If you’ve followed OnePlus news of late, you’ll that OxygenOS has known 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.
That’s where we are with OxygenOS 12. 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. Here’s what you need to know about the Android 13-based OxygenOS 13 that’s launching later this year.
OxygenOS 13: Release date
Although OnePlus currently has an Android 13 beta build available for the 10 Pro, that is the vanilla Android skin and doesn’t include OxygenOS. If history is any indication, we’ll have to wait until later in Q3 to be able to get our hands on the first OxygenOS 13 beta.
OnePlus iterated that one of the key reasons for the integration with ColorOS was to deliver faster software updates, but that hasn’t worked out for the Chinese manufacturer last year. If anything, OxygenOS updates took longer than usual to show up for older phones, with the first-gen Nord picking up the stable OxygenOS 12 build in June 2022 — eight months after Google released Android 12.
OxygenOS 13: New features
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 these areas of focus:
- Improve UI personalization and consistency
- Improve system consistency and optimize some functions path
- Add more features in AOD (like Music Player)
- Optimize Zen Mode to provide users with a more immersive and efficient experience
- Maintain positive communication with you guys (like optimizing CBT projects, more OEF, and so on）
Considering OxygenOS 12 lacked a cohesive design aesthetic, it is good to see OnePlus is looking to address that issue with the forthcoming release. OnePlus noted that OxygenOS 13 will not deviate from the “core product philosophy” of offering a “fast and smooth, burdenless experience,” but that’s what it has said for the last two years, so we’ll have to wait and see how OxygenOS 13 turns out to judge if that is the case.
What’s key here is the fact that 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.
What we’re likely to get instead is a slightly altered version of ColorOS with a few UI tweaks and exclusive features, similar to what Realme does with its Realme UI.
Given that the first OxygenOS 13 beta won’t be out for a few months, it’s too early to speculate about what new additions we’re likely to see in the interface. But it’s a given that even more ColorOS features will make their way over, so look out floating windows, smart sidebar, and so on. I’ll update this post once I know more about what’s included.
OxygenOS 13: Eligible phones
OnePlus hasn’t detailed a list of phones that will get the OxygenOS 13 update, and I’ll make the requisite changes once we have that information officially. But with the manufacturer introducing a lot of phones over the last 18 months, a big chunk of its portfolio will switch to Android 13.
Here’s the tentative list of OnePlus phones that will get the OxygenOS 13 update:
- OnePlus 10 Pro
- OnePlus 9 Pro
- OnePlus 9
- OnePlus 8T
- 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 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. Similarly, the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro won’t be making the switch, but we’ll have to wait and See if OnePlus decides to roll out one more platform update to its 2020 flagships.
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.
OnePlus 9 Pro
If you want a OnePlus phone in 2022, you should get the OnePlus 9 Pro. It has a stunning design, the hardware is on par with the 10 Pro, you get a better wide-angle lens here, and you’re not missing out on any features.