OnePlus has delivered the Android 11-based OxygenOS 11 stable update to the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro. The devices received the update just a month after the stable Android 11 build was released by Google, and are the first outside of Pixels to make the switch to the latest version of Android.
With OxygenOS 11, OnePlus is making visual changes to its skin for the first time in a few generations, and we finally get Always-on Display. Although OnePlus phones have used AMOLED panels from the beginning, the company didn't offer an AOD mode; that's changing now. There's also a simplified settings page that's akin to Samsung's One UI 3.0, new system font with better readability, more customization options, new themes for Zen Mode, and a whole lot more.
The OxygenOS 11 stable update will be making its way to the OnePlus Nord, 7 and 7T series in the coming weeks, as well as the older OnePlus 6 and 6T. Here's what you need to know about OxygenOS 11, when it is releasing, and device availability.
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One of the best phones in 2020
The OnePlus 8 has outstanding hardware in the form of a Snapdragon 865 chipset with 90Hz display, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, and all-day battery life with 30W fast charging. With OxygenOS 11 based on Android 11 now available, you get to be the first to try out all the new features on offer.
When will your phone get the OxygenOS 11 (Android 11) update?
OnePlus has finished rolling out the stable OxygenOS 11 update to the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro. If you're using the OnePlus 8 or 8 Pro, here's how you can install the OxygenOS 11 update right now.
There's no mention of when the stable OxygenOS 11 update will be available on the OnePlus Nord, 7T or OnePlus 7 and 7 Pro at this point, but the Nord just got its first beta build of OxygenOS 11, so that means that a stable update is just a month or so away.
OnePlus initially planned on rolling out the stable update to the OnePlus 7 and 7T series before the end of 2020, but the company mentioned that it ran into an issue that had to be fixed with Qualcomm's assistance. As a result, the update had to be pushed back, but the phones are now running a closed beta of OxygenOS 11 and should switch to a public beta very soon.
OxygenOS 11 (Android 11) update is coming to these OnePlus phones
In total, the OxygenOS 11 update based on Android 11 is coming to 12 OnePlus phones. The interesting addition here is the OnePlus 6 and 6T, which will be getting their third Android version update. Here's the list of OnePlus phones that will be updated to OxygenOS 11 based on Android 11:
- OnePlus 8 Pro
- OnePlus 8
- OnePlus Nord
- OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren Edition
- OnePlus 7T Pro
- OnePlus 7T
- OnePlus 7 Pro 5G
- OnePlus 7 Pro
- OnePlus 7
- OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition
- OnePlus 6T
- OnePlus 6
OxygenOS 11 finally brings Always-on Display to OnePlus devices
OnePlus fans have been clamoring for an always-on display for several years now, and OxygenOS 11 finally delivers the feature. Always-on Display on OxygenOS 11 shows you the time and date as well as any pending notifications and the battery level.
The feature itself is identical to what Samsung has offered on its phones for some time now, and it's great to see OnePlus finally roll it out on its devices. You get 12 clock faces to choose from, and there's the option to schedule AOD or have it enabled throughout the day.
There are a few clock faces that stand out. The Insight style in particular (pictured above) changes dynamically based on your phone usage over the course of the day; there's a vertical color bar that takes up three-fourths of the screen, and every time you use your phone, you'll see a groove in the bar. The longer you use your phone, the wider the groove, and it's a great way to get a glance at how much you've used your phone over the course of a day. You also get a counter that shows you how many you've unlocked your phone.
OxygenOS 11 introduces a new visual design for stock apps
OxygenOS 11 introduces a new design for OnePlus' first-party apps, including Weather, Notes, Gallery, and others. There's a bold typeface with large icons that make it easier to view information, and the design itself is cleaner now. OnePlus also updated the icons for its first-party apps, and the new aesthetic ties it very well with the other interface-related changes in OxygenOS 11.
OxygenOS 11 has a cleaner settings page similar to One UI
The settings page in OxygenOS 11 should be very familiar if you've used a Samsung phone in the past. Like Samsung, OnePlus has pushed the menu elements further down the page, making them easier to access one-handed. The menu items now feature larger text, and the icons have also been updated. The menu categorization itself is unchanged from OxygenOS 10, but the larger text and easier-to-read icons are a welcome move.
OxygenOS 11 introduces a live wallpaper that changes based on time of day
OxygenOS always had some of the more exciting wallpapers on Android, and with OxygenOS 11 we're getting dynamic backgrounds that change based on the time of day. You'll see a large globe that changes position across the screen relative to the time, and the effect is similar to what you get with Google's Wallpapers app.
OxygenOS 11 lets you schedule dark mode
OnePlus has a system-wide dark mode in current versions of OxygenOS, and in OxygenOS 11 the feature is being updated. You now have the ability to schedule dark mode or leave it enabled throughout the day, and the setting itself has moved from the customization menu to the display settings.
OxygenOS 11 has a new OnePlus Sans font for better readability
Continuing with the theme of readability, OnePlus is introducing a new OnePlus Sans font with wider spacing and a clean typeface. You'll be able to switch to the font while setting up the phone or via the customization menu in the settings.
Zen Mode gets even better in OxygenOS 11
Zen Mode is one of the best new features that OnePlus introduced in recent years, and in OxygenOS 11 you get three new themes — inspired by the cosmos, oceans, and nature — and more customization options. You can now choose seven increments for Zen Mode, ranging from 1 minute, 20, 30, 40, 60, 90, to 120 minutes, and the feature is now collaborative as well.
There's the option to set up rooms within Zen Mode, and you can invite your friends to participate in Zen Mode together — provided they also use OnePlus phones.
OxygenOS 11 offers customizable swipe-down gestures
OxygenOS 10 lets you access the notification pane with a nifty swipe-down gesture from anywhere on the home screen, and with OxygenOS 11 you get the option to customize the gesture. You can either pull down the notification pane or access the Shelf — the feature that lets you access commonly-used widgets.
The Shelf took up the left-most pane in earlier versions of OxygenOS, and while you can still customize it to show up there in lieu of Google's discover feed, it's clear that OnePlus is testing a different way to invoke the feature in OxygenOS 11.
The gallery in OxygenOS 11 serves automatic highlight reels
The default Gallery app in OxygenOS 11 will create short highlight videos based on your photos, and while the feature itself isn't new, it is nice to see OnePlus offer it on its phones. It takes a few days for the gallery to collate photos for a video, and it does so while the phone is charging.
Much more to come
With OxygenOS 11, OnePlus is making a lot of changes as it differentiates its user interface. While the UI itself has changed considerably, the core features are still intact, and you get more customization than ever before.
Having used OxygenOS 11 for a few months now, I can say that a lot of the changes are meaningful, and it's great to see the stable update making its way to more phones in the portfolio.
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