Chinese phone maker Oppo has launched the global version of ColorOS 12, its new operating system that runs on Android 12. Oppo is among the first smartphone companies to release a customized take on the operating system, and ColorOS 12 is expected to reach flagship devices like the Find X3 Pro as early as Monday, with the rollout to Oppo's budget offerings scheduled for next year.
The Chinese version of ColorOS went live in September, but the international version is based on Android 12. That means it could give us a better idea of the new features available on Google's latest mobile operating system, which is currently available in public beta. Although Oppo may not be a household name like Huawei, it's one of the world's top five phone manufacturers, with an estimated 40 million users globally.
Oppo said it's striving to offer an experience that's as close to stock Android as possible. There are several distinct design philosophies guiding the development of ColorOS 12, including productivity and privacy.
ColorOs integrates Android 12's new privacy dashboard allowing you to see which apps are using sensitive info like camera or location. A green dot will appear on the upper right of the screen whenever an app is using those features. In addition, Oppo claims it has tightened the data compliance by storing and processing data in nearby servers as opposed to sending it to China. This comes as a growing list of countries express concern about using Chinese phones over long-standing worries about privacy. A branch of Lithuania's government recently published a report urging people to throw away their Chinese phones.
Oppo said it has also worked with linguistic experts to localize text in 67 languages and allow you to translate between languages with the help of its smart sidebar without switching apps. Oppo has also added Omojis, which are Oppo's take on Apple's customizable emojis that can resemble users. You can also add portrait silhouette, a feature Oppo borrowed from OnePlus' Oxygen OS.
ColorOS 12 has a cleaner look and feel than before, though the changes are subtle compared to say ColorOS 5. For instance, Oppo removed some preloaded apps and reduced the information density across the platform.
Oppo also made its update timeline public for the first time. The Find X3 series is expected to get ColorOS 12 on Monday with a rollout to the Find X2 series scheduled for November. The company is also guaranteeing three years of major Android updates for its flagship Find X series.