Another try if you want allot of control is Scapy
Scapy is a powerful interactive packet manipulation program. It is able to forge or decode packets of a wide number of protocols, send them on the wire, capture them, match requests and replies, and much more
I assume that "connects to the internet" just means "uses DHCP to find IP parameters, then uses what it has found to send TCP/UDP packets". I doubt the device actually checks if "the internet" is reachable, except that it possibly tries to connect a server whose IP address is found by DNS.
So noone prevents you from using wireshark on your switches mirror ...
I will answer my own question because I figured out what was wrong.
The app was not functioning correctly for a number of reasons that frustrated the analysis. For one, there were many advertising domains being contacted by the app on startup. The app made these connections over TLS and the connections would not succeed without trusting the proxy root CA ...
Have you checked out Burp proxy?
I always use Brup for any Android app, desktop app, website... and you don't even have to use ProxyDroid.
Connect you mobile phone and your laptop to the same LAN and configure the Burp proxy to start listening at your private ip. Then in android wifi options you can configure the ...