For months, OnePlus has been teasing OxygenOS 11, the next version of its Android skin. Compared to some of the company’s past software releases, OxygenOS 11 is a significant update.
While we don’t have an exact OxygenOS 11 release date yet, we do have a good idea of what we can expect, including a UI overhaul and a long-awaited feature or two.
Below we break down all the new OxygenOS 11 features you need to know ahead of the rollout and which OnePlus phones receive the upgrade.
See also: The best OnePlus phones
OxygenOS 11 features
For better or worse, OxygenOS 11 marks a significant departure from the company’s past design ethos. The new software has more in common with Samsung’s One UI than stock Android. Throughout the operating system, there are more design flourishes than in past years. A significant component of the updated interface is the new OnePlus Sans font, which the company says increases readability.
The good news is that OnePlus has also redesigned the interface to make it easier to use with one hand. You can see the tweaks that approach has fostered throughout the operating system, but it’s most apparent in the Settings app where there’s more space between each menu item. Elsewhere, you’ll notice that the company’s design team has tweaked the location of some navigation buttons and other interface elements.
OnePlus is finally adding an always-on display feature to its phones. The headline OxygenOS 11 feature for many, this is something the company’s fans have been wanting for a while. Now that it’s almost here, what’s interesting is that OnePlus has managed to do something a bit different with the feature.
By now, most people have a good idea of how always-on displays work. They allow you to check things like the time and if you have any notifications without fully waking your phone’s screen. Time — one of 11 always-on display designs you can choose between in OxygenOS 11 — goes a step further and allows you to check how many times you’ve unlocked your device throughout the day. The phone plots each unlock on a timeline that cuts down through the middle of the display.
If you don’t want your phone to remind you how much you use it each time you pick it up, you can instead choose between multiple digital and analog clock designs. If none of those appeal to you or you want to push out extra battery life from your phone, you can continue using OnePlus’ existing Ambient Display functionality.
Improved dark mode
OxygenOS 11 will introduce several tweaks to OnePlus’ existing Dark Mode. To make different interface elements more legible and easier to differentiate when Dark Mode is active, OnePlus has tweaked the feature to make use of more dark gray hues.
The update will also support Dark Mode scheduling, allowing you to configure the feature to turn on and off automatically, depending on the time of day. You’ll also have the option to quickly toggle Dark Mode from the quick settings menu, which you can access by pulling down the notification shade.
A new interface wouldn’t be complete without matching redesigned apps, but OnePlus has also updated most of its first-party software with new features. For instance, the built-in Gallery app includes functionality that will automatically create weekly stories using photos and videos you shot over the past seven days. Meanwhile, Zen Mode features three new themes, and a new group feature.
The Weather app has gotten some attention as well. Its new interface puts a greater emphasis on the current day, with information like the chance of precipitation more front and center.
OxygenOS 11 builds on Android 11. This means many of the same tweaks and enhancements we’re looking forward to in the latest version of Google’s mobile operating system will also make their way over to OxygenOS. There are quite a few tweaks, so check out our breakdown of the latest Android 11 beta to get a better sense of what’s coming with Android 11.
OxygenOS 11 release date and availability
OxygenOS 11 is currently in its third and final developer preview. The build was rolled out on August 10 and you can find the required files and instructions on how to flash the ROM on OnePlus’ forums.
OnePlus hasn’t officially commented on when it plans to release OxygenOS 11 to the public, but based on its usual software upgrade timeline, OxygenOS 11 should start hitting devices well before the end of 2020. The update will almost certainly hit OnePlus’ core markets such as the US, India, UK, and selected regions of Europe.
Provided the company follows its usual release schedule, it will enter a beta phase to begin with for further testing. The final OxygenOS 11 stable build will then roll out to current flagships before becoming available on older devices. That means we can expect it to update the OnePlus 8 Pro and OnePlus 8 first, as well as its new budget phone, the OnePlus Nord, with devices like the OnePlus 7T Pro to follow.
Eligible OxygenOS 11 update phones
OnePlus hasn’t said the exact devices it plans to update with OxygenOS 11, but its update policy offers useful guidance. In 2018, OnePlus committed to providing its phones with 24 months of platform updates. Per that policy, OnePlus will likely update the following devices to OxygenOS 11:
- OnePlus 8 Pro
- OnePlus 8
- OnePlus Nord
- OnePlus 7T Pro
- OnePlus 7T
- OnePlus 7 Pro
- OnePlus 7
- OnePlus 6T
- OnePlus 6
We’ll update this article as more details about OxygenOS 11 come out. In the meantime, let us know in the comments if you like the way the latest OxygenOS upgrade is shaping up.