Continue to use old Android smartphones wisely


You bought a new smartphone and you still don’t know what to do with the old one? Selling, giving away or donating are good options. But there is also the option to continue using the old smartphone with a new function. We have a few creative ideas for you.

The EU has no working plan on electronic waste. Old devices continue to pile up in Africa. However, new smartphones continue to be designed in a disposable, disposable design and generally no longer receive  security-critical updates or spare parts such as a fresh battery after two years at the latest. Sustainably designed smartphones are rare and too expensive .

And so we often sit on an actually good old device after only about two years, while the new smartphone from the contract extension gives our digital everyday life a fresh breeze. So what do we do with the old iron? The siding also points in many directions. We give you some exciting upcycling tips for your old smartphone.

Use your old smartphone …

Below you will find more tips on how to sell your old smartphone, donate it or use it for exciting software experiments.

Recycle your old Android device to a surveillance camera

Edward Snowden is considered the godfather of the digital paranoid. With Haven, he has developed an open source app that appeals to his typical target group and at the same time delivers exactly the service promised here: Haven uses all sensors in your old smartphone to feel, hear, see or otherwise detect intruders. As soon as a sensor exceeds the threshold you have set, you will receive a message via SMS signal or other channels.Haven: Keep Watch (BETA)

The alternative SalientEye recognizes movements that the camera of your old smartphone records. The notifications will then appear on the Internet on your main smartphone, on which you are using the appropriate remote control app.

Use your old smartphone as a baby monitor

Expectant parents could save themselves the purchase of a baby monitor. A dedicated device doesn’t cost much, but your old smartphone could even be a better alternative. Baby monitor apps abound in the Play Store, so an early self-test is worthwhile. The “Baby Monitor” apps network your old and new smartphones with each other via the Internet. This even ensures a longer range than with a conventional baby monitor.

If you really turn off your old smartphone as a baby monitor, you should of course mute all other notifications. And so that it does not switch off, you should connect it to the mains power. Try this ad financed app:WiFi Baby Monitor: Free

Use your old smartphone as a GPS and offline navigation device

Even the cheapest smartphone with GPS and compass has important means of navigating on board. Even if you should operate your old smartphone without a SIM card, you can feed it with offline cards and give it to a friend for the trip or hike for quick location. So you can keep your expensive, new smartphone at home.

Turn your Android phone into a landline device

Do you use a FritzBox at home for WiFi and telephony? Then you can install the AVM phone app on your old smartphone and convert it de facto into a landline phone. A suitable docking station will keep your old device ready for use at a central location in the apartment and the battery charged.

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With a docking station, the old smartphone is always ready for use as a landline phone. / © AndroidPIT

FRITZ! App Fon

Old Android smartphone as an MP3 player or radio

If you still have a collection of MP3 files or other, DRM-free copies of your music, you can logically still use your old smartphone as a music player. Last but not least, the jack connection helps, which your new smartphone probably no longer has. Together with the appropriate MicroSD card, you also have plenty of storage space.

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Use old smartphones to listen to music. / © AndroidPIT by Irina Efremova

The abundance of Internet radio can also be exploited via WLAN. Connect your old smartphone with a jack adapter to the aux in your stereo system and search  the channels with an app like RadioDroid 2 or one of the other radio apps for Android .RadioDroid 2

More tips for reusing your old smartphone

Sell ​​old smartphone

If your old smartphone is really only two years old, the battery lasts from morning to evening or is inexpensive to replace and the display is still ok, you can still sell the smartphone well. We have prepared tips for this in a separate article:

If you no longer have any use for the old smartphone, you can donate functional old devices. The eco blog lists the following return options:

Equip old smartphones with alternative software

Some old smartphones can also be used for exciting software experiments. Projects like Postmarket OS or Lineage OS breathe new life into many old smartphones and also often deliver updates for longer.

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