from $ 10 or $ 15, then we have a portable retro machine that will give us hours of hours of fun!
Most of these Bluetooth controls can be found on eBay, with free shipping worldwide!
4) eBook Reader / Audiobooks / Podcasts
Another great use for that old phone is to turn it into a dedicated eBook Reader, or eBook reader. Or even use it for Audiobooks!
For eBooks, the best solution is Google Play Books. We have made a complete tutorial on how to convert and send books that we can download on our own, and then send them to Play Books simply and quickly.
For Podcasts, I recommend Pocket Casts. One of the best podcast apps that we can sync across multiple devices!
5) Timelapse camera
Leaving that old phone doesn't mean we can't take advantage of the camera on it, right? An excellent alternative is to buy one of these special holders or stands for cars or, better yet, for bicycles, and use an app like the excellent Lapse It to create Timelapses!
Get creative and create timelapse not only of the bike handlebars, or the main dashboard of the car, but hang it in the window, get yourself a chest holder, and shoot first-person videos. The possibilities, now that the old smartphone is no longer as critical as before, are endless!
6) Remote Control for PC / Trackpad
One of my favorite uses for old (and current) smartphones is to use it as a universal remote control. Do you usually watch Netflix on your laptops or Home Theater PCs? Do you want to easily control that laptop that you connected to the TV via HDMI?
Unified Remote is the best application to turn our smartphone into a remote control for our smart PC! The great thing about Unified Remote is that it adapts according to the app that we want to control remotely. If it is the PC, it can act as Trackpad / Mouse. If we want to control Spotify, it will show us buttons to skip the song, go back or pause it, and we will even see what song is playing. We also have controls for Netflix, YouTube, VLC and much more!
7) Dedicated Device for the Gym
The gym is quite a risky place for a smartphone, especially because of the amount of machines and weights that are everywhere. While we are doing some cardio, for example, our phone may fall and be damaged.
So having a dedicated Gym device is a great idea! In this way we do not have to worry (so much) about the well-being of our gadget, since it is no longer the new one.
They can load it with music, podcasts (see previous options) or even books. They can use apps for the gym with their own routines so they don't have to deal with paperwork (here are 5 recommended apps for exercising).
Are you lazy to charge the phone with music? Or do they mainly use Spotify? Carry your new phone but keep it safe in a bag or backpack, with the mobile hotspot activated. Or if you have a gym with Wifi, just go and go!
8) Digital Photo Frame
Phones have grown quite a bit in size in recent years, so there is a good chance that the phone they have is 5 inches or more. So turning it into a photo frame is a great idea to add extra life to that old smartphone!
One of the best solutions is to simply use Google Photos. Since recently we have the option to create a Slideshow from an album and, since Google Photos synchronizes all our photos too much, it is easy to continue taking photographs with the new cell phone and let Google Photos be in charge of synchronizing everything!
Separate a few pretty photos into an album, check it out in Google Photos on the old phone, and start the slideshow. In this way, they will be able to convert their old phone into a practical photo frame that we can place on the nightstand!
9) Watch / Clock Alarm. Smart alarm
Another great use that we can give our phone on the nightstand is to turn it into a smart alarm! The Clock Google app is quite good, and an excellent way to leave our phone always connected, telling us the time and helping us wake up.
Another great app that we can install on the phone is Sleep Cycle, which will wake us up intelligently during periods of light sleep:
Finally, another type of use for an old cell phone is as a sleep monitor with Sleep As Android. We put it under the pillow and thanks to the advanced sensors of our phone (such as the accelerometer, gyroscope and microphone), you will know that we are in deep or light sleep. It is an excellent way to improve sleep quality but, above all, also help us wake up in a time range that is when we are in a light sleep.
10) Give it away / Sell it
Finally, if none of these options seems attractive to you, why not give it away? Surely they have a family member or friend who could get more out of it than we do, who may have an inferior phone, who would benefit from our phone!
Another option? Well, sell it to friends, or publish it on OLX.
And there you have it! one0 different uses for an old cell phone, when we remove it to make room for our most recent acquisition!
Do you have another idea or application to give new life to your old smartphones? Don't forget to leave your tips in the comments!