Introduction: Why an Android E-Reader?
When the Amazon Kindle was released I quickly became a fan. Since then, I have often wished for an e-reader that would allow me not just to read Kindle books but also to read my Logos Bible software books, public library books, as well as articles I clip from around the internet with Pocket. After much research I settled on the Boyue T62+ (which I bought for $106.92 CAD from Aliexpress with a decent cover). The Boyue T62+ is an updated version of the T62, since it has a better screen, larger battery, and headphone jack for listening to music or audiobooks.
Pros: I have been quite impressed with this device. It has expandable memory, the ability to install whichever apps I want to use, set my own screensaver, modify button shortcuts (with system root), and listen to music through the headphone jack.
Cons: Yet, there are a couple of drawbacks a person should know before buying this device:
- The backlight doesn’t dim as much as I would like, so reading in bed is a bit painful (even if you change the app you are using to a dark mode, it is still a touch to bright).
- If you are used to having hard buttons to turn pages, this device has them but they are not compatible with every Android app unless the app has the setting built in to turn pages with volume buttons–come on Logos Bible App!!).
- Sometimes menus won’t fill in and there is just white space where there should be words. This seems to happen most often in menu settings, and although the words don’t appear the toggle check-mark does, so normally you can get around this checking the box and experimenting to see what that feature does.
- Although it is great to be able to use whatever apps you want, the device will never be as snappy as reading on a dedicated device like the Amazon Kindle. So turning pages takes a touch longer than it does on a Kindle device.
- The battery won’t last nearly as long as a Kindle device either, but leaving wifi off is giving me at least a week’s worth of battery life.
The packaging of the Boyue is really classy! Unpacking reminded me of Amazon’s care in packaging their e-readers.
The firmware that came pre-installed on the Boyue is definitely tailored to a Asian market. When it arrives the default language is not Enlgish, so you have to navigate through the menus to change the language to English (click on settings, and it is the sixth one in the list with an A symbol at the beginning of the menu).
Following this, I installed the apps I want to use. Some users have figured out how to install the Google Play Store on this device, but I wasn’t able to (I also read that it may slow the device down, so maybe it isn’t worth it anyway). To get around this you can side-load apps or use the alternative app store from the Good e-Reader website (which has most of the apps you will need). Side-loading apps is easy if you can find a tool to download .apk packages from Google’s playstore. I used apk-downloaders, which works really well (the only limitation is that you can’t download paid apps this way).
These are the apps I am using (I have saved them to Google Drive in case I need them again and linked to them here in case you want to save time):
- Amazon Kindle
- Logos Bible Software
- Overdrive (you want the older version of this as the newer one has a problem that keeps pushing the margin farther so that words start dropping off the page – the only issue with this app is that reading in the dark is painful since the device refreshes the screen every time you turn the page and flashes the backlight) – from Overdrive’s website
- Nova Launcher – so you can get set your home screen set up how you would like with a custom background and app shortcuts.
- Image Gallery – Necessary to select background with Nova Launcher.
- ES Task Manager – prevent apps from starting automatically to save memory.
- Kingroot – so you can root the device to apply system tweaks.
- Xposed Framework – Apply system tweaks to rooted device–the one I use is called xposed additions, which allows you to remap the hard buttons. I set one of the buttons to take a screenshot so that I can easily save my clippings into Evernote.
- Folder Sync Lite – automatically back up your screenshots to a cloud service like Google Drive.
- Make sure under settings that you change the setting for allowing apps to change pages with volume buttons. You want to toggle this setting to “open”.
- To get better sensitivity when adjusting the backlight, do not use the light bulb icon to turn it on and off. Instead, press and hold the refresh button (top left) to bring up the light. Now go to home screen and tap the bottom right two times to bring up a miniature version of system settings and set the light to preferable strength. Now use the refresh button to turn the light on and off. After this, the light is set, and all you have to do next time is press and hold refresh to turn on/off the backlight at the level you set.
Conclusion: Boyue 62+ Rocks – Sorry Kindle…I’m Never Coming Back!
I want to like my dedicated reader, but I want to read library books and Logos books, and I want to have my cake and eat it too.
Right now I am also interested in trying a small 7.5 inch Android tablet for reading called the X89 Kindow by Teclast. It dualboots Windows 10 and Android. They advertise that it has a really low setting for reading in the dark, so I may try that as another option. If I like it more than my Boyue, I will update this post.