Make A Smart(ish) Watch From An Old Cell Phone

Looking for a fun junk box hack? Have one of those old Nokia phones that (in contrast to your current smartphone) just won’t give up the ghost? Tinkernut has a nice hack for you: making a smart watch from an old cell phone. Specifically, this project details how to make a smart watch that displays time, date, incoming calls and texts from a Nokia 1100 cell phone display and a few other bits.

This 3-video series covers how to extract the display, connect it to an Arduino and conecting that to an Android phone over Bluetooth. We’ve seen a few similar smart(ish) watch builds, but this one covers the whole process well, including building the Android app in the MIT AppInventor. Sure, the final result is not as polished as an Apple Watch, but it’s a lot cheaper and easier to hack…

7 thoughts on “Make A Smart(ish) Watch From An Old Cell Phone

  1. Ah yes a smartwatch. So smart that it needs a smartphone to even display the time. How about we make a watch instead an not just a slave display for your phone.
    I know not having on-board timekeeping is the norm even for real smartwatches but I hate it nonetheless.

  2. This is exactly what I was thinking when I saw that square inch Pi clone the other day, Nokia screen, build into watch…. though it might have gone to a blackberry screen…. some documentation on those too for hax…. Might be more into running a linux distro on it though.

    1. It can be a good thing if you are a 80’s afficionado! There are people running around with pip-boy watches, huge calculator watches, NIXIE watches.. Let the nerd spirit show!

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