It’s not usual that smartphones receive the newest Android update alongside the Pixel series in just a span of few hours. But all thanks to Google’s new guidelines and manufacturers working round the clock to provide the best possible experience, we now have the Android 10 build on the OnePlus 7 series.
OnePlus announced the Open Beta’s just after Pixel users around the world started getting the new Android 10 update. We jumped the gun and flashed the new Android 10 based OxygenOS beta on our OnePlus 7 Pro. After using the Android 10 build on the OnePlus 7 Pro for a week now, here are some of the new features that we liked.
But before jumping further, we would like to point out that the Open Beta though fairly stable is still not the final stable build. You might encounter some bugs here and there, so use it at your risk. Flashing the ROM is easy and if you’d to get on the action, just follow the link below and hop on the train.
The new gestures
The new Android 10 build brings new gestures to mix. What is gone is the old Pixel style pill gesture which has been replaced with new a gesture. You still have three choices in total, the old three-button android layout, OxygenOS’s swipe gestures, and the new iOS-like swipe gestures.
You now have horizontal swipes to go back, short vertical swipes for recent and a longer upward swipe for the app drawer. Horizontal swipes would take some time getting used to especially in apps that use the hamburger menus. For that OnePlus has made a fix, wherein the 3/4th of the display from the bottom accepts the swipe gesture to go back, while the top 1/4 opens the menu.
With the new iOS-like gesture you get a guideline at the bottom for easy app switching, but can also be removed from the settings once you get used to the new gestures.
Zen Mode & Digital Wellbeing
OnePlus introduced the Zen Mode with the OnePlus 7 series and the feature catched on rather quickly. Since then, the feature has its way to other OnePlus models as well. With the Android 10 OxygenOS build, there is an option to set variable time breaks with 20 minutes being the default. You can silence your notifications and apps for 30, 40, or 60 minutes as well.
Digital Wellbeing that was missing on the OxygenOS based on Android Pie makes an appearance here. Since it’s the latest version, it now includes parental controls as well as screen time and app limits via Google’s Family Link suite.
A new Game Space
Since the popularity of mobile games rose and brands started pumping out gaming phone, OnePlus too felt a need to work on this. Rather than pushing out a separate gaming phone, we have now a feature called Gaming Space. Let’s be honest, OnePlus phones do have the top of the line hardware, something we see on the gaming phones, so why not take advantage of what you have.
The new Game Space has a clean design and brings all your favorite games in one place for easier access and better gaming experience. This is also the new place for both Gaming and Fnatic mode, which were stuffed inside the settings app. You still get all the optimizations that come with the Fnatic mode like CPU and RAM optimizations, and now you can also record your gaming sessions in QHD and 60fps.
Despite having an AMOLED panel, we haven’t seen an official Always-On-Display (AOD) from OnePlus. All we get is an Ambient Display, which now has some new features. The Ambient Display shows weather reports and calendar events that adapt depending on the time of day and your location. You can now change the Horizon display colors as well (more on this later).
There’s also a new feature which somewhat mimics the ‘Now Playing’ feature found on the Pixel smartphones, shows you the song and artist name for any music playing with just a tap on the Ambient Display along with the app icon.
Customization & UI tweaks
The most noticeable change has been to the settings app where all customizable options are now clubbed into one menu. This includes accent colors, UI icon shapes, app icon packs, fonts, and all lock-screen customization like wallpapers, in-display fingerprint animations, also you can change the color scheme for the Horizon lights which you couldn’t on the earlier builds.
There’s also a system-wide Dark Mode present now, which in our opinion has now been deeply buried and there should have been a toggle to switch between the two modes. OnePlus’s dark mode also has a good amount of grey elements in it which OnePlus could work on the future builds to satisfy the dark mode purists.
Moving on to other subtle UI tweaks, you now get a new android bug with the logo on the boot screen, the volume sliders have seen a slight tweak as well. There’s also an Intelligent Control which automatically adjusts background power for apps based on their characteristics and your own usage and new privacy settings for the apps.
That’s it for our hands-on with Android 10 on OnePlus 7 Pro. We will keep on adding nifty features that we find in the upcoming builds. Which is your favorite new feature? Let us know in the comments.