Samsung has begun allowing users to give their old Galaxy phones a new use case around their homes. Old Samsung Galaxy phones launched in 2018 and later can now be transformed into useful gadgets as part of a new beta program from the South Korean company.
The company is shipping an update that gives more use to old Galaxy smartphones in the smart home arena. With it, you can turn your outmoded Galaxy phone into a powerful IoT device.
For instance, you could repurpose your old phones to become a child care monitor tool that alerts you when your newborn starts crying. Or help power on the lights when it gets dark, and you’re not around.
The update is rolling out through Samsung’s SmartThings app.
Samsung announced the new feature at the virtual CES 2021 event held in January. It was an extension to the company’s existing Galaxy Upcycling program but under a new name: Galaxy Upcycling at Home.
The program is currently in beta for Samsung Galaxy owners in the US, UK, and the tech giant’s homeland, South Korea.
The software has limited functionality as of now, however. The Verge notes that, for now, it can detect the sound of a crying baby, a barking or meowing pet, and a knock at the door. Of course, plus the ability to turn on the lights automatically in response to a brightness threshold inside a room – first showcased at CES 2021.
The update also ships with important battery optimizations to eke more battery life out of the devices.
Eligible smartphones are all flagship phones, including the Galaxy S, Note, and Z-series. Even for flagship phones, only those launched in 2018 and later are eligible, and Android 9 Pie is a MUST.
There’s hope, however, for other old device owners: Samsung says more devices will be supported in the future.