8 Great Ideas for Using Your Retired Smart Phone

smartphone usage

Smart phones can last quite a long time if they are cared for properly, but what makes people place their old phone away somewhere out of sight is the desire to get the most updated phone with the most modern features. A well looked after phone doesn’t need to be discarded so abruptly. There are other useful roles it can play in your life, since as long as it is the sort of phone that allows apps to be downloaded there are plenty of roles it can play.

Here are 8 great ideas for using your recently retired smart phone:

  • A smart security device

Whatever type of phone it is, you should be able to install a security camera app on it and use it as a smart security device. There are plenty of these apps available, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting what you want. Apps have different functions which can reach out to you from any where you are throughout the world. An IP webcam downloaded onto your old smart phone enables you to check on your home while you are on holiday. It’s so good that if there is any unusual movement in your home, it will send you a text.

  • Media control and connectivity

There are many apps available that can turn your old smart phone into a Wi-Fi remote control device for a media players and a compatible TV. You may also use your smart phone with a Chromecast, as an access device for smart media. This means you can flick content easily from your phone directly to your TV.

  • Alarm clock, calendar and photo frame

Smart phones do make useful alarm clocks. You don’t need an internet connection either. You can also connect the same phone to an existing calendar which will notify you as appointments come round. If it’s sitting on your bedside table it’s the time to use it as a photo frame showcasing some of your favourite photos.

  • An all in one game player and eReader

Use the smart phone as an all in one device for playing games you have downloaded and as an eReader after downloading books on to it. Of course, there is a limit to battery staying power, but you can keep it plugged in while using it to make sure it doesn’t run out of power. More storage space if needed can be handled by inserting a larger memory card.

  • A handy cycle computer

A spare smart phone with a GPS is a handy device to use to check your speed and position when out riding your cycle. It can be attached neatly onto your handle bars with a bracket that makes easy viewing possible and saves the need to buy a dedicated cycle computer. You can download an app so that the maps are available to you while you are offline. If you are keen to monitor your fitness while out on a ride you can connect your smart phone to a heart rate monitoring device using Bluetooth.

  • Hand it on to your kids

Your older smart phone may not necessarily look as trendy as newer models but it’s what it can do that’s important. There are plenty of free games you can download for your kid’s entertainment and if you want them to use your old smart phone for educational use there are some fun educational games available for free too. Most smart phones have a timing mechanism you can set so you can take some sort of control over the time your kids are allowed to spend.

  • Use it as an encyclopedia of knowledge

For the days when you are experiencing a telco outage or there’s a cyclone or flood threat, stow your old smart phone in your grab bag so you can get it out to learn and share new things while you while time away in a shelter or wait for the outage to disappear.

  • Use it as a torch

There are flashlight apps available to download which gives you a handy back-up torch to guide you through a moonless night when you have to walk or get a bus home.

One thing you could remember if you want your old smart phone to be used as a smart device for other things on-the-go is to have a back-up power source like a battery pack to give it a charge boost or even a small flexible solar panel to charge it when the sun’s out.


You may really prefer to store your older smart phone just in case you break your current phone, but there are other useful ways it can be put to use before it really reaches its used by date.

Neil Aitken

Having worked in 3 countries for 4 telcos on both voice and data products, Neil is in a position to give you the inside track. Get beyond the marketing messages to the best plan for you.