Introduction: Get Free Cellphones

Picture of Get Free Cellphones

People seem to be addicted to having the most fancy and modern gadgets they can get their hands on even if their old one still works fine. So, there are a lot of working cellphones out there and they have some quite cool parts in them. My brother (ALPHA G33K) and I discovered a very easy way to get them which I will share with you.

Step 1: Get the Phones

Picture of Get the Phones

Cellphone dealers (I get them from Rogers wireless)  get old phones brought to them for recycling and they usually have a box of them stashed somewhere. I would recommend bringing them some sort of peace offering or baksheesh when you go. We just told them that we liked taking things apart and were wondering if they had any old cellphones we could have. They willingly showed us their box and said we were welcome to the contents and could come back whenever. BINGO! 

Step 2: The Parts

Picture of The Parts

So far most of the ones we've gotten have actually worked which is kinda fun in and of itself but, my favorite part is the battery. They are small and powerful lithiums and if you have the right charger, you can charge them up in the phone and then they can be used for projects. Of course you are not likely to have the right charger on hand, but there are often chargers in with the old phones. If there are, you can get the matching phone. They also have a neat LCD, a speaker, a mini camera and a mic. I haven't actually got one of the LCDs to run off of an Arduino yet but I'm pretty sure it would be quite possible.  

So there you go. Good luck!


JokerMaker (author)2017-05-17

Can Anyone Send To Me Some Stuff Of Computer Parts Please Ineed its

mike patterson (author)2009-12-17

the mics and speakers can sometimes be used as piezo pickups for musical instruments too, although I have had no luck getting local cell phone places to release any.

The pickup idea is a good one. I'm sorry to hear you haven't managed to get any yet. What stores did you try and what did they say?

bell, and telus, but I shall persevere---I still use an old samsung I built out of three---lots of spare parts----lol

That's pretty neat.

My younger brother and I have an extra cell (without a charger) which we wouldn't mind sending you if you Private Message me your address. We go to Rogers but I guess they are Canadian.

Brettgerman (author)Earthling!2015-12-03

can I get a free cellphone

Earthling! (author)Brettgerman2015-12-03

Yeah, what parts do you need? I'm traveling right now, can can you remind me in January?

My brother (ALPHA G33K) and I packaged the phone up and, if all goes well, I will be shipping it tomorrow!

thanks--I never thought about the LCDs ---gotta be something fun to do with them---parallel out of a VGA or something.....and the batteries....

Brettgerman (author)2015-11-27

can I get a free cellphone

leggomylegoeggo (author)2011-05-05

when my phone broke I took it apart and salvaged a few parts. unfortunately, the connectors are these weird-little-flat-clip-sorta-things, which I have no way to connect to anything else. do you know of a way to connect them to anything?

The micro USB connectors can be quite useful for other projects (Think... Arduino!) and are a synch to solder with a decent iron and some flux.
If you are using the battery for a project (like a souped up MP3 player), the little Nokia power jacks are convenient for charging.

Good luck,

blodefood (author)2011-05-03

If you are looking for free old cell phones you could post on Craigslist, Kijiji or a Freecycle group. You can also get them cheap from Value Village or other thrift stores that sell electronics.

gautam6270 (author)2011-01-23

cant i get such phones here in india ???

Earthling! (author)gautam62702011-01-24

That's a good question. You could check around or contact some local mobile dealers. I don't actually know the answer, being from Canada.

zack247 (author)Earthling!2011-04-07

you live in canada? may i ask what city?

Earthling! (author)zack2472011-04-07

Campbell River. I don't actually live in it but it's the nearest city with a cell dealer.

gautam6270 (author)Earthling!2011-04-14

here in india , nokia recycles old phones so they hav put bins all over so that people put their old phones in there , so i was thing of getting a few from dere but , those bins are placed in nokia centers and people are all over ... i'm scared of getting beaten up :)

zack247 (author)Earthling!2011-04-08

i live in saskatoon, so im not sure if they will be as open to letting me have the old cell phones, but i certainly will try!

kedwa30 (author)2010-09-03

Nice 'ible. I have seen someone charge a battery in an emergency with a random charger that he just cut the cord and put the wires to the contacts of the battery. I have a small accumulation of various prepaid type phones. Especially the Net10 phone, it just doesn't make sense not to buy the phone with the 300 included minutes when the cost is the same as buying just the minutes. I have seen ads in the paper that say "cash for your broken phone" and so I'm sure there are people already scrapping for every phone they can get, but with perseverance every dog will have his day. I can't wait to come across an 'ible to show me how to hook-up an old phone or its screen to either an arduino or to the usb port. It should be easy to use it to display photos. The Boost phones all have built-in GPS and I would love to hook one up to my notebook computer. The GPS is still usable even after the minutes are used-up, but after some time (a year?) the data about the satellites needs to be updated.

sjoobbani (author)2010-03-07

and you're in canada I'm assuming
<3 Olympics were amazing this year.

Earthling! (author)sjoobbani2010-03-12

I am in Canada.

Yes, they went quite handily.  Cleaned up in the hockey corner that's for sure!

sjoobbani (author)sjoobbani2010-03-07

 DOn't go to verizon though, because they donate all their phones to a help line for battered women.

gnuoy (author)2010-02-17

Thnaks a lot man, just today I got a Nokia 2760 and a motorola w220, both working ^^
Now I just need to find some chagers for them :3

Timmydamonkey (author)2009-12-09

this is cool!
i cant wait to try oit!

About This Instructable




Bio: Adam, Isa, and Immanuel McKenty are three thing-building, self-educating, voraciously-reading, computer-tinkering, music-playing brothers who hail from Cortes Island on Canada's west coast, where the ... More »
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