With smartphone technology changing at a rapid pace, the need to upgrade your smartphone typically occurs every few years. If you want to enjoy the latest and greatest technology or take advantage of the best apps, a fast, reliable phone is a necessity.

Unfortunately, the need to upgrade has also created the dilemma of what to do with all those old and outdated smartphones. You don’t want to just throw them away, especially if they contain sensitive personal data.

So what can you do with your old mobile phones? Here are 8 ways to recycle or re-purpose them.

1) Recycle or Donate Your Smartphone

You may not need your old smartphone anymore, but there are others who may still find it useful. Here are three great local options:

In the Greater Milwaukee area, smartphone owners have a number of donation options, including the Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative. This organization provides the services that homeless and at-risk veterans need to reach and maintain their highest level of independence. Learn more about MHVI

Another option is the national Cell Phones for Soldiers

For the month of April, Ontech Systems has registered to be an official drop-off site for old cell phones, chargers, tablets, laptops, headphones, cameras and more.

During the month of April, just stop by our office and drop off your devices in our main entrance vestibule.

Cell Phones For Soldiers is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to providing cost-free communication services and emergency funding to active-duty military members and veterans.

Donations of devices and/or funds allow Cell Phones For Soldiers to fund its two programs:

Minutes That Matter provides free calling cards to active-duty military members to connect with loved ones.

Helping Heroes Homes assists veterans with emergency funds to alleviate communication challenges as well as physical, emotional and assimilation hardships. Monetary donations can be made online or by mail.

Aurora Pharmacy also takes old smartphones for recycling. These donated smartphones, which can be dropped off at convenient collection boxes, will be reprogrammed to call 911 at the touch of a button, and then distributed to women in domestic violence shelters throughout the Milwaukee area.

2) Turn Your Smartphone into an MP3 Player

Modern smartphones are much more than just phones. In fact, some people use them for everything but calling. Even if your old smartphone is outdated and no longer useful, it can still be a powerful entertainment center.

You can easily turn your old smartphone into a portable MP3 player, one you can take with you on those morning jogs or you can use it to keep the kids entertained on long road trips. Just wipe the phone clean, download your favorite tunes from the cloud on your home wireless network, grab your headphones and you’re good to go!

3) Take Advantage of Buyback Programs

Your cell carrier may be willing to take back your old smartphone and even give you some cash or trade-in value. Most major carriers, and many smaller ones as well, offer some type of buyback program so you can still get some value from your old hardware.

Be sure to compare the buyback offers from your cell carrier to what you could get for the device on the open market. In some cases, the buyback offer will be superior, but not in every case.

4) Give Your Child a Camera

Kids love to take pictures and your old smartphone can still take great photos. Modern smartphone cameras are as good as, or better than, most older point and shoot cameras, so why not recycle the device and give it to your children?

The kids will have a great time taking pictures and they can hone their skills and practice taking care of it for when they get their own smartphones. Whether you print off your favorite shots or just store them locally, this is a great use for an old device that would otherwise simply collect dust in a drawer.

5) Use Your Smartphone as a TV Remote

Did you know you can use your old smartphone to operate your TV? It’s true – and with the right app, turning your smartphone into a remote is easier than you might think. After all, these powerful devices are actually tiny computers and they can interface perfectly with other electronics in your home.

6) Use Your Smartphone as a Baby Monitor

Have you considered repurposing your old smartphone as a baby monitor? This unique use for smartphones is gaining popularity with new parents and it’s easy to do with the right apps.

7) Turn Your Old Smartphone into a Toy

If you have kids, at some point, they’ve probably pestered you for a smartphone of their own. If your kids are still too young, you can repurpose your old hardware into a cool new toy.

Just wipe your smartphone clean to remove any personal data, then download an assortment of kid-friendly games and apps they can use on your home wireless network. (Be sure to install security apps to keep your kids safe). The kids will have a great time playing with their new toy and you will have given your old smartphone a great new life.

8) Sell Your Old Smartphone

Your old smartphone can still be useful, and lots of people will be willing to pay you for it. If you need a little cash to put toward a new phone, consider selling it outright.

You can list your old smartphone on Craigslist in Milwaukee, post it for sale on eBay or just place an ad on your Facebook feed. In the end, you’ll get a little extra cash and your smartphone will find a new home.

Security First

No matter which method you choose, be sure to wipe your old smartphone clean of any and all personal data. The protection of your personal and company data is paramount, and a thorough data cleanse of your smartphone should always be the first step.

If you need help cleansing your old smartphones of sensitive data, just give Ontech Systems a call at (262) 522-8560 or contact our sales department. We can help you donate your old smartphones safely, giving you one less thing to worry about.

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