However, we recommend holding off on updating to OxygenOS 12 for now.
After migrating from OxygenOS 11 to 12 and being hit with bugs, incompatibilities and general frustrations ourselves, we're here to share six reasons why you should avoid updating your OnePlus phone to OxygenOS 12. Should.
1. Inconsistent UI
While you can recognize the familiarity of OxygenOS in areas like Quick Settings, most other UI elements have been replaced with ColorOS. It would have been perfectly fine by us if OnePlus had just fully embraced the Oppo-fication instead of pushing a half-baked version that can neither be called OxygenOS nor ColorOS — which is exactly what it did. What's up with OxygenOS 13?
Again, the problem isn't the redesign, it's the inconsistencies you see running through the user interface that bother us.
2. The Launcher Is a Downgrade
OxygenOS 12 comes with a new launcher that is easily the biggest disappointment of the entire update. First, there is a lot of friction when interacting with elements on the home screen and accessing the app drawer.
You can no longer edit individual app icons or uninstall them directly from the home screen. Even removing them is now a two-step process instead of dragging on the remove label as before.
Hiding apps in OxygenOS 12 is a completely different process than before. You can no longer swipe right in the app drawer to access hidden apps. Instead, you have to open the Phone app and enter a PIN, which then opens a folder containing hidden apps.
3. No Original Content You Theme Engine
Most of the UI elements have remained untouched from previous versions of OxygenOS and ColorOS although Google is really going all out with redesigning the lock screen, quick toggles and other areas in Android 12.
OxygenOS 13 also hasn't really solved this problem but is a bit more generous in terms of splashing the accent color derived from your chosen wallpaper. For now, Android 12 on OnePlus phones looks like an under-the-hood upgrade at best.
4. Mysterious Hardware ProblemsMany OnePlus users have reported hardware issues with their phones after updating to OxygenOS 12. While there's still no good explanation for this unusual behavior, it's yet another reason to stay away from an update that OnePlus itself hasn't fully figured out yet.
Most users have taken to forums or social media and complained about green lines running across their phone screens. It's as confusing as it is scary and, in keeping with an unfortunate pattern, tapping that update button feels dangerous.
Under certain conditions, OnePlus has acknowledged the issue and is providing free screen replacements to those experiencing the issue on their phones.
5. Bad Battery Optimization
Some apps are draining the battery in the background for no apparent reason. A few users have reported better battery results after factory resetting their phones after the update, though that's definitely not what most users want to do.
6. OxygenOS 13 Is Much BetterWhile OnePlus is no longer a passionate community-driven startup, the backlash towards OxygenOS 12 has served to push OnePlus to end its unified OS integration with Oppo.
In a community post, OnePlus claimed that it'll go back to basics with OxygenOS 13. still, it went fully south, and OxygenOS 13 was launched without any special features in ColorOS 13.
Despite feeling different from Oppo's software, OxygenOS 13 tackled almost everything that went wrong with its previous iteration. You'll find a really useful list of features in OxygenOS 13, a cleaner, more consistent interface, and better performance.
So if you have a OnePlus phone that is set to receive the OxygenOS 13 update in the future, we suggest you roll with OxygenOS 11 in the meantime.
Why You Should Update to OxygenOS 12 Anyway?
OxygenOS 11 runs on top of Android 11, which still works well with apps and services, so compatibility issues aren't a major concern. If you have a relatively recent OnePlus phone that is promised to get the OxygenOS 13 update, you might want to hold off on the updates.
However, if you have a phone that stops receiving software support on OxygenOS 12, your options are quite limited. You can either compromise on features and security and stick with OxygenOS 11, or just pull the trigger and enjoy the new features at the cost of a slightly worse user experience.
It's Not All Bad if You've Already UpdatedWe realize it can be hard to contain your excitement and hold off on a major Android update. It's not all that bad if you've already updated your phone to OxygenOS 12 or you really want to.
Despite its downsides, OxygenOS 12 still manages to bring a bunch of useful features to OnePlus phones.