OnePlus to merge OxygenOS & ColorOS skins into a unified OS

Unlocking bootloader may be made more difficult as well, but the possibility remains

A few months ago, we wrote about the codebase merge of OnePlus and OPPO. Now, OnePlus seems to integrate OxygenOS & ColorOS even more, which Pete Lau (OnePlus' CEO) explained on the OnePlus Forums. OnePlus calls the entire process "OnePlus 2.0".

Lau says that they will "continue to offering users a high-quality experience at multiple price points, together with even more competitive pricing. " He is likely referring to the Nord 2 and upcoming 9RT (India-only). Besides that, product ranges will be more localised (like the R-series, which is India-only so far, and the Nord N-series, which isn't available globally either).

The camera experience is something OnePlus is trying to focus on as well, since the 9-series (which is why they started collaborating with the Swedish manufacturer Hasselblad). Shortly and conclusively said, they are going to focus on three areas (from Pete Lau's post):

  1. Creating a great and burdenless user experience at the very fundamental level.
  2. Continuing to focus on improving color performance together with Hasselblad, the industry-leader in color, as well as with customized sensor and lenses.
  3. Investing in the research and development of a range of new and improved technologies that will take the camera experience to new heights for our users.

Likewise, OnePlus will work on OxygenOS, which is something almost every OnePlus user values Since the Nord 2, they started merging the codebase of OxygenOS with ColorOS, which in theory should take care of more stable and frequent updates. Lau claims that due to this codebase merge, the quality of OxygenOS 12 (which is based on Android 12 and therefore yet to be released as Open Beta) has been improved and that software updates are coming more timely. OnePlus decided this after "carefully considering", to offer users "even more". The plan is to make one powerful OS for both OnePlus and OPPO devices globally, where they will combine the best of both worlds: the fast and smooth experience of OxygenOS with the stability and rich features of ColorOS.

Lau recognises that this news may hit a bit hard to some OnePlus users. However, according to him, the "unified operating system" will keep the DNA of OxygenOS that many OnePlus users love. He also recognises the unique group of users (probably aiming at tech enthusiasts, like us). Pete Lau also stated that OnePlus' users should expect an operating system "as clean and lightweight as before", which would continue to support bootloader unlock." It is however unclear whether that will require a code-like system that OPPO and Xiaomi have: Tweakers, a Dutch tech website, claims that they were present at a discussion where Pete Lau allegedly confirmed they'll work with a code-like system, whereas XDA does not mention that in their articles.

When and to what devices it will come exactly, is still unknown; OnePlus will introduce this first in their global flagship series to be released in 2022. The integration will be fully completed together with the next major Android update in 2022. More details about when specific devices will receive the new OS will follow at a later date. It could mean that even the 7(T)-series could receive the new OS.