OPPO is one of the largest phone manufacturers in the world, and over the last two years it has turned its attention to European markets, where it is seeing a heady growth. In Q2 2020, OPPO's shipments in Europe increased by 41% from the same time a year ago, and the company saw a 10% uptick in global sales — all during a pandemic.
OPPO's flagships tend to hold their own against the best Android phones, and its focus on global markets has allowed the brand to flourish. With OPPO now becoming a major player outside of China, it is making key changes to its ColorOS user interface to make the skin more palatable to a global audience. ColorOS 7.0 debuted on the Find X2 Pro with a modern user interface and plenty of visual tweaks, and OPPO is introducing ColorOS 11 based on Android 11.
OPPO says it's going straight to ColorOS 11 to maintain parity with Google, making it easier for its customers to understand the underlying Android version. ColorOS 11 comes with a ton of new features, with OPPO working closely with Google to integrate all the additions in Android 11 while maintaining its own visual aesthetic.
OPPO is also touting exclusive features like a three-finger gesture for instantly translating on-screen text via Google Translate, customizable dark mode, new battery saver mode, and a host of new customization options. ColorOS is one of the most popular skins around — with over 370 million users around the world — and with ColorOS 11, OPPO is building on that foundation with meaningful additions across the board. Let's take a look at all the new features in ColorOS 11, and when the update will be available on your phone.
One of the best phones of 2020
The Find X2 Pro continues to be one of the best phones money can buy today. With a sublime 120Hz QHD+ AMOLED panel backed by the latest hardware, 5G connectivity, all-day battery life with 65W charging, the phone ticks all the boxes. ColorOS 11 brings a host of new software features and Android 11 to the device, making it that much more enticing.
ColorOS 11 gets all the new features in Android 11
Google introduced a lot of features in Android 11, and they're all intact on ColorOS 11. You get a dedicated Conversations view at the top of the notifications window, chat bubbles, and the new power menu that works as a dashboard for smart home control.
The privacy and security features are present as well. You get one-time permissions for the camera, microphone, and location, scoped storage to restrict apps from accessing the entire file system, and auto-reset permissions for apps you haven't used in a while.
OPPO also added new privacy-focused features like Private System. The feature essentially creates a second user account on your phone, housing its own version of apps and data. You'll need to use a different PIN and fingerprint to log into Private System, and the feature is a great way to delineate your work and personal profiles. The feature itself will be available starting November.
OPPO also added a lot of optimizations to ColorOS 11. Memory utilization is boosted by 45% and you'll see a 32% increase in response rate, with these optimizations aimed at ensuring the UI scales well for high refresh rate displays.
ColorOS 11 introduces a customizable dark mode
Dark mode has been a mainstay on Android for over a year, and OPPO is now adding customization options to the feature. With ColorOS 11, you'll be able to choose from three distinct color profiles for dark mode: Enhanced, Medium, and Gentle. Enhanced is the default blacked-out option, Medium has lighter tones, and Gentle switches to a grey color scheme.
The UI will automatically adjust the backgrounds and icons based on the option you choose, and if you're not a fan of the default dark mode option on most phones, ColorOS 11 gives you added customizability. You also get the ability to schedule dark mode from sunset to sunrise or set up a custom schedule.
ColorOS 11 lets you make your own backgrounds, ringtones, and AOD styles
Building on the theme of customization, ColorOS 11 adds powerful tools that let you create your own wallpapers, themes, ringtones, icon styles, and even Always-On Display patterns. The ability to create your own ringtone is intriguing, as is the option to create distinct patterns for AOD.
To create unique backgrounds, all you need to do is upload a photo and a dedicated algorithm analyzes the colors and comes up with distinct backgrounds. ColorOS 11 also lets you customize the accent colors — similar to OxygenOS — and the feature goes a long way in switching up the look of the interface.
ColorOS 11 has a nifty gesture for instant translations
With ColorOS 11, you'll be able to get an instant translation of on-screen content via a three-finger gesture. Doing so will take a screenshot, pull up Google Translate, and translate the text. OPPO says it co-created this particular feature with Google, and it is a nifty way to get a translation without having to head into Translate. Google Translate is also integrated into the smart sidebar, making it easier to access.
Super Power Saving Mode in ColorOS 11 extends battery life
ColorOS 11 has a built-in battery saver mode that does a great job extending the battery life, and it's also getting a secondary Super Power Saving Mode that takes things to a new level. The mode lets you pick six apps to run in low-battery scenarios, and it switches everything off in the background to eke out more battery.
So even if your phone's battery level is low, turning on Super Power Saving Mode will let you get more usage. OPPO says WhatsApp usage can be extended by up to 90 minutes even with the battery down to 5% with the mode enabled.
OPPO is also debuting a Battery Guard feature that prolongs battery life of your phone. When you plug in your phone at night, the battery is charged to 80% and then the rest of the 20% is charged just before you wake up, ensuring the phone isn't plugged in even after it's fully charged.
Sound familiar? That's the same tech OnePlus introduced earlier this year on the OnePlus 8 series, with that particular feature called optimized charging. The feature is baked into OxygenOS, and it is great to see ColorOS picking up the same feature.
ColorOS 11 gets floating windows for better multitasking
Floating windows are great for multitasking, and ColorOS 11 is picking up the feature. OPPO calls it FlexDrop, and you get the option to resize an app to fit anywhere on the screen. The app will then be overlaid on whatever app you launch next. Samsung also offers the same feature in One UI 2.0 and Xiaomi in MIUI 12. The feature isn't live yet at this moment, but will be available in the October update that will roll out by the end of the month.
ColorOS 11 promotes mindfulness with OPPO Relax 2.0
OPPO Relax lets you unwind to white noise, and in ColorOS 11 it is picking up city sounds. OPPO teamed up with Music City to add sounds of Tokyo, Bangkok, and Reykjavik into the app, and you get to pick various soundscapes. Relax 2.0 also lets you create custom white noise profiles, with the ability to choose the duration and customize the sound to your liking.
ColorOS 11 public beta is now live
The ColorOS 11 public beta has kicked off for the Find X2 series, Reno 3, and the Reno 4 Pro 5G. Like other manufacturers, OPPO is making the Android 11 update available to its latest devices first. Even though ColorOS 11 is technically a beta, the build itself is based on the stable Android 11 release.
One point to note here is that the beta releases will not be available in European markets, with OPPO limiting the initiative to India, Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia in addition to China. OPPO says it's not able to offer the builds in Europe because of GDPR guidelines, but the stable build should be making its way to these markets once it's available.
These OPPO phones are getting the ColorOS 11 update
OPPO will deliver the ColorOS 11 update to 28 phones in its portfolio, with the public beta now available for most of OPPO's 2020 devices. Here's the full breakdown of when your OPPO phone will get the ColorOS 11 beta:
- From 14 September 2020: Find X2, Find X2 Pro, Find X2 Pro Automobili Lamborghini Edition
- From 30 September 2020: Reno 3 4G, Reno 3 Pro 4G, F17 Pro
- From October: Reno 4 Pro 5G
- From November: Reno 4 5G, Reno 4 Pro 4G
- From December: Reno 4 4G, F11, F11 Pro, F11 Pro Avengers Edition, A9, A92, A72, A52
- From Q1 2021: Reno 10x Zoom, Reno 2, Reno 2F, Reno 2Z, Reno 3 Pro 5G, A91, F15
- From Q2 2021: Reno, Reno Z, A5 2020, A9 2020
While it is great to see OPPO working to deliver the Android 11 update to its phones, the stable build is yet to show up for the Find X2 series in a few global markets. My Find X2 Pro unit is still on Android 10 and hasn't received the ColorOS 11 build as of February 11, and at this moment there's no telling when the stable release will make its way to the flagship, or the Reno 3 and Reno 4 models.
One of the best phones of 2020
The main draw for the Find X2 Pro is obviously the hardware, but the software is an area where OPPO is looking to make a lot of gains. ColorOS 11 brings a lot of meaningful changes, including better customization options, all the new features in Android 11, and mindful utilities that differentiate the UI.
Have you listened to this week's Android Central Podcast?
Every week, the Android Central Podcast brings you the latest tech news, analysis and hot takes, with familiar co-hosts and special guests.
Sign up for Black Friday email alerts!
Get the hottest deals available in your inbox plus news, reviews, opinion, analysis and more from the Android Central team.
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.