Oppo has released the next version of its smartphone operating in ColorOS 13. ColorOS was introduced in September 2013, and this is the tenth major version of the code (Oppo synced the code later to Android code with ColorOS 11). I spent time with the pre-launch version of the OS before today’s launch to get a feel for the new OS.
Heart Heart OS
At its heart, ColorOS 13 is built around Android 13 in general, Google’s own branch of Android 13 that comes with the essential Google Apps that almost have to be outside of China. From the new Android development, ColorOS – like all Android changes from different companies – will keep the benefits of Android 13. They will have a little difference in terms of quality, different, but the general usage will be the same.
This Android base is universal across the board. ColorOS’ value is not in these changes that integrate the entire Android ecosystem, but what Oppo brings to the table in terms of presentation is what helps ColorOS define itself.
Small changes are important
ColorOS 13 follows the same path as ColorOS12 did last year. With hundreds of millions of phones running this popular version of Android, Oppo won’t make any significant changes to the look and feel of the OS. ColorOS 13 is still very similar to ColorOS 12 around important details such as navigation.
I would argue that a significant change has been made in the move to ColorOS 12, given that Google’s significant changes with Android 12 have been affected by every developer’s Android update. With Android 13 easing back on the visual changes, so has ColourOS 13. Oppo’s idea of updating the OS away from the “fifty ways to do the same thing” which was presented by the business in the past ten years in a more focused and clear way. of work. That process has continued in ColorOS 13.
Content And Interfaces
There are updates to the visual system that give ColorOS the feeling of being refreshed. A new blue color has been added to the styling system. This sitting next to the idea of water is part of the main feeling of this ColorOS version, with the image of the clear flow all over the place, and has been present and sometimes not seen.
One nice change is the new font. Designed by Oppo to aid reading, ‘Oppo Sans’ allows you to adjust the weight of the font to get the best. For me, this is a very heavy font – not a bold font, but enough that all the strokes are thick and visible to older eyes.
The Always On Display
Another area that has a lot of work to do is to always see. A refreshing video can be chosen to sit next to the clock that is visible when the phone is not in use. You can switch to the ‘Insight’ bar, which shows you a representation of your digital day, allowing you to see when you use your phone and when it’s not working; the kind of visual feedback that will have you thinking you want to do less with your phone.
The default display is also where we see some bloatware creeping into ColorOS, including an interactive module that allows you to control Spotify playback and select recommended playlists.
There are plenty of media apps available for Android – including Oppo’s own Music app – and these will benefit from universal controls for native devices. To have this limit for an organization involved makes me want to push back against the decision of Spotify as a true media player for ColorOS.
Just as the font has been modified to improve the user experience, so have the symbols. These have been tweaked to have more distinct and stronger icons to make them more familiar and easier to select. Of course, Oppo can’t change every app icon in the same way that third-party icon app packs do, so this is the most obvious way of doing a clean install of the OS. It is diluted when you start adding in your own apps.
For most people, apps will be found on the home screen, and space will play a bigger role in promoting apps than how they look. By using ‘large folders’ on the ColorOS home screen, you can leave multiple 2×2 grids of app icons. If you fill your home screen with as many icons as possible, this will become a great tool for setting up, especially since the density of icons means that you can cramming nine characters into a place where there would normally be four.
File speed is reduced in ColorOS. By switching to ‘card’ as an example – more information comes out in a box with large borders and rounded edges – less information is on the screen than can be placed . There are many places on many screens that I would personally like to see in more detail. More than once, I have thought that the corners should be removed (or at least tightened) so there is more work space in the card to contain more information.
That is balanced by the clean, unobtrusive quality that can be provided. That’s why it’s best to only provide small but relevant content on the screen, with more information for the tap. The Administration reports on this. When you download, the toggles are just icons, and you have to swipe again to see their text. Uncluttered, then basic information, and then long press for more information. These are design options driven by Oppo but also influenced by Google’s Android options as well.
I’m still not sure how to increase the animation when switching between apps and screens. This is ColorOS’ grandiose-sounding Quantum Animation Engine at work. Swipe away from an app to the home screen and you can see the entire app reduced to an icon, move in a little arc to make it happy, and snowy crossfade change content into the symbol.
These aren’t to my personal taste – I’m old school enough to think that page-down jumps are just as useful an option as ultra-smooth line-by-line scrolling – but the additional swoops, squishes , and crossfades are very. many parts of the language of ColorOS and such expectations for this quality are high. The new animations, helped by the increased ubiquity of the fast refresh rate of the display, work together well.
Windows In Windows
Working too many apps on a smartphone is always something to be concerned about. Oppo’s implementation is built around the idea of quickly checking with one app and not leaving for another.
ColorOS allows you to work with an app for a small window by swiping upwards and holding for a short time (although without native support sometimes this does not always work ). You can move this around the screen and change it as you want. You still interact with the app the same way you would when it’s full screen, but now you can interact with the full screen app as well.
Another option to launch floating apps, and one that makes this useful, is found from ColorOS’ sidebar. Swipe in from the transparent gray line on the side of the screen, and you have a shortcut that will launch the app in a floating window. The obvious example here is to pop up your calendar to quickly make it available while in the messaging app or writing an email. You never forget to ‘check out’ later when checking out the old one.
It’s not really a killer, but it’s nice to have on the device, especially when I need to check my Edinburgh Fringe Podcast list as well as the Edinburgh Fringe website time.
The operating system is one of the areas where the manufacturer can help its phones stand out in the crowded market. Brand lovers, it’s easy to ask for Samsung, Apple, or Oppo in the market. Knowledge of software is at least as important as hardware. ColorOS always stands out with its rich animations and bright colors. The hard and powerful feeling of the early models has lasted for years, and ColorOS balances personality and performance.
ColorOS 13 will appear on the Oppo Find X5 and Find X5 Pro handsets at launch, with the Find X3 and Reno8 Pro 5G joining them in September. After that is a presentation of approximately ten models per month until the end of 2022, and the balance of the corresponding models in the first half of 2023.
Disclaimer: Oppo offers pre-release version of ColorOS 13 installed on Oppo Find X5 Pro for review.