Back in January Samsung restarted its Upcycle program giving you new ways to use old Galaxy smartphones at home, instead of throwing them away or putting them for recycling. The initiative allows older devices to receive a software update through the SmartThings app, essentially turning them into light sensors, baby monitors and other camera and audio solutions.
The program is now available in the United Kingdom, United States and South Korea. It allows owners of unused Galaxy smartphones to reinstall parts of their connected homes.
You can leverage your unused phone’s mic and get notifications on your main phone when it detects audio. Or it can turn on your smart lights automatically when it detects it is getting dark enough.
The constant monitoring may shorten the battery life, but the special software that will be flashed to the old phone comes with battery optimizations that reduce power consumption.
The list of devices initially available includes all S, Note, and Z series devices, released from 2018 onwards, running Android 9 and above. The company said more devices will be phased in over time.