Smartphones are the craze and everybody loves and uses them now but what happens to them when they become old and unusable?
Phones have become a necessity that every modern person finds it difficult to go anywhere without them. The weird thing about smartphones however is they practically don’t last for more than two years before you need to retire them!
After a few years, all devices—particularly those that we carry with us at all times—are bound to show a little wear and tear. They might have a few bumps and scratches or perhaps they slow down to annoying speeds.
You can avoid trauma by purchasing a case and screen guard; and fixing the slowness the slowness with a nice clean factory restart.
If you take basic precautions, your old phone can have a productive afterlife. While the specifications may no longer be what you desire, your old phone can still be super useful if you have Wi-Fi access.
Here, we present a number of cool ways to put your old and unusable phones to good use.
Pixl Toys recently launched a Kickstarter to raise funds to produce a shell that could transform old smartphones into handy, rugged camera for kids.
Even if you don’t buy into this particular effort by Pixl, this project showcases an obvious second life for smartphones as a standalone camera. There is absolutely no need for a wireless network for the camera to work and any images can be transmitted via Wi-Fi or a wired medium.
Always-On Skype Machine
As long as you have decent Wi-Fi coverage, your old smartphone can serve as a dedicated Skype interface or FaceTime, Google Duo, or snap chat or whatever video chat platform you prefer.
This guarantees you won’t miss a call and allows you to still use your main device while conversing with friends and family.
The nice big display of your phone will work whether you have a network connection or not. Which means you can use it as a permanent clock which can bring more versatility than your bedside clock.
While there are some high-end and standalone headsets out there aimed at serious gamers, there are also a number of “shells” designed to transform your smartphone into a decent VR headset for passive viewing.
Some are designed for specific models, for example Gear VR which is meant to be paired with specific Samsung Galaxy phone models; or Daydream View designed just for Google Pixel devices. While these devices are good, they are limited and quite expensive.
Using your old smartphone is the best as there are lots of VR apps it will play nicely with and it can display any “360” video on YouTube. So, for comparatively little investment, you could turn your old smartphone into a permanent VR headset.
If you lose your TV remote, you can download the official manufacturers app onto your phone. It may act like a virtual remote that connects to your TV via their shared wireless network. There are a few setups that allow for Wi-Fi remotes including OTT devices like Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV in addition to a number of connected TVs.
Dedicated Music Player
If you are an ardent subscriber to one of the many streaming music services out there that allows you gain access to just about any song ever made, you’re definitely a cool person.
You can use your old phone as a dedicated music player, while also pairing it with a Bluetooth speaker or connected dongle such as Chromecast Audio, to improve the audio quality.