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10 creative uses for your old phone

From using it to save the rainforest to mining bitcoin, here are our top 10 things to do with your old smartphone.

  1. Recycle it


    With 130 million devices discarded each year in the US alone, so-called ‘e-waste’ is filling landfill sites with toxic materials, such as lithium batteries. Services like Envirofone will recycle damaged phones, extracting valuable components so they can be reused.
  2. Sell it

    edit_Sell it
    If you own your phone outright, there is no reason why you can’t sell it on. Many networks will knock money off new contracts for your old phone, while online services will pay cold, hard cash for your unwanted device.

  3. Hack it

    3D Android
    Being able to root your phone is one of Android’s biggest selling points, but for beginners this can be a daunting task. Rather than experimenting on your premium handset that is still under contract, practice hacking on
    an unwanted, last-gen device.

  4. Save the rainforest

    Donate your phone to Rainforest Connection and they turn your old into a listening device in the Amazon. It will alert then be used to aert nearby rangers when it hears illegal tree clearing.

  5. Turn it into a universal remote

    Watching Android TV
    Even the oldest Android device can be turned into a remote for your entertainment system. If your device has an IR blaster, it likely has this feature built-in, or you can download Smart IR Remote.

  6. Donate it to science

    Apps035- Genius Science Apps
    Berkley University’s free BOINC app harnesses your phone’s processing power as part of a powerful network of computers studying diseases, predicting global warming and discovering pulsars. Best of all, BOINC only runs on a fully charged phone connected to Wi-Fi so won’t waste your battery or data.

  7. Make it kid friendly

    Over 50 per cent of children under eight are now able to work their parent’s device, so why not turn your phone into a touchscreen toy? Add parental controls and a child-friendly interface with Kids Place or Zoodles’ Kids Mode from the Google Play store.

  8. Build a DIY smart car

    To get your very own Android Auto on the cheap, fit your last-gen phone to your dash with a goo.ey skin, power it via the cigarette lighter with an adapter, and – voilà – you have a built-in satnav and MP3 player.

  9. Game on

    Man and women playing games on phones
    Using Chromecast it’s easy to use an old phone as a remote control for playing Android games on your TV. However, you can also run emulators, like DraStic DS Emulator, on your old phone to play your favourite old-school console games.

  10. Mine bitcoin


    Apps like Easy Miner make it easy to generate so-called ‘crypto-currencies’ on your device, but the amount of power required to run the necessary algorithms will drain your battery quickly, making this an ideal task for an old phone you can leave on charge.

Have you got any other creative uses for your old Android phone? Share them in the comments section below.