Yesterday, Oppo tweeted a pair of ads for ColorOS, the company's take on Android, that were absolutely fascinating. The low-budget English-language spots saw users of Oppo phones waxing poetic over ColorOS, talking about it like a romantic partner — an already uncomfortable premise amplified by just how poorly crafted the videos were. This morning, the videos were deleted — but you can bet your bottom dollar we saved them.
If you've got a Find 7 or Find 7a phone from OPPO and you're itching for an official Lollipop ROM, head on over to the company's user forums. A beta version of Color OS 2.1, running on top of Android 5.0 code, has been posted for you to download. At the moment this edition of the software is not available via an over-the-air update, though that should be coming soon enough.
Towards the end of 2014, Oppo released an update for the Find 5 that bumped the Jelly Bean-running device up to KitKat. It wasn't a quality piece of work, but it was something. Now we know that for the Find 5, along with the N1 and the R819, things won't get any better. No additional ColorOS updates are on the way. None of these devices will see Android Lollipop.
This news comes after a reader pointed us toward the Oppo forums, where a moderator stated that these three devices won't receive any more ColorOS updates. We've since reached out to Oppo, and today we received this short but straightforward statement:
"OPPO will not be providing a Lollipop update for the R819, N1 and the Find 5."
Remember back in the days of "dumb" phones when everyone wanted them to be as tiny as possible? Then the original RAZR hit, and it was all about thinness, even to the point of absurdity? That second trend is still going strong, but a contender for the next one is phones (and laptops and TVs and what have you) with the least amount of screen bezel possible. Behold, a new Oppo phone that gives the oddball Sharp Aquos Crystal a run for its money, at least on the left and right sides.
Since it was unveiled in February 2013, Oppo’s Find 5 has been running versions of their ColorOS based on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. The release of KitKat in October of 2013 has had Find 5 owners waiting anxiously for a 4.4-based version of ColorOS on their devices. The presence of ColorOS 2.0, based on KitKat, running on newer Oppo devices like the N3 and R5 has only increased their anticipation. Still, when users saw Oppo announce a ColorOS 2.0 build based on Android 4.4 for the Find 5, they were quickly disappointed by a bug-filled experience.
After complaints began rolling in, an Oppo representative elaborated that “external developers” created the new version.
Regular followers of the Android world know that manufacturers love to skin Google's mobile operating system for the sake of differentiation. As dramatic as Samsung and HTC can get, the Chinese OEMs sometimes take it even further, perhaps because Chinese users don't have official access to the Play Store and Google apps (making compatibility and certification less problematic). OPPO seems to be going even further than that: a new post on the company forum is recruiting testers for ColorOS on, of all things, the LG G2.
ColorOS is OPPO's super-customized build of Android. It's either a skin or a fork, depending on how you look at it.