Friday, March 10, 2017

Huawei P9 Plus, Upgrading to Android Nougat 7.0

Over the recent months I have been an increasingly unhappy user of my principle smartphone. The Android Huawei P9 Plus.

I bought the phone in November 2016 after reading that Huawei would 'soon' update this phone to Android version 7, aka Nougat.

Since my other phones, namely Google Phones were already at Nougat level this made sense. I'd have a uniform user experience and I'd grown to like the small enhancements that Android 7 provided over Android 6.

No Beta
In November 2016 Huawei launched a Beta programme allowing users to try out Android 7 in return for being testers.

But no matter how much I tried I did not get accepted into the trial.

No Upgrade
I had called Huawei and they assured me at the beginning of 2017 an upgrade was forthcoming.  But not in January.  Or in February.

In March numerous reports from users getting a 7.0 upgrade and I called Huawei.  You just have to keep waiting.

I am done waiting!

Do It Yourself

What follows is a way to upgrade your Huawei P9 plus phone to Android 7.0.  I assume you are currently on Android 6.x

- Settings,  type Backup in the search box.  Make sure your phone has its settings and Application list backed up to Google. So if this upgrade goes horribly wrong then at least when you recover your phone, if necessary by a Android 6 clean install, you can contact Google and it will re-install all your applications again.


- Remove the SIM and and SD card.  Because my upgrade continued to fail when in.  I think because the Upgrade was saved to SD card and then could not be used in the reboot upgrade 

- Unknown sources.  In settings search sources. Allow installation of non-official apps

- Clean Boot.  Well why not!

- WiFi.  You will need a good reliable WiFi connection that you will you to download the 2.5 GB update.  After your reboot make sure you are connected to a WiFi connection

- Make sure the Huawei Updater application is installed.  You will use this to make the OS upgrade.


01 Install Huawei Firmware Finder from the Play Store

02 Start Firmware Finder

 03 Select Installation via System Update

04 Download the Addon.  It happens silently

05 Pull down from Top Screen , Notifications Panel to see the download.   Install the Addon Firmware Finder Proxy.  Do not run the program yet!

06 Switch back to Firmware Finder and press Get Firmware List.   You need the firmware ending B360.  If you don't see it, then stop now, this procedure has failed.

07 Click on the B360 level to get to the above screen.  Click /Send Firmware to Updater/

08 Firmware Finder Proxy will autostart giving the above message. Do what it says!

09 Start Huawei Updater.   The B360 level will be shown, but don't click update/download yet!

10 Go back to your Wifi Settings and in Advanced Settings turn Proxy to Off instead of manual (that you just set in step 08)

11 Return to Huawei Updater and press Update Download

12 The package should download to 100%, then it will reboot the phone at least once as it performs the Upgrade

13 For me this procedure failed until I took out the SIM and SD card.  Whilst it could have been contention at Huawei servers and nothing to do with the SIM/SD card,  I advise to follow my instruction,  it does not take long.

14 The upgrade completed really quickly,  I mean in < 10 minutes which is much faster than the code download.

And So

My principle smartphone, the Huawei P9 Plus is upgraded to Android Nougat.  But I had to hack the upgrade and I think for the future I need to select another Manufacturer who is able to keep the latest Android level on their phones, of all genres, not just the latest year's flagship.

To this end:

- Google will announce new Pixel phones in 2017, but reportedly the price will still be high.  (In Switzerland the Pixel ranges from 800 to 1000 CHF, this is big money)

- To me Google Pixel or Pixel2 are too expensive.  I'm instead betting on Nokia.  Nokia will ship phones with pure Google and they've already said they promise to deliver Fast Updates and OS upgrades.  Nokia 6 people!

(start at 18:27)

New Nokia Phones