comscore OxygenOS 11 First Impressions: A work in progress | BGR India
Review

OxygenOS 11 First Impressions: A work in progress

I have been using the latest OxygenOS 11 on OnePlus 8 Pro and feel that it is still half-baked. Let's take a closer look at the new, missing, and upcoming features of the OxygenOS 11.

  • Published: September 12, 2020 6:11 PM IST
OnePlus 8 Pro

OnePlus seems to be taking bold steps in 2020. First, the company introduced its much anticipated affordable smartphone, the Nord series. This new series marked a shift in the strategy for OnePlus after sticking to the “Never Settle” mantra for years. Instead of the usual Snapdragon 800 series chips with a price tag north of the Rs 25,000 mark, Nord debuted with a mid-range SoC. The company managed to convince users that hardware isn’t everything. Instead, a fluid software experience is equally important. Hence, it is likely that OxygenOS is one of the biggest reasons for the success of Nord. OnePlus offered a streamlined UI, while focusing on performance instead of gimmicks and bloated features. Moreover, unlike some smartphone makers, the timely delivery of updates serves as a cherry on the cake. Also Read - OnePlus Watch Cobalt Limited Edition launched: Brings a new sturdy design at a much higher price

Over the years, OnePlus has improved the OxygenOS experience and focused on features that are important to the user experience while leaving out the clutter. Keeping this in mind, the company finally released the beta version of its Android 11-based OxygenOS 11. However, this time, the company has likely opted for some bold changes in the OS design. Inspecting closely, the company has redesigned the interface to make it easier for one-hand usage. But, as noted previously, this makes it somewhat close to Samsung One UI in resemblance. I have been using the latest OxygenOS 11 on OnePlus 8 Pro for some time. Let’s take a closer look at the new, missing, and upcoming features of the OxygenOS 11 along with my thoughts. Also Read - iQOO 7 Legend vs OnePlus 9R: Comparison after real-world usage, which one to buy

Watch: OnePlus Nord Review

OxygenOS 11: The new stuff

Always-on-Display

OxygenOS 11, OnePlus 8 pro, OnePlus, OxygenOS, Android 11, Also Read - OnePlus admits mistake, says no more 5G bands for OnePlus 9 in future

Always on Display (AoD) has been a long-requested feature and OnePlus has finally added it. It offers the user a quick glance at important information including the time, battery status, and any notifications without waking up the screen. Looking at the default AoD style, we get a clock with a colorful bar that is both cool and useful. In case you are wondering how this works, let me tell you each time you unlock your phone, it breaks the bar. So, the longer your usage, the wider the groove will be.

You even get to see the total unlocks in a day. While this does drain battery to some degree, you can schedule the AOD feature to save some battery. You just need to search Always-on ambient display in the settings and you will find the schedule option there. Alternatively, you can just keep using the ambient display feature to save more battery. OnePlus offers a total of 12 clock styles, so you have a lot of choices. However, what is missing is the ability to change the color of these clocks, or more fancy things such as Gifs. Yes, one will find this and other customization options on Samsung One UI and more. Personally, it would be great to have such features on OnePlus OxygenOS.

Redesigned Interface

OxygenOS 11, OnePlus 8 pro, OnePlus, OxygenOS, Android 11,

There are a lot of people who have criticized OnePlus for adding big header text and white space on the top half of the screen, resembling One UI. I don’t really think there is an issue with this as the UI is still smooth and animations are fluid. In fact, this design refreshes the look while making things more user-friendly. With companies going for massive displays, it is becoming very difficult to handle a phone with one hand. The company has just tried to solve this issue by offering a UI designed for one-hand usage. This is better than the separate One-hand mode and you will find this mode on Android 11-based OxygenOS.

In addition to the user interface, the company has also changed its in-house apps and major user experience elements in a big way. The first place where you will see these changes is in the Settings app. Once you open the Settings app, you can now easily access the first few options. While I liked this idea of throwing away most of the upper screen to a header and pushing the options to the bottom half, OnePlus seems to have missed out on something here. So, if you visit any section in the Settings, you won’t witness the same one-hand optimization there. This makes the entire experience a bit strange and inconsistent. It also beats the whole purpose of redesigning for the easy one-hand experience. The company should fix this with the upcoming updates. Finally, you can’t change the new dual-color theme in the “Accent” section out of the box.

Customizable gesture for OnePlus Shelf

OxygenOS 11, OnePlus 8 pro, OnePlus, OxygenOS, Android 11,

The most surprising part is the customizable feature for OnePlus self. OnePlus has found a way to let you access Google’s discover feed, Notification shade, and the company’s Shelf too. Currently, you just need to swipe-down gesture from anywhere on the home screen for notification shade and swipe right to access the news feed. Now how will you get to OnePlus shelf?

Well, you can now access the Shelf by swiping-down from anywhere on the display. But for the Notification panel, you need to swipe-down from the top-bar of the screen. This sounds a bit complicated, but you will get used to it. Though, those who use all the three features might not be very pleased as accessing the notification panel would be very difficult. It is good to see that OnePlus has tried to offer something different.

Improved Dark mode, OnePlus Sans font

OxygenOS 11, OnePlus 8 pro, OnePlus, OxygenOS, Android 11,

The company has also significantly improved its dark theme experience. I absolutely love the new overall design of OxygenOS 11 and everything is very smooth and optimized that you will be satisfied with the stable release. OnePlus has basically ditched the all-black look and gone for dark gray hues to differentiate important interface elements when Dark Mode is enabled. This for a change looks good, but one cannot go back to the old all-black look if they get bored.

You can schedule dark mode too as per your needs. In addition, the dark theme is a lot easier on the eyes while saving some battery. You now don’t have to look for the dark mode in the settings as you can access it from the Quick Settings menu. I would also like to mention that the new OnePlus Sans font also helps offer slightly better readability.

Zen mode, Gallery, Weather, and other apps

OxygenOS 11, OnePlus 8 pro, OnePlus, OxygenOS, Android 11,

As mentioned above, OxygenOS 11 also brings significant design changes to many in-house OnePlus apps. The first example of the redesign is the Gallery app. OnePlus has also added functionality that automatically creates stories using your photos and videos on a weekly basis. You now just need to swipe right to get to the next section in the Gallery app, offering a better user experience. I think that OnePlus should consider adding Pro mode to the “Video” section in the camera app. This would offer great help to many users who record videos using their phones. What you do get with OxygenOS 11 is the new share menu feature in the camera app. So, after clicking an image, you can immediately share it to different social media or messaging apps, saving the hassle of opening the particular app and then finding the media to upload.

OxygenOS 11, OnePlus 8 pro, OnePlus, OxygenOS, Android 11,

Beyond the changes in the Gallery app, one of the apps that stand apart after the redesign is the OnePlus Weather app. The new one gives you more details on the current day with some other relevant information and cool animations. The Notes app has also received a minor interface update, but it would be great if OnePlus adds more customizations to the app. Samsung Notes app offers tempting modification options like drawing, colorful palette, font size, and other things to make it more useful.

The company should add support for Spotify or other music apps in the clock app so that one can use it for setting alarms because ain’t you bored of the default tones. Yes, you can download songs and set the song, but these days people are using music streaming apps. Finally, the company has also updated its Zen Mode app with new themes and a group feature. The latter basically means that you can now enjoy the Zen mode with your friends.

Bonus: Android 11 features

Apart from all this, you also get standard Android 11 features. However, OnePlus has not added the new media control option in the Settings yet. You will need to wait for the next update to get the media controls in the Quick Settings section alongside the other controls. Once you expand the notification panel, you will see a full set of media controls in Quick Settings. Google has also changed things in Notifications shade. So, users will now witness three categories in that panel. These include Conversations, Alerting, and Silent. Other features of Android 11 include chat bubbles, notification history, and more.

OxygenOS 11, OnePlus 8 pro, OnePlus, OxygenOS, Android 11,

Upcoming features and concluding thoughts

There are some of the interesting features that OnePlus plans to add to its OxygenOS 11. Earlier this year, the company confirmed on the OnePlus forums that we will soon see features like the ability to enable fingerprint lock for hidden pictures in the Gallery app. When your OnePlus phone is fully charged, the device will alert you with an audio cue. It will add folders within the app drawer and more essential features to Zen mode. Overall, the experience might still be half-baked, but we never felt that it is cluttering or slowing our Android experience. However, the company still needs to make the experience more rounded and consistent to reach that higher level of quality.

For the latest tech news across the world, latest PC and Mobile games, tips & tricks, top-notch gadget reviews of most exciting releases follow BGR India’s Facebook, Twitter, subscribe our YouTube Channel.
  • Published Date: September 12, 2020 6:11 PM IST


You Might be Interested

OnePlus 8 Pro

54999

OxygenOS based on Android 10
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
48 Megapixels with Sony IMX689 Sensor with f/1.78 along with 8 Megapixels of f/2.44 Telephoto lens, 48 Megapixels of f/2.2 Ultra Wide Angle Lens, and 5 Megapixels of f/2.4 Color Filter Lens

new arrivals in india

Samsung Galaxy F02s
Samsung Galaxy F02s

8,999

Samsung Galaxy F12
Samsung Galaxy F12

10,999

POCO X3 Pro
POCO X3 Pro

18,999

Realme 8 Pro
Realme 8 Pro

17,999

Realme 8
Realme 8

14,999

Vivo X60 Pro Plus
Vivo X60 Pro Plus

69,990

Vivo X60 Pro
Vivo X60 Pro

49,990

Vivo X60
Vivo X60

37,990

OnePlus 9 Pro 5G
OnePlus 9 Pro 5G

64,999

OnePlus 9R 5G
OnePlus 9R 5G

39,999

OnePlus 9 5G
OnePlus 9 5G

49,999

Samsung Galaxy A72
Samsung Galaxy A72

34,999

Samsung Galaxy A52
Samsung Galaxy A52

26,499

Micromax In 1
Micromax In 1

10,499

Asus ROG Phone 5
Asus ROG Phone 5

49,999

Samsung Galaxy M12
Samsung Galaxy M12

10,999

Motorola Moto G30
Motorola Moto G30

10,999

Motorola Moto G10 Power
Motorola Moto G10 Power

9,999

Oppo F19 Pro Plus 5G
Oppo F19 Pro Plus 5G

25,990

Oppo F19 Pro
Oppo F19 Pro

21,490

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro Max
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro Max

18,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro

15,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10

11,999

Realme Narzo 30A
Realme Narzo 30A

8,999

Realme Narzo 30 Pro
Realme Narzo 30 Pro

16,999

Infinix Smart 5
Infinix Smart 5

7,199

Samsung Galaxy F62
Samsung Galaxy F62

23,999

Samsung Galaxy A12
Samsung Galaxy A12

12,999

Nokia 5.4
Nokia 5.4

13,999

Nokia 3.4
Nokia 3.4

11,999

Realme X7 Pro 5G
Realme X7 Pro 5G

29,999

Realme X7
Realme X7

19,999

Vivo Y31
Vivo Y31

16,490

Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G
Oppo Reno5 Pro 5G

35,990

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G

1,05,999

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus 5G

81,999

Samsung Galaxy S21 5G
Samsung Galaxy S21 5G

69,999

Vivo Y12s
Vivo Y12s

9,990

Vivo Y51A
Vivo Y51A

17,990

Samsung Galaxy M02s
Samsung Galaxy M02s

8,999

Xiaomi Mi 10i
Xiaomi Mi 10i

21,999

Oppo A15s
Oppo A15s

11,490

Tecno Spark 6 Go
Tecno Spark 6 Go

8,499

Vivo V20 2021
Vivo V20 2021

24,990

Vivo Y20A
Vivo Y20A

11,490

Xiaomi Redmi 9 Power
Xiaomi Redmi 9 Power

11,999

Motorola Moto G9 Power
Motorola Moto G9 Power

11,999

Motorola Moto G 5G
Motorola Moto G 5G

20,999

Vivo V20 Pro
Vivo V20 Pro

29,990

Xiaomi Mi 10T
Xiaomi Mi 10T

35,999

Xiaomi Redmi 9i
Xiaomi Redmi 9i

8,299

Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro
Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro

39,999

Infinix Hot 10
Infinix Hot 10

9,999

Vivo V20 SE
Vivo V20 SE

20,990

Vivo V20
Vivo V20

24,990

Micromax In 1b
Micromax In 1b

6,999

Micromax In Note 1
Micromax In Note 1

10,999

OnePlus 8T
OnePlus 8T

42,999

Samsung Galaxy F41
Samsung Galaxy F41

15,499

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

1,29,900

Apple iPhone 12 Pro
Apple iPhone 12 Pro

1,19,900

Apple iPhone 12 Mini
Apple iPhone 12 Mini

69,900

Apple iPhone 12
Apple iPhone 12

79,900

Poco X3
Poco X3

16,999

Realme Narzo 20A
Realme Narzo 20A

8,499

Realme Narzo 20
Realme Narzo 20

10,499

Realme Narzo 20 Pro
Realme Narzo 20 Pro

13,999

Oppo F17
Oppo F17

16,990

Samsung Galaxy M51
Samsung Galaxy M51

22,999

Poco M2
Poco M2

10,999

Oppo F17 Pro
Oppo F17 Pro

22,990

Realme 7 Pro
Realme 7 Pro

19,999

Realme 7
Realme 7

14,999

Xiaomi Redmi 9A
Xiaomi Redmi 9A

6,799

Vivo Y20
Vivo Y20

12,990

Xiaomi Redmi 9
Xiaomi Redmi 9

8,999

Nokia 5.3
Nokia 5.3

13,999

Motorola Moto G9
Motorola Moto G9

11,499

Realme C15
Realme C15

9,999

Realme C12
Realme C12

8,999

Samsung Galaxy Note 20
Samsung Galaxy Note 20

77,999

Xiaomi Redmi 9 Prime
Xiaomi Redmi 9 Prime

9,999

Oppo Reno4 Pro
Oppo Reno4 Pro

34,990

Samsung Galaxy M01 Core
Samsung Galaxy M01 Core

5,499

Realme 6i
Realme 6i

12,999

Asus Rog Phone 3
Asus Rog Phone 3

46,999

OnePlus Nord
OnePlus Nord

24,999

Infinix Smart 4 Plus
Infinix Smart 4 Plus

7,999

Xiaomi Redmi Note 9
Xiaomi Redmi Note 9

10,999

Samsung Galaxy M01s
Samsung Galaxy M01s

9,999

Vivo X50 Pro 5G
Vivo X50 Pro 5G

49,990

Vivo X50 5G
Vivo X50 5G

34,990

Realme C11
Realme C11

7,499

Poco M2 Pro
Poco M2 Pro

13,999

Realme X3
Realme X3

24,999

Realme X3 SuperZoom
Realme X3 SuperZoom

27,999

Tecno Spark Power 2
Tecno Spark Power 2

9,999

Oppo A12
Oppo A12

9,990

Oppo A52
Oppo A52

16,990

Samsung Galaxy A21s
Samsung Galaxy A21s

15,999

Best Sellers