The public launch of Android 11 was a big day for Android users, but an even bigger day for some Android phone manufacturers. While it may have once been normal for some like LG or even Samsung to announce a commitment to the new Android version in one way or another, OPPO caused a sensation as one of the first to announce a beta program for the same day as the launch of Android 11. That was just the tip of the iceberg, however, and we’ve taken the upcoming ColorOS 11 Beta for a spin to see if this is more than just a facelift.
ColorOS 11 is not simply a jump to Android 11, which is hinted at by OPPO’s decision to jump from Android 10-based ColorOS 7 to 11. It̵
“Stock Android” has become a buzzword among Android users, although OnePlus wants to challenge what it really means for users. In both cases, OPPO users have expressed their preference for a more up-to-date Android experience, and OPPO was only too happy to do so. That standard Android feel is immediately evident in how the home screen looks and behaves, including navigation gestures and the phone’s settings, but it doesn’t stop there.
According to OPPO, consistency with the “popular standard Android features” is a central point in the development of ColorOS 11, and the benefits go beyond its appearance. Perhaps, by getting rid of some custom changes and focusing on purity, OPPO was able to re-launch a ColorOS 11 beta faster in record time, 80 days earlier than its Android 10 predecessor to be precise. Hopefully this is a good sign that future updates will be just as quick.
Seeds of cooperation
It would have been a big deal that OPPO was only targeting Android, but it decided to take the opportunity to build bridges along the way. Almost every smartphone company can probably have a top notch Android experience, but few can claim to have had a good working relationship with Google for parts that aren’t that vanilla. OPPO’s gateway to building such a relationship appeals to both companies: AI-powered translation.
ColorOS 11 introduces a new 3-finger translation function that builds on the existing 3-finger gesture for taking screenshots. Once you’ve taken a screenshot, you’ll see a new icon below that you can use to instantly translate the text in that shot. However, instead of doing this on its own, OPPO took the opportunity to work with Google to have Google Lens and Google Translate support the feature.
The result, says OPPO, is more than just a powerful feature, it is also the beginning of a nice friendship with Google. This function could possibly be integrated again into standard Android, if Google decides on this path. OPPO is also leaning towards greater integration, especially with the Google Assistant, in future ColorOS 11 updates.
Color your world
While standard Android was a focus of ColorOS 11, it was hardly the only one. Since users appreciated the share experience so much, they also wanted the ability to customize the experience to suit their tastes. Here too, OPPO is only too willing to be willing and courteous in droves.
OPPO stuck to key Android features and still found ways to improve that experience. For example, you can do more than just choose between light and dark themes and automatically switch at sunrise or sunset. In dark mode you can also choose between three contrast levels. Would you like a different wallpaper pattern or a different color per day? You can choose a photo from your gallery and ColorOS 11 will extract some colors from it to create a new pattern.
There are also customization features beyond what Android has to offer, such as: B. Always-on-Display or AOD. In ColorOS 11, you can unleash your artistic tendencies by drawing with your fingers and choosing a few options to create beautiful geometric patterns. You can also make your own ringtones by selecting and mixing some preset tones from the OPPO Lab Ringtone app.
And then there are some features that go beyond your normal smartphone experience. OPPO’s Relax 2.0 touches on the theme of digital wellbeing and surrounds you with white noise to either calm you down or keep your productivity at its peak. A new section, Sounds of Cities, lets you experience the soundscapes of some of the world’s most famous cities, perhaps a comforting thought in times of limited travel.
OPPO ColorOS 11: The Beta Story
Of course, all of these fancy new ColorOS 11 features have yet to be tested and verified by the OPPO user community. The ball starts rolling today, and the beta is available to owners of Find X2 and Find X2 Pro, followed by Reno 3, Reno 3 Pro and OPPO F17 Pro starting September 30th. The list below shows OPPO’s rough timeline, but the company notes that these only apply to open phones in global markets other than Europe (due to GDPR) and carrier-locked models.
• From September 14th: Find X2, Find X2 Pro, Find X2 Pro Automobili Lamborghini Edition
• From September 30th: Reno3 4G, Reno3 Pro 4G, F17 Pro
• From October: Reno4 Pro 5G
• From November: Reno4 5G, Reno4 Pro 4G
• From December: Reno4 4G, F11, F11 Pro, Avengers Limited Edition by F11 Pro Marvel, A9, A92, A72, A52
• From Q1 2021: Reno 10x Zoom, Reno2, Reno2 F, Reno2 Z, Reno3 Pro 5G, A91 F15
• From the second quarter of 2021: Reno, Reno Z, A5 2020, A9 2020
ColorOS 11 marks a new chapter in the history of OPPO as it places increasing emphasis on an up-to-date Android experience while still giving users the control they want and need. Hopefully it’s a fresh start for OPPO as well, as Android updates become available faster and on par with larger companies who are now also realizing how important these things are to their users.