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When you’ve got a new smartphone, what do you do with your old mobile phones? You could exchange it or sell it to get a few bucks How to Get the Most Cash From Selling Your Old Smartphone How to Get the Most Cash From Selling Your Old Smartphone Selling your old smartphone is a great way to raise funds. That is, as long as you do it right Read More . But you might be getting the bad end of that deal. Repurposing your phone is a much better idea.

Think about it. That old phone, whether it’s an archaic Nokia or a recent Android or iPhone, has some sophisticated circuitry inside. As we move into a world of smart homes and connected devices, your phone’s technology is more useful than ever before.

So while it might be technically obsolete as a phone, it can still serve several other uses – any of which are better than contributing to the mountains of e-waste building up in the world Thou Shalt Consume: The Story of Consumer Electronics [Feature] Thou Shalt Consume: The Story of Consumer Electronics [Feature] Every year, exhibitions around the world present new high tech devices; expensive toys that come with many promises. They aim to make our lives easier, more fun, super connected, and of course they are status. Read More . You just need to get creative. Here are a few ideas to start you off.

Some of the DIY fixes and other tricks you read online seem amazing. For example, you can actually replace a damaged screen yourself The Guide To Replacing a Damaged Mobile Phone Display The Guide To Replacing a Damaged Mobile Phone Display If you have damaged the screen of your mobile phone – perhaps you dropped it or sat down while the device was in your pocket – you’ve immediately given yourself a headache. Can the phone. Read More . But it can be intimidating to do it. What if you can’t do it? What if you make things worse?

An old phone is the perfect way to get over those fears. There’s nothing to lose now, and everything to gain. Practice anything you want on an old phone. You can start with something small like jailbreaking an old iPhone, or installing a custom ROM on Android How to Find and Install a Custom ROM for Your Android Device How to Find and Install a Custom ROM for Your Android Device Android is super customizable, but to fully take advantage of that, you need to flash a custom ROM. Here's how to do that. Read More . If you’re comfortable with those, try something challenging like disassembling and reassembling a phone.

There are things about your smartphone that you know are possible, but you’ve never explored. This is the time to explore them.

Do you have an old Nokia or some such candybar device with a number pad? Get ready for the geekiest DIY project of your life. The web’s beloved DIY enthusiast, Tinkernut, has a guide to turn that phone into a modern smartwatch!

It’s a difficult one, so we wouldn’t suggest this for newbies in the DIY world. You’ll be taking apart your old phone and using some of its circuitry. You’ll also need an Arduino board to hack everything together What Is Arduino & What Can You Do With It? What Is Arduino & What Can You Do With It? The Arduino is a remarkable little electronics device, but if you've never used one before, just what exactly are they, and what can you do with one? Read More . The recommended version is the Arduino Pro Mini, which costs about $10. The total cost of the parts, apart from the old phone, is less than $50. Not bad for a new smartwatch, which you can proudly show off and say you made yourself.

The question isn’t, “Do you need a smartwatch or not?” Should You Buy A Smartwatch Now, Or Wait? Should You Buy A Smartwatch Now, Or Wait? Everyone is talking about smartwatches and other wearables as "the next big thing." So, should you buy a smartwatch today, or wait for the smartwatches to come? Read More . The question is, “Do you have it in you to make a smartwatch?”.

Right now, a hacker can easily trace back all the data from your phone to you. If you have an extra smartphone, you can turn it into a “ghost phone” with Lifehacker’s guide. It’s completely untraceable.

A ghost phone is important in today’s world. It’ll keep your identity secure on online dating sites, or if you’re selling something on Craigslist. And who knows, you might want to leak confidential information like Snowden.

It’s actually pretty simple to set up.


  • Install one of the apps to get a temporary burner phone number. The recommended options are Hushed or Burner.
  • Add a secure VPN (virtual private network) service that encrypts all data going out of your phone. CyberGhost and Hideman both do this.
  • Create a new Google or Apple account from this phone. Don’t sign in with your existing account on the app stores. Similarly, create new accounts for any app you want to use.
  • Don’t buy any app or service. Online transactions leave a money trail.

This is a handy gadget to have with you. Any time you want to take a data-sensitive online action, it’ll keep you more secure than your everyday phone.

Most of these tricks are useful if you have a functional old phone. But what if it’s a busted old clamshell phone or a broken iPhone? Roll up your sleeves and turn it into the coolest wallet around.

This project requires you to take apart the phone and remove all the gadgetry inside. You just want the outer case, nothing else. Sites like iFixit will show you how to disassemble anything Something Broken? Learn To Fix Anything With These 4 Websites Something Broken? Learn To Fix Anything With These 4 Websites You can spend hundreds of dollars to have a professional help you out, or you can learn how to fix it yourself for the cost of some tools and a couple hours of work. Read More .

Depending on what phone you have, you can now get creative with how you want to use it as a wallet. Instructables has a couple of inspirational guides for this. Someone turned a broken iPod Touch into a wallet, while an old shell phone makes a good modern piggy bank for kids.

Instead of spending good money to buy a bunch of security cameras, why not just use old smartphones? They work brilliantly, and it’s easy too.

There are two ways you can go about this. First, you use apps on popular mobile platforms, if your old phones are smartphones. Second, you set things up manually so that the operating system doesn’t matter.

For an Android-only setup, nothing is as easy as Perch. Download the app, place your phone where you want it, and you can watch all the action on another phone or computer.

For an iOS or Android+iOS setup, get Presence. You can set up multiple phones this way, and it has a web view option to check the feeds on a computer.

For Windows Phone, Gotya seems to be the preferred option for many users.

In case you’re looking to reuse non-smart phones with Wi-Fi, then you’ll need to set it up manually. As long as it connects to your home Wi-Fi, we have the complete guide to set up old phones as a home security network How to Build a Security Camera Network Out Of Old Smartphones How to Build a Security Camera Network Out Of Old Smartphones There's no better use of old smartphones than by building your own DIY network security camera system -- we show you everything you need to know! Read More .

This is one of the most popular ways to reuse an old smartphone. Whether it’s running Android or iOS, you’ll be able to control almost anything in your smart home.

What you need to check is if your Android phone has an infrared (IR) blaster. This will let it connect to TVs, air conditioners, and other devices that normally use a remote control. The iPhone does not have an IR blaster.

If the phone doesn’t have an IR blaster, well, you’ll need to get IR connectivity somehow. You can either add an IR blaster to the phone with a third-party accessory. These usually cost about $40-60. You could even DIY it for cheap. Or you can buy the Logitech Harmony Hub for around $100. The Harmony Hub acts as an IR “base” for all your devices, and then connects to your phone over Wi-Fi. If you have the cash, the Harmony Hub is the easiest option.

Hopefully, your old phone is an Android with an expandable memory card slot, or with plenty of internal memory. If so, turn that into a portable gaming device for your kids (or yourself).

In fact, add a gamepad. Buy a Moga controller, which starts at $30, and load up your phone with some addictive games. Apart from Moga, we’ve covered some of the best controllers for Android Enhance Android Gaming With These Controller Options Enhance Android Gaming With These Controller Options Gaming on a touchscreen can be difficult and frustrating. While being able to whip out your Android phone and sneak in a little Final Fantasy on your lunch break is great, having no tactile feedback. Read More and everything you need to know about gamepads for iPhones Game Controllers & iOS: Here's What You Need To Know Game Controllers & iOS: Here's What You Need To Know Read More .

This is perhaps the simplest way to repurpose an old smartphone, and your kids will love you for it. Given the amazing games released on Android and iOS these days, it’s also a cheaper option than buying a PlayStation Portable or Nintedo DS. And just in case you feel like going retro with emulators, touchscreens are terrible and gamepads are awesome Why Touchscreen Controls Are Useless For Retro Gaming & How To Fix It Why Touchscreen Controls Are Useless For Retro Gaming & How To Fix It For far too long have forgotten classics been reduced to curios because touchscreen controls just don't give you the genuine experience of playing them. Rise up and take back your retro gaming experience! Read More .

It is ridiculous how many people overlook the simplest use for an old smartphone. Grab a car phone holder, a double-port car charger, and fix your phone in place permanently.

No, you don’t need to be wasting your everyday phone’s battery or data on GPS and turn-by-turn directions. That’s what the car phone is for.

No, you don’t need to spend a ridiculous amount of money for an awesome car stereo with Bluetooth and internet radio. Just buy one of the best Bluetooth speakers Best Bluetooth Speakers Under $25 and up to $300 in 2016 Best Bluetooth Speakers Under $25 and up to $300 in 2016 You can't beat the convenience of going wire-free. Great audio quality may always need wired speakers, but for music on your phone Bluetooth speakers are a must-have accessory nowadays. Read More , and play music from your car phone. Heck, you can actually go old-school and load it up with offline music; a luxury you can’t afford on your regular phone with its limited storage.

Just do this and see how much better your driving experience is.

These are just some of the many things you can do with an old phone instead of throwing it out. It’s only limited by your imagination. We’re sure some of you have come up with even cooler applications for unused handsets. Tell us how you repurposed them in the comments.

Originally written by Saikat Basu, published May 4th 2012.

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Very basic repurpose. My old flip-phone is my dedicated wireless alarm clock, with 3 timers and snooze. Small footprint and old service generously still keeps it synced to correct time.

After Friday February 17th, Perch will no longer be available.

I've an old broken android O7 tablet.it's display is broken and battery is dead.It is pretty useless.So I was wondering Is there a way to recycle it's parts like camera, wifi,memory,circuit e.t.c e.t.c.

Here's another smart approach, paired with the right app you could use your old Android device as a Powerful, Accurate Car Tracker.

My recommendations for a very effective solution, make certain that:

2. Can connect to your mobile data network

Here's my discovery if you need to jump right into a video and skip the written explanation:

Log in with your Google or Gmail account. You can also create a new Google account just for this.

Make sure that location services in on and actively locating this device.

Next, find a secure location in your vehicle and hide your old smartphone.

Be sure that it's effectively receiving GPS signal and remains connected to your mobile data network.

Then, From another mobile device or from a computer, log into Android Device Manager.

Be sure you're logging into the same account that the hidden smartphone (tracker) is using.

Now, as your vehicle is in motion you can use Android Device Manager as the tracking platform

You'll be able to achieve real-time updates, it's TOTALLY free to use and managed by Google.

Many women's shelters and the YWCA will take old phones to give to domestic violence victims. Some are women who won't/can't leave their abusers, but need a way to call 911, so the phones don't need to have a plan. Just make sure to delete everything and reset to factory settings.

Oooh this is awesome. Thanks for the recommendation, Robin :)

I use one of my iPhone 4 as a clock. It is sitting on a book shelf in the den. I call it my iClock. I use another iPhone 4 as a desk lamp in my office. And, yes, I call it my iLight. Repurposing is free fun.

Nice. But the "4" still has the processing power for a lot more things.

Yes it does Saikat. I have a lot of old phones, computers, iPods, iPads, notebooks etc.going back to my first piece of personal "tech" the Commodore Plus/4. While I had that at home I was writing my own programs in Fortran Four and punching IBM cards at the university. So I have had 32 years to collect, repurpose or retire my tech. And just for a silly example I posted my comment about the "4" s I have found two very simple uses for. I also have an iPaperWeigh. And the list goes on.

Do you have any ideas for camera or maybe processor from iphone 5? im looking for something interestig.

Nice one and it is very important to protect the e-waste and definitely i will do it

I use my old cellphones as remote cameras and alarm systems using worldwatcher software. I find it a way to put those old phones that usually just lay around to good use. I am saving a lot of money on security that way. I get an email with a photo when motion is detected. And I can set it to send photos on a schedule to my email address. The remote eyes can be commanded remotely from anywhere in the world. This software costs only $2.50 ! Have a look at http://worldwatcher.biz

Hey Albert, thanks for the input. That sounds like huge savings!

Ummm. if it is your old phone how do you use it as anything without having to still pay into a monthly plan? I know some phones won't even boot without a functional SIM card, which you will probably transfer to the new phone. The webcam idea wouldn't work without a data plan or at least the ability to connect to WiFi. Also, the person using his old phone for a car alarm would have to pay a monthly fee to use GPS and have the phone accept calls. Unless you put your old phone on a cheap family plan where you only have to pay a small fee for additional phones or a pay as you go type deal, I don't see most of these working. If you are going to pay extra to keep your old phone working, then I would suggest using it as a secret phone for cheating, drug dealing, making threatening stalker calls, spying on a spouse using GPS tracking and auto answer for eavesdropping, spy camera for perverts, vibrator for perverts, a secret hiding spot for all your porn, and the classic cell phone bomb detonator.

Phone plans are getting cheaper by the day. And you can achieve these with a minimal plan. Here in my country, cellphone operators usually push a free SIM with our main connections, so it works out to be a cheap solution sometimes if you use it for minimal tasks or just to keep an alternate phone going.

ever heard of a usb cord? all you do is connect and turn on the camera function, the video camera so you are sure to understand lol. the camera and the video still work fine as do voice recorders and on most of the smartphones, WiFi will also work where you can use it through your computer similar to vonage but with no other issues. try rooting for dummy's lol unless it is an iPhone then jailbreak for dummy's hahaha. Why would you even post except perhaps you wanted a genuine homeland security file for suggesting terrorist activities. And fortunately Since ALL phones sim car, gps or not, are by mandate of the United States federal courts ordered to be able to make a 911 call, at least if you try one stupid terrorist or rapist stalking pervert ideas, anyone will be able to grab any phone, minutes or not, since I imagine you are prepaid or a burner, and call the authorities on your butt when these fantasies you are exuding begin to manifest themselves.

Very cool article. i like the jail breaking and art things.

great article! I have a friend who uses his old phones as makeshift alarms for his cars and motorcycles. It's quite nifty. Of course he doesn't use it as a siren alarm tho. What he does is connect the phone to one of those big science fair project batteries (to keep it charged for long periods of time)and put it in his bike or hide it somewhere in the car. then he puts the phone on auto answer and the ringer on silent. If someone steals his bike or car all he has to do is call the phone and when it automatically picks up, track it via GPS.

Hey, that's a great tip. And easily workable too. Thanks for sending it in.

Great article sir. I have an old Nokia 6120 classic, and I was trying to find a way on how to turn it into a webcam. Good thing I found this. Thanks!

Hello Saikat. Its a nice article. And as you said here, I use one of my old nokia s60v3 phone as a webcam and I suggest to use a phone camera as webcam for those who are planning to buy a webcam. There are lots of free applications available for different platforms. I generally use epicam. It supports bluetooth transfer but its far better to use a usb cable for a free flow transfer without any buffering.

Saikat, will you do me a favor of suggesting an app for using my nokia c6 00 (s60v5) as a wireless touchpad and use its sliding qwerty keyboard as a wireless pc keyboard? I've tried many such apps but those are all just mouse controllers and I need to navigate using the arrows on the screen. which is quite uneasy.

It would have been easy had it been an Android device. A search didn't reveal any way to turn a Nokia phone into a wireless keyboard. Tell you what - why don't you put up the question in our Answers section so that a wider community can join in to answer it.

Mihir Patkar is a freelance writer on technology and life hacks, who firmly believes chocolate is the answer to any question. You can usually find him saying other such silly things on Twitter.

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MWC 2017: Nokia 3310, a new version of the classic mobile phone, unveiled

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Nokia's iconic 3310 makes a comeback

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Nokia's iconic 3310 makes a comeback

Barcelona: HMD Global's newly revitalised Nokia phone business went back to the future on Sunday, re-introducing a brightly coloured version of the classic 3310 talk and text phone, the world's most popular device in the year 2000.

The new model resembles a slimmer, larger-screened version of the original and is priced at just 49 euros ($67). Its 22 hours of talk time and up to one month of standby time potentially heighten the phone's appeal as a backup for smartphone users. Unfortunately, it might not be much use to Australians.

While the new 3310 is a significant upgrade in many areas — with a colour screen, a camera, a microSD card slot, the ability to play MP3s and even a new version of the classic game Snake — it sticks with old 2G GSM network standards for calling and texting, according to the Nokia website.

In Australia these networks are currently being phased out, with Telstra having already turned its 2G service off and other telcos to soon follow suit. HMD, which has exclusive rights to make phones with the Nokia brand, told Fairfax Media the new 3310 was a "2.5G device", which is a term generally used to mean it uses GSM for call and text but can also access rudimentary internet over GPRS or EDGE.

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Unlike the original, the rebooted Nokia 3310 offers an internet browser and a colour screen Photo: Bloomberg

"We will start roll it out in Q2 to markets where a 2.5G device is demanded by our customers and consumers", a HMD spokesperson said. "We just announced it at MWC, and we haven't shared our plans for individual markets".

Analysts hailed the 3310 launch as a smart retro gambit, but one which could overshadow the Finnish company's re-entry into the global smartphone market.

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Attendants check the new re-launched Nokia 3310 phone, during a Nokia presentation ahead of Monday's opening of the Mobile World Congress. Photo: AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti

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"The love for the brand is immense. It gets a lot of affection from millions and millions of people," Nokia Chief Executive Rajeev Suri told a news conference at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the phone industry's largest annual trade fair.

Once the world's dominant phonemaker, Nokia in 2014 sold its ailing handset operations to Microsoft for $US7 billion ($9.1 billion), leaving it with its network equipment business and a large patent portfolio.

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The new Nokia 6 smartphone in matt black, left, and the new Nokia 5 smartphone in silver. Photo: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg

But last year, it gave the Nokia brand a fresh start by licensing its devices brand to HMD, a new company led by ex-Nokia executives and backed by Chinese electronics giant Foxconn.

Industry analysts say the revived Nokia 3310 has the makings of one of the hit devices of 2017, appealing to older Nokia fans in developed markets looking for an antidote to smartphone overload, while also appealing to younger crowds in emerging markets.

"HMD owns a retro hit and is surfing on the 'vintage' hype to re-create buzz around the Nokia brand," said Thomas Husson, consumer devices analyst at Forrester Research.

The original 3310 sold 126 million phones, the 12th best-selling phone model in history. Nine of the top 12 selling models were produced by Nokia.

It also revives the one-time hit time waster game Snake, the Angry Birds of its day featured on the original phone. In a modern twist, fans can also now play Snake in Facebook Messenger.

HMD also announced three moderately-priced smartphones that run on Google's Android platform: The Nokia 6 with a 5.5-inch screen, the Nokia 5 with a 5.2-inch screen and the Nokia 3 with a 5.0-inch screen.

HMD appears to be in two minds as to how to market the 3310, believing on the one hand it has a blockbuster product revival, while possibly drowning out Nokia's future-focused smartphone strategy.

"Our focus and future is in Android smart phones," HMD Chief Executive Arto Nummela said in an interview, while refusing to rule out dipping into Nokia's back catalogue of popular feature phones.

Under its licensing deal, HMD has sole use of the Nokia brand on all phones and tablets for the next decade. It will pay Nokia royalties for the brand and patents, but Nokia has no direct investment in HMD.

While for many consumers in developed economies Nokia has disappeared as a phone brand in recent years, it remains popular in many emerging markets. There, Nokia has a reputation for delivering user-friendly feature phones at competitive prices, said Neil Mawston, an analyst with industry research firm Strategy Analytics.

Feature phones accounted for a one in five of the 1.88 billion mobile phones shipped in 2016. Samsung Electronics captured a 13 per cent share of the feature phone business and Nokia, No.2 in feature phones, shipped 9 per cent, according to the market research firm's data.

Ahmad Badr, strategy director for brand consulting firm Siegel+Gale, said the 3310 is a powerful reminder of Nokia's historic popularity but also could limit the company's appeal beyond its short-term nostalgia spike.

"Relying on the success of the 3310 helps it grab the attention of many people who are familiar with Nokia but think it is dead," Badr said in an interview.

"To Nokia, that nostalgia and heritage is not something to hide from, but only if they can create momentum for it."

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