AndroidGood and EVOTips & Deals

What should I do with my old smartphone?

CellphonePile - for some reason we don't have an alt tag here

I’m not a person who has a ton of money, so therefore any devices I buy tend to be well thought out. For that reason I usually don’t find myself with extra things like smartphones, tablets, or computers. The first smartphone I bought almost two years ago is still the phone I am using today. Before my HTC EVO 4G I used nothing but cheap flip-phones. So when it was time for a new one I had no problem turning them in to Sprint to recycle for a few bucks, or like my last one, hand over to my three-year-old niece to use as a toy phone. But as I talked about a few weeks ago, it’s time for me to get a new phone.

Once I get a new smartphone, the question becomes, what do I do with my old one? I have thought about this for the last few weeks, and haven’t come up with a definitive answer. Here are some of the options that I have thought of so far.

Recycle with Sprint

My brother-in-law just upgrade his EVO for an iPhone and Sprint gave him all of $39 for his EVO. He was perfectly OK with that because for the last year he had been using it with a severely cracked screen. I’m not OK with getting $39 for a device that can do so many things, even without cell service. For some people however this is a perfectly viable choice.

Media Device

An EVO without a service plan could be compared to an iPod Touch. WiFi access, apps, camera, and a lot more. I’ve seen some ROMs that, smartly, are being advertised as media center ROMs for people to put on decommissioned EVOs. Anything to do with the phone dialer has been removed from the ROM. The problem with this idea by itself is that I will have a new smartphone that can do all of that, so I will not want to be carrying around a second device. I could see possibly using it for something specialized, like my next choice.

In-Car Media Device

Last week I showed you someone that installed an iPad Mini in a car dash. I talked about how I loved playing with my car stereo, and always thought it would be cool to have a touch screen in my car. It would be pretty simple to install my EVO into my car as a permanent media device. I could load it up with all my music always have it available in my car. I would have to figure out how to mount it securely in such a way that looks nice, but couldn’t be easily stolen. I’d also want to do it in such a way that you wouldn’t be able to see the cables coming out of the phone. This would be a little trickier because you’ve got the headphone jack on the top of the phone, and the charging port on the bottom to worry about, but it could be done with a little creativity.

Sell it Online

There are quite a few different sites that could help you sell your old smartphone. Ebay is probably the first one that comes to mind. A quick search on Ebay shows me a bunch of auctions for EVOs in good condition selling anywhere from $40 to $100, depending on condition and accessories included. I would describe my EVO as in mint condition and it would come with an Otterbox Commuter case, also in great shape. I could see my phone going for close to that $100 mark, but I don’t know if this is the best option for me.

Donate it

There are a lot of charities and programs that collect old cell phones and recycle them. Pick your favorite charity and there is a good chance you can donate your cell phone to them to help that charity out.

Something Else?

Is there something I’m missing? What did you do with your old smartphone? I included a poll for you to either tell me what you think I should do, or what you did with your old smartphone. I’d love to hear what creative things you did with your old phones.


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Bryan Faulkner

Bryan Faulkner is a former associate editor at Pocketables. He loves to find new ways to use his tablets while working as the Tech Director at his local church. Mixing sound from the iPad is his newest obsession. He currently has a pair of HP TouchPads, an iPad 2, a decommissioned HTC EVO 4G, and a Samsung Galaxy Note II to tinker with.

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