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OnePlus OxygenOS 13 (Android 13): Everything you need to know

OnePlus 10 Pro vs. OnePlus 9 Pro
(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

If you've followed OnePlus news of late, you'll know that OxygenOS has witnessed a major overhaul recently. The interface now uses ColorOS as the foundation, and that means adding features that run counter to OxygenOS's usual "clean and light" design language.

The switch to a ColorOS foundation led to a lot of backlash, and OnePlus is now looking to walk back some of those changes, indicating that OxygenOS 13 will go back to what the UI used to be in years past. OnePlus announced OxygenOS 13 alongside the OnePlus 10T, and the first beta builds will start going out very soon. 

OxygenOS 13 comes with a lot of new features, and a new design language that's more minimalistic. Here's everything you need to know about the Android 13-based OxygenOS 13, and when your phone will get the update. 

OxygenOS 13: Release date

Android 13 on a Google Pixel 6 Pro

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

The first OnePlus device to make the switch to OxygenOS 13 is the 10 Pro, followed by the 10T. The stable builds will start going out sometime in Q4, but we don't have to wait that long to get an early look at all the new features. 

The first OxygenOS 13 beta build is now available for the OnePlus 10 Pro (opens in new tab), but it is limited to users in North America and India. If you're using the device and are in either country, you can download the OxygenOS 13 beta (opens in new tab) and get a first look at all the changes right now. 

OxygenOS 13: New features

OnePlus 10 Pro vs. OnePlus 9 Pro

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

OnePlus conducted an open-ears forum where it showed off an early build of OxygenOS 13 to select users as a way of soliciting feedback, and based on that interaction, it has identified several areas of focus around UI consistency and customizability, system consistency, more AOD features, and so on. 

OnePlus noted that OxygenOS 13 will not deviate from the "core product philosophy" of offering a "fast and smooth, burdenless experience," and while that's good to hear, OxygenOS 13 will continue to use ColorOS as the foundation — OnePlus doesn't really have a software team dedicated to just OxygenOS any longer. 

Following the news of the integration with OPPO last year, OnePlus's software teams were subsumed into the larger ColorOS team, so even if you were holding out for a return to the glory days of OxygenOS, that's just not possible.

That said, OxygenOS 13 gets a lot of exciting additions, so let's take a look at all the new features on offer. There are no screenshots just yet as I didn't get my hands on the beta build, but that should change soon. 

Aquamorphic design

OnePlus is switching to an aquamorphic design with OxygenOS 13, and as the name suggests, it is based on water. The manufacturer says it looked to the "amorphous properties of water, hence the term “aqua.” Just like water, the design is soothing, natural, and versatile. The latter half of the word, “morphic” alludes to the high-tech sense of design, which is seen in its minimalist icons, animations, and a variety of forms and textures."

The aesthetic is a "refreshing design consisting of vivid color, soothing fonts, minimalist icons, natural and rounded shapes, and a wide range of forms and textures." To reflect this, the default icons are now rounded, and have been redesigned to make them look a little more modern.

OxygenOS 13 also includes meaningful additions like expanding widgets that let you see more content with a long press gesture. In a similar vein, the launcher now has resizable folders that lets you view the entire contents of a folder without having to scroll within. 

Spotify integration with AOD

For a manufacturer that exclusively made phones with AMOLED panels, OnePlus took its time delivering the feature. Always-on mode went live with OxygenOS 11, and we got fun AOD styles like Insight and Canvas. For OxygenOS 13, OnePlus is partnering with Spotify to roll out a unique AOD feature that lets you view currently playing song title and album and control music playback without having to wake the screen.

As someone that streams Spotify a lot, I'm excited to see how this particular addition holds up in real-world use. I'll have more to share once I get my hands on the OxygenOS 13 beta. 

Gaming gets a big boost

At the core of OxygenOS 13 is an AI Booster System that utilizes memory storage and memory application management, serving as the "lifeline" for the "fast and smooth performance" that was a hallmark of previous OxygenOS builds.

There's also a HyperBoost Gaming Engine that offers a "smoother and more stable gaming experience" while gaming, decreasing jitter and ensuring the device doesn't throttle in demanding titles. 

Dolby Atmos, Fast Pair, and spatial audio

OxygenOS 13 is getting a few audio features that should make a difference in daily use. First up is Fast Pair integration, allowing you to connect the best wireless earbuds with ease. There's also an Audio Switch mode that lets you switch between sources without any hassle. 

Then there's Dolby Atmos and spatial audio, with these additions available on devices that have the requisite hardware. 

Stay secure wherever you are

OxygenOS 13 gives you more control over the data you share, and a new security feature ensures your location information isn't shared when you connect to public Wi-Fi networks. 

Private Safe is a good feature that lets you lock sensitive documents, photos, videos, and other data behind a passcode, and the feature is getting a 2.0 release. There's not much in the way of information as to what's added, but we should get a better sense of that once the first OxygenOS 13 beta is available. 

Exclusive for India: Swiggy/Zomato AOD

OnePlus has always delivered exclusive features to OxygenOS users in India, starting with Work-Life Balance and the Red Cable Club, and it's no different with OxygenOS 13. OnePlus has partnered with delivery aggregators Swiggy and Zomato over an always-on feature that provides a live tracking map — allowing you to see where your food order is without having to wake the screen.

For now, it's unlikely the feature will make its way to other countries, but if you're in India, this is a nifty addition to OxygenOS 13.

OxygenOS 13: Eligible phones

OnePlus 10 Pro vs. OnePlus 9 Pro

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

OnePlus has officially confirmed the list of phones that will get the OxygenOS 13, and all the devices mentioned below will make the switch to Android 13

  • OnePlus 10 Pro
  • OnePlus 10T
  • OnePlus 9 Pro
  • OnePlus 9
  • OnePlus 8T
  • OnePlus 8
  • OnePlus 8 Pro
  • OnePlus 10R
  • OnePlus 9RT
  • OnePlus 9R
  • OnePlus Nord 2T
  • OnePlus Nord 2
  • OnePlus Nord CE 2
  • OnePlus Nord CE
  • OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite

The OnePlus 10 Pro will be first in line to get the update, followed by the 10T and the 9 Pro — which holds on to its position as one of the best Android phones you can buy today. 

The first-gen Nord launched with Android 10, so it won't be updated to the Android 13-based OxygenOS 13. It's good to see the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro on this list, as both devices have already received two version updates. 

An obvious omission in that list is the Nord N20, which launched in April 2022. Although it launched several months after the release of Android 12, it came with OxygenOS 11 based on Android 11, and OnePlus will only deliver one platform update — to Android 12. 

For a phone released in 2022 to not get the Android 13 update is incredulous to me, but that's in line with what we've seen in the Nord N series so far.

Thankfully, most recent Nord models should make the switch to OxygenOS 13, albeit sometime in 2023. 

Harish Jonnalagadda
Harish Jonnalagadda

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.