Review of OxygenOS 12: Unsettling UI changes

The stable OxygenOS 12 upgrade, which is based on Android 12, has been unveiled by OnePlus. Because of the early beta stages, we had a fair sense of what ColorOS Lite will be like.

Enthusiast brands can only satisfy the devoted following for a limited amount of time. In recent years, we have watched OnePlus fall apart piece by piece, until all that is left is an outright straight Oppo underling. The most ardent supporter would have, at the very least, anticipated some variation in the software experience even though it was inevitable.

Sharing parts and hardware production processes is one thing, but for many, OxygenOS was the main reason they stuck with OnePlus. Although ColorOS and OxygenOS 12 are not horrible, they will leave a very bitter taste in the mouths of the aforementioned die-hard OnePlus supporters.

Simply said, OxygenOS 12 won’t appeal to you if you don’t like Oppos ColorOS. A switch to Google’s Pixel series may provide you with the streamlined software experience you desire. Continue reading if you are still content to continue with OnePlus.

A REVIEW OF VIDEO OXYGENOS 12 Subscribe to 9to5Google on YouTube for more videos

The Bad Stuff in Oxygenos 12 We should cover the issues straight away because OxygenOS has undergone such a significant transformation. If you have never used a OnePlus phone before, you might not be bothered, but for devoted users, these modifications and adjustments grate and irritate immediately away.

You lose several degrees of control and personalization that have long been a part of the Android skin with OxygenOS 12. Similar actions by Google in support of Material Yous wallpaper-based theming also damage the Pixel devices’ reputation for personalization.

You are unable to edit specific icons, and there is very little customizing available for the status bar. The OnePlus Shelf cannot be disabled in favor of Google’s Discover Feed. Consider the fact that, despite receiving a redesign in Android 11, none of these functions were abruptly eliminated. While there are many customization options in other areas, OxygenOS is becoming more strict and makes things less fluid than in prior incarnations.

OxygenOS 12 widget deletion confirmation

It’s difficult to argue against the fact that there are some instances where there is a glaring disregard for smaller things. The redundant repeated confirmations you receive when uninstalling homescreen widgets are a good example. You can cancel the action by long pressing and hitting Remove to bring up a second confirmation pop-up window. Although some people might find this useful, it seems superfluous in these circumstances.

Since OnePlus Sans is essentially Oppo Sans in all but name, the switch from OnePlus Slate to OnePlus Sans over the past several years has been quite frustrating. Fortunately, if you find the overly rounded design a little overwhelming, you can continue with the traditional Roboto. Personally, I don’t like the new typeface, but instead of the recycled Oppo look that OxygenOS 12 is known for, I would prefer a special character set tailored to OnePlus hardware.

Another area that closely borrows from the ColorOS playbook is default icon theming. But this quality has both positive and negative aspects. A big complaint is that the useful feature of adding custom labels and changing individual program icons has been removed. However, within the more comprehensive Personalisations settings section, you may more easily alter, tweak, and fine-tune the size, shape, and design. In a way, OnePlus nearly seems to be giving while simultaneously taking.

The current OxygenOS 12 build also doesn’t completely include Google’s large Dynamic Color theming system, which adds program accenting based on your device wallpaper. Instead of your wallpaper serving as the inspiration for more UI theming, you must manually pick a system color, and the alterations are, to put it mildly, extremely little.

ColorOS 12 and OxygenOS 12

Upgrade: OnePlus has acknowledged that the OxygenOS update has been withdrawn due to a number of defects and problems:

Our software team is working to address the problems brought on by the OxygenOS 12 release. We’re going to pause this software upgrade and provide a fresh version as soon as we can.

Although it’s unclear when the update will be released again, individuals who have upgraded continue to experience the same problems.

OxygenOS 12 is rife with flaws and issues for a so-called stable release, which makes it difficult to recommend that you update and install on your eligible OnePlus phone. It is not even in a single or a few places.

Applications that are locked or kept in RAM for rapid access via the Recents menu are managed by the system. As a result, the app switcher’s Close all button infuriatingly refuses to close all of the open apps. It seems counterproductive and a little foolish to have to delve into settings in order to turn this off.

Icons in the notification status bar had a different behavior earlier in the beta stage. replacing the familiar line-style icons found on the majority of Android smartphones with simple, useful reminders that are represented by vibrant, colorful icons. Some characteristics of this alteration persist, even though it was startling and didn’t blend with the rest of the system theming.

OxygenOS 12 stacks alerts that come in succession, and some of them won’t display an icon in the status bar. Sometimes notifications will appear out of sequence or jumbled together for no apparent reason. OxygenOS 12’s handling of alerts is pretty shoddy and exacerbates the issues that have existed for a while.

The way the Always-on display manages the in-display fingerprint reader is one issue that is not specific to OxygenOS 12, but it is nonetheless unpleasant. Frequently, the scanner’s recommendations will just vanish, requiring you to tap your display to activate before moving your finger over the scanner once again. Sure, it’s a nitpick, but it still irritates the point where it almost feels like a bug.


As would be expected, Oxygen OS 12 features a ton of improvements that were introduced to the AOSP edition of Android 12 and nearly all of them were included in the early beta stage. The Privacy Dashboard and improved camera and microphone access toggles also make the transition, and the majority are exact replicas of what you’ll find on Pixel phones.

If your camera or microphone has been accessed, a notice dot will appear in the upper-right corner of your screen. You can see which specific app has recently used your on-device hardware by expanding the notification shade, touching the little symbol, and then selecting the information in the pop-up that appears. It’s wonderful for accountability, and the ability to disable the microphone and camera with a simple flick of the notification shade is also helpful.

Although technically not new, OnePlus Shelf and the Scout feature have been updated, and the global search option is now accessible across all regions. Although it may be totally disabled, this is a wonderful place to store Android widgets if you’d rather not clutter your homescreen. The Google Discover Feed can no longer be replaced, but the Shelf section is still well-implemented and offers a distinctive perspective on common data points and fast access panels.

With some noteworthy new adjustments, like a voice modulator for in-game communication, OxygenOS 12 fine-tunes the amazing gameplay modes that are also available here. You can do this to alter your voice pitch when playing online games to maintain your anonymity. Although its effectiveness is unknown, it is an intriguing feature that gives mobile games an additional degree of enjoyment.

Additionally, a new Data Monitor option allows you to manage and inspect your phone’s critical statistics, like screen framerate, GPU, and CPU consumption, using a draggable pop-up. This can be a helpful technique to monitor your favorite games if you notice drops in performance. In the past, we’ve said that a OnePlus smartphone can provide a better experience than many dedicated gaming phones, and in many ways, that still seems to be the case.

The Good Stuff in Oxygenos 12

OxygenOS 12 dark mode tuning
Partial screenshot gesture OxygenOS 12

Saying that every change in OxygenOS 12 is unquestionably harmful would be ridiculous. Many of ColorOS’s advantages transfer over here. However, OnePlus devices get a few extra capabilities that are beneficial and deserving of being added to the available software mix.

The option to modify and fine-tune the system’s dark theme is a good illustration. While many other OEMs only provide one tone, you can choose between the AMOLED-friendly Enhanced, the semi-gray Medium, and the light-gray Gentle preset when using the dark theme. This holds true even for the forced dark mode, which can be customized for each individual app and gives you alternatives to fit your preferences. This may not apply to apps with their own dark theme settings, but it is still a welcome addition.

Additionally, OxygenOS 12 does a great job with snapshot gestures. The three-finger drag gesture or partial screenshot is a great choice that consistently remains accurate and precise. It’s encouraging to see that it’s not being abandoned here. A well-known Oppo method for swiftly launching split-screen mode is added to it. You can launch two apps simultaneously by dragging down with three fingers without first going to the recent apps menu.

I adore the Work-Life Balance option and would dearly love to see more OEMs implement a feature like it. In essence, it enables you to set up two unique profiles on your smartphone. The Work profile is fairly self-explanatory because you can limit access to social networking applications or games or only permit access to work-related content while you are actively working.

The Life option can be utilized in a similar manner, providing you access to all the apps you wouldn’t typically use during your free time while preventing you from seeing any stuff relevant to your job. On the surface, this appears to be somewhat similar to the Focus mode currently present in Android, but it takes things a step further with more customizable features.

Depending on the time, Wi-Fi connection, or location, each profile can be activated or deactivated. This makes the switch more independent, and I must say that this is an excellent method to handle such a feature. This is likely to be a well-liked new feature, and I’d love to see it on more smartphones across the full range of Android.

Even though OnePlus made big changes to nearly every aspect of OxygenOS 12, I’m glad the notification shade toggle arrangement remained largely unchanged. Material This section was still somewhat useful before you started using Pixel devices, but that is not the case now. 12 fast toggles are still available across different pages. It’s a joy in terms of accessibility.

People who want to get the most out of the hardware now have a choice between battery life and full-throttle access thanks to the new High performance mode. In all honesty, I didn’t see much of a change during my little testing session, but it’s still nice to know that this option is available, even if it only provides minor framerate improvements in some games or applications.

OxygenOS 12 has flaws in many areas, however there is greater focus on the animations, which frequently feel more intentional. The old, whiz-bang OxygenOS reduced animations to their bare minimum, which may have made them feel janky or choppy. App transition animations in Android 12 for OnePlus phones feel more polished and fluid.

LAST THOUGHTS In conclusion, OxygenOS as you once knew it is essentially gone. For the Chinese company, which will be directly linked to ColorOS like Realme and Vivo, this is a new software era. Additionally, the fact that the first stable update for OnePlus phones based on Android 12 is occasionally a problematic mess doesn’t help much.

For the time being, this presents a challenge for OnePlus users. Do you leave the ship or stay on it? In the latter case, we suggest resetting your device before upgrading. Even yet, it’s hard to blame anyone for preferring OxygenOS 11 over this Android 12 version. At the very least, this may alleviate some of the early teething issues.

Although the hardware may not have changed, these very significant software modifications will leave many fans perplexed and wondering why try to alter what was once a successful recipe. One consolation is that third-party ROM support may provide a lifeline for your OnePlus phone if you simply cannot tolerate OxygenOS 12 as it is.

There are several great features added here that provide a glimpse of the OnePlus that ardent supporters once praised behind the second-hand exterior. The eventual objective may be mainstream appeal, but it’s difficult to see how the present build can get there given the flaws, inconsistent design, and strange cookie-cutter strategy that will only impede the crucial competition distinction. Without a doubt, the Oppo-OnePlus combination will be a difficult pill to swallow—a big one at that.

FTC: We employ income-generating auto affiliate connections. MORE ON ONEPLUS. More.
Check out 9to5Google on YouTube for more news:


Related Posts