14 Things You Can Do With Your Old Cell Phone

Old cellphones can definitely clutter up your space, but no matter how much you want to get rid of them, don’t throw them away! There are so many ways you can make use of old cell phones, from converting them into home security systems to selling them for some extra cash. Here are 14 unexpected ways you can make use of your old cell phone, iPad, or other unused devices.

1. Alarm Clock

You can turn your old phone into a permanent bedside sidekick with an app that can both help you fall asleep or wake you up in the morning. The app CARROT Alarm has a fun twist to the regular alarm clock with songs, witty dialogue, and a wake-up system. Pzizz is another app that can help you get into that deep sleep and then wake you up gently in the morning. Since there’s no need to carry around that extra cell phone with you all day, keep it at your bedside charging.

2. Home Security Camera

Use that phone’s built-in camera and your Wi-Fi to turn it into a security system. There is an app called Presence you can use, or set up a Skype account on, then set it to accept incoming video calls automatically. This way, you can call home from anywhere and check in on your pets without paying for complicated software.

3. Baby Monitor

Old cellphones can be a great baby monitor when travelling and want to check in. There is an app calle Dormi that once hooked up to the Wi-Fi, the app will send a notification to your phone if the baby starts making noise. You can also soothe the baby remotely by talking to them through your phone.


4. Accessible Reading

You can download a reading app to your old smartphone and give it to your children. They will be able to enjoy looking like daddy or mommy while they keep learning. 

5. Donate

There a lot of organizations that benefit from selling your recycled or refurbished device. You can donate your phone to Cell Phones for Soldiers that can buy prepair international calling cards for troops and give emergency funding to veterans. They can wipe your phone clean of all personal information first. You can also try HopeLine from Verizon to benefit survivors or victims of domestic violence. They will accept phones in any condition from any provider. 

6. Make Your Own Fundraising Campaign

Are you looking to earn money for non-profits? You can sell your old devices as an easily manageable fundraising program. Sites like gazelle.com can help you create your own fundraising website and encourage people in your community to trade in used devices. They can get cash for them and your organization can earn up to a 15% commission.

7. Help Spousal Abuse Victims

Centers for spousal abuse can distribute cellphones to victims of an abusive situation so they can use the phone to get help. This works since all phones allow people to dial 911, even without a service plan. You can call your local police and find out where and how to donate.

8. Sell Your Cellphone

If your old phone is in good condition – even if it’s not – it can be worth a few bucks. You can try selling them directly to somebody through eBay or Craigslist to get the most cash. Other sites like sellcell.com or even Costco and Best Buy have buy-back programs. You can even get more money if you still have the original cables, cords, and packaging.

9. Mp3 Player

You can set up your old cellphone as an mp3 player. Then if you are by the pool or at the beach you won’t have to worry if it gets sandy or wet. You can also use it as a radio and stream music through TuneIn Radio from all over the country. 

10. Turn It Into Media Library

An old phone can be a great media library or even a server to store music, TV shows, or movies. You can then stream all of your content to other devices in your home. A service called Plex can allow you to access every file stored in that old phone from other devices.

11. Easy Word Processing

Set up your phone or tablet to run Pages – a word processing program. You can even plug in a keyboard accessory to have a portable tool at your fingertips. 

12. Find Your Car

If you keep your old phone on a very cheap service plan you can hide it in the back of your car – make sure it’s always charged. It is a great idea to have a backup cellphone in case of an emergency and you can track your car if it gets stolen.


13. Take Photos

We understand newer phones have better quality cameras. However, you can give your old phone to your children so they can start to practice. They can learn how to edit photos on the app Snapseed. You can later back the photos up to another device.


14. Recycle Recycle Recycle

No matter what you do, do not throw your old phone in the trash. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates 772 lbs of silver, 35,000 lbs of copper, 33 lbs of palladium, and 75 lbs of gold can potentially be saved if one million phones are recycled. You can visit EPA to find out what to do and where to go. 

Phone Repair Near You

However, if your phone is broken or is not working before you recycle it or donate it, you can bring it to Hot Tech Repair. Our experts are here to diagnose and repair your devices. We will find a way to make your old cell phone functional again. We also offer cracked screen repair, water damage repair, and more. Visit us today!

5 Tips To Fix Slow Mobile Data Issues

Watching a progress bar work its way slowly across the screen is as fun as watching water boil. While this issue can happen from time to time, if you experience data connection issues frequently, you can try a few fixes at home. There are several factors that can affect mobile data speed and they can vary depending on the phone OS, location, specifications, nature of the data plan, etc.

Here are 5 tips from Hot Tech Repair on how to fix slow mobile data issues. And, if you’re interested, here are other 5 tips on how to fix sound issues on your smartphone.


Fixing Slow Mobile Data Issues

Whether you are struggling with web page loading or waiting for messages to send, having signal issues is very frustrating. After all, you are paying for a data plan and expect good connectivity. The good news is that these problems are often just temporary. If you still have a lagging internet speed after more than a couple of hours, try the following tips to get things moving.


#1 Restart Your Phone

An often overlooked but obvious remedy is that your phone may need just a quick refresh. Try restarting your phone to see if it improves data speeds. Restarting your smartphone varies depending on what kind of phone you have. You will have to press and hold the power button on an iPhone, and on an Android press and hold down the volume and power buttons until the onscreen menu shows up.


#2 Switch Airplane mode On and Off

Switching the airplane mode on and off is a proven method to get your cellular data moving again. Once you turn on the airplane mode, make sure you give your device about a minute before turning it off again. This guarantees your phone has enough time to disconnect from any cellular and Wi-Fi connections fully.


#3 Check The Data Usage

Background apps can devour your internet connection speed. If you think this is the culprit, you can actually disable the access of these apps to mobile data. On an iPhone, go to Settings > Cellular to manage this. On an Android device, go to Settings > Network & Internet > Mobile Network > App Data Usage. 

If you don’t have an unlimited data plan, you may have to check if you have a data saver or low data settings disabled. When you’re at network settings, try to disable these and see if your signal strength increases.

If there is an app that you don’t really use and is consuming a large amount of mobile data, you can select the app and turn off both Unrestricted Data Usage and Background Data.


#4 Check With The Carrier

If you don’t have Wi-Fi connection issues, but the mobile data has a bad signal, then the culprit may be your carrier. Even if you have a reliable provider, outages can still happen. Before you call them, check to see if other people with the same carrier as experiencing the same problems. You can use Downdetector to see if there are any widespread issues. 


#5 Remove The SIM Card

If the above troubleshooting methods are not working, it’s time to take another approach. Using an unfolded paperclip or a SIM card tool, remove the SIM card. Check if the card itself is damaged and then put it back in your phone. If you are not sure how to access the card or you are worried about breaking it, our friendly technicians at Hot Tech Repair can help.


iPhone-Only Bonus Tip: Refresh The Network Settings

Apple recommends resetting the network settings on your phone. This, however, means that you will lose every saved Wi-Fi network, custom carrier settings, and VPN connection, so it’s definitely a last resort. If you choose to give this a shot, you have to go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Network Settings. 

Bring Your Phone To The Experts

If after trying all these troubleshooting tips, you are still having slow mobile data speeds, it is definitely time to seek out a professional. Our team of technicians at Hot Tech Repair can help you figure out what is causing your issues. Get in touch with us today to start getting your phone at full speed.