5 Reasons you shouldn’t trade in your old smart phone

(Unless it has an Apple logo, then I can’t help you here.)

First of all no matter who the carrier is unless you desperately need the trade-in value it’s likely not going to be worth the value you can get out of keeping it. I’ll explain why.

Keep in mind all of the following things I’m going to suggest here will work on an Android phone even if there’s no service. Although some of it may assume you’re high class enough to afford home WiFi šŸ˜‰

1. Use you’re old phone as a G.P.S. ($120 value)


I still don’t understand how Garmin, Magellan, & TomTom are doing business, selling GPS units for $120 and up, when I can buy a no contract phone for $20Ā at Best Buy and install FREE offline GPS software that works well. Just download the whole United States (or other home country) map over home WiFi and dock it in your car.

Free Offline GPS Apps:

2. Use your phone as a Car Dash Camera ($40 value)


While you’re old phone is docked in your car serving up the free GPS you just installed why not make use of the camera and motion sensors built-in to the phone and use it as a Dash Camera.

Dash cameras are great for a couple of reasons.

  1. If you ever (hopefully not) get in an accident you’ll have a full recording of the events that took place to help you prove who was really at fault.
  2. Dash cameras can also record the speed at which you were driving as well thanks to the GPS in the phone.
  3. The motion sensors in a phone with the right dash camera app can try to detect if an accident has occurred and automatically dial a pre-set emergency number for you.
Free Dash Camera Apps:

3. As a wirelessĀ spy security camera or baby monitor ($50 value)


I find it amazing how many traditional products smart phones replace especially at the rate most of us are upgrading (and discarding) phones.

This one is especially useful for new parents and for anyone looking to keep an eye on things going on at home. I’m going to recommend only one app for this and that’s IP Webcam.

This app uses your old phone’s camera, microphone and WiFi connection to create a simple IP Camera you can connect to. There’s even another app (TinyCam) that supports viewing this camera directly on another android device but all you really need is a web browser

Note: To access this camera while away from home requires knowledge of networking (port forwarding, security, etc.) and has the potential of you making a video in your home publicly accessible to the internet.

*!*That being said this is a good topic for a future article on using the Raspberry Pi (or any Linux machine at home) for secure ssh/socks proxy tunneling. Making a note of that now šŸ™‚

4.Ā Vehicle Engine Code Diagnostics ($20 – $240 value)


For $12 on Amazon (at least that’s the price as I’m writing this) you can buy a bluetooth adapter for the ODB2 port on your car and for just $5 more you can buy theĀ Torque ProĀ app from Google Play and you’ve just saved yourself over $200 compared to one of these scanners:


5. Even without service in the U.S. you can call for emergency help


From the FCC: The FCC’s basic 911 rules require wireless service providers to transmit all 911 calls to a PSAP, regardless of whether the caller subscribes to the provider’s service or not.


These are just a few reasons to keep that old Android phone or buy a cheap no contract phone. If this post proves popular I’ll have to see if I can dig up a few more.

Thanks for reading!

1 Comment

  1. Mark B.

    Nice write up. I actually have one of my old android phones mounted to the wall that I use voice commands to control the devices connected to my Wink smart home hub and devices. All very good points especially the drive cam. Keep up the good work.

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