[Updated] Do you think OxygenOS 11 moving away from stock Android is good for OnePlus?

New updates are being added to the bottom of the story…

Original story (from Oct 18) follows:

It’s undeniable that top-notch hardware at affordable prices made OnePlus the global smartphone brand it is today.

Still, it would be wrong to leave out the near-stock Android approach to software the company adopted in the shape of OxygenOS.

In fact, only core Android enthusiasts who pay close attention to software were first to the OnePlus brand before spreading the love to mainstream users.

OxygenOS

Granted, software is arguably at the heart of the success OnePlus has seen over the years as a smartphone brand, just as much as the bang for your buck.

The company has built its community around the promise of clean software, a huge contrast to what most non-Google OEMs such as Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo and others offer.

That said, it was always going to rub people the wrong way if OnePlus were to make any drastic changes to the software approach many are used to. And indeed, this looks like the case with the latest OxygenOS 11 update.

Based on Android 11, the new OxygenOS 11 represents the biggest shift in the history of OxygenOS. The focus is now on phablets with features like one-handed mode making their way to OnePlus 8 and co.

oneplus 8
OnePlus 8

While the company is adamant that “stock Android is a good starting point,” there is belief that room for improvement is present. With OxygenOS 10 and before, these improvements only included minor UI tweaks, a few useful features, and some custom apps to spice things up.

But with OxygenOS 11, OnePlus is coming up with much bigger changes to its skin. Long requested features like Always-on-Display are also making their way to OnePlus devices thanks to the OxygenOS 11 update.

There is now the use of empty space and smart design with the aim of making things easily reachable on the big screens. There is now a bottom-bar navigation for apps and even “headlines” with subtitles. Unfortunately, these seem to have come at a price.

OnePlus devices even come with Facebook and Netflix apps pre-installed – apps that are easily available for download on the Google Play Store. What does that mean? Bloatware! That’s the word.

On the brighter side, OnePlus seems to have caved in to the pressure and removed Facebook apps from the OxygenOS 11 version running on the new OnePlus 8T out of the box.

OnePlus-bloatware
(Source)

But in a sudden twist of events, OnePlus has recently released a new update for the 8T that installs the Amazon shopping app, yet another app that can easily be downloaded and installed from the Play Store.

There is also talk of similarities with One UI and even MIUI from Xiaomi, something some quotas are not so happy with, so it seems.

One-UI-vs-OxygenOS-11
(Source)

Oxygen OS was good. Have you seen the Oxygen OS 11 beta? It’s a One UI clone now
Source

There’s nothing wrong with moving towards one handed usability however the reason why many people choose OnePlus is because oxygen is was close to stock but it had its own sense of UI. Oxygen os 11 looks too close to one UI now
Source

Personally I love the oxygen os 11’s settings page more than the oos 10. And previously I was using a Galaxy note 10 plus and no the oos 11 doesn’t look like one ui. Its just the design idea of one handed reachability. As phones are getting big its useful.
Source

During his review of the OnePlus 8T, popular YouTuber MKBHD also weighed in on the subject, saying that he actually likes the new OxygenOS 11 more.

And for this reason, we sort to ask you, our readers, for your opinion on this.

Do you think the direction OnePlus is taking with OxygenOS 11 by abandoning what was a near-stock Android experience to what looks like a combination of One UI and MIUI is the correct one?

Let us know your thoughts by placing your vote via the Twitter poll below. Note that this article will be updated a week from now with the poll results, so you better go vote now!

NOTE: This article has been edited to include details of the recent OnePlus 8T update that adds Amazon shopping app.

Update 1 (October 25)

The poll results are out. Over 50% people agree with option 1 which says OnePlus may have made a mistake by moving further away from stock Android in OxygenOS 11.

On the other hand, close to 32% voters say they are happy with the latest OxygenOS skin. The reaming voted for the ‘I don’t really care’ option.

Did you miss the poll? No worries, you can share your opinion in the comments below.

Update 2 (November 03)

As it turns out, despite the UI changes in OxygenOS 11 which were heavily criticized, many fans still prefer OxygenOS 11 to the previous OxygenOS 10 skin according to a new poll on Reddit. See all the details here.

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Hillary Keverenge

A techy. Besides phones, I also enjoy the farm, music, football, and, of course, food.