Samsung "upcycling" programme - disappointing

Samsung announced it’s launching a programme do give a second lease of life to its old smartphones, so that they can be used as baby monitors and other smart home devices. So far, so good. If you go on their website though, and look carefully at the footnotes, you’ll learn that:

the Upcycling at Home feature is "available on all S, Note, and Z series released from 2018 (S9, Note9 or later) running Android 9 and above.

We are talking about phones released 3 years ago - which should be supported so that they can continue to be used as…smartphones, not downcycled as baby monitors.

As one of the commenters on the ArsTechnica piece covering this “launch” noted, it’s been possible for years to use much older devices with apps turning them into security cameras, baby monitors, etc - so, what’s the big deal?


The article makes a good point too:

It would also be nice if Samsung just threw open the doors to its end-of-life hardware and unlocked the bootloaders, allowing users to wipe out the old abandoned OSes and apps on these devices and install some newer, more appropriate software.

With Samsung’s approach, now my upcycled baby monitor is tethered to Samsung’s ‘SmartThings’ app…