Chances are that you have an old phone or two collecting dust, forgotten in a drawer somewhere around your house. We all do. Surely this can't be the best way to treat old, unused, and obsolete electronics, can it? Of course not.
In fact, there are many things one can do with an old handset, especially if it belongs to the smartphone kind. As long as it is functional, the device can be still used or repurposed, and if it doesn't work anymore, recycling it would be the right thing to do. Need more ideas as to what can be done with an old smarthphone? Then flick through the slideshow below!
10 best things to do with an old smartphone
10 best things to do with an old smartphone
1. Sell it
As many would agree, selling an old smartphone that isn't needed anymore would be the most logical thing to to in many cases. Even a damaged smartphone may fetch a fair price on eBay or Craigslist, where it will be bought by someone who will then probably fix the damage or use the device for spare parts. Alternatively, services like Gazelle or RadioShack's trade-in service would work as well, although their trade-in price may not be as high as you'd wish it was.
2. Give it away
We're sure you know someone who would be happy to own a smartphone, albeit a used one. Think younger brothers, sisters, cousins, or other siblings who would appreciate the gift. Just make sure you wipe all that private date before giving your handset away!Image via Paul Mayne
3. Recycle it
If your old phone is beyond repair, then recycling it would be a wise thing to do. After all, humans already generate plenty of electronic garbage destined to end up in a landfill. You may contact your phone's manufacturer for assistance in recycling, but your carrier will likely be ready to help as well.
4. Use it as a back-up phone
You just never know when your new smartphone might start acting up, so keeping an old handset as a back-up device might be a good idea. Just charge its battery, shut it down, and throw it in the glove box of your car.
5. Hack its software
Assuming your old phone is still operational, then you can use it as a guinea pig for software testing and hacking. If it is an Android device, try flashing a custom ROM on it - it's fun and the process will teach you a few things about the way Android smartphones operate. Some old Windows Mobile phones are also susceptible to hacking; some will even run Android, albeit with limited functionality. The XDA-Developers forum holds many tips, tricks, and hacks related to most of the smartphones in existence.
6. Hack its hardware
What would happen if you swap your old smartphone's stock LED flash for a 3W Luxeon module? Or did you know that you can actually make an iPhone's Apple logo glow? What if you rub its metal or plastic body with car polish - will it sparkle once it has been fully treated? These are just a few of the many hardware hacks one can perform on an old smartphone, just for the heck of it.Image via Adafruit
7. Destroy it in a creative manner
There's this website that you've probably heard of - it is called YouTube. There may be plenty of videos on it showing phones getting destroyed in all kinds of ways, but uploading one more won't hurt, so get out your camera and start shooting. Who knows, your video may go viral! Just be careful and use your common sense! A phone's battery contains deadly chemicals, so don't burn or microwave it, as fun as doing so may sound.
8. Use it as part of a DIY project
Smartphones are versatile tools! For example, a smartphone can be used as an IP camera, an eavesdropping device, or as a time-lapse video recorder, given the right software. That's why an old handset might be a useful component in a DIY project you can put together in a weekend - a project like this critter cam made by Art Barrios. Be creative!Image via Art's Tech Blog
9. Turn it into art
Get some paint, glitter, and a suitable brush and let your imagination loose! Once you're done, you'll have the prettiest paperweight that could possibly exist!Image via Instructables
10. Take it apart
If you have the time and patience, you can try taking a smartphone apart and explore its innards in details, be it to learn more about electronics, or just for fun. You'll discover that even the simplest of smartphones can be pretty complex on the inside.Image via iFixit