What to do with Your Old Phone When You Upgrade

Smartphone technology is great! Each year brings a new line of “must haves.” There are usually interesting feature upgrades along with increased storage capacity and operating speed. Whether you upgrade every year or two, piling up phones in the back of a drawer may not be the best solution. Alternatively, throwing away an old phone is a bad idea. It is estimated that landfills contain roughly 11 percent of unwanted phones. These phones contain chemicals that are harmful to the environment if the phone is not adequately disposed.

Keep Your Old Phone and Repurpose

Most people typically keep their most recent old device in case something happens to their current smartphone. If you have one or more phones, re-purpose them by playing your music playlists or movies stored on your phone. If you have WiFi, think of your old phone(s) as being a small tablet. You have all of the features including all of your apps minus phoning capabilities. For example, simultaneously run one phone that can act as an entertainment centre. The other can be used to surf the internet. The third old smartphone can even help you make a little cash on the side. Some people are signed up at certain reward sites where running video clips earn points that can be traded in for money.

Another use for old smartphones is to use them around the house where they feed into a home monitoring system. There are some good apps to download onto a computer or smartphone that acts as a device hub. You then connect each smartphone by way of scanner recognition to the central device. You have phones strategically placed in your home to monitor doorways or wherever. Plug each phone into a docking device or plug-in.

Pass it on to a Family Member

Your latest old phone can become your younger child’s first phone. Check your phone plan to see about adding a new phone to your existing account.

Donate/Recycle Your Phone

There may be some phones that are either too damaged or too old a model to refurbish. Mobiles that are beyond repair are stripped for parts. Other devices are donated to various causes. If given away, be sure to include your charger and clean your phone of any information. Places such as Oxfam, Recycle Your Mobile or Recycle Appeal will gladly take your old phones.

Head on Over to Tesco

If you have an unused phone and you prefer food as payment, go to Tesco. Their recycling service offers a certain amount of cash contingent on the type of device you have. In return, you will receive payment in vouchers or airtime credit. Also, you gain in-store points.

Sell, Sell, Sell

A phone, such as an Apple iPhone 7 (32 gb), that is still in demand can be sold on places like eBay.

However, if you do not want the hassle of that method of sales, consider internet companies that function as a broker. Sites such as sellmymobile.com offer a straightforward way to calculate the value of your phone. It is based on the model, storage capacity and condition. Based on the answer, a list of trade-in companies appear with particular offers to buy the phone. You select the company you want to sell your phone to and click the indicator icon to sell. You receive payment upon receipt and approval of your phone by the organisation.

Trade-In to Upgrade Your Phone

Your old phone can be used as credit towards a new one. It is dependant on the type and condition of your phone and the upgraded phone and plan.


One trend noted recently is that people are not upgrading phones as often. A few years ago, the upgrade pattern was about 20 months. Currently, the statistics show phone replacement time has increased by nine additional months in 2017.


The cost of high-end phones is climbing higher than some other tech devices including computers. The must-have technological features are not that significant or utilised enough by most people. Having a nice camera is fine, but is it worth the cost of the upgrade. Many people are looking at maximising existing utility on their devices longer.

Depending on the age, condition and utility of your older phones, there are choices available. These options allow you and others to maximise the older smartphones’ benefit.