The latest version of Oppo’s custom Android overlay, Color OS, is set to bring Android 10 to a number of the Chinese brand’s devices starting next week.
Color OS 7, as the latest version is known as, brings with it a host of new features while also building on existing ones and improving them.
With Color OS 7, Oppo is going slow on its ever colourful user interface that has always attracted mixed feelings among users, especially outside China. As such, it goes for light visual design cues while maintaining much of the colourfulness that it has come to be known for albeit in a reduced tone to give users less “visual fatigue”.
System sounds have also been reworked (thanks to a partnership with Danish sound company Episound) and new tones are available. As are the Art+ wallpapers to compliment the changes in the software.
App icons in Color OS 7 are said to be fully customizable thereby allowing users to alter things like the shape and size of the icons on their home screens. This is clearly a good use of the versatility and customizability of Android when you remember that for the longest time, Oppo’s idea of a familiar user interface has always been to ape iOS’ horrible “everything on the home screen” approach to apps with the idea of an app drawer only being a recent compromise.
Besides the UI revamp, Color OS 7 also seeks to improve the memory management on Oppo devices and thereby boosting things like frame rates during gaming and a reduction in the start up time (by up to 40%). There are also enhancements to Oppo’s own smart voice assistant, Breeno but given my inexperience with it and its absence in most markets, the less said about it, the better (just stick to the very able Google Assistant, people).
In the first phase of the planned rollout of the new software to existing Oppo smartphones, variants of the company’s flagship Reno smartphone will receive the update before the Oppo Reno 2 follows suit in December. The remaining devices will receive Color OS 7 in 2020.
The whole schedule is as follows:
Phase 1 (November 25th)
- Oppo Reno (including special editions)
- Oppo Reno 10x Zoom
- Oppo Reno Ace
Phase 2 (December 2019)
Oppo Reno 2
Phase 3 (Q1 2020)
- Oppo Reno 2 Z
- Oppo Reno Z
- Oppo Find X (including special editions)
- Oppo R17 (including special editions)
- Oppo R17 Pro (including special editions)
- Oppo K5
Phase 4 (Q2 2020)
- Oppo R15 (including special editions)
- Oppo K3
- Oppo A9
- Oppo A9x
- Oppo A9 2020
- Oppo A11
- Oppo A11x
Oppo does sell several of the devices that are lined up to get their Android 10 updates through Color OS 7 in the Kenyan market.
The Oppo A9 2020 is the latest of several devices that have made the cut that is available locally.
The premium Reno 10x Zoom has also been available in the country for the last 4 months. As has the Find X, Oppo’s other expensive smartphone available locally before the Reno’s arrival. The Find X was launched locally a year ago and it remains unclear how it performed in the market. That shouldn’t matter to its users, though, as their device will be getting its Android 10 update first thing after the arrival of the new year.
Part of Oppo’s Realme smartphone lineup, which is not available locally but sold abroad in markets like India, will also be seeing some Color OS 7 love starting in February 2020 with a modified version that suits them.
Another Oppo device, the Oppo Reno 2F, which is missing from the above list, is said to be scheduled to get its Android 10 fix within the first quarter of 2020. According to reports, the Oppo Reno 2F is set to be launched in Kenya this month. There’s still a week to go to see if that will actually happen.
An event that will reveal Oppo’s plans for Color OS 7 beyond China is slated for November 26th.