Less is More! 7+ Devices & Tools Your Smartphone Can Replace

Ads by Google

Consumer Electronics in 1980   Less is More! 7+ Devices & Tools Your Smartphone Can ReplacePhones have gone through an incredible evolution over the past few years. Besides serving as mobile phone and a tiny window into the world wide web, the modern smartphone accommodates a multitude of tools. Christian survived an entire week only using his Android tablet. Trying this with a phone would probably drive most people into madness. Yet Kannon demonstrated that it is possible to turn your Android smartphone into a desktop replacement.

The things you can do with a smartphone are limited only by the imagination. Admittedly, fantasies typically aren’t realistic, but there are a lot of devices you can really replace with your Android smartphone.

Alarm Clock

Ever since mobile phones have been around, old-school alarm clocks struggle to remain relevant. They became iPod docks, Internet radios, and wake up lights. Meanwhile, many creative apps turn Android devices into the most awesome alarm clocks a sleepy brain could dream of.

doubletwist   Less is More! 7+ Devices & Tools Your Smartphone Can Replace


Smartphone cameras have truly evolved over the past few years. While not yet at a level to compete with SLRs or high-end pocket cameras, they are more than suitable for high quality snapshots with destination Facebook or Instagram. Add to that the convenience of taking photos on the same device on which you edit & upload them, as well as a range of powerful photo editing apps. In short, the whole idea of having a capable camera in your smartphone is pure bliss.

Ads by Google

FB iPhone   Less is More! 7+ Devices & Tools Your Smartphone Can Replace

Before you expect to win a flower pot, learn how to take great photos with your smartphone. And if you really want to get the best out of your photos, try Aviary for Android.


Most phones have two cameras. One in the back for taking photos and one in the front to be used as a webcam. You can turn either of the two cameras into webcams for your PC.

smartcam android   Less is More! 7+ Devices & Tools Your Smartphone Can Replace

Radio & Music Player

The difference between an iPhone and an iPod has never been immediately obvious. And why would you carry an MP3 player, if your Android phone can play music just as well? Smartphones are actually better because they can stream music from the Internet, for example radio stations via TuneIn or music via Spotify. And for those times when you cannot stream music, you can use one of the many Android music players or other music apps to enjoy your downloaded / saved tracks.

songbird   Less is More! 7+ Devices & Tools Your Smartphone Can Replace

The only downside of a smartphone that doubles up as radio and music player is that your battery will drain even faster. Other than carrying a spare battery (sorry some HTC & Motorola users), you can try other strategies to save battery power, fix issues with battery sucking apps, or use emergency chargers.


This is one of my favorites. You will never carry a flashlight with you or find it when you really need it. But chances are that your phone is only an arm’s length away. If the display by itself isn’t bright enough, you can use an app to activate your phone camera’s flash light and turn your phone into a flashlight. Tiny Flashlight is my favorite flashlight app for Android.

flashlight   Less is More! 7+ Devices & Tools Your Smartphone Can Replace

GPS & Maps

Since your smartphone contains a GPS, you don’t need an external one. Apart from identifying your location and navigating from A to B, you can do some interesting things with the GPS feature, for example track your speed. Many new outdoor games rely on GPS data and you can use those same games to make your date a little more interesting.

Obviously, GPS can be used to track a phone’s location, or you may prefer to say you want to use your phone as a tracking device, which does have legit uses. Several GPS apps are available for your Android smartphone.

life 360   Less is More! 7+ Devices & Tools Your Smartphone Can Replace

Remote Control

It’s not like you still have many devices to control when you have a smartphone, but well, it can’t quite replace everything yet. TotalMedia Theatre has a remote app for Android. Android users with access to a Mac will get a kick out of Mac Remote for Android. You can also remote control YouTube from your Android.

youtube11   Less is More! 7+ Devices & Tools Your Smartphone Can Replace

Finally, some devices like the Samsung Galaxy S4, the Xperia ZL, or the HTC One come with a built-in IR blaster, which can emulate an infrared remote control, thus allowing you to control your TV or DVD player.

And Many More…

The above are just some of the devices you can replace with your smartphone. Being so versatile, you can also build a document scanner with your smartphone, create a motion detection device, turn it into a DIY projector, install surveillance apps, detect magnetic fields, replace your home phone, or read books. As mentioned earlier, your imagination is the limit.

Take Home Message

Your smartphone is the new Swiss Army Knife.

Technology 1980 vs. 2010   Less is More! 7+ Devices & Tools Your Smartphone Can Replace

What other devices did you replace with your smartphone?

Ads by Google
Check out more about:

16 Comments - Write a Comment



I don’t wear a wristwatch or carry a pocketwatch….does that count?

Guy McDowell

Yes! The impact on watch sales has been enormous. Seen any teenagers with a watch lately?

Tina Sieber

Actually they do!!! At least here in Berlin where everyone is hip and trendy and where cool girls wear cotton bags rather than the old handbag. The watches look ridiculous though.

Yovanny Guzman

That has been overblown. The watch industry makes billions a year. Good luck getting the time when your cell phone dies

Yovanny Guzman

My Cowon dedicated MP3 player has a physical DAC, 60 hour battery and enough juice to power my expensive headphones accurately. Please name me a cell phone that can replace that?

Or am i expected to listen to low-quality music that will drain my battery? Or carry spare batteries in my pocket at all times?



The top picture’s wrong; the first CD wasn’t pressed until 1981, and the first commercial CD to go to mass production wasn’t until 1982. They first reached North America on March 2, 1983.

Guy McDowell

And that guy was way younger in the 80’s, if he was even born at all! What a lie – this whole article is invalid now! For shame MUO, for shame…tsk tsk tsk.

Tina Sieber

Ideally, it should say 1980s or 2010s. It was / is the feeling at the time and over several years, not just during a single year.


melanie s.

calculator, electronic dictionary/translator, transit pass… lot’s of other non electric things


Jaypee Cruz

still useless if you don’t know about it


Cindy M

I listen to audible books, read, track mileage, use as calculator, and I love the flash light app too.


David Moreira

My Android is also my main note-taking “device”. The old paper block is gone.


Hani Al Jamal Jr.

Nice post :D


Mel Gutierrez Cisnero

i just remember when i get my first GBC was great!!! but now when i use my xbox 360 i just cant think in the past that the game can do that we do now!


Ashish C

The man looks like he wants to go to the Loo !!! :D

Tina Sieber

The 1980s or the 2010s guy?

Your comment