Google just went against predictions that it will be dropping Android P (as we have known the upcoming version of Android for the last few months) later this month and, instead, took us all by surprise by making everything public at least 3 weeks in advance.
Guess what else no one else would’ve predicted 12 months ago? That there would be a non-Pixel/Nexus smartphone receiving a new version of Android just minutes after Google’s announcement. Even before owners of Google’s own devices, which are usually on the front row for such, get to do so. Sure, there’s a precedent that the Moto X set before but for all intent and purposes, Motorola was then a Google-owned company so…
What’s even better is that the good graces are supposed to spread to even more devices from different device makers. One of the first to do so is, HMD Global’s Nokia 7 Plus. The device, easily the best smartphone worth spending money on in Kenya right now, is the first Android One smartphone to make the jump to Android 9, Pie, barely a day after we got to know its official codename and version number.
To be honest, getting an update in this day and age, more so for a device enrolled in a programme whose main selling point is doing exactly that on time, shouldn’t be a big thing. However, it’s Android and, given that it’s taken Android Oreo this long to get into the double digits when it comes to market share, and given the Nokia 7 Plus’ pricing and wide local availability, there’s a reason to be happy that this is indeed happening.
According to NPU (because I had to return the Nokia 7 Plus I used for my review), the update is about 1.5GB (varies…) so if you happen to own one of these beautiful babes you better be on some pretty good Wi-Fi before going to the settings app to look for the update. Of course, it goes without saying that for that to happen you will need to have already enrolled to the beta programme. The way to get there hasn’t changed, it’s still what we had earlier documented.
Included with the update are security fixes while the Android Pie side of things brings all the AI-driven features of Android 9 like adaptive brightness, adaptive battery, predictive app actions etc. Details on those features can be found here.
HMD Global promises to provide software updates, including major upgrades like the one from Android 8 (Oreo) to Android 9 (Pie) for 2 years so many who have spent their money on Nokia smartphones since last year can look forward to enjoying a slice of the pie pretty soon. The Nokia 7 Plus goes first because it has been part of the Android P beta – even this update we are talking about is the last one under that beta programme (Developer Preview 4).
Here’s to hoping every device maker whose devices are part of the Android One programme (I am looking at you, Xiaomi) will actually be decent enough to keep the programme’s promise.