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OnePlus 9 will use Oppos ColorOS in China

OnePlus is switching to ColorOS, the Android variant used by Oppo smartphones, for its new OnePlus 9 series in China. The move was announced on OnePlus’ forums by Gary C, product management at OxygenOS, which is what OnePlus phones use in the rest of the world.

“As a global technology company, we are always looking for ways to address the different usage habits and preferences of our users around the world,” says Gary C. “We truly believe that this customized new operating system will give our Chinese users a software experience better suited to their taste.”

This does not change anything for the global OnePlus 9 series that will be unveiled in its entirety tomorrow ̵

1; it will still run OxygenOS. But that seems to spell the end for HydrogenOS, which is the China-specific version of Android that OnePlus had previously used for all the phones shipped on the mainland.

ColorOS is already used by many more people in China than HydrogenOS; Oppo recently became the largest smartphone brand in its home country for the first time. I use it full time right now when I go through Oppo’s new flagship Find X3 Pro (pictured above), and I generally think it’s elegant and high performance. There is no denying that HydrogenOS (and OxygenOS) provide a more minimalist experience, though – if that’s your thing.

Oppo and OnePlus are both owned by the Chinese conglomerate BBK Electronics, which shares a supply chain and often critical technology. Realme, another BBK brand, also used ColorOS first before developing their own software called Realme UI. Companies tend to downplay the connection between them publicly, but OnePlus, which decides to use Oppo’s software directly, is one of the more striking examples of collaboration to date.

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