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So you’ve had your phone for a little over a year now, it feels old, looks old, and you’re just ready for an upgrade. However, unless you want to pay full retail for a new phone, you’re stuck, at least for another year or so. Instead of selling that arm of yours to buy a new phone outright, here are a few ways to make your old device feel new again.


First things first, lets mix up your homescreen a bit. To do that, download a new launcher. A launcher is essentially the homescreen on your device, it’s that place that holds all your app icons, widgets, and. there are tons of great launchers on the play store.

My personal favorite (this month) is Action Launcher Pro, it has a few different screen to customize and your app drawer is just a swipe away. There are lots of setting too, so you can tweak it to your liking. There is a pretty great feature called “Covers”, it allows you to hide a folder behind an icon. For instance, when you swipe up on my Twitter icon, it opens a folder, but when you tap the icon it opens Twitter. Action Launcher does cost a few bucks ($3.99), but it’s a great buy and will definitely give your phone a new look and feel.


If you don’t want to spend any money, check out Apex Launcher, which makes any Android phone instantly have a “stock android” appearance. And if you want to radically change the look of your phone, give Launcher 7 a try. It’s also free and makes your device look like a Windows phone, tacky? Maybe, but it does work very well and it’ll really change the way you use your phone.


As simple as it is, changing your wallpaper can really affect the appearance of your phone. Most people don’t change it often, or at all, so check out http://www.mobileswall.com/ and grab yourself a sweet new wallpaper.


Just for a quick tip, download the app Image 2 Wallpaper, it looks ugly but it’s very useful for setting your wallpaper. It allows you to set a full size portrait wallpaper without cropping it and you will need this for most of the wallpapers on mobileswall.


The last thing we are going to change is the lockscreen. With a third party lockscreen you can add widgets to a non Android 4.2 device, change the appearance, and have a separate wallpaper from your homescreen. I like WidgetLocker Lockscreen, it costs $2.99 but it’s well worth it. There are free options like Go Locker and Holo Locker, but i’ve found that WidgetLocker is the fastest and most responsive.


Now that you’re phone feels new again, enjoy it, at least till you’re ready for another upgrade. If you want to further customize your homescreen, check out some of our Get This Look! posts for some creative homescreen inspiration.

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