If you’re an early adopter of new technology, chances are you’re one of the people that always has the latest edition of your preferred smartphone. While this is great for the economy, it’s probably not as great for the environment considering electronic waste, or e-waste, is one of the fastest growing sources of garbage in many countries. Luckily there are plenty of things you can still do with that old smartphone. So rather than just tossing it or letting it sit around like an old paperweight, why not try some of the things on this list and put that old phone to good use.
6. Use it as a GPS
One of the best uses for an old cell phone is turning into a dedicated GPS map. If your phone contains a GPS receiver, applications like TomTom and HERE will still work because they utilize onboard maps that work without cellular data or internet. Of course, when you’re offline, you won’t be able to get information like the current traffic situation, but at least you’ll always have access to city and country maps.
5. Use it as a Media Player
If you’ve got an old phone with some internal memory space, it can be used to store music, movies and other media files. By using applications like Server Ultimate you can put just about any type of file on your phone, enabling you to use it as memory stick to save things like notes and pictures, or even as a shuttle drive to transfer files between computers. Sure, you could probably use your current phone to accomplish all these things, but sometimes using an old phone that you don’t care as much about is the best thing for certain situations such as camping or boating.
4. Use it as a Universal Remote
Some cell phones are equipped with infrared sensors so, if your old phone has one, it can easily be used as a substitute remote for your TV—which is great because TV remotes are the third-most lost item in history next to keys and single socks. The app IR Universal Remote uses a phones built-in IR Blaster to control infrared devices like TVs, cable boxes, media players, and DVRs. Using your phone also has an advantage over most conventional remotes because you can always recharge them quickly and they don’t use disposable batteries.
3. Use it as a Portable Gaming Console
While your old phone might not be able to play some of the more resource-hungry HD games available today, if it’s a smartphone, chances are it can at least handle the likes of Angry Birds or Candy Crush. It’s a great way to keep antsy children entertained and much cheaper than a Nintendo DS or Sony PSP. With the right know-how, you can even install emulators of old video game systems and connect an external joystick for that classic gaming experience.
2. Use it For Experimenting
If you’ve always wanted to acquaint yourself with different methods of rooting, jailbreaking, or flashing custom ROMS but never had the guts to try it on your one and only precious mobile phone, now is your chance. If you’re not using your old phone for anything else, you shouldn’t really have any fear of voiding your warranty or accidentally rendering it completely useless. But, even if you do happen to brick the thing, it’s actually still not completely useless because you can still crack open the case, take it apart, and learn all about the inner workings of smartphones.
1. Donate it to Charity
Some charitable organizations, such as Amnesty International and Oxfam, are more than happy to take your old cell phone off your hands. They work together with Fonebank—a company that takes donated phones, uses their parts to refurbish other devices, and then sends the unused parts over seas to be recycled for cash. All the money made by the charities this way is put towards things like water, food, textbooks, and other resources to aid developing countries.