Spring cleaning – What to do with your old Android phones – Phandroid

As we head into spring, that’s about when we think about what we can clean up and get rid of. Which often means peeking into the ever-dreaded junk drawer where (if you’re like me) all your old handsets reside. Instead of sending them to the recycling center to turn them into something new, here are some alternative ideas of what you can do with these handsets.

Security phones

Did you know that to contact emergency services you don’t need an active SIM card in your phone? This means that having a charged phone in strategic places could save your life. Having a spare handset in your car, should you become stranded or in danger, could be the difference between life and death. Likewise, keeping a spare handset in your home in a safe place, such as in the bathroom, could be a great place to hide and protect yourself should you become unsafe in your own home.

Hard disk

Google Files Pixel 5 Smart Storage - 1

Much like how old iPods were used as portable hard drives back then, the same can be said for your old phones. If there is something that you would like a disk backup of, i.e. of a reasonable size, then using an old handset as a portable hard drive could be an ideal solution.


For the gamers among us, old handsets can be easily repurposed through the use of emulators and devices like the HyperKin Smartboy which gives you all the feel of a traditional GameBoy with your cartridges installed. Pure nostalgia in HD.


Speaking of gamers, for those who stream on Twitch or do a lot of video calling using an older handset instead of your iPad or laptop camera, this could be a great quality upgrade, this which could be just the boost you need without the expense! There are a myriad of apps available on the App Store to turn your smartphone into a webcam. So be sure to check around to see what suits you best.


On the other side of the webcam side, we also have the option to turn your smartphone into a security camera. Be sure to check with your services to see how and if additional cameras are compatible with your connected devices.

Music player

For those who like to listen to music offline, turning your old Android handset into a dedicated music player to disconnect from the world could be the solution for your needs. Downloading your playlists from your favorite music services like Spotify or Tidal might be just what you need to relax without the notifications.

Universal remote controller

If you’re like me, you lose your TV remote more often than you can count. Adding a universal remote to your spare phone might be one of those essential things you wonder how you ever did without.

What other things would you use your handsets for? Let me know in the comments below!

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