Tonight, OPPO officially announced ColorOS 12 based on Android 12 and is designed to be closer to stock Android 12. Piece by piece OPPO has brought their Android skin into the western world with a more pleasing experience that is based around the elegance of Android itself, which has matured alongside it.

ColorOS 12 promises to bring an “all-new inclusive UI, smoother performance and rich features” to help improve your overall experience with their devices. ColorOS now has 440 million users around the world but what does it mean to you, the current user or the future OPPO user?

When will we see it here in Australia?

As part of the launch OPPO has detailed their roll out plan for ColorOS 12 for the devices currently here in Australia. Before you get too excited, these are the planned roll out times for each device but given past experiences with manufacturers (especially OPPO) do not be surprised if the arrival of the latest version on your OPPO phone is pushed back a month or two.

  • December 2021: Find X3 Pro
  • First Half of 2022: Find X3 Neo, Find X3 Lite, Find X2 Pro, Find X2 Neo, Find X2 Lite, Reno4 5g, Reno4 Pro 5G, Reno4 Z 5G, Reno 10x Zoom, A94 5G, A74 5G
  • Second Half of 2022: A74, A53, A53s, A16s, A54s

It is great to see their mid and entry level A series will be seeing the new version of Android, albeit in the second half of the year.

Just how different is it?

If you have never seen ColorOS before it won’t make any difference to you, but you will notice OPPO’s extremely customisable OS and icons, animations and framework that is soft and elegant and a pleasurable experience.

Current users of ColorOS 12 will notice these new icons along with the smoother animations — a smooth animation can make a significant difference to an experience. A smooth animation makes the transition between screens/apps seem faster through its fluid nature — this is something that Google has mastered in recent years with their “Pixel Experience”. Expect it to improve your ColorOS experience immensely.

This has been a result of the combining of the OnePlus and OPPO development teams which can only be a big positive for OPPO with OnePlus known as one of the fastest and smoothest Android software experiences available.

If you had used ColorOS on an OPPO phone more than a year or two ago you are in for a treat with OPPO recognising and admitting that they had issues with lags and stutters after prolonged usage. This prolonged usage has been improved thanks to 30% lower memory consumptions and 20% lower battery consumption — the memory consumption is something that OPPO phones have had issues with extensively in the past (albeit slowly improving in recent years).

OPPO has also created new “3D icons” which show how light would interact with a frosted glass, creating a 3D effect — you can see this below. For those who see their iPhone-using friends using their own personalised emojis, OPPO has created their own AI-based emoji creation app — called Omoji — complete with expressions and various accessories such as glasses etc.

New features

OPPO touched on a few new features that we should expect to see in ColorOS 12 with their own PC Connect allowing mirroring of your phone on a PC and the ability to copy, paste and edit files from your phone on your PC, a 3-finger Translate powered by Google Lens and FlexDrop for the transferring of images and files easily.

For those concerned about privacy on an OPPO smartphone, OPPO has included all the new security features of Android 12. Privacy Dashboards, Approximate Location Sharing and Microphone and Camera Indicators to show when an app is using either are all included to allow users to control just how much of their privacy they share online and with others. They have also added their own security features including Private System, Private Safe, App Lock.

Designed to suit you

A major feature of Android 12 is Material You where the theme of the phone is based on the wallpaper you choose. Just how well this is implemented remains to be seen but given OPPO say that Material You is based on the customisations they included in previous ColorOS versions it would surprise me if it was not perfected off the bat.

Closer to stock Android

OPPO has listened to their customers, users, and fans a lot over the years and has acted accordingly on their criticisms, concerns, and suggestions. As such their latest version of ColorOS is the closest to stock Android ever seen before. They have attempted to include as many Android 12 features as possible, as close to the way Google wanted it to be than ever before.

The end result is an operating system that should work how Android was designed to work by Google. People who have used Google Pixel smartphones will know what we mean but the Pixel Experience is a tough one to compete against, but OPPO seem to think they can replicate this Pixel Experience with the added customisation and features that we have come to expect from ColorOS.

Although the beta version of ColorOS has been launched today, do not expect it to arrive in Australia. As stated above, the first time we will see the stable version of ColorOS 12 arrive first on the Find X3 Pro in December so keep an eye out for it arriving on yours.