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You told us: Here's what you do with your old phone when you get a new one

It looks like Android Authority readers aren't repurposing their old phone when they get a new one.

Published onMarch 4, 2021

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Upgrading to a new phone is always an exciting experience, as you go through the honeymoon period of enjoying a shiny, new device. It’s especially enjoyable if you haven’t upgraded in a few years, as the differences between the old phone and new device can be stark in terms of performance, battery life, and more.

But what do you do with your trusty old device once you’ve upgraded? Do you repurpose it or do you keep it as a backup phone? Do you trade your device in or give it to loved ones? We posed this question to readers a few days ago and here’s how you voted.

What do you do with your old phone when you’ve upgraded?


We posted the poll on March 1, and a grand total of 3,992 votes were cast as of writing. The most popular option was keeping it as a secondary or backup phone, with almost 40% of respondents choosing this.

The second-most popular option (at 30.2%) was selling or trading it in, and it’s easy to understand why. The likes of Samsung and Apple offer great trade-in deals when upgrading, while selling the phone outright means you get a fair chunk of change to spend on whatever you want. Rounding out the top three choices was giving the old phone to a loved one, with 19.6% of polled readers doing so.

Related reading: Selling a used phone — do’s and don’ts

Just 7.4% said they repurpose their old phone. There are loads of uses for an old phone, such as a smart alarm clock, emulation machine, a smart picture frame, and more. Nevertheless, it seems like most Android Authority readers would rather get rid of their old phone or keep it in storage than repurpose it. Finally, 3.5% of polled readers voted “other” as their choice.

It’s also interesting to note that more people voted to get rid of their phone somehow (49.8%) than for keeping it in some capacity (46.7%).


  • Smackos: Well my last old phone (honor 9 lite) became a semi permanent wifi fi hitspot for the mother-in-law’s, so we could video chat to her via an old ipad. She simply cannot get on with modern gadgets at all, and she will not budge from the old style Nokia mobiles. Only thing we were able to do was show her how to swipe and answer a video call via facetime on a tablet.
  • KEDAR: I put them on the Exhibition Shelf
  • Walter Kowalski: Usually sell on eBay and get a good price. Take good care of phone and use a case and clean the screen.
  • Kevin Hoang: My older phone will be use for long hour video call and streaming device for my tv
  • Majid Soaimel: I keep it in a drawer with all my other old electronics, rarely ever coming back to them if not for nostalgia.
  • Ant_B: I know it sounds so irresponsible, but all of my new phone purchases so far have been because I’ve damaged my older phone beyond repair or the damage could be repaired, but the cost of fixing it just wouldn’t be worth it in the long run, so I just throw it in a drawer somewhere. After getting older & learning about e-waste though, I definitely plan on selling my future phones to a third party once they’ve become a pain to use.
  • Albin: So far repurposed – even my first LG (Android G) with tiny 3.2″ screen replaced a battery-dead Sansa as an MP3 / audiobook player. Much better with APKs for OSM mapping, a good little camera, and the Boat browser. No SIM but gets 11n wifi and Bluetooth, and recently got an OEM battery for about $5 on eBay. My second ZTE 5″ (Android L) still gets Play Store updates, sits in the car mount for offline sat/nav and keeps a pay/go SIM for use as a travel burner in the USA.
  • American: They end up in drawers. I’m not comfortable giving them away because I can’t be sure they will be wiped clean of personal data. Either that, or I physically destroy them.

Thanks for voting in this poll and for leaving comments, it’s always appreciated. You can share your thoughts on the topic via the comments section below.