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I have a question about Android And it's not an easy one

#1 User is online nineko 

  Posted 27 December 2018 - 01:57 PM

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Premise (this is just to provide context, you can skip to the question below if you want): last year my beloved Lumia 630 died in a bicycle accident, and I bought a Nokia 3 despite my personal preference for Windows Phone over Android so I could finally play Pokémon Go. It came with Android 7.0, and it took me some time to adjust (to this day, I still miss some Windows Phone features); eventually, it got Android 8.0 via OTA, and everything was fine until a few days ago, when it got Android 8.1, which more or less turned my phone into an expensive paperweight. Everything is slower, some options got removed, some other "features" were added, and on top of all that, I have problems with Pokémon Go (which, as I said, was the number one reason that led me to pick Android over Windows Phone this time). I can't keep it in this status, so...

Here's the actual question: is there a way to remove Android 8.1 and reinstall 8.0 on a Nokia 3? I tried to search on Google and I eventually found the xda forums, but it all looks complicated to me since I know literally nothing about Android's internals, they talk about bootloaders and recovery mode, and it all looks scary to me, I need baby steps on this one. Furthermore, it looks like that their guides are tailored towards people who want to root their phones or do other advanced things, I don't need/want twrp, root, magisk, supersu, adb, there are many of those names that keep on recurring and I have no idea what they're talking about, I don't need/want any of that, I just want to reinstall a stock Android 8.0 (hell, even Android 7.0 would do) on my phone, and ignore subsequent OTAs for the time being.

Can anyone help? Again, baby steps, no fancy stuff, no root, just vanilla Android 8.0. I guess I'll have to lose all my data, but half a day of restoring stuff is a small price to pay if I can have a usable phone again.

Thanks in advance.
This post has been edited by nineko: 27 December 2018 - 01:59 PM

#2 User is offline Clownacy 

Posted 27 December 2018 - 07:40 PM

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I don't want to get your hopes up. I'm pretty old-school when it comes to Android stuff (I used to do this back around 2013), and I can't find anything too concrete for a phone so new.

In an ideal world, you'd just grab a ROM from somewhere, and your phone would already have a recovery mode that you could use to flash it. But after some digging, it doesn't seem that simple. At first I found this post in a Nokia 3 XDA thread, which linked to this Nokia 5 thread, which then linked to this thread.

Apparently some tool called OST is required, which I don't know the first thing about.

I googled the filename 'NE1-215H-0-00WW-B02_nokia3', from a mega.nz link in that last thread, and found this thread. That thread then led me to this one. Apparently OST is short for 'Online Service Tool'. So you're at the mercy of a leaked service program. That last thread I mentioned linked me straight back to that same mega.nz folder.

So, to recap, this thread and this thread seem to be the most important, though the former seems to be more up-to-date.

What it looks like you need to do is, first, download and set up OST. Then download a zip file containing an old 7.0 OTA update, and copy it to your phone's SD card. After that, boot your phone into recovery mode and flash the zip file. It will fail, but it should get far enough to downgrade your phone's "sbl1" and "aboot" (probably the bootloader) partitions, allowing you to flash a full 7.0 ROM without issue. After that, download NE1-215H-0-00WW-B02_nokia3.7z from this link, and install it to your phone using OST.

#3 User is online nineko 

Posted 30 December 2018 - 04:44 AM

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Some guy suggested that I only need to use something called "SP flash tool" with the 8.0 rom, it does sound too simple to be true, but who knows. Thanks for your very detailed analysis, by the way. I'll try the easy method first but it's good to have a plan B if things go wrong.

As I said over there, I wouldn't mind to do some tests on my own, but I don't want to destroy something as expensive as a phone, and the fact that I can't even use my own computer for this procedure also forces me to go to the point in the straightest way possible, since I only have a limited time every now and then.

#4 User is offline HyperPolygon64 

Posted 25 January 2019 - 05:33 PM

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I don't think there's an easy way to uninstall a new version of Android without unlocking the bootloader and flashing the ROM yourself.

I used to mess around with Android a lot in the past with custom ROMs and bootloaders, but stopped in late 2017 after bricking my Motorola from it, which is why something like this can be rather risky, no matter what precautions you take. Regardless, I had a look around some forums and it seems like you should be able to flash a stock Android ROM back on the phone using Android Debug Bridge without unlocking the bootloader (seems too good to be true), but you might need to get a hold of a ROM supported both by your phone and your phone carrier (if it's on a contract and was sent to you from a phone provider).

Don't take my word for any of this, it's been a long time since I've bothered messing around with this stuff.

#5 User is online nineko 

Posted 28 January 2019 - 06:41 PM

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I gave up, I asked into one of those shops ran by dedicated nerds who can do any kind of black magic you want, and they told me they could downgrade my phone for €20, which is actually fair, but they warned me that I risk to lose my phone capabilities because I didn't back up something before I upgraded to 8.1, so yeah, maybe it's a good thing that my own attempts failed. My latest post on xda didn't receive any reply, either, so I'm stuck with this Nokia Paperweight™. I can't afford to buy a new phone.

#6 User is offline HyperPolygon64 

Posted 28 January 2019 - 09:53 PM

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View Postnineko, on 28 January 2019 - 06:41 PM, said:

they told me they could downgrade my phone for €20, which is actually fair

€20 for a software downgrade using open-source tools? That's not fair at all. =P

#7 User is offline Jeffery Mewtamer 

Posted 29 January 2019 - 11:13 AM

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^Fair, probably not, but then again, in a fair world, he could just take the phone to his carrier and they'd fix it as a courtesy. Given the inherent unfairness of the world in general and the cell phone market in particular, 20 euros sounds pretty damn reasonable for a fix a slightly more tech savvy consumer could do themselves, especially since the people at his carrier are probably bound by contract to try and convince him to buy a new phone even if they know how to fix the problem with his current one and would risk their job if their supervisor heard them admit the problem was with a bad update the carrier pushed out or that a fix even exists.

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