ColorOS 11 (Android 11) reviewSource: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central

What you need to know

  • OnePlus is reportedly ceasing the development of its China-exclusive HydrogenOS.
  • A notice to users states that OnePlus devices in China will switch over to OPPO's ColorOS.
  • OnePlus devices outside of China will continue to use OxygenOS.

There's a lot going on with OnePlus this month. The company is preparing the launch of its highly-anticipated OnePlus 9 smartphones along with its first smartwatch, the OnePlus Watch. Meanwhile, its parent company has just released its stylish OPPO Find X3 as it takes the reins as the top smartphone OEM in China. While the two companies have always shipped with their own distinct software offerings, things may be changing soon for OnePlus users in China.

According to reports from XDA-Developers, OnePlus is preparing to halt the development of HydrogenOS, which is its China-exclusive alternative to OxygenOS. This came from a notice on an official OnePlus messenger group, informing members that the HydrogenOS website will shut down on March 24th. The servers will follow on April 1st, which is about two weeks away. OnePlus will apparently switch its smartphones in China to ColorOS 11, which OPPO phones use, although it doesn't seem to mention when the switch will occur.

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XDA-Developers reached out to OnePlus for clarification, with little success:

We don't have any updates about HydrogenOS to share at the moment, but we can confirm that OxygenOS remains our operating system for all global devices.

The move comes seemingly out of nowhere and with very little notice. OnePlus makes some of the best Android phones in the United States, but it's not a strong contender in China. The switch could help boost OnePlus phones in the country, given the popularity of OPPO smartphones. The two companies also recently entered into a partnership to share hardware R&D, so it makes some sense that OnePlus phones will now apparently be sold on OPPO's website. Still, the companies said that software was not part of the new pact.

It should be noted that the change wouldn't affect OnePlus devices outside China.