Getting new tech is great, but it usually means your old phone or tablet, gets chucked into the back of a drawer never to be used again. Use our super simple tips to put your old device to good use.


  1. Use it as a security camera

Security systems can cost thousands of rands. Use your old smartphone as a camera to keep an eye on your home or office while you’re away.

Here’s how:

  • Install a free app on your phone.

TIP: Here are some great Android apps from the Google Play Store

  • Install the same app on your new phone.
  • Your old phone or tablet will have to be plugged in to charge permanently.
  • Use a longer length charge cable so that you can mount your device in a spot that gives you a good view of the area you want to monitor.

As long as both phones are connected to WiFi, you can log onto the app and check out what’s happening whenever you like.













  1. Set up a dedicated Skype station.

Be ready to chat by setting up your old smartphone or tablet as a always on Skype or video chat hub at home. This way, if you’re busy on your new phone, the kids can take the call from Granny and Grandpa without having to wait.

Here’s how:

  • Remove all other apps, photo and video data from your device.
  • Install Skype or your preferred video chat app.

TIP: If you already have Whatsapp installed on your phone, the video call feature works really well.

  • Connect the phone or tablet to your home WiFi.
  • Make sure you set it to remember the WiFi password so that you don’t need to connect every time.
  • Buy a simple tablet stand that lives in one dedicated spot with the device on it.

Now you have a modern ‘home phone’ set up, ready to make and receive video calls any time.


  1. Keep it as an emergency phone

Let’s face it, smartphone batteries on road trips last about as long as the snacks you thought would last until lunch time. Use your old phone as a fail safe backup in case of an emergency.

Here’s how:

  • Keep a charged old phone in the cubby hole of your car when travelling.
  • If you don’t use the phone, the charge should last the whole day.
  • Only use it if something goes wrong and the battery on your new phone is dead.
  • Most phones can dial emergency numbers even without any airtime. Dialling 112 will connect you with or without airtime to your networks emergency line.

Now you have peace of mind while out on the road and can use your phone for #roadtripselfies (only if you’re the passenger of course!)


  1. Just for fun!

If you find yourself fighting to get your device back from your kids, why not turn your old phone or tablet into a dedicated game machine.

Here’s how:

  • Clear your phone of all photos, videos and data to make as much space as possible for game apps

TIP: Watch our ‘clean up your phone’ video for how to do this.

  • Install all your kids favourite games and apps
  • Set a password on the device so that you can limit screen time if you need to.
  • Get a hardy cover and screen guard so that it’s protected from bumps and drops.

Now you have an extra toy to keep little hands busy any time.


  1. Donate it

If you’re feeling generous you could pass your phone onto a family member or friend. But if you have more than one, you can donate it to a charity shop who will be able to sell it and put the money to good use.

Here’s how:

  • Clear your phone of all photos, videos and data

TIP: Watch our ‘clean up your phone’ video for how to do this.

Now your old tablet or phone can do so much more than collect dust!


Whatever you end up doing with your old device, you’ll want to make sure your old phone is cleared before you put it to use. Watch our ‘clean up your phone’ video for how to do this.