Community Challenge 6: New Year, New phone... What do you do with the old phone?


Old Phone Re-Use Challenge! Two ways to win!

Option one: What’s your best use for an old phone?

Know of a great way to re-use or recycle your old phone? Share your best re-use tip by reply for a chance to win a $10 Google Play gift card. There are 10 opportunities to win:

  • Five “Community Likes” awards - the authors of the five posts that receive the most Community “likes” will each receive a $10 Google Play gift card.
  • Three staff picks - the authors of three posts selected by a panel of Republic Wireless staff members will each receive a $10 Google Play gift card.
  • Two additional winners will be selected by random drawing from any remaining posts, each of whom will also receive a $10 Google Play gift card

Requirements: Only current Republic Wireless members are eligible. Your entry must be in your own, original words and consist of at least 100 words. One winner per household. You can win in only one of the two options. Entries must be received between 12:00 a.m. ET on Tuesday, January 15 and 11:59:59 p.m. ET on Tuesday, January 22. Staff and Ambassadors are not eligible to win.

Option two: Who can put a DEFY XT to the best use?

What’s old, tiny, and locked into Gingerbread, but still being used by over 800 Republic Wireless members? It’s Republic Wireless’ second Beta phone, the DEFY XT!
I’ve dusted off ten DEFY XT’s from an office stockpile. Most were “floor models” - used for demonstration purposes. A couple appear to have never been turned on. None of them can be activated with Republic Wireless or any other service.
Get creative and tell us how you’d put a DEFY XT to use! We’ll pick1 up to ten of the entries to receive a DEFY XT and actually try to meet their own re-use challenge. Those ten people will then have three weeks to accomplish the challenge they created for themselves, with weekly check-ins to let us know how it’s going.

  1. Submit a creative description of how you’d use a DEFY XT. If your personal challenge is selected, we’ll send you a DEFY XT to keep.
  2. Weekly check-in #1 - by 11:59:59 p.m. ET February 7, 2019, write or create a video showing us what you’ve accomplished so far. If we’re seeing progress toward your goal, you’ll earn a $5 (Amazon gift card) check-in bonus if you complete your challenge.
  3. Weekly check-in #2 - between 12:00 a.m. ET February 8, 2019 and 11:59:59 p.m. ET February 14, 2019, write or create a video showing us more progress toward your goal. You’ll earn a $10 (Amazon gift card) check-in bonus if you complete your challenge.
  4. Weekly check-in #3 - between 12:00 a.m. ET February 15, 2019 and 11:59:59 p.m. ET February 24, 2019, write or create a video showing us your final accomplishment. If you met your own challenge you’ll earn a $25 Amazon gift card, plus the bonuses from your previous check-ins.

1 Five entries in Option 2 will be selected to receive a DEFY XT based on Community “Likes” and up to five more will be selected by a panel of Republic Wireless staff and Ambassadors.

Requirements: Only current Republic Wireless members are eligible. Your entry must be in your own, original words and consist of at least 100 words. One winner per household. You can win in only one of the two options. Entries must be received between 12:00 a.m. ET on Tuesday, January 15 and 11:59:59 p.m. ET on Tuesday, January 22. Staff and Ambassadors are not eligible to win.


One possibility is to turn old smartypants phones into security cameras. An example is here

I’ve done it a few times, works great for other applications also.


If the old phone can still securely run Google apps turn it into a video station for Grandma and Grandpa to have Duo conversations with you. We did this with an elderly relative when he went into assisted living. They had decent WiFi so why not?


I give it to my young kids who take ridiculous numbers of pictures of nothing… and once a week we allow them to play Pokemon Playhouse on it.


I use my old phones for various things in the machine shop. One I use with USB tethering to give a CNC milling machine internet access. Another I use as an IP webcam for monitoring automated machines during lights-out operation.


Put it in a camping or bug-out bag, or in your car for emergencies. I haven’t tried it, but supposedly you can still make emergency calls on old phones. Also, if you’re lost or stranded somewhere, you can even use an old dead phone, using the screen to reflect the sun, thereby signalling passing planes or whatever for help. It’s small and lightweight, so it’ll fit wherever you want without a problem!


I donate my old phones to domestic violence organizations or women’s shelters. Many phones are able to dial 911 without a plan and can be used as a safe phone for people surviving domestic violence.


How to use an old phone? Simple! there is an app in the Google Store called “Alfred”. It’s an app that turns an old phone into a webcam.
You put it on your old phone and your new one. Your old phone now becomes a web cam that you can monitor from your new phone over wi-fi! It monitors the room and also has 2 way voice,
You can use multiple phones on it.
Best of all (and all Republic Wireless subscribers will love this) it is free!
As a many year Republic Wireless user I can’t say enough of how much I like this service and tell everyone about it! My next upgrade will make this my next web cam!


There are many visually impaired (an example, there
are others who are not visually impaired) people using iPhones
that don’t like the high prices being charged by their
current phone provider. However, they are hesitant to
try out Republic Wireless and Android, as there is a
learning curve. They would like to keep their iPhones
and current service while trying Republic/Android out.

I would give my old Republic Wireless Android phone to
someone use. (It would be nice if Republic came up
with a prepayment system like a prepaid card for so
many months of service, so I don’t have to pay whie
the recipient tries out Republic/Android. The prepaid
card could be for, say, 3 months of service.)


For business people like myself, you can use your old Android phone as a bluetooth controller for your computer. Specifically, for controlling PowerPoint presentations.

There are plenty of apps in the Google Play store that can do this (search terms: Bluetooth Powerpoint). Sure, you can do it with your new phone, but it’s better to do with an old phone for a few reasons:

  1. If presenting with multiple presenters, you don’t want to hand your primary phone to the other presenter.
  2. You don’t want an incoming call (or other things a connected phone does) to interrupt the control of your PowerPoint .

For the gamer (like my other self), you could use your phone as a bluetooth gamepad - there are also apps on the Google Play store that can turn your phone into the gamepad (search terms: Bluetooth gamepad or Bluetooth controller).


Swap your phone, make some memories, and keep saving with Republic

We’ve saved $5,375 in the 5 years with Republic (keep reading)!

But when our old phones (Moto X, 1st gen) ran out of space, we didn’t just chuck ‘em. We sold them on Mine sold 5 days after listing, for $125 in August 2016. My wife’s sold for $50 on the same day listed, in December 2018. Swappa protects buyers and sellers from fraud, while providing extra details you need to know before buying. Fees are very low.

Our new phones have tons of storage and bright, big screens, perfect for taking snapshots and short videos of our 4-year-old skating :ice_skate: or playing in the snow. :snowman: (When she’s older, we’ll talk about Republic supports so many new phones these days, and even with the switch from Republic Refund plans, we’re still saving money.

Including the cost of all phones purchased, we’ve averaged $450 per year with Republic since 2013. Prior to that, Verizon bills averaged $1525 per year over 5 years, with no data plan and no phones!

When you’re ready to upgrade, you have one less worry, now. Stay green and keep warm our there!


I still show all my old phones some love…I start them up, update the apps, etc.

My best phone is usually up in my bedroom plugged in unless I go out somewhere. But my 2nd best phone, whatever that may be, is not activated on RW, but is my around-the-house phone. It’s got all my music on it, so it’s my vacuuming phone (makes the task MUCH less horrible and helps it to go by faster! I just pick an album, pop on my bluetooth headphones, and rock out). I use it for streaming video services when I want to walk around the house. And at night, when it’s plugged back in, it’s my 2nd alarm clock (I always set 2…I’m not a happy person when my 1st alarm goes off, which is my good phone, and the 2nd one makes me have to get out of bed to turn it off).

I try to be so careful with my best phone (currently a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, purchased used, which I LOVE), so it’s nice to have one that I don’t worry about so much. My #2 phone right now is my Moto G5 Plus, and I also have it activated on a different carrier with a free plan that I would never use as my daily carry, but is nice in case of emergency, I guess. I still love my older Moto X Pure Edition, too…those front facing stereo speakers are the best I’ve ever heard on a phone, and the huge, hi-res screen is so attractive.

I’m a phone addict…I can never part with my old ones! And I can root the old ones and do scary things I can’t do with my Samsung (gosh darned locked bootloader). LOL


Listen to Audiobooks
Turn it into a device for kids to listen to audiobooks. You probably want to apply some parental controls (such as Google FamilyLink) because kids are smarter than we give them credit for. Then, install your favorite audiobook app, grab a headset, and now your child can ignore you whatever room your’re in. Better yet, install a library app (such as Libby) and your child can obsessively listen to new audiobooks all the time for free! Let them listen to audiobooks while doing chores and an hour or two later, the bathroom is sparkling clean without complaints.

Give them to others in need
Donate them to domestic violence organization as @erinb.tb4qps suggested.
You can also give them to a family and friends in need - or dedicated to getting out of debt (such as the Dave Ramsey method) that they are happy to take your old phone and get another year or two of life out of it because it saves money. And every penny counts. (One reason why Republic Wireless is so awesome!)


I used to have to rearange my MotoX pure to use it as the display for my DJI Spark drone. Now I use it totally for that purpose only. Good picture, fast live display of view from the camera of the drone.OTG works good. My new Moto G6 I still don’t know if it is OTG compatible.


I’m president of our green team at my company so recycling and reusing are of topmost priority. We have a program where employees can bring old cell phones that we donate to the local women’s abuse shelter. These provide a lifeline for women who may not otherwise be able to call 911 when needed.


You can use an old cell phone as a bedroom, illuminated digital clock that keeps very accurate time. I use my old Republic Wireless LG Optimus that I bought as the first beta phone. Works as an alarm clock also.


I use my old phone as a music player and storage for pictures.
Cheryl F.


I just upgraded my phone, and my old phone (a Moto E1) is now going to our tween daughters. They got little Bluetooth smartwatches for Christmas from their grandparents, and we connect one to the phone when they go out to a school/church activity or to a friend’s house. The phone itself is locked down, but they can still call or text us as needed. :slight_smile:


We do not have cable TV or many over the air channels where I live. So I use my old smartphones as remotes for my Chromecast TVs. I remove any unwanted apps and disable those unwanted apps that cannot be deleted. Then I put all of my favorite Chromecast apps like Plex, Netflix, Vudu, Movies Anywhere, You Tube, Google Photos, etc. and leave the phone plugged in in the rooms that I have TVs. It is great that I don’t have to carry my phone all over the house with me for when I want to watch TV. And it is also very convenient for family and guests. I put my music apps on there too so that anyone can play whatever music they wish on my smart speakers. Install Google home and it makes it convenient to control all of my smart devices throughout my home.

Another thing I did was get a Google Voice number and installed Hangouts on the remote phones. This way I can make and receive phone calls over wifi on them.


We use our phones to help speed up cancer research. Cancer researchers need supercomputers to process complex data. Apps like DreamLab and Folding@Home allow these researches to break these calculations into tiny chunks that your phone can then process and send back. We have a drawer with old phones connected to power an WiFi that help with these calculations 24/7.