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10 Fun Ways to Re-Use Your Old SmartPhone

by Vidya Sury December 6, 2017 9 comments
10 Fun Ways to Re-Use Your Old SmartPhone. Repurposing turns things into other things which is a lot like magic. #technology #repurpose #reuse #tips #smartphone

Technology changes at lightning speed, especially when it comes to smartphones.

And chances are, like me, you’ve got an old cell phone or three tucked away, collecting dust in your drawer.  Lucky you if you have been able to trade them in each time you upgrade to a new one.  But that’s not always possible. How to re-use your old smartphone?

In my case, the phones were still in good working condition and I just couldn’t bring myself to exchange them for next to nothing. Oh, I did donate two old phones, but there’s one whose battery is still going strong and I use it as a second phone. I suspect I may have to retire it shortly, though.

I know a super-geeky person who is a whizz at doing all kinds of things with old electronics. Not only does he create art, but also finds ways to give them new life with new uses. I was dazzled by some of his brilliant suggestions.

So if you are wondering what to do with your old cell phone rather than have them lying in your table drawer and clucking every time they get in the way, I’ve got ten solid ideas for you.

Top of the mind is, of course, as I mentioned earlier, is to give/gift them, to charity. You could also sell them, trade them in. Or explore the following fun ways to keep them AND use them.

10 Fun Ways to Re-Use Your Old Smartphone

10 Fun Ways to Re-Use Your Old SmartPhone. Repurposing turns things into other things which is a lot like magic. #technology #repurpose #reuse #tips #smartphone


Yeah! Put a reading app on it and you’re good to go! This way, your phone is also child-friendly!

Photo library

Use the storage/SD card as a photo library. If the camera still works, yay! I have a phone dedicated for emergencies just for this.

Wall Art

You can add a nice touch to any room by reusing your phone as a piece of wall art. Unlike other static pieces, a phone presents you with many aesthetic choices. For instance, how about putting on a slideshow or setting up your old phone to display meditative video art? Or using it to add a new point of focus that brings more than static imagery to the table?

There’s one thing though; this idea might not work 24/7 because your phone needs charging. So if you want, you can plug it into the nearest outlet, or wait for it to fully charge.

Add Touch Screen to Your Car

Have an older car model without a fancy interface? Use your old phone to add a touch screen UI.  You could use many third-party apps to update your car’s technology, but that’s an expensive proposition. Instead, just use your old phone to update the system without breaking an arm or a leg.

You just need a wired adapter to charge the phone and you have a handy display for podcasts and music. If you want to add GPS to your new phone system, you’ll need to invest in a data plan to keep your maps functioning. There are offline maps, but those don’t give you real-time traffic information.

Emergency 911 Phone

If your old phone still works, it will have the ability to access emergency services. Every phone can contact 911 even if it does not have a SIM card. If you find yourself in need of assistance and your working phone has no charge, you can use your emergency phone to call for help. Is that a brilliant way to re-use your old smartphone or not?

Dedicated Music Player or Radio

Have a subscription to a music streaming service? Then you have access to loads of music. You can use your old phone as a dedicated music player at home. If the quality of your phone’s speaker is low, think about connecting it to another speaker via Bluetooth.


Your phone’s big display will still function even without a network connection. Use it as a timepiece; it has more versatility than your average wall clock. To get the best time display, try a few clock apps to find the best one for you.

Also, as a sleek alarm clock, it totally rocks.

TV Remote

If you have a phone that can double up as a remote, you only have to download a remote app to use it. You do not even have to spend any money on a new remote—you can just use your old phone instead of throwing it away.

VR Headset

There are many impressive and high-end VR headsets in the market meant for serious gamers. You can also use shells made to transform your phone into a VR headset. If you love gaming, this is the ideal way to re-use your old smartphone.

Alternatively, if you do not want to keep your old phone or re-purpose it, you always have the option of selling it and use that money to buy a new phone. Considering the affordable iPhone 7 some providers offer, it won’t take much to enjoy all the amazing features this phone provides.

Baby monitor

I was stunned to read about this. Old phones and tablets make excellent baby monitors, particularly when you are out and you want to keep an eye on your little one at home. There are apps that, once connected to a Wi-Fi connection, can alert your current smartphone when your child wants to communicate. Better still, you can chat with your baby. Imagine the money saved on setting up a security camera!

Do you have an old smartphone?

How will you re-use your old smartphone?

Which one of these ten ideas appeal to you?


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Obsessivemom December 6, 2017 at 11:31 am

Loved that list. Turning your phone into an ereader is cool. And simple too. We do use our phones in so many ways. There is an amazing number of apps out there. I would never have thought of using one as a TV remote or a Baby Monitor.

How do we know December 6, 2017 at 11:53 am

Wow Vidya! These are really good!

Dagny December 6, 2017 at 12:14 pm

Hmmm. Those are fun tips indeed. Moreover, there’s no point junking a piece of tech that still works. Thanks for this Vidya!

Darla M Sands December 6, 2017 at 7:02 pm

Clever! I’m still resisting smart phone ownership, though my partner’s does come in handy now and again, such as at a rock concert. ~grin~ We traded phones when I saw Avenged Sevenfold live so I could record and share some of the performance. I also used it to GPS mark where I parked, though I ended up not needing that application after all. Namaste, my dear.

Jayakrishnan December 6, 2017 at 8:02 pm

Thanks Ms.Vidya….
True you are absolutely correct, the phone outlets around the world are filled with “Smart Phones” with multiple features and almost every day we could observe the ads on new versions with upgraded features of Smart Phones of various brands. It looks like, in near future, the smart phones also be like dresses, each one will have a few resting on their dressing table and the one who is much conscious on matching colours will select accordingly… Feels that in near future even manufacturers will come out with a new technology, which help the user to change the colour of mobile set by just press of a button, to select based on their own choice…. Yes, I too have two sets, one is a smaller and other is slightly bigger. Handling the smaller one is much easier… I could carry it comfortably in my pocket. So, for all voice calls I am using this one with a dedicated SIM and the other one is almost all the time kept at home to access data through WiFi and carry it with me only when I visit outstations also for the purpose of photographs.

As you mentioned “Top of the mind is, of course, is gift to charity”, no doubt nothing bring more satisfaction than this. Hence, my first preference also would be definitely this….. because feel that all other options, even though looks wonderful, we may loose the charm of it day by day…

Marjorie M McAtee December 7, 2017 at 4:22 am

Great ideas! I might try some of these with my old phone! 🙂

Ramya Abhinand December 7, 2017 at 9:54 am

Wow…. i am pulling out my old phone.. would love to load all my old pic on to it, and set up a slide show….Or maybe a dedicated music player. Oh well! may be both 🙂

Joseph A. Sanders April 4, 2018 at 9:40 pm

Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning this post.Thanks for sharing this nice post!

Kostas Chiotis June 8, 2018 at 5:55 pm

This is actually one of the most interesting posts about smartphones I’ve seen in a while. I think recycling wherever possible is such a cool thing to do. Photo album, TV remote and VR headset are my favorites.


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