Table of Contents
Do you have a bunch of old phones sitting in a drawer somewhere collecting dust? In today’s world, technology is advancing at a rapid pace, and many people upgrade their smartphones every year or two to keep up with the latest features and functionalities. However, old smartphones still have a lot of potential and can be repurposed for various DIY projects. If you’re looking to save money, reduce waste, or explore your creativity, there are many exciting projects you can do with an old smartphone. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most popular DIY projects you can undertake with an old smartphone.
What are the best DIY Projects for Old Smartphones?
Create a Digital Photo Frame Out of Your Old Smartphone
Turning your old smartphone into a digital photo frame is a great way to repurpose it and bring new life to it. Here are some steps to help you create a digital photo frame:
Choose a photo frame app: There are several photo frame apps available on both Android and iOS, such as Dayframe, Photo Slides, and Digital Photo Frame Slideshow. You can choose the one that best suits your needs and preferences.
Select the photos you want to display: Once you’ve installed the app, you’ll need to select the photos you want to display. You can choose to display photos randomly from your phone’s gallery, or you can connect it to cloud storage services like Google Photos or Dropbox.
Set up the app: Depending on the app you choose, you may need to configure the settings to your liking. You can choose the display mode, transition effects, and other options that suit your needs.
Mount the phone: Finally, you’ll need to mount your phone in a location where you can easily see it. You can use a phone stand or a frame designed for this purpose. You can also connect it to a power source to ensure it always stays on.
This way you can turn your old smartphone into a digital photo frame and enjoy displaying your favorite memories. It’s a great way to reuse your old phone while giving it a new purpose instead of having it collecting dust in a drawer somewhere.
Turn Your Old Smartphone Into a Dedicated Music Player
If you are a fan of music, you can turn your old phone into a handy music player. Just plug in a pair of good speakers on your smartphone and play your favorite songs. You can use applications such as Youtube Music, Pandora, and Spotify to stream music from the internet.
If you want to save money, you can turn your old smartphone into a jukebox. To do this, plug a projector or TV into your smartphone and control the music through the phone.
Build a Virtual Assistant Out of Your Old Smartphone
Turning your old smartphone into a voice-activated virtual assistant can be a fun and practical DIY project. It provides convenience in many different ways and helps you be more productive.
Here are some steps to help you create a virtual assistant:
Choose a voice assistant app: There are several voice assistant apps available on both Android and iOS, such as Tasker, Google Assistant, and Siri. You can choose the one that best suits your needs and preferences.
Install and set up the app: Once you’ve installed the app, you’ll need to set it up to recognize your voice and perform the actions you want it to do. You can also set up custom commands that can be triggered by your voice.
Program the app: Depending on the app you choose, you may need to program it to perform specific tasks. For example, you can program it to turn on your lights, set reminders, or even order pizza.
Test the app: Once you’ve programmed the app, test it to make sure it’s working as expected. You can also fine-tune the settings to improve its accuracy and responsiveness.
Set up your phone: Finally, you’ll need to mount your phone in a location where it can hear your voice clearly. You can use a phone stand or a holder to keep it in place.
By following these steps, you can turn your old smartphone into a virtual assistant and perform various tasks hands-free. It’s a great way to reuse your old phone while also learning about programming and automation.
Turn your Old Smartphone into a Remote
You can also turn your old cell phone or old Android phone into a remote controller. Download a mobile app such as Galaxy Universal Remote, Universal TV Remote, or Unified Remote.
These applications have infrared sensors that can turn a few old phones into remote controllers. With these mobile apps, you can control various things, such as a media player, television, etc. However, before you use your old smartphone, take out the sim card and discard the old phone batteries.
Make a Security Camera out of your Old Smartphone
One of the best ways to upcycle an old phone is to turn it into a security camera. To do this, you can download some mobile apps from the Google play store or IOS Play Store, such as AtHome Camera, Wyze, or Alfred Home Security Camera.
These mobile applications will enable you to use your old smartphone as a baby monitor or a webcam for your desktop computer. You can also set up a motion detection device with the camera to record the subtle movements in the security camera image. Here is how you can do this:
First, install an app (We are choosing Alfred) on both your new and old smartphones. On the old smartphone, sign in with the same account you used to sign in to the mobile app.
On your old smartphone, choose the camera mode; on your new phone, choose the view mode.
That is all you need to do, and now you can use your old smartphone as a surveillance camera.
Turn your Old phone into a GPS tracker
Most modern smartphones such as iPhone and Android phones come with a GPS tracker. You can use the GPS Tracker feature to your advantage, and you just need to install GPS tracking mobile apps such as Glympse, My Family GPS Tracker, and Life360 on your old smartphone.
With these mobile apps, you can easily track the location of your family members or pets. You can also use your old phone as a navigation device for your car, and you just need to download a navigation application such as Google Maps or Waze, and you can use the phone as a navigation device.
Use your old Smartphone as a Dashcam
You can make a dashcam from your old smartphone if you are a driver. To turn your old phone into a dashcam, you just need to download an app like Droid Dashcam, AutoGuard BlackBox, and DailyRoads Voyager.
With these mobile apps, you can easily record footage and save it for use later. You can also use your old phone as a car baby monitor by downloading a baby monitor app such as Cloud Baby Monitor, Dormi, or Baby Monitor 3G.
Use your old Smartphone to play Games
If you are an avid gamer, you can turn your old iPhone or Android phone into a portable gaming device. Connect your old smartphone to a smart projector, install some games, and enjoy playing games on a big screen.
While you may need a high-end phone to play most games, some games will still run smoothly on the old device. For instance, you can easily play games like Fruit Ninja and Temple Run 2 Asphalt 8 on old phones.
You can also turn your old smartphone into a PC emulator to play games on a desktop. You can download apps like Droid4X and Octopus and turn your smartphone into a gaming emulator.
Turn your Old Smartphone into a VR Headset
If you own Google Cardboard, you probably know you can also turn your old phone into a VR headset. Just download virtual reality applications such as Cardboard Camera or Google Earth VR, and use your old smartphone to experience virtual reality.
You can also use your old smartphone device as a 3D viewer; just download a 3D viewing application from the play store, and you can use the old phone to watch 3D content.
Make a Media Server out of your Old Smartphone
If you have a ton of TV shows and movies on your computer, you can convert your old smartphone into a media server. Just download applications such as Kodi or Plex from the app store and use the smartphone to stream media from your PC to your television.
You can also use applications such as PlayOn or Emby to stream content from the internet. Lastly, if you want to save money, then you can convert your old phone into a DVR set. Just connect your old smartphone to a projector or Smart TV, and use an application such as TiVo or Channels DVR to record live content on a TV.
Use your Old Smartphone with a Nightstand
Your old phone may be the best thing you can have on the nightstand with a charger. And this nightstand can have many purposes, here are a handful of them:
You can turn your old smartphone into an alarm clock. You can download many apps from the Play Store, such as Voice Snooze Alarm, Sleep as Android, and Alarm Clock Xtreme.
With an e-reader application such as Nook or Kindle, you can turn your old smartphone into an e-reader. You can then use your old phone to read your favorite e-books.
Many apps, such as TuneIn on the app store, can turn your old phone into a clock radio. You can let your favorite radio stations wake you up in the morning, or you can just listen to what they’re playing. The clock radio can also act as a sleep timer and an alarm clock.
Your old smartphone may be the best way to keep track of your schedule or routine. Just download a calendar application such as Calendar Live from the app store, and use your old smartphone to keep track of all the upcoming events.
Live photo Frame
Your old phone can be the perfect way to display your favorite pictures. Just download a digital photo frame application from the app store, and you can use your old phone to display pictures.
Turn your Old Phone into Google Home
Another productive way of using an old smartphone is to turn it into Google Home. Devices such as Google Home or Alexa are expensive, and you will need to spend over $ 40 to purchase one from Amazon. To convert your old phone into Google Home, you just need to mount it on a stand and set up Ok Google Detection.
You can ask this device different questions, play music, and set the alarm. Here is the method you need to follow:
Open the Google Home app on your smartphone
Go to the settings menu
Then go to the language section
And press ‘Ok Google Detection’
Also, you need to ensure that it has a valid power connection while converting your old phone into Google Home.
Make your Old Smartphone a Gym Device
Your old smartphone can be the perfect gym device. However, you must reformat your old phone and remove all the mobile apps. Only login into Twitter or Facebook through wi-fi and remove the Sim card.
Then, pick all your favorite fitness applications and boot them up. You can also play your favorite songs on your smartphone while working out.
Make your Old Smartphone a Desktop Computer
While physically, a desktop computer may differ from a smartphone; you can still use your old phone as a computer. Even the old smartphone model is at least 20 times more powerful than a desktop computer.
To convert your phone into a desktop computer, you must install Debian, a version of the Linux operating system. Then, connect the phone to a monitor, connect a mouse and keyboard through Bluetooth, and you are good to go.
Turn your Old Smartphone into an Emergency Phone
It is important to always have an emergency or backup phone, especially for occasions when everything goes wrong. You can easily convert your smartphone into an emergency phone by removing all the data and installing a pre-paid sim card. However, you should also bring an extra battery or charging pack, just in case.
Turn your Old Phone into a Kid’s Toy
It is a well-known fact that children love touchscreen devices such as smartphones. However, giving an expensive phone to a toddler is risky because it can break the device. So take your old smartphone, set up a restricted profile on the phone, and set up a bunch of kid-suitable applications on the smartphone.
Turn your Old Phone into a Robot Brain
Yes! You read that right; there is a way you can turn your smartphone into a robot brain. Smartphones, especially Android phones, are essentially robots; with some work, you can convert your old phone into a proper robot brain. There are many examples of smartphones being used to power different robots.
Turn your Old Phone into a wi-fi Extender
If you have a weak Wi-Fi signal in your house, then you can boost the Wi-Fi signal through your old smartphone. On your old phone, install the Fqrouter2 application, which will pick up the Wi-Fi signal and repeat it. However, for this, you will need to root your smartphone.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is it possible to Root a Smartphone Manually?
Yes! You can root your mobile phone without a computer manually. However, to do this, you will need a third-party application. However, before initiating the rooting procedure, customize the ROM and make respective pre-measures of USB debugging.
What materials from an Old Smartphone are Reusable?
There are a small number of valuable materials in old smartphones, such as copper, platinum, palladium, silver, and gold. These materials are typically found on the circuit board of the phone, and you will need to extract the material and process them in order to use them again.
In this article, we focused on discussing the best old smartphone DIY projects. You can do many things with an old smartphone, turn it into an alarm clock or baby monitor or just use it as an emergency phone.
Toward the end of the article, we have given a brief FAQ section that discusses some important queries related to the topic.