Rugged smartphone technology moves so fast these days and for businesses this is a real challenge.  We’re all used to investing in technology that lasts for 5 years +, but these days that’s changed with more typical ROI being seen over a 2 year or even 18 month period.  So this means that whilst you’ve found a mechanism to keep on top of the latest rugged smartphone technology, what do you do with the piles of old kit that’s now mounting up and with apparently no use at all?  Well hopefully after this blog you’ll have a few ideas that i’ve gleaned from some of our own customers here at Raptor as well as our own experience over the years.

Throw them away!

Now you can’t just throw old tech away…no, no, naughty naughty!  Whilst all our kit adheres to ROHS environmental guidelines, we still can’t have circuit boards and batteries rotting away in our soil.  But you can recycle them at a very small cost and do your bit for the world!

Use them for IOT

All these little IOT gadgets that everyone has lying around still seem to work best if you have a dedicated controller for them.  So we have all kinds of old kit here doing IOT jobs for us.  For example.  A 5 year old Nexus 7 tablet is our Ring doorbell control panel, an old Raptor R4 controls some of our LIFx lighting and you’d be amazed just how good Skype can be with an old Android rugged smartphone with plug in headset can be for adhoc calling and conference calls!  Add to that I met someone the other day using an old Samsung Note 3 as a dedicated in car dash cam.  If you can think of the use up, then there’s probably a free app for that to extract some use out of your old rugged smartphones.

Use your old rugged smartphone as a dedicated dash cam!

Use your old rugged smartphone as a dedicated dash cam!


I go away for a few weeks every year on my Motorbike and I can’t tell you how useful an old Raptor R5 rugged smartphone is when it comes to having a dedicated GPS for my travels.  not only does it run a Satnav really well, but it also has a pretty good GPS position app and also a 6000mAh battery will run all day long.  Then i can keep my own smartphone for communications and browsing the web for my next campsite!

Developer tools

Sure they might have old technology, but your developers will still thank you for some devices that make their software better and also that they can break without any worry or cost!  We have an array of older rugged smartphones here so we can check any code we write against all kinds of older versions of Android and hardware.  You’d be amazed just how different things can get on different phones.

New projects & Innovation

We see a lot of our customers asking us for extended support on older kit, which they then use on new mobile projects that would have otherwise never have been unlocked.  You don’t want old tech running your main enterprise work flows, however a 2 year old Android rugged smartphone still has a lot to offer and could be used to help with your next wave of mobile innovation.

Have some fun with them!

Well we do at least!.  We have some customers who do all kinds of things with old kit.  They drop them, dunk them, drag them, play football with them and all kinds of things.  Sounds like a waste of time?  Well think again, a few videos and pictures posted can raise more interest and awareness for your products than thousands of pounds of marketing spend.

Give them away!

If you want to, you can give your old kit back to us and we’ll donate it to a good cause.  A 2 year old rugged smartphone might be useless to you, but it could be a real life saver for an African start-up trying to get a foothold in the world.

Security camera

You know the camera technology in a 2 year old rugged smartphone is still usually streets ahead of the latest security camera tech and with a free app download you can change your old smartphone into a web cam that can be accessed from anywhere.  This can be used for all kinds of things from a real ad hoc security camera to a baby monitor.

Kids toy

Give it to your kid!  Children are amazing these days and they pick up and absorb technology like us older folk can only ever dream of doing, but does that mean you want to give your 6 year old your £1000 iPhone 7s?  Why not give them an old rugged smartphone, it’ll last much longer, have a bigger battery for those long trips in the car and it’ll still have a relevant Android OS and hardware in it.  If it breaks then it’s a £50 problem, not a £1000 one!!


Sell them on

Depending on the condition, you can often sell your old kit on to someone else.  We run a cashback scheme here where we can relive you of your old kit and give you a few quid towards your next project for them. There’s a network of people out there in the refurb market that we can pass them on to in order to squeeze the last amouint of value out of your old tech.

About The Author

Dave's one of the founders of Raptor, his rants are memorable, his thoughts are stimulating and his heart is set on helping, entertaining and making things like mobile, Android, ruggedness, 3D printing and IOT simple.

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