These days, it seems almost crazy and unfashionable to hold onto a phone for more than a year or two at a stretch. Smartphones are constantly being innovated and released in new iterations and editions, and if you want to stay fully “up-to-date,” a major part of your budget probably needs to go towards saving up for the latest release of your favourite model of phone.
Of course, while there may be benefits to having the latest phone, there is no actual hard and fast reason why you have to always have the most up-to-date release of everything, in order to lead a thriving life.
As a matter of fact, there are all kinds of great and interesting things you can do with older models of some of the most beloved and classic phones around.
The most obvious choice, of course, is to simply recycle it – and this is now easier than ever before. Even big retailers such as Currys would be happy to do the work for you: they collect, reuse and recycle as much as 65,000 tonnes of electrical appliances every year. But there are other options you could consider before going down this route. Even outdated Android phones could still be useful…
Use it as a minimalist “dumb phone”
These days, a significant number of people are actually looking for ways to reduce the complexity and feature-richness of their phones, rather than expanding it.
In some circles, this is referred to as the “dumb phone” movement, and it acts as a branch of the general minimalist movement, as a whole.
The idea here is to spend as little time as possible surfing the web, killing time, and being hopelessly absorbed in your phone, as a rule. Many people end up going for 2G feature phones for their “dumb phone” of choice – but there are some good reasons to use an older Android smartphone for this purpose, instead.
For one thing, an older Android phone will be able to make calls and text on 3G (and maybe even 4G) bands, and will potentially be less tempting as an item of distraction anyway, as it likely won’t run all the latest apps.
It’s always useful, though, if your “dumb phone” can also become a bit “smarter” in a pinch. Such as by allowing you to use the Uber app in an emergency, for example.
Turn it into a high-end audiobook and MP3 player
You don’t actually have to use your old or outdated Android phone as a phone at all. You could just use it as a high-end audiobook and MP3 player, and allow it to fill the kind of role in your life that an iPod may once have filled.
These days, audiobook streaming services such as Audible have phone apps that can be very useful and intuitive. But any smartphone worth its salt will be able to play MP3 files, at the very least.
If you don’t have to worry about your old Android phone actually being available for calls, why not use it as a beautiful and high-end playback device?
Use it as a personal planner device
If you are at all ambitious, you no doubt want to stay on top of all your potential tasks and obligations in life. For many entrepreneurial and ambitious people these days, personal planning comes in the form of subscription services such as Todoist and Trello.
As it so happens, many of the best personal planner apps out there can be run on older Android devices. So, why not use your older/outdated Android device as your personal planner, and 21st-century Filofax-replacement extraordinaire?