Color OS isn’t one of the most popular Android skins. It deviates quite a bit from the Android standard and can be daunting for some users. However, Oppo has heard your comments and complaints and is promising some big changes with its latest version of the skin: Color OS 11.
If you remember, the current version of Color OS (based on Android 10) is Color OS 7. Oppo is jumping straight to Android 11 with this new update, so future versions of the skin will match the latest Android version. In addition, Oppo is bringing out the new Color OS faster than any other previous version.
Here is all the important information you need to know about Color OS 11. We’ll discuss the new features as well as when you can expect the update and which phones it will land on.
Features of Color OS 11
Whatever you say about Color OS, you can’t deny that Oppo gives you a ton of customization control over how everything looks and feels in the software. That focus on customization continues with Color OS 11. However, Oppo also incorporates a lot more of the design from standard Android, which is a nice touch.
Connected: The best smartphones with standard Android
Here are the biggest changes you can expect with the latest update.
Color OS 7 users are probably already familiar with the partial screenshot function. You can take a screenshot by swiping with three fingers. In addition, you can quickly crop this screenshot without leaving the three-finger gesture menu, which makes the job a lot easier.
In Color OS 11, Oppo introduces a new feature here. With the power of Google Lens and Google Translate, Color OS now automatically translates foreign text that appears in your partial screenshot. This saves a lot of clicks if you read a lot of foreign material.
The translation function is also shown in the Smart Sidebar if you prefer to access it directly.
Pretty much every major Android skin now has a built-in player mode or an app that helps with game sessions. In Color OS 11, Oppo is adding a new feature to its own player mode called “Immersive Mode”. As you’d expect, the mode blocks calls, limits social media notifications, and disables certain gestures on the screen. Immersive mode allows you to focus on gaming without having to worry about much else.
Customizable dark mode
In Color OS 7, Oppo introduced a fairly simple dark mode. However, in Color OS 11, Dark Mode gets some new improvements. The biggest innovation is the ability to determine what kind of dark mode you want. You can choose between three options: Advanced, Medium and Gentle. Enhanced delivers a high-contrast, all-black dark mode, while Gentle is more similar to the gray mode we see in certain Google apps. Obviously, Medium will act as a bridge between the two extremes.
The new dark mode also offers the standard planning function for Android 11, with which you can automatically switch the dark mode on or off at certain times of your choosing or link it to sunset / sunrise.
Make your own display that is always available
The always-on display in Color OS 7 was already pretty customizable. In Color OS 11, Oppo increases the stakes with a new customizable graphics option. You create a nifty animated design by dragging your fingers across the screen. The design you created will then play on the screen when AOD is active.
In theory, you could create a new design every day without two ever being the same. While this is probably not a feature that will be the deciding factor behind an Oppo purchase, it is certainly a cool trick that you can use to make the phone your own.
Make your own wallpapers and ringtones
Similar to the do-it-yourself AOD, Color OS 11 also offers the ability to create background images and ringtones. For background images, you can either take a photo (or just upload something you’ve downloaded from the Internet) and the operating system will create multiple background images from that image. They vary from simple polygon shapes to mosaics and more, all with the hues of the image. This is another cool trick someone can use, for example, to always have their wallpaper match their outfit.
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With the feature to make ringtones yourself, Color OS gives you very simple melodies, similar to any generic ringtone you’ve ever heard. By sliding your finger on a control panel, you can change the pitch, timbre, and speed of the melody to create something that suits your particular taste. This, in turn, can help you create ringtones that are truly unique to your phone with minimal effort.
Various other adjustments
Color OS 11 includes Oppo’s new open source font, predictably called Oppo Sans. There are new options for choosing the colors that appear throughout the operating system, as well as some new icon shapes to choose from. There are also new animations for fingerprint sensors in the display.
Another interesting new feature is the provision of multiple alarm tones for successive notifications. If you know someone who wants to send 15 texts at the same time, each of these notifications will have a slightly different tone. When everyone walks in, it sounds more like a song than a repeating warning. It’s subtle, but a nice touch.
If all of these features are overwhelming for you, Oppo now has a lot more stock options too. For example, you can stick to Google’s material icons and use the Roboto font. Unfortunately there is still no way to press a button and “store” your Oppo phone, but at least it gets closer to that possibility.
Don’t forget that this is Android 11
Since Color OS 11 is based on Android 11, it also includes all of the standard functions of the new version of the operating system. These include the device’s new control panel that is activated by long press the power button, conversation bubbles, nearby sharing, one-time permissions, storage area, etc.
Connected: Android 11 is just a subtle upgrade, and that’s fine
For a full breakdown of the coolest new features in Android 11 (and therefore Color OS 11), check out our roundup here.
Color OS 11 release date and availability
Color OS 11 launches its first beta rollout today for select phones (see the next section for the full list). The Android skin will be in beta for a while before Oppo releases a stable version.
Unfortunately, Oppo wouldn’t commit to a specific date when the beta phase would end for the initial release devices. However, it has committed to rolling out a stable version of Color OS 11 to a handful of its most popular newer phones before the end of 2020.
As a side note, due to the limitations of the GDPR, European users will not have access to the beta version of the software. Even if you have a suitable device, you will have to wait for Color OS 11 to become stable before installing it. Users outside of Europe can try the open beta if they wish.
Suitable Color OS 11 phones
Today, September 14, non-European users with Oppo Find X2 series phones have optional access to the open beta version of Color OS 11. This beta phase will last no longer than three months before the stable rollout begins.
On September 30th, non-European users with phones from the Reno 3 series and the F17 Pro will have access to the same beta with a similar stable rollout schedule.
Per Oppo, here is the full schedule of when you can expect the first beta version of Color OS 11 on your specific device:
- Q3 and Q4 2020:
- Find the X2 series
- Reno 3 series (not 5G)
- F17 Pro
- Reno 4 series
- F11 series
- A9, A92
- Q1 2021:
- Reno 10X Zoom
- Reno 3 Pro 5G
- Reno 2 series
- Q2 2021:
- Original Reno series
- Reno Z series
- A5 (2020)
- A9 (2020)
If you don’t see your device on this list, it doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t see Color OS 11. These are simply the devices that Oppo would commit to.