OnePlus is going to merge its OxygenOS Android skin with OPPO’s ColorOS. That will happen from next year. From then on, unlocking the bootloader on OnePlus phones becomes more difficult, but it remains possible.
OnePlus and OPPO already merged the codebase of both Android skins this year, but from next year all functions and interface elements will also match, says OnePlus director Pete Lau in a roundtable discussion where Tweakers was present. OPPO calls this a ‘unified operating system’ and that will expand to more products, such as earplugs, from next year.
OPPO sees OnePlus’ OxygenOS as “fast and smooth, clean and lightweight”, while OPPO’s ColorOS is “smart and feature-rich”. The new skin of both brands together should integrate all the features. Those factors don’t mix, says Lau. “On the contrary, both should be merged for the best possible combination of those good features. We are already seeing an improvement in the stability of both separate operating systems with the combined codebase. So the steps we have already taken are encouraging and we expect that there will be a good combination can be made in the new software.” However, OPPO and OnePlus will both retain some ‘own’ functions to distinguish themselves from each other.
OPPO currently prevents unlocking the bootloader. That will be more difficult on new OnePlus phones, Lau says. OnePlus is getting a system that requires users to enter a code to unlock the bootloader. That is a system that Xiaomi already uses, for example. Now OnePlus phones relatively easy to unlock. Unlocking the bootloader is necessary for rooting or flashing custom roms, for example. According to Lau, relatively few people do that.
The CEO also confirmed that there will be no T-phones this year. In the past five years, OnePlus has always released a variation on its spring model in the fall. That happened from the OnePlus 3T in 2016 to the OnePlus 8T last year. Lau is CEO of OPPO and OnePlus at the same time. Both are brands of electronics group BBK Electronics, which also includes the Vivo and Realme brands.