Our instructor asked us rather an unusual question during Management Information System class one time, “How often do you change your mobile phone?” He conducted a survey and it was found that about 60% of students garner a habit of changing their cell phones every year; 30% favored to use it until the second year while a few belonging to the minority of the result chose to stick with their “old” phone. This statistics really awed me, you know? I went home and did a little research of my own, only to find that 54% of American smartphone users upgrade their phone as soon as the old one becomes obsolete while 44% of the users change their cell phone every two years as soon as the cell phone providers allow it. (Swift, 2015)
Considering this startling fact, a lot of us are actually throwing away usable cell phones before they are completely done for; in a way, we are throwing away our money in the garbage. This gets even worse. According to statistics formed in 2012, in America alone, about 140 million cell phones end up in a landfill which can be extremely harmful to the soil as cell phones contain toxic materials such as lead, cadmium, nickel and lithium. (Scarlet, 2012) The numbers have soared even more in the recent past. Rather than just throwing away those “old” devices, here are 7 clever ways to reap maximum utility of your old cell phones:
1. A Digital Camera
If your cell phone possesses more than 8-megapixel camera and a decent working sensor, you can actually forget about throwing it away for the time being and make full use of it. If you are avidly into social networking, you can always use your device to capture selfies and post it once you get to a Wi-Fi network zone. You can even buy lenses from olloclip.com or photojojo to make your old iPhone’s more dynamic.
2. Home Security Camera
Worried about stalkers, burglars or robber knowing that it would surely cost a bunch to install your very own home security equipment? Well, fear no more as your old phones are the ones to save the day. Since you no longer need to carry those smartphones or tablets everywhere you go, you can fix it on a window or in a corner and use it as a home surveillance device. Return home to check whether anyone had sneaked into your home while you were gone.
3. Use It as A Flash Drive
Smartphones and tablets, these days, are quite generous in their storage space. Whether it is only 8GB or an impressive 64GB, the capacity of your device is fully under your control. Rather than using USB drives, smartphones can surely get to be handy since they have the ability to access the Internet through Wi-Fi and sharing files via Bluetooth. Your smartphone USB drive will not only serve you as a Wi-Fi provider but also will be able to support you when engaged in cloud computing. Clearly these are the fields where the USB drives are heavily outmatched.
4. Using It as Wireless Music Player
If you possess an iPhone, Wi-Fi, and a Mac, by using the WiFi2HiFi 2.0 app, you can turn your old device into a wireless music center. You can use your iPhone to play music that is stored on your Mac, as well as listening to songs from sites like Spotify and Pandora. If you only have working speakers and a powerful receiver, you can use that to control volume, skip and pause songs.
5. Using It as a Navigation System
An app like Hudway, being free for both iOS and Android, is indeed a useful add-on to your traveling experience as it offers a sophisticated navigation service that reflects the route onto the windshield. Another useful app is ForeverMap 2, which lets you browse and plan routes, even after being offline. Moreover, this app comes with travel information about thousands of destinations worldwide, so you really do not need to worry about losing your way the next time you set to step into any strange land.
6. Turning It into a Baby Monitor
If you are a parent of a baby or a small child, you can make the best use of your old phone by turning it into a baby inspecting monitor. Bid farewell to the days where mothers need to worry about their children all day while they are out for work. They can fit the phone in an appropriate position and can keep the webcam on. There are several social network apps like Skype, Viber which allows free video call so you can always keep your call active without having to worry about expenditure rising.
7. Using It as an E-Reader
This is something which I personally do. My tablet is a bit old with its rusty edges. However, with its 7 inches of broad screen, it still serves me as an ideal time-passer. Moreover, you can make use of the official Kindle or Kobo app to sync your reading with a separate e-reader and across multiple devices, turning it into a multi-dimensional e-book reader.
8. Sell it for a good value
Last but not the least, get a good money for your used cell phone by selling it through the online classified sites. Check and find out other cell phone prices and figure out what your phone will be worth and then try to sell the phone at the best price within that range.
Modern cell phones have a lot of multi-tasking options. While still remaining relatively “new”, we can make the best out of our perceived “old” object. Do not throw them away; there are always several ways to utilize your devices with an added pinch of your creativity.