The predominance of smartphones in our day-to-day activities is highly overwhelming. The culture of smart-telephony has metamorphosed from being mere trivialities to now become inevitable necessities. These mobile devices come in various shapes, features and designs, but they mostly function towards fulfilling similar sets of objectives. Such goals include improving communication amongst people as well as for educational enhancement and/or entertainment inducement purposes.
As with nearly all commodities, smartphones have their approximate shelf lives and/or service lives. Over periods of extended use, a smartphone’s efficiency and functionality will progressively spiral down to a point whereby overhauling the mobile phone becomes ineffective, and the need for a replacement becomes paramount.
The Consumer Electronics Association suggests that the average life expectancy of smartphones and feature phones is 4.7 years. The lifespan or life expectancy of a smartphone is premised upon a number of circumstances. Examples of such circumstances that significantly influence the length of time a smartphone can be optimally utilized include;
- Depleted Battery
It is safe to postulate that smartphones cannot function without batteries. Mobile phone batteries could either be removable or non-removable, but notwithstanding, the capacities of the electrical/ chemical energy that the battery can store gradually diminishes over time. This fact consequently contributes to the reduction of the overall performance of the smartphone.
- Outdated Technology
Smartphones and their affiliated functional or system applications are continually revamped in order to obtain more efficient devices. As a result of this, some technologies get obsolete thereby rendering the mobile phone anachronistic.
This can arise from various factors. Smartphones could get damaged as a result of severe exposure to environmental conditions like rain, snow or extreme sunshine; or through electrical fluctuations; or also as a result of careless usage by the owner through such actions as dropping of the mobile phone from heights which can consequently impact negatively on the internal workings of the device.
Steady usage of a product over time generally results in the accumulation of wear and tear which eventually boils to a climax and affects the level of functionality of the mobile phone.
However, in spite of these above-mentioned contributing factors to the inevitable depreciation in the value of mobile phones, there are a number of inventive ways in which these old devices could still be put into constructive use.
A few examples of such methods are described thus.
- Dashboard Camera
The use of this camera has skyrocketed in contemporary times. It basically refers to a certain kind of camera that is mounted on the dashboards of vehicles for the purpose of recording videos as well as taking pictures as a driver commutes. The benefits of having this device installed in a car are gargantuan. They provide a reliable means of reference in different circumstances as all driving details are well-documented and stored. There are a number of downloadable apps that can effectively transform old smartphones into dash cams by mainly using the phone cameras and the location features. An example of such dash cam apps available on most smartphone OS online stores is AutoGuard.
- Universal Remote
Old smartphones can be reused as remote control panels for a wide range of smart appliances and gadgets through seamless Wi-Fi, Bluetooth of Infrared-enabled connections. There are lots of compatible apps available that can be downloaded on these old smartphones for this purpose. A good example of such mobile applications is the Anymote Universal Remote app.
- Music Player
Even with reduced functionality, most old smartphones can still be used to stream and play music over many media platforms. With an established connection via either Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, these old devices can be effectively used to play podcasts and other music files.
- Gaming Console
Old mobile phones can be adequately converted to gaming consoles through the use of Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connections to the display unit/ device, as well as downloading and installing a number of applicable apps like AirConsole and/or PlayScape.
- Alarm Clock/ Timer
This is a very basic and functional use of old smartphones. The clock can be used as alarms while the timers can be adapted for a whole host of purposes.
- Car Tracker
An old smartphone when coupled with the appropriate app such as MyCarTracks can be reused as a reliable car tracker. All that is basically required of the old device is a functional GPS and mobile connection.