Chinese manufacturer OPPO run a customised version of Android on their phones. In terms of custom Android builds, this isn’t bad, tweaking the base OS with some improvements to the camera, themes, gestures and more. The OPPO Find 7 and 7a shipped with ColorOS 1.6 and if you check for updates, that’s still the case.
The good news is there’s a big update in the works. ColorOS is moving through multiple beta builds before being released in an OTA update. In the last few days version 2.0.6i beta was released and it builds on the big changes in 2.0 which is detailed below.
One of the best features about the Find 7 and the update is the camera and it’s expandability. If you’d like to add new features to the camera, like HDR, Panorama, Super macro, RAW format, GIF and others, just tap and install it. This makes the included 13Mpxl camera infinitely more useful. If there’s a reason to upgrade, this is it alone and everything else is a bonus.
This version of ColorOS is built on top of Android 4.4 KitKat which highlights the problem with building custom ROMs on top of a moving Android target. Here we are in March 2015 and Android 5.0 Lollipop has been out for months. Given the massive UI overhaul in Lollipop, it immediately dates any previous build of the OS, with it’s flat material design.
With that said, for those ColorOS users who are running 1.x the new release is a big update, well worth doing once it’s released. If you’re an enthusiast with an OPPO Find 7 or Find 7a, then head to http://www.oppoforums.com/threads/find-7-7a-coloros-v2-0-6i-beta.24429/ for all the information. All the standard warnings apply with pre-release software, backup and get ready to reinstall you apps and data after installing the OS from a microSD card.
The update itself was hassle free in my experience, taking just 10 minutes to apply once the phone was in recovery mode.
ColorOS 2.0 update features
Refined UI Design
The ColorOS 2.0 has inherited the UI design of ColorOS 1.0, by removing redundant elements from the 1.x icons the new design are more minimalistic and easier to recognize.
Global Gaussian Blur Effect
System wide Gaussian blur effect makes the whole system looks more beautiful and consistent in different interfaces, such as the notification center, folders, music now playing interface etc.
System Wide Animation
The ColorOS 2.0 is more energetic, with system wide transition animation the whole system comes alive, each operation seems so natural and fluid.
Live Weather 2.0
Added a new weather effect “Haze”, given sound effects for some effects and you may found more surprises when using the live weather 2.0.
Global Gesture Panel 2.0
The new gesture panel is now activated by slide up from the bottom of the screen. Each gesture you’ve used can be recorded and shown on top as a reminder.
Redesigned Task Manager
The new task manager design shows every task running in background as a card you can simply slide it up to close it or slide it down to lock it or tap the end all button to close them all (locked apps will not be closed).
Easy Crop for Screenshots
After you’ve taken a screenshot you can pull down the notification center to crop, share or delete it.
Single Layer Launcher
The changing from dual layer to single layer launcher is not simple a win/lose situation, both design has it’s own advantage and disadvantage. ColorOS decided to go with single layer design is just another step towards the purse of simplicity and perfection.
Super Power Saving
By reducing animation, underclocking the CPU or shutdown all applications except for calls and messages your phone can be under deep power saving mode so as increase the battery life as much as possible.
Added “Memory Cleaner” in security center, which enables you to control and release memory more easily.
Other Detailed Improvements
- Redesigned the guide interface, now it’s able to auto select the language according to your SIM card
- Changed the default lockscreen to “Slide upward to unlock”, added Call & Messages shortcut in the default lockscreen
- Added the double tap to blurry the wallpaper in Settings ->Gesture & Motion -> Screen-on Gestures
- Added the feature to show network speed in status bar, Settings -> Display -> Show network speed
- Added resolution settings for ultra-HD photos, you can now choose between 50MP and 24MP
- Added continuous play settings in video player, when you disabled it the player will not continue to play the next video in your phone
- Added USB debug options in notification center, when your phone is connected with your computer
- Added the ability to manually adjust the screen brightness when auto-brightness is enabled
- Added file safe in the “Files” app, files added into file safe will not be shown publicly
- Added the ability to sort contact list by Given name/Family name
- Added a quick to top button in Files, Email and Message list interface
- Optimized the cleanup feature in “Files”, added the function to delete large files and duplicated app installation package.
- Redesigned the calendar interface, which is now more elegant
- Removed the “Notes” app and replaced it with Google keep as the default note app
- Optimized the “Backup & restore” app improve the back/restore speed and added the ability to backup homescreen layout, so that your apps & folders will all be backed up
- Integrated all security related tools into “Security Center”, such as App Encryption, Data Saving etc.
- Updated the pre-installed Kingsoft Office app
ColorOS 2.0.6i beta running on top of Android 4.4.2.
The first home screen of ColorOS.
The updated notification screen.
Expanded quick settings
The standard widgets, wallpaper, effects and themes draw of ColorOS. Holding home launches Google Now.
Application groups now look much better, they blur the back ground and can hold a seemingly unlimited number of apps.
There’s not yet a video update released for the latest build, but there is for v2.0.5 which shows off a lot of the changes.
There is no word on when the final build will ship to OPPO devices, but let’s hope it’s soon. Once it does ship, work will need to start on the Lollipop update, but this problem is the same shared by Samsung, LG and others that add to stock Android. More information at OPPO Forums.