OxygenOS 12 beta launched: New functions & compatible cell phones

Oneplus 9, OxygenOS 12 beta

OnePlus announced the first public beta version of OxygenOS 12 yesterday. The popular Android overlay can thus be tried out on the first devices. TechMarkup tells you below which functions are new and on which models you can test the operating system.

Good news for OnePlus fans! The manufacturer has finally announced that the first public beta of OxygenOS 12 will start. The Android interface is also the manufacturer’s first software that is based on a common code base with ColorOS. Despite the stronger cooperation with Oppo, the OnePlus 2.0 is sticking to its brand image.

OxygenOS 12 should still be “burdenless” and therefore have a simple and functional design. In addition to the design, the manufacturer promises adjustments in three areas: work, relaxation, and mobile games.

OxygenOS 12 beta: These smartphones are compatible

The OxygenOS 12 public beta is currently available for the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro.

OnePlus assures that OxygenOS 12 will soon appear on other models (OnePlus 8, OnePlus 8 Pro, OnePlus 8T, OnePlus 7 Pro, OnePlus 7, OnePlus 7T, OnePlus 7T Pro, Nord, Nord 2, Nord CE 5G).


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The “burdenless” design

Visually, OxygenOS 11 was quite a departure from the minimalist and clean look of stock Android. With OxygenOS 12, OnePlus seems to want to continue this direction by giving its user interface a fresh look with a “light and space” style. This was inspired by the American artist James Turrell, whose works play with the perception of light and space.

Specifically, we are dealing with geometric shapes that are divided into different “exposure zones” (with different shades of color). A way of organically or subtly organizing the surface and arranging the elements on the screen.

oneplus oxygenos 12 zenmode
The lighting effects and the geometric design should organize the surface and prioritize the elements on the screen. / © OnePlus

OnePlus is also talking about wanting to make OxygenOS 12 more accessible and understandable for users from different cultures and regions by simplifying the font through more universal, or at least universally illustrated, symbols.

oneplus oxygenos 12 icons
OnePlus speaks of “geometric deconstruction” to illustrate the simplification of its typography. I’m not sure if the term “geometric destruction” simplifies anything / © OnePlus

In addition to this slimming diet, OnePlus says it has taken more care and attention to detail with the application symbols. Here, too, there are better-defined shadows and more subtle color variations. The aim is to give the surface a more sophisticated and sophisticated design.

oneplus oxygenos 12 icons 2
OnePlus has worked on the surface of its icons to make them more realistic and detailed. / © OnePlus

Work: Notes and the OnePlus Scout function integrated into the shelf

First off, OnePlus announced that they have completely updated the Notes app with new editing features. The manufacturer doesn’t reveal much more, but in the screenshots below we can see a new layout toolbar for changing fonts as well as a function for creating handwritten notes (with a … pen?).

oneplus oxygenos 12 notes
OnePlus claims to have completely redesigned its notes app / © OnePlus

Speaking of productivity: OnePlus has announced an update for Shelf. This is the context menu that should serve as the control center for your productivity tools. In the improvements menu, we can mention more extensive customization options for your drawer or the creation of a health data card that you can connect to your computer. This gives you more direct access to health information such as calories and heart rate.


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OnePlus has also integrated the OnePlus Scout into the Shelf for global users. This function, which was previously only available on the Indian market, is a universal search tool with which you can find all content on your OnePlus smartphone. OxygenOS 11 currently has an app search bar in the app drawer, a settings search bar in the settings, and one in the file manager. With Scout, you can summarize them all.


Here, too, OnePlus is making an India-exclusive function available to global users with Work-Life Balance 2.0. The WLB 2.0 function is based on the same principle as the Zen mode and allows you to prioritize your app notifications and messages in two stages: work and life.

Depending on the location of your office, your network connection or a schedule, the work and life modes can be switched in an intelligent way to intuitively switch from one mode to the other.

oneplus oxygenos 12 work mode
WLB 2.0 is a Zen mode that works in both directions / © OnePlus

Play: Speech modulator to protect against trolls in multiplayer

With OxygenOS 11.3 and the OnePlus Nord 2, OnePlus has introduced a revision of the gaming mode with the “Gaming Tools”. This mode simply replaces the Fnatic mode by providing interface options so as not to be disturbed in the game. In addition, the touch sensitivity of the screen can be adjusted and you can activate the pro gaming mode to increase performance.

With OxygenOS 12, OnePlus is adding a voice modulator in five popular games (PUBG / Call of Duty Mobile / LOL Mobile / FreeFire / Fortnite) that allows you to change your voice when interacting with other players.

Bonus: a more subtle dark mode and a revised AOD canvas

With OxygenOS 11, OnePlus finally introduced its own Always On Display function last year. One of the customization options is called Canva and consists of a black and white, sketchy section of an object or building.

oneplus oxygenos 12 canva
The revised Canva mode in OxygenOS 12 / © OnePlus

The feature wasn’t quite mature when it was first introduced, and I honestly haven’t used it since then. But OnePlus doesn’t let up and offers new color variations and line styles as well as more flexibility in creating a Canva background image (support for different sizes and the ability to edit a Canva).


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Finally, the dark mode can now be set in three stages, giving users more options to choose the model that suits their reading preferences.

oneplus oxygenos 12 clock
The three levels of dark mode in OxygenOS 12 / © OnePlus

So much for the announced new features of OxygenOS 11. I plan to install the beta version and give you a detailed experience report soon. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions about the upcoming overlay or if there are things that interest you more than others and that I should check out.

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