Android Phone

Nokia 7.1, yes another Nokia for me…

So as you folks have read, The Nokia 6.1 was my first foray into the Android OS. Well again with the demise of Windows Phone, I decided to dip my toes in the water some time ago. I’m glad I did as the true demise for WP is a scant few months away.

I have zero regrets leaving the OS as Bill Gates and Satya Nadella pretty much told me… “Get on with life and move to Android or iPhone!” Satya prefers iPhone and Bill of course rocks an Android.

So I enjoyed the Nokia 6.1 greatly and since the wife was on WP as well, quite a few months ago I got the Nokia 7.1 and bequeathed her my 6.1. It was a frustrating move for her, and frustrating for me as well in the sense that I had to navigate her through this new world.

Mind you, it was only frustrating for me in the regard that I’m a naturally inquisitive person who loves tech. I only have to remind myself that the majority of people use smartphones as tools and have ZERO interest in “How things work and why!” Once I got that in my thought pattern, I was able to just dial it down and give only the information that was “sought.”

My 7.1 screen shot…

So in the long-run, I really like the shape and size of the Nokia 7.1 over the 6.1. It’s much taller and narrower making one-handed use a lot easier. And to me the overall shape and size makes it looks more elegant.

I got the “Blue” version which has the glass back and under that glass is a very “Navy” blue color. It’s so dark it does look black at a glance and you only see the blue when it’s in a great light source. The sides are a beautiful anodized blue with silver edges that’s quite nice.

So I was rocking this for a while, (it came with Android 8 (Oreo) and eventually received the Android 9.0 (Pie) OS.

I had a few monthly Security Updates that went well. But one update ended up “bricking” my 7.1. Bricked it to the degree that I could not rescue it what-so-ever as I tried every Voo-Doo approach I could to no avail.

I had to send it in to Nokia Service Center for them to bring it back to life. Thankfully I had my old HP Elite X3 to fall back on for phone calls and texting. Took about a full business week to turn it around, but my main gripe is this should not happen with a security update! And I’m not the only one, I’ve seen quite a few threads on Reddit showing the same scenario.

But, I am a fan of Nokia and most certainly of AndroidOne. So if and when this needs to be replaced, I’ll examine other Nokia options and now that Pixels have introduced more affordable option e.g., Pixel 3a or Pixel 3a XL… I’ll keep an open mind toward those as well.

Two weeks into Android…

So it’s been two weeks since dipping my toe into Android and the Nokia 6.1, so I’ll share my journey thus far.

I am very much impressed with the physical build quality of the Nokia 6.1, the solid aluminum unibody construction gives this phone a serious flagship feel. The fit & finish of the phone is incredible along with the anodized accents on the edges.


Haven’t run into any issues with the telephone making or receiving calls, the volume and clarity is fine. The only issue I did have was getting it to communicate with my ’17 MINI F55 to “read” incoming “texts.” But I finally did get that figured out with a few setting changes and an app. Setting change was to set the Bluetooth to “AAC,” that along with using Pulse for messaging and ReadItToMe for “text-to-voice” and things are operating OK. Still not as flawlessly with my old HP X3 Elite (Windows Phone 10), but it’ll do.

One huge gain is using my Vector Smartwatch with the Android app. It works much better that the Windows Phone version ever did, and provides better connectivity and features. So that’s a huge plus for me.

“The App Gap” I was in denial when major companies starting pulling out from WP and because of my devotion, felt I wasn’t missing out on anything. The apps that we never had or taken away from us on the Windows Phone platform are really nice to have on the Android, like “Tap-to-Pay (using any dang card you want),” “Bank of America,” “Amazon Alexa, Amazon Prime Music!”


Android just delivered a new app named “Files Go,” and this is a cleaning app for duplicate files, photos, and does a good job cleaning temporary files and cleaning up memory. Even though I have an SD card, this helps keeping the phones built in storage space trim.

While I’m mostly using Microsoft apps e.g., Microsoft Launcher and all the other apps I haven’t delved into using “Assistants” full blast yet. Just fooling around so far, Google Assist looks promising versus Cortana. But I’ll have to put both through the paces.

Love Edge and Bing on this phone. Waze on the WP was crap; Waze on Android is sprite and has more features.

The only thing I’ve yet to try out extensively is the camera, just played around but haven’t performed any real “photography” tasks to date. I’ll report back when I do.

Reluctance, Revelations, Realizations, & Epiphanies (parting from Windows Phone…)

OK, so I’ve been using Windows Phones since their conception, I shit thee not! Since back in Win Mobile days.

Windows Phones as we know them today are going away with EoL (end of life) very near. So a decision had to be made in regard to which of the two remaining phone OS’s would be my choice. OK, I lie… for me and all of my geekiness there only ever has been one choice, Android. I’ll get to why in a bit.

So I had to ask myself “Why was I so damn entrenched and reluctant to let go of Windows Phone?” I finally remembered what lured me to WP (Windows Phone) and why I was enamored with the OS. It was because of my love and need for Microsoft Office apps! Plain and simple, if you wanted to use any of these apps on a smartphone back then, you HAD to have a WP. No other OS had them.


Samsung i760, yes I still have it! 

So this wasn’t a dislike or hatred toward Android or iOS, just a love for Windows Phone.

I also loved the ability back in the day when you could root and replace ROM and tweak the living daylights out of a WP, it was fun, geeky, and frankly quite exciting. It brought out the “child scientist” in me. Hell, I even left Big Red (Verizon) for AT&T because Verizon wasn’t supporting WP anymore.

I loved the excitement of being a “Windows Insider” and getting new features in every build ahead of time, before it reached the masses. I also loved the security patch updates that were so frequent, giving me a sense of security.

So Android phones. Coming from a platform that literally only had a few phones to an OS that has a plethora of choices was crippling. Just too many damn choices!

So looking at all of the flagships, premium brand names (because I was coming in from recently owning a Lumia 950XL and an HP X3 Elite) I was still perplexed at the lack of updates from the likes of Samsung, LG, and the rest. Also spending so much money on a phone with a new OS that I’ve never used before… was daunting.

Being a WP geek, what did I need? An Android One (Pure) experience! Google’s phone OS that is (for a lack of a better term) controlled by Google, meaning you get important security updates on Google’s schedule and not the phone manufacturers or the carriers.

So once I determined that, the choice of phones became smaller. But still the MONEY! Damn those Google Pixels are not cheap.

Enter Nokia 6.1 (unlocked) AT&T from Amazon. Having been a WP user for many, many years… I was quite familiar with the Nokia brand (which later turned into the Lumia brand). So let’s talk stats;

  • Android Oreo
  • Android One (Pure)
  • Machined aluminum unibody
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 630
  • 3GB of RAM and 32GB storage
  • 5.5″ 1080p full HD display
  • 16mp rear camera with Zeiss optics, 8mp wide-angle front camera
  • Dual-Sight mode, Simultaneous front and rear camera capture with one touch live streaming

As you can see, certainly no “Flagship,” but respectable specs for a phone costing $269.


My new LOVE… 

This phone is impressive considering the LOW price compared to other phones. Build quality is off the hook with the unibody aluminum structure, features, Android One Pure… wow I’m impressed!

Not only do I have every single Microsoft app on this little beast, but apps that left the WP platform years ago and apps that have a ton more features than they ever had on WP. The Microsoft Launcher is heaven. In fact Microsoft Apps have more features and work better in Android than they ever did on WP.

Also let’s not let the fact go unnoticed that the damn phone and Android OS integrates with my Windows 10 desktop better than my WP did!

I’m 100% blown away with the Android OS and this specific phone. My reluctance and asinine hesitation was unfounded. And I think I have learned a lesson in the idea you DO NOT NEED a “Flagship” device at $1,000+

NOTE: Now if I could only get this thing to read via “text-to-speech” my SMS messages while connected to BT in my car… it’d be UNSTOPPABLE!

NOTE: (Update 7/8/18) So I finally figured out the “Text” messaging (Text-to-Voice) portion for my ’17 MINI F55. A combination of using an app named “ReadItToMe” by Rob J and tweaking a Bluetooth setting on the phone to have it use “AAC.” Now I have my messages read to me aloud and am able to reply via voice as well. Happy camper here!