Oppo’s ColorOS is one of the most prominent Android skins available globally. The company recently started rolling out the latest version of its Android skin, named ColorOS 12. The update might not be a major design overhaul, however, it is still a major one, due to the recent shift made by OnePlus from OxygenOS to ColorOS. Also Read - OnePlus RT or 9RT: Which is the next OnePlus launching in India?
I have been testing out the ColorOS 12 skin for some time now, and will be providing you with my views on the new skin here. Also Read - MediaTek chip flaw that could led to eavesdropping Android users fixed
ColorOS 12 Review: What’s new?
ColorOS 12 improves on ColorOS 11, making it look more refined and easier to use. While the update offers minor design changes compared to its predecessor, it manages to look clean and visually impressive. Also Read - Better late than never, OnePlus 9RT India launch date could have just been confirmed
One of the most commendable efforts on Oppo‘s part is the support for 67 languages, which includes 13 Indian languages. While the language algorithms do need some work, it is a big leap forward in making the ROM more inclusive.
The update brings in a new 3D icon pack, which has its own opening and closing animations. The inertia animations seem to have also gotten a bump with the UI now flowing according to the speed in which you interact with it.
One thing that I missed a lot while using ColorOS 12 was the Material You theme, which Google introduced with Android 12. There is a wallpaper-based colour palette, which during my usage picked random colours instead of suitable ones.
While OnePlus might be making a move to ColorOS, there are a few elements that have trickled down from OxygenOS too. One of these elements include the Canvas AOD, which is now called ‘Portrait silhouette’.
The new Privacy Dashboard feature is also very interesting as it allows users to get instant access to all the information about all of the applications that have used the phone’s camera, microphone and other sensors in the past 24 hours. It also provides users with information on what data is being accessed and by which app at a given time. Users can also revoke app permissions from a single view dashboard using this feature.
While there is a RAM expansion feature, which allows users to temporarily increase allocation by up to 7GB, I personally feel its a gimmick. This is because non-volatile memory will never be as fast as volatile memory. However, it could give you a tad bit of boost when in a pinch.
With ColorOS 12, the company has focused on reducing redundancy and clutter wherever possible. While the UI has managed to come a long way since it started, there is still a long road ahead. While I like the simple navigation and the animations, there is still a lot of things that disappoint like the boatload of bloatware that is pre-installed or the missing Material You design language.
ColorOS 12 brings in the new and improved floating window feature, now called Flexible Windows. Users can now resize the floating windows by dragging the left or right corners. To activate the feature, users are now only required to swipe up on an app from the bottom or tap on the app icon from the Smart Sidebar. These windows feature drag and drop gesture support, and can easily be hidden or taken out of the way. My only disappointment is that you can only use one floating window at a time.
What does Android 12 bring?
Some of the major features ColorOS 12 takes from Android 12 are the Privacy Dashboard, approximate location sharing, camera/microphone indicators and toggles, chat bubbles, granular privacy controls and more.
How does the skin perform?
I used ColorOS 12 on the best device the company currently has to offer, which is why I might not be able to comment on how it will run on entry-level and mid-range smartphones. What I can say is that ColorOS 12 on a device powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 feels very smooth and refined.
The UI managed to stay lag and stutter-free, providing me with a fun experience. Paired with the new Quantum Animation Engine, the skin managed to provide smooth user experience with improved animations and new features.
I have used a lot of ColorOS powered smartphones to date, and I can say that ColorOS 12 is the most mature version of the skin yet. While the new update does not bring any major changes, it does bring in refinement, and a slew of new and improved features.
The skin manages to look and feel unique, but at the same time simplifies the learning curve. While there are still a few elements that feel a bit cartoonish to me and the skin is still bundled with a ton of bloatware, it is still manageable and I am excited to see where the company plans to take the skin, especially considering that OnePlus devices will also run it.