So the OnePlus 2 is out. Before going forward, lets looks back in time when the OnePlus One was launched. One of the top 3 reasons why folks wanted the phone so bad was the fact that it came with Cyanogen OS off the box. No rooting or any funny business needed to get one of the most elusive, top variants of Android on your phone. But things have changed ever since and OnePlus has broken up with Cyanogen. The OnePlus 2 comes with a homegrown OS called the Oxygen OS. The first cut that came on the OnePlus One was a no where near production level with lots of issues and complaints from the users.
But the all new Oxygen 2.x seems to have good amount of work going into though it has a long long way to go before it can nudge something like Cyanogen. Here is our crisp review of the Oxygen OS 2.0.2 across key areas we believe are important. Ten points, take it away!
|Simple, Stable, Smooth|
Most of the users now are leaning towards the stock Android. One because it has evolved to be good and the other because they deliver better battery life
Oxygen OS is very close to stock Android and is built off of Lollipop 5.1.1. Overall performance is very smooth without any heavy transitions or animations. The fact that both OnePlus One and OnePlus 2 have powerful SoCs and good amount of RAM helps here.
The current latest version is the 2.0.2 and is pretty stable and we never saw it once freeze or crash apps on us.
We use many applications in a day and we do spend some time arranging them in a way that they are easily accessible. But what if there was a way to easily access them and keep your home screen neat and clean
This has to be the key highlight of the Oxygen OS. While on the homescreen, swipe to the left and you will be presented with a list of recently used apps and some handy widgets along with a little wallpaper that you can change.
And you will love the Shelf wishing you “Good Morning!” and so on based on the time – nice touch!
|The Dark Mode|
We all change themes to our liking but the change of modes has to be making sense and have a good purpose
Switching the phone to the dark mode will switch the white and black elements and it works so well. This is very useful especially when you’re in the dark and you do not want an eye sore for all the white light beaming into your eyes.
Also with the dark mode comes the ability to change the accent colors and you can choose from 8 of them. We loved the yellow one coming on top of the black screens. Blue too fits well
|LED Notifications color|
LED notifications are something like when the phone talk with you saying there is something waiting for you. Instead of the same old blue or white light one would like to have the ability to choose their own preference
Oxygen OS allows for choosing the color of the LED for many different occasions and this is simply too handy as in our busy lives we can take the call to attend to the voice of the phone in that instant or later
|Editable Toggle Menu|
There are tons of icons in the toggle menu that Android allows for but the choices we use often varies. Oxygen OS let you move the ones that are of your priority to the top or anywhere you want pretty much
|On Screen Navigation Buttons|
Don’t need the hardware capacitive buttons? OnePlus phones have big screens and go on to enable the on-screen navigation buttons!
The double tap to wake was one of the most loved, addictive features in the Cyanogen OS in OnePlus One and Oxygen OS will bring the same feature here.
Not just that, drawing a circle to bring up the camera, V to turn the light on are all here again.
You can even configure the home button to bring up the camera when you do a double tap on it.
One of our friends has a line for this – if Google Camera app and iOS Camera app had a baby, this is how it would look! Yes that is how it exactly looks. Though the features within are barebones.
The app is too slow to process the pictures especially in the Clear mode. We are told there is an update coming up that will bring manual mode but for now, its bare bones and a slow poke.
|Managing Permissions per App|
We have seen something similar in the MIUI and Android Marshmallow is supposed to bring this but Oxygen OS has it now.
It gives you the ability to cherry pick permissions like wifi, data, locations, notifications, camera and so on per app. We usually install many apps though we do not want them to access one of these but now with this feature the user can have better control
Oxygen OS seems to be sucking the hell out of the battery. 20-40% battery drain when idle overnight and a maximum screen on time of around 3-4 hours is simply not acceptable when the phones have 3300 mAh battery and near stock Android.
The Oxygen OS can use a lot of optimization and see itself get to a level where the phone wont die on the user twice a day.
Whatever is there, just works fine including the Finger Print scanner. Though barebones it is stable but the key concern is the battery bleed during idle time. Thankfully OnePlus has been good in pushing regular updates and there is one coming up anytime soon that will bump the version to Oxygen 2.1 and bring lots of big improvements. We will wait to see it and keep you posted!