Table of Contents
Smartphones come, and smartphones go. It’s understandable to desire an upgrade and go for something new and improved.
However, pure intentions can lead to big problems. In 2022, it was predicted that 5.3 billion mobile phones would be thrown away, the estimates based on reliable global data on e-waste. Such a huge problem limits landfill space and threatens the release of toxic chemicals into the soil, air, and nearby water supplies, potentially causing widespread pollution.
You don’t need to be told that these situations are completely unacceptable. If you’re reevaluating your smartphone’s uses, it’s important to consider other options rather than just sending it straight to the landfill.
What avenues could you explore here? We provide some tips below.
Things To Do With Your Smartphone Instead Of Throwing It Away
Get the Device Repaired
Some people get rid of their smartphones because they start to run slowly and inefficiently, whether it is Apple or Android phones. It might seem like a common situation, but it can actually be a big leap in logic.
If your device is becoming progressively faulty, then it’s a good idea to explore repair options first. Of course, not everybody does because they believe a number of things:
- They’ll need to send their device off in the mail to some warehouse far away.
- They’ll need to wait days or weeks to get their device back.
- They may need to repeat the whole process again if the first repair attempt was unsuccessful.
These assumptions aren’t always valid, depending on who you consult for help. Services like Likewize Repair are experts in mobile phone repairs. Instead of searching ‘mobile phone repair near me’ or ‘mobile screen repair near me’, these specialists are prepared to travel to you. When they arrive, they’ll try to fix your device within the hour and provide a year-long warranty on their work too.
Repurpose Your Device
You may have replaced your old smartphone. Still, these devices are much more than just a phone, aren’t they?
Repurposing your old smartphone may be a good idea, giving it renewed purpose in different and interesting ways.
- Download specific apps to use it predominantly as a gaming platform, digital planner, fitness companion, or e-reader.
- Use your old smartphone as a dedicated radio in certain parts of your property; just connect a set of speakers, and you’re good to go! Play music, podcasts, or audiobooks.
- Make your photo library scroll through autonomously on a loop, and then frame the device so that you have your own digital pictures displayed on walls, tables, or wherever else in your home.
If you use your old smartphone in interesting new ways, ensure you take the SIM card out first and delete any other unnecessary data. That way, you won’t need to worry overmuch if the thing gets lost or misplaced.
Trade Your Device In
If you must get a new smartphone, your old one may help you qualify for something better or shinier than expected. View your device as an investment rather than a setback.
Some retailers and smartphone manufacturers operate a trade-in service. While some people have done this for cash and earned more than £100 in the process, others use these schemes because it can also mean they get a discount on their next phone with the same provider. Therefore, it’s certainly worthwhile.
The firms operating these trade-in schemes often either sell the old smartphone to someone else at a used, discounted price or break the device down and recycle key components for future use. One way or another, your old device finds a new home, and you can be assured that you took an ethical approach in saying goodbye to it.
Give the Device to a Family Member
Not everybody is super pumped about receiving somebody else’s hand-me-down smartphone. Siblings especially can be disgruntled by the prospect and understandably would rather have their own shiny and new things.
However, some family members unquestionably won’t mind receiving your old smartphone. For example, if you have parents that aren’t too tech-savvy and are behind on the latest devices, they might welcome an upgrade that doesn’t quite bring them up to contemporary standards. They may be a few generations behind, even with your old smartphone, but they might be more comfortable there.
Keeping the phone in the family has other perks too. It will obviously mean your loved ones can potentially save money. You’re also better positioned to teach them about the new features on the device, as you’ll be familiar with them yourself. It’s more convenient for everyone, and it’s also an eco-friendly strategy too!
Donate the Device
You might not want to use your old smartphone anymore. That said, others can most certainly find a use for it!
For example, donating your phone to WaterAid is just one of the ways that help them transform lives with decent toilets, good hygiene, and clean water. They even encourage you to arrange collections in your local area, with every old phone raising an average of £5. It might not seem like a lot, but you might be surprised by how many people keep their old phones around.
Of course, some people keep their old smartphones as a keepsake. They may dig them up at the bottom of a dusty drawer one day and be hit with a wave of nostalgia. However, one could argue that there are better and more wholesome things to be nostalgic about than an old phone. Donating it could be best if the device truly has no further use.
Even if the smartphone doesn’t work like it used to, some charitable organisations may be willing to seek out mobile phone repair specialists like those we mentioned earlier. So, don’t think your devices need to be perfect to be worthy of donation!
Keep the Device
We suppose there’s no real harm in keeping hold of your old smartphone for a while longer. In fact, it can even be a sensible thing to do in some situations.
Whoever said backup plans were a bad idea? Nobody, that’s who! If you’re a frequent globe trotter or prone to losing and accidentally damaging things, having an extra smartphone on hand might not be such a bad thing after all. Keep it fully charged and nearby, and even if your main device runs out of battery, you’ll have another that’s good to go.
There are other uses for backup smartphones too. For example, if you enjoy testing different apps, you can do so on your secondary device so that any downloads don’t disrupt performance or stability on your main one. If you want to, you could use the old smartphone for personal uses and another for professional situations, too, helping you maintain a healthier work-life balance. You’ll also dodge the possibility of your boss or clients ringing you at inappropriate times, too, as you can switch the work smartphone off until you’re on the clock.
It’s a shame to throw away your smartphone when there are so many ways it can ‘live on’. One might even argue it’s reductive, creating more harm than good. Some of these solutions are incredibly convenient and easy for all, too, whether consulting expert mobile repair services or passing down the device to a loved one. You can boost charity organisations, feed the local economy, or create safer travelling conditions for yourself. Ultimately, an old smartphone doesn’t have to be a redundant smartphone, and we should always be trying to optimise its use.