With Android 12 set to launch in a few short weeks, manufacturers are starting to introduce their own variants of the interface. Samsung kicked off the Android 12-based One UI 4 beta at the start of the week, and OPPO is now following suit with an announcement for ColorOS 12.
While Samsung is offering the One UI 4 beta in seven global markets, the ColorOS 12 beta will kick off in China initially. The global version of ColorOS 12 should be arriving in a few weeks, and we'll let you know once we hear more on that front. But for now, the Chinese launch gives us a look at the new features and interface changes coming to the Android 12-based ColorOS 12, so let's see what's new.
ColorOS 12 beta is coming first to China
Although OPPO is announcing the ColorOS 12 today, the public beta isn't kicking off until October. That's the timeline for China, with the global ColorOS 12 update also likely to kick off at around the same time. The beta will be available for the Find X3 series and the OnePlus 9, and will eventually make its way to other devices.
Puzzled about the involvement of the OnePlus 9? OnePlus switched to ColorOS as the default OS for its devices in China, so it makes sense for the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro to pick up the ColorOS 12 beta.
These OPPO and OnePlus phones will be updated to ColorOS 12
OPPO says it will deliver the Android 12-based ColorOS 12 update to over 110 different models globally, covering 150 million users. The Chinese manufacturer hasn't shared an update schedule for its phones at this moment, but it will deliver the Android 12 update to all of its 2020 and most of its 2019 phones.
OPPO now offers three Android updates to its flagships — matching the best Android phones — but that guarantee is from the Find X3 series onwards, so older flagships like the Find X are unlikely to make the switch to ColorOS 12. Here's a tentative list of phones that will be updated to ColorOS 12:
Find series phones getting the ColorOS 12 update
- Find X3 Pro
- Find X3
- Find X3 Neo
- Find X3 Lite
- Find X2 Pro
- Find X2
- Find X2 Neo
- Find X2 Lite
Reno series phones getting the ColorOS 12 update
- Reno 6
- Reno 6 Pro
- Reno 6 Pro+
- Reno 6Z
- Reno 5
- Reno 5 Pro
- Reno 5 Pro+
- Reno 5 Lite
- Reno 5K
- Reno 5F
- Reno 4 Pro
- Reno 4
- Reno 4F
- Reno 4Z
- Reno 4 Lite
- Reno 4 SE
- Reno 3 Pro
- Reno 3
A series phones getting the ColorOS 12 update
- OPPO A95
- OPPO A94
- OPPO A93
- OPPO A93s
- OPPO A74
- OPPO A73
- OPPO A72
- OPPO A55
- OPPO A54
- OPPO A53
- OPPO A53s
- OPPO A52
- OPPO A35
- OPPO A33
- OPPO A32
- OPPO A31
- OPPO A16
- OPPO A15s
- OPPO A12s
- OPPO A12e
K series phones getting the ColorOS 12 update
- OPPO K9
- OPPO K7x
- OPPO K7
F series phones getting the ColorOS 12 update
- OPPO F19 Pro+
- OPPO F19 Pro
- OPPO F19
- OPPO F17 Pro
- OPPO F17
- OPPO F15
ColorOS 12 has a clean design and exciting new features
OPPO has polished the ColorOS interface over the last two years, so it's no wonder that ColorOS 12 is getting further refinements. There's a new Infinite Design aesthetic with updated system icons that are "closer to reality," and the interface itself has been tweaked to better tackle information density. You'll find increased text contrast and distinguishing colors interlaced with white space, with OPPO noting that ColorOS 12 is designed to be "authentic" and to "reduce noise."
A new addition is Omoji, an avatar emoji feature that uses 20,000 unique markers to create a personalized avatar. The feature builds a high-precision 3D model based on those markers, and you will be able to use the avatar for video calls, as a profile photo, and more.
The floating windows feature has been refined as well, and now lets you easily resize on-screen content between full screen, small window, or mini window modes. The Smart Sidebar 2.0 feature — similar to Edge Panels on Samsung phones — has new utilities and suggests contextual actions based on what you're doing on the phone.
OPPO is introducing a new Cross-Screen Interconnection feature that allows you to seamlessly connect your phone with your laptop. Doing so will let you view incoming notifications, share files between devices, and edit documents stored on your phone directly on the laptop.
OPPO notes that the feature is compatible with a "majority of laptops from mainstream brands" that run Windows 10, and we'll need to wait until the global launch of ColorOS 12 to find out how this particular feature holds up in real-world use. There's also a Car Screen Projection feature that's akin to Android Auto Wireless, and it works with Kuwo, Ximalaya, Baidu Maps, AutoNavi, and other services in China.
OPPO is touting a new Quantum Animation Engine that aims to deliver life-like animated effects throughout ColorOS 12. The brand says that it is "imitating the physical habits of resistance, inertia and rebound" to deliver intuitive animations across the interface.
On that front, there's also an anti-stuttering AI engine that ensures your phone doesn't slow down even after several years' worth of use. OPPO says that in its testing, read/write performance degradation was less than 5% over the course of three years.
As for privacy, OPPO is adding all the features Google introduced in Android 12, including better permission management, an on-screen indicator that lights up whenever the microphone, camera, or location is in use, and the ability to scrub metadata when sharing images or videos.
When will my phone get the ColorOS 12 update?
OPPO says it is kicking off the ColorOS 12 public beta update in October, starting with the Find X3 series. Here's the timeline for when the Android 12-based ColorOS 12 beta will be going out:
- October: Find X3 series, OnePlus 9 series
- November: Find X2 series, Reno 6 series
- December: Reno 5 series, K9, A95, Ace 2 series, OnePlus 8 series
These timelines are for the Chinese version of ColorOS 12, and we should know more about the global ColorOS 12 rollout in the coming weeks.
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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.