Time for Android?

There are those (many) who will immediately say yes, long ago, how am I still using Windows 10 Mobile in 2018.

I have been a Windows Phone user since 2011, dabbling with ROM’s on the HTC HD2, and then getting a Nokia Lumia 710. Since then I’ve been through various Lumia devices: 810, 925, 830, and 950. Suffice to say, I like it, and so far it has largely done what I’ve needed it to.

But, the screen is cracked on my 710 and 810 were sold long ago, the 925 in great condition but a bit slow running Windows 10 Mobile and only got the Threshold 1 release in 2015, the 830 has a crack in the screen, and the 950 has a battery that won’t last and can shut off at anything below 30%. Given that more services I use have apps on Android and the state of my Windows Phone/Windows 10 mobile devices, is it finally  time to revisit android? If nothing else, I do want to play with Xamarin or Platform Uno and have a recent Android device to test things on.

I read Steve Litchfield’s piece on All About Windows Phone about moving to android and the device he recommends. Great list, but sadly I’m not in that price range. I’m needing to do this for around $100, so eBay is the way for me. Secondly, I have slightly different requirements or ideals. Here’s my feature wish list

  • 2016 or newer
  • Android 7 or newer
  • Wireless charging or (since vey few Android devices have that) USB type C fast charging
  • Always on display
  • NFC (I want to try Android Pay)
  • Decent camera
  • 3.5mm audio Jack
  • Ideally similar size to my more recent Lumia’s – you’ll notice there are no XL or massive devices like the 1520 in the list.
  • Unlocked to work on Mint Mobile (T-Mobile MVNO), with compatible bands (not a problem these days for most devices, but will keep me away from some imports).

Now, some of those are easy to find; despite apple, most devices still have a 3.5mm jack, apps like Glance Plus can provide an Always on display on any device smartphone*, and cameras have improved a lot over recent years and even affordable ones have generally something that’s not too bad. And of course, I’m keeping my Lumia 950 as well as an actual camera for those occasions when I know I’ll be taking photo’s

*While those apps work on any device, screen technology and battery considerations may impact whether its a good idea on any device – just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

So I did some research, what’s lots of review videos and looked at the used prices on eBay, and went shopping.  One thing I had forgotten was that 6 months free interest starts at $100 on Paypal credit. A risky strategy, but given the right deal something I thought I could make work.

So I now have in for testing:

  • ZTE Axon 7 mini
  • Nokia 6 (2017)
  • Moto Z Play
  • Now battery for my Lumia 950

Over the next few posts I’ll give my impressions of each of these as well as some general musings on the joys and frustrations of Android for me.

I should add that it’s not like I have never used Android before. I did for a while on the HTC HD2 I mentioned earlier, plus I had a Samsung Galaxy Neus device that I occasionally picked up and played with, but I think it’s clear things have moved on since those devices and Android 4.0 (the highest version the galaxy nexus supported).

So, will I convert, is any of the above devices going to be the one I use daily, or will they all get sold quickly and I’ll get an Alcatel Idol 4s instead?

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