What Can You Do With Your Old Smartphone?

Have you ever really thought about what you can do with your old smartphone(s) when it’s time you’ve decided you no longer want it? You’ve pulled it out of that dusty drawer and now you don’t know what to do with it. Who knows, maybe you have a few smartphones stashed away somewhere? It’s not your fault, technology moves quickly or maybe your phone is at the stage of burnout. Well, I have a few ideas of what you can do with your old smartphone besides giving it away to large corporations that already make tons of money anyways. 

Did you know – just because there is no cell service on your old smartphone(s) that doesn’t make it completely nonfunctional? 

Don’t forget your smartphone is basically a mini computer. If it’s still working, it may still have some uses. Sure, it might be a little slow, but there are quite a few things you can do with it. And don’t you dare think of throwing it in the garbage can because at this point in time,  we damn well know that’s just messed up and it’s definitely not the answer. Here are some ideas of what you can do with it instead: 

Think of it like spring cleaning. Before you decide on whatever you want to do with your old device, perform a backup of your precious data and head over to settings and complete a reset by erasing ALL content and settings. This is final so make sure you have EVERYTHING that’s important off there and on somewhere that’s safe and easily accessible so you can live with no regrets. If you end up giving it away or do keep it after all, a reset will refresh everything and make that device feel good again – like spring, a nice feeling of renewal.

  1. Giving it away/donating. If you are thinking about giving it away, either to family or friends, or even donating it, you should see how the phone’s overall performance is. Old devices are usually stored in that old drawer for a reason after all 🙂 Even though you’re giving it away for free, if it can be helped, you should never give away a phone to anyone who is going to be completely clueless to what they are getting, because that just wouldn’t be fair. Do a little testing first.

Give the phone a complete charge, and once it’s reached 100% charge it for another two hours to ensure you’re giving it a really good charge. Once the battery is fully charged, unplug it. If you haven’t already, connect to wifi. Play around with the phone a little bit to see how it’s functioning. Check the battery percentage – does it seem to be holding a decent charge? Or is it draining too quickly? Make a test phone call to make sure the speaker and microphone are working correctly. Since there will most likely be no cell service you can download an app like Google Hangouts or Skype to do a check phone test. If all seems to be good with the device, you’re ready to give it away, partially tested for the new user. Since you already deleted your data, you are being responsible and won’t have to worry about any of your data being leaked. 

If the device seems to be functioning poorly, you can still give it away but you should let the next user or company know some of the known issues that you found out while testing. 

  1. Selling. If you still don’t know what to do with your device at this point, consider selling it. You will want to do a little more in-depth testing with the device to make sure everyone is happy on both ends. But don’t let that discourage you –  knowing the health of the phone will help you a lot when it comes time to sell your old device. Since you already backed up your data and reset all settings to factory default, by now you should already know the status of the battery sound and speaker. You might want to make note of the body. Are there dents, scratches? Check the charging port, is there any corrosion, or is the port loose or wobbly when plugged in? Things like this are very important in an ad and are very important to a buyer, so you want to provide as much detail as possible. Testing your device’s software and hardware has never been simpler than just downloading an app. Kinda weird right? I recommend downloading a helpful app diagnostics tool that will diagnose any issues with your device. For iPhone I use “Phone Diagnostics” (created by Test & find Repair Shop) and for Android I use “Phone Check and Test” (created by inPocket Software). These apps have helped me a lot and almost always provide accurate information. Once the tests are done, this app will help you know more about your phone and will help with your decision on the price your phone is worth. 

Occasionally I come across good deals on smartphones. Sometimes they are fixable, while others are just not worth my time. When I do come across the ones that are not worth my time, lately I’ve been thinking of things I can do with them so they don’t turn out to be completely worthless. When I say not worth my time, I mean cracked screen and battery issues to the point where the only way the phone is slightly usable is by having it plugged in all of the time or at least most of the time. Once you get connected to wi-fi, here are some ideas you can try to get the most out of that expensive smartphone when you don’t know what to do with it or it feels like there’s nothing left:

  1. iPhone/Android smartphone media entertainment centre. Stream video or audio from your phone to TV, speakers or headphones – and there are a few ways to do this by turning your old smartphone into a media centre!

For TV – HDMI or Airplay. Once connected you can mirror your screen to the TV. This is good for many reasons. You can stream horizontally for the full widescreen size effect. There are so many apps to choose from in the App Store, not just iTunes – Netflix, Amazon, sports and even more to stream your favorite TV apps. 

Music player: Speakers. Turn your smartphone into a music player. Your old device will probably support Bluetooth. Connect your favorite Bluetooth speaker to your old smartphone and turn it into nothing but a MP3 player to listen to your favourite tunes out loud! The App Store has so many music apps to choose from – Apple Music, Spotify and your favorite Radio apps. Who knows what else you can find when you search music!

Music Player: Headphones. Same idea as the speakers, but with the sound in. Have a great experience with just your old smartphone and a pair of headphones. Don’t limit yourself to music – you can enjoy some peace and quiet while meditating with your favorite meditation apps. Nothing else to disturb you when it’s just a music player instead of a fully functioning smartphone.

  1. A real dedicated gaming device. How many of you currently have games on your smartphone? Probably most. Turning your old smartphone into a gaming centre is the perfect solution for your mobile gaming needs, especially if you want to save some space on your current device. Mobile games take up a lot of space, so why not transfer them to your old device and organize your mobile gaming library?
  2. E-book reader. If you don’t mind reading on a small screen, this could be a cheap solution for e-book lovers. Turn your old smartphone into an e-reader by using the Kindle or Kobo app or downloading PDFs into your files. This option also gives you more storage space for all those books. 
  3. A universal remote. Most digital media players offer remote apps – Apple, Roku and Amazon Fire TV to name a few. Download these apps on your old device and you have yourself a handy universal remote! 
  4. Security camera. If you don’t already know, home security cameras can be expensive. If someone (or something)  is lurking around your home at night, be it on two feet or four, you should be able to have the luxury of a camera to detect any intruders. Well, if you have an old smartphone laying around, you can turn it into a home security camera for basically 0 dollars! Try to make it as discreet as possible. 
  5. Kids camera. Let’s be honest here. Kids take terrible pictures – their arms aren’t fully developed, their pictures are blurry and out of focus and just generally bad, and it’s not their fault. Get them familiar with your old smartphone – that way when they are older they will be ready to whip that smartphone camera out like a pro. 
  6. GPS. It should be connected anyways, so if you need a GPS this could be a great solution for a road trip in the car or just biking around the city. Make sure to test it before leaving home.
  7. Money making device. If you like to make some money on the side, your old device could bring you in a small amount of dough. There are apps you can download that will allow you to watch videos, play games and more in exchange for points you can redeem for rewards such as gift cards or PayPal payments. To save wear and tear on your primary device, you can run these apps on your old smartphone instead. Cha-ching!! 😉

And if you really don’t know what to do with it – please, recycle it the proper way. A certified company will know exactly what to do with it. Be kind to our planet, let’s not pollute it with more e-waste.

Dollarama Tech Finds: Tech1 Tablet-Smartphone Holder

Price – $3.50

Another day, another Dollarama deal! This one does exactly what it says – it’s a holder for your devices, at a nice low price. 

It holds your iPhone perfectly fine, but you can’t trust your tablet on it as it doesn’t seem very secure and it will tip over if you’re not careful. 

When your iPhone is placed on this holder, it fits snug – I feel like it wouldn’t tip over very easily. The base is very solid and there are four gripper pads on the bottom which help everything keep in place. It seems to be the perfect height and I think it’s just right for your smartphone. 

There are a lot of colour choices to choose from, and for $3.50 it’s a fantastic deal for this sort of thing. Seriously, why pay more if you don’t have to? This thing is basically the same as a higher priced one, maybe even better because the base is very solid. 

If you’re looking for a smartphone holder/stand, I believe you’re safe with this one and you really are getting a bang for your buck!

Dollarama Tech Finds: Tech1 AC To USB Adapter

Here’s another Dollarama discovery, the Tech1 AC to USB adapter. This one is a pretty basic tech gadget. You will be buying this to hopefully charge your smartphone or tablet or smaller devices. This one can charge up to two devices at a time, and if you’re wondering how it works – turns out it works pretty good!

This is what you are working with: 

Input – 100 – 240V – 5V – 2.4A 

2 USB 

Basic stuff. 

It charges my iPad and iPhone at the same time, safely, like it should. When I first plugged my charger into the unit, it didn’t seem to go in all the way at first. I had to force it a bit. After a little bit of force it went in all the way, but it does seem a bit tight. I would recommend this adapter if your plan is to keep it plugged in the wall, but I wouldn’t move it around too much. 

There are three orange lights that make the unit look more exciting than it actually is, although I sometimes hate seeing lights in the dark. It still looks pretty cool, though.

I think if you’re looking to charge your devices, this is a decent option to go with, especially for the price. 

Happy gadget finding! 

Dollarama Tech Finds: Homedeco Cinema Lightbox

If you are on the lookout for an LED changeable quote sign, or maybe you might want one after seeing how good this one is, check out what I found at Dollarama.

Homedeco’s cinema lightbox is pretty much identical to one that you would buy at a higher price tag. It’s much cheaper than what most places would sell these for as the expensive ones are way overpriced, in my opinion. It’s a good deal, and it looks like this one is going to be a regular Dollarama item. So chances are, if you try to find one next time you go to your local Dollarama, you might be able to bring one of these nifty signs home with you for only $4.00.

What’s included? 

85 letters, numbers and symbols printed on what they call a transfer sheet. There are 4-A’s, 2-B’s, 2-C’s, 2-D’s, 4-E’s, 2-F’s, 2-G’s, 3-H’s, 4-I’s, 2-J’s, 2-K’s, 3-L’s, 3-M’s, 3-N’s, 4-O’s, 2-P’s, 1-Q, 2-R’s, 4-S’s, 3-T’s, 4-U’s, 2-V’s, 2-W’s, 1-X, 2-Y’s, 1-Z, numbers 0-9, &, @, #, !, 2 hearts, umbrella, snowflake, and a cloud with rain. Everything you could ever want, right?! Note that you will need to split apart the transfer sheet as it comes as one piece. Also, the letters do slide off super fast and quick if you are not careful.

The light box is pretty simple and straightforward out of the box. You will need a small star screwdriver to remove the screw at the back for the batteries, but they are easy to install and they don’t pop out. It is a very solid backing.

It’s solid and sturdy. I have it hanging on my wall and it’s very secure. Hanging and removing this lightbox from the wall is very easy to do, but just be careful not to tip it over on the side too much. 

There is a switch on the side to turn it off and on, which is a really nice feature. The switch is very solid and secure when turning it off and on while it’s on the wall especially.

The light box is an extremely super cute room decor item for any room, for any occasion, special announcements, photoshoots, weddings and so much more. It looks amazing when placed anywhere, with the light on or off. It’s such a fun thing at the right price. I’ve always wanted this, or something like it, but I would never pay more than $8 for it.

This box allows you to be creative with words. I placed mine in my office, and it’s a perfect addition there. It’s a great motivational piece to inspire you each and every day if you wanted to give yourself encouraging words to live by. You could also use it to leave fun messages for your significant other or other family members or roommates. Kids in particular should get a kick out of it.

I absolutely give this light box a 100% thumbs up. Don’t forget to buy the batteries! It requires four AA’s. Have fun with your box, and remember, if it’s worth saying, it’s worth saying in light!

Room With Royalty: Rent the Fresh Prince’s Castle

Say what? The Fresh Prince himself teams up with Airbnb to rent out his kingdom?! For just $30 a night?

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is freshprincemansion3.jpg
That’s a fine piece of architecture

I just can’t help myself – I have to start my post with this great theme song:

3 – 2 – 1, let’s do it together!

Now this is the story all about how
My life got flipped, turned upside down
And I’d like to take a minute just sit right there
I’ll tell you how I became the prince of a town called Bel-air

In west Philadelphia born and raised
On the playground where I spent most of my days
Chilling out, maxing, relaxing all cool
And all shooting some b-ball outside of the school
When a couple of guys, they were up to no good
Started making trouble in my neighbourhood
I got in one little fight and my mom got scared
And said “You’re moving with your auntie and uncle in Bel-air”

I whistled for a cab and when it came near the
License plate said “fresh” and had a dice in the mirror
If anything I could say that this cab was rare
But I thought nah, forget it, yo homes to Bel-air!

I pulled up to a house about seven or eight
And I yelled to the cabby “Yo, homes smell you later!”
Looked at my kingdom I was finally there
To sit on my throne as the prince of Bel-air

Los Angeles, get ready to live like the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air! It’s been 30 years since our TV screens were first graced by the Fresh Prince, and there is no better way to celebrate this than by spending a night in the exact same mansion that the Banks family occupied in this classic show. But don’t get TOO EXCITED yet! Sadly, this offer is only for residents of LA County.

Starting on September 29th at 11:00 AM Pacific, the Banks house will be available to book for only $30/night! You (and one guest) will have the opportunity to book one of five stays starting on October 2nd, 5th, 8th, 11th and 15th.

What will you be getting with this rental?

This decked-out mansion will have you living just like the Fresh Prince himself for a night! You will have access to Will’s bedroom and bathroom, a pool area and a classy dining room. It’s all yours for the night so don’t be shy and act like you own the place.

What’s included:

Lace up those fresh Air Jordan kicks before shooting some hoops in the bedroom ❤
Spin old school classics all night long on turntables just like DJ Jazzy Jeff!
Will’s dope closet
Soak up in the sun by the pool on some luxurious chairs
A virtual welcoming to the the mansion
You will not have access to a kitchen but your meals will be delivered to you on a silver platter
1 bedroom/1 king bed
Free parking
Air conditioning
Wifi
TV
Essentials
Lock on bedroom door

You will have access to the entire wing all to yourself! Let’s have a look…

Omg can you imagine standing on that mat having to make a choice like this

That’s not all! Airbnb will be making a one time donation to the Boys & Girls clubs of Philly. A charity that helps youth in need by offering skill-building programs and development skills.

So, if you rent out this balling palace through Airbnb, I know you will be dancing around and singing this theme song. I know I would be, that’s for sure. This is such a dope idea! I thought renting out a Blockbuster was pretty cool, but this definitely takes the cake.

Can you imagine renting this place out? I can’t even. How could you control yourself once you’re in the cab rolling on up to the home for the first time just like Will? Phew. This is way too much! Airbnb sure is giving us the opportunity to enjoy these dope nostalgia feels.

It’s all yours for the night! How will you fancy your stay? Don’t forget to tell your cabbie, “Yo homes, to Bel-Air!”

Oh, and don’t let ANYONE ruin your fun while on vacation in the freshest mansion around. There will be no time in that house for party poopers! So if you’re going to act up, stay home or be reasonable! This opportunity only comes once in a lifetime so behave!

I can’t close this post without saying RIP James Avery. You certainly were a great actor, Uncle Phil!

“Yo homes, smell ya later!”