Skip to main content

Got an old Samsung phone laying around? Turn it into a smart home sensor!

At CES 2021, Samsung introduced Galaxy Upcycle, which is a way to turn old Samsung smartphones that may be sitting on a shelf collecting dust into something useful that you can use with SmartThings. Currently, functionality is limited to a light sensor or a sound sensor. Some use cases include using SmartThings to turn on your smart lights when it gets dark (regardless of the time of day) or using an old smartphone as a baby monitor or broken glass alarm.

To set up a Samsung phone as an upcycled sensor, you need a Galaxy-branded Samsung smartphone from 2018 or newer. Technically, you should also have a new Galaxy-branded smartphone to assist with setup, but there is a workaround for that (see step 8 below). Both phones need SmartThings and the latest software updates installed. So here's how to do it!

How to turn your old Samsung smartphone into a smart sensor using SmartThings

  1. Open SmartThings.
  2. Tap the Hamburger menu on the left side.
  3. Tap SmartApps.
  4. Tap the three dots on the right side of SmartApps.

  5. Tap SmartThings Labs.

  6. Tap Galaxy Upcycle.
  7. Tap Next.

  8. This will display a QR code you need to scan with your old Samsung smartphone. Note: According to Samsung, you need a new Samsung smartphone to access Galaxy Upcycle in SmartThings Labs. We verified this. But, if you don't have a Samsung smartphone other than the one you want to convert, you can scan the QR code in the screenshot below. Either way, continue the steps with the old Samsung smartphone you want to convert.

  9. Scan the QR code displayed in the previous step with the phone you want to convert.
  10. You will be sent to the Galaxy App Store and download and install the Galaxy Upcycle app. Tap Install.
  11. Once done, launch the Upcycle App.
  12. Tap Start.

  13. Choose the type of sensor you want to set up, then tap Next.

  14. Tap Continue on the Upcycle disclaimer. But, you know, totally read it first.
  15. Choose a Location and Room where you want the sensor to be located (you can change this later). Tap Next.

  16. Tap Next again.

  17. After a moment, you'll see the sensor is running. If you chose the sound sensor, it alerts when it hears a noise and specifically if it detects an event it was programmed to. If you chose a light sensor, it shows you the lux brightness in the room.

That's it! You can then go to the SmartThings app and set up what to do with the sensors.

Here's what you can do with your new sensor:

As of this writing, the things you can do with these sensors are fairly limited. Right now, you can only set your phone up as a sound or light sensor. As a light sensor, you can detect the luminance of light where you set the phone.

As a sound sensor, your phone can trigger a notification when any of the following events are detected:

  1. Dog bark
  2. Glass break
  3. Baby cry
  4. Doorknock
  5. Cat meow

That's the extent of the functionality at this time. Samsung has promised future upgrades, including controlling other SmartThings devices triggered by those actions. Picture lights turning on when it reaches a certain illuminance level or a camera activating when a doorknock is detected. Samsung Upcycling is an evolving platform. We'll be sure to update this article as more functionality becomes available.

Samsung's finest

Samsung Galaxy S21

$800 at Amazon

Samsung's flagship

The Samsung Galaxy S21 is one of the best flagships of 2021. If you're retiring an old Samsung phone, why not pick up the latest and greatest? As the latest Qualcomm 888 SoC, the S21 has an amazing camera setup, ample RAM, and storage. This powerful phone will last for years, thanks to Samsung upcycling, perhaps even years after that.

Source: androidcentral

Popular posts from this blog

How to watch England vs New Zealand: Live stream 2nd Test series cricket on

With the first Test ending in a draw, the series is on a knife edge at Edgbaston, as Joe Root's side look to put off the field controversies to one side and claim a much needed win against the Kiwis. Don't miss a single ball of the 2nd Test with our England vs New Zealand live stream guide below. The series has been somewhat overshadowed by the emergence of offensive historic tweets posted by Ollie Robinson who made his debut in the opening Test but has since been suspended. With the controversy still brewing amid interventions from politicians and accusations leveled at other members of the team, Root has a battle on his hands to keep his side focused on the game ahead. One positive for Root coming into the game is that they'll be playing in front of a near capacity crowd at Egbaston, with the overwhelming majority of the expected 18,000 spectators set to be cheering on the home side. The tourists have been delivered a huge blow coming intot his final match, with s

Review: The Amazon Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen) is a truly moving Alexa speaker

This new Echo Show is a real head-turner. The smart speaker market has grown quite a bit since Amazon introduced the first Echo in late 2014. However, after introducing the first Echo Show in 2017, the evolution of smart screened devices hasn't progressed nearly so quickly. There have mostly been incremental updates to the devices put out by Amazon, Google, and others like Lenovo, adding bigger screens and (marginally) better speakers, but nothing has really moved the category forward. As it has done several times before, Amazon is poised to usher in the next paradigm shift in smart speaker tech with its latest Echo device, the Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen). I've had the pleasure of using just about every Alexa and Google Assistant-enabled smart speaker over the past few years, so I feel well-suited to write this Amazon Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen) review based on that background. I'm not going to get too far into the argument of which smart assistant is better — by now, you've

The Galaxy Watch 4 is coming soon — here's everything you need to know

Samsung's Galaxy-brain play: leaving Tizen behind for Wear OS. The Samsung Galaxy Watch 3, one of the best Android smartwatches , may have only just launched in November 2020, but the latest rumors out of South Korea suggest the company may already be developing its replacement — with some big changes and upgrades in the works meant to topple Apple from its smartwatch throne. There's no confirmation whether Samsung's 2021 smartwatch will be named the "Galaxy Watch 4" or adopt a new name entirely. However, we know that this new watch will run the new version of Wear OS, which would have a big impact on app support and Android phone connectivity. It could also feature a newer-faster chipset, which could put it leagues ahead of the best Wear OS watches . Details are fairly scarce so far, but we've scrounged up every known leak about specs, design leaks, and pricing, along with everything else we know so far about the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4. Samsung's bes

6 things Apple stole from Android at WWDC— and one that Google should steal

Every year, Apple and Google trade ideas for their newest versions of iOS and Android, respectively. But this year, during Apple's WWDC 2021, it seems like Apple purloined more than a few ideas that Google's integrated into Android over the last few years. Millions of iOS users won't get their hands on iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 until later this year, so until then, we don't know until then how the new features will fare in the real world. For now, here's a tongue-in-cheek look at six features Apple, um, borrowed from Android with its latest software releases. Jump to: iPad widgets and app drawer Live Text Apple Maps AR navigation iOS notifications New Siri capabilities Apple Photos Bonus: What Google needs to steal iPad widgets and app drawer iPad OS 15 introduced two big new updates for the iPad home screen today: widgets and the App Library. If you think this sounds awfully familiar, there's a good reason for that. 2020's iOS 14 introduced both