ColorOS 13 – Bringing Along Improvements & Some Baggage
August 30, 2022 Andrew Cheng

Oppo has come a long way when it comes to the refinement of its software experience, and the latest ColorOS 13 is a testament of this. It brings some notable improvements to enhance the user experience, which is often overlooked by other smartphone brands.

However, ColorOS 13 also brings some “baggage” from the previous version, so it is still plagued by the same issues. Granted, I only tested the beta version of the new software, so hopefully, Oppo will address these shortcomings in the official release.

First, let’s talk about the improvements that ColorOS 13 brings. One of the most highlighted changes is a new design language, which Oppo dubs “Aquamorphic Design.” The visual changes are subtle, and they are applied throughout the user interface.

Take the new system font used by ColorOS 13, which improves readability for a more pleasant user experience. Certain visual elements have also been revamped with a “card-styled” layout, such as the notification shade. Personally, I quite like this design overhaul, even if it looks a little jarring at first.

Also a part of ColorOS 13’s Aquamorphic Design is the new always on display. More specifically, the Homeland series of images that “depict powerful scenes of wild animals in nature,” as Oppo puts it. As the daily temperature changes, so does the animation of the always on display to show the effects of climate change. It’s quite a neat feature, in my opinion.

Aside from that, ColorOS 13’s always on display introduces “gaze control” as well for music playback. Basically, you can just glance at the always on display during music playback to bring up the music controls. In my testing, this works with both Spotify and YouTube Music.

One other feature that I’m thrilled Oppo has addressed is the ability to finally dismiss notifications with a left or right swipe. Previously, only a right swipe is supported, much like how it is on iOS. This is a small change, yes, but to me, it’s a big improvement to the overall user experience.

Unfortunately, ColorOS 13 also brought over its predecessor’s issues, including the ridiculous amount of pre-installed bloatware. While they’re not too difficult to uninstall, it would’ve been great if I didn’t have to do it in the first place. At the very least, Oppo should’ve made it an option to not install these apps during the setup process.

Refinement is also one area ColorOS 13 could work on. The music player in the lock screen, for one, has a visual bug. It’s a minor one, to be sure, but it does give the impression of an unpolished software experience.

But as I’ve mentioned, I only tested the beta version of ColorOS 13, so it’s entirely possible the final software will not suffer from these issues. That being said, I doubt Oppo will address the bloatware problem, though there’s still a (slim) chance of it happening.

ColorOS 13 will be rolled out to over 35 smartphones before the end of the year, and it is touted as Oppo’s biggest update plan yet for ColorOS. Naturally, the Find X5 Pro and standard Find X5 will get the update first from this month onwards. The full update plan for ColorOS 13 can be found right here.