ColorOS 12: The 12 Best Features in Oppo’s Android Phones

Oppo's ColorOS skin has come a long way since its inception. In recent years, the company has gone to great lengths to optimize its skin according to the taste of western consumers. With the release of Android 12, Oppo has again revamped ColorOS in a big way to improve its user experience and performance.

Below are some of the best new Android 12-based ColorOS 12 features that are worth checking out on Oppo phones.

1. A New User Interface

With ColorOS 12 and Android 12, Oppo has revamped its UI to meet the needs of European customers. The ColorOS interface has been updated with an inclusive new design, 3D icons, and new animations keeping in mind the high refresh rate of today's flagship phones.

The result is that ColorOS 12 offers a notably better user experience than previous versions of the skin.

2. Wallpaper-Based Theming Engine

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Taking a cue from Material You in Android 12, Oppo has added a wallpaper-based theming engine to ColorOS 12. The feature allows the skin to extract the colors from the wallpaper you are currently using and use them throughout the UI.

That's not it though, if you wish to, you can set custom color accents for the system UI, as well.

3. Google Lens Integration

Oppo has integrated Google Lens into its Smart Sidebar feature, which makes translating documents a breeze. Whenever you want to translate a document or webpage, simply bring up the Smart Sidebar by swiping from the right edge of the screen, and tap the Screen translate button.

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This will trigger Google Lens that will overlay the translated text on top of the document or webpage.

You can also use the Smart Sidebar to run apps in windowed mode, quickly launch your favorite apps, and more.

4. Stream Video in the Background

The Background Stream feature in ColorOS 12 allows you to continue playing music and video from any supported app in the background.

The feature lets you stream music from YouTube in the background on your Oppo device without having to pay for a premium subscription. Simply open any compatible video app, bring up the Smart Sidebar, and select the Background stream option.

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5. Better Nearby Share Integration

In ColorOS 12, Oppo has improved its Nearby Share integration and put it right at the front and center of the Share menu. When you share photos, videos, and other documents, ColorOS 12 displays a dedicated button for Nearby Share right at the top of the Share menu.

Nearby Share makes sharing large files between Android devices a breeze, and it is highly recommended over other local file transfer methods like Bluetooth.

6. Microphone and Camera Indicators

Oppo has integrated all the key new privacy features of Android 12 in ColorOS 12. Whenever you open any app that uses the camera or microphone, an indicator will show up on the status bar on the top-right corner indicating that they're in use: green for the camera and yellow for the microphone.

This way, you will always know when an app is using your microphone or camera. Additionally, there are Quick Setting tiles to disable access to the microphone and camera for all apps on your device.

7. Approximate Location Sharing

This is another Android 12 feature that's present in ColorOS 12 and aims to enhance your privacy further. The next time an app asks for your location permission, you don't need to share your exact location with them. Instead, you can share an approximate location.

This option can come in handy for weather-based apps, for example, where there's no need for them to be able to track your precise location.

8. Notification Peeking

Face unlock in ColorOS 12 has been further improved to make it more privacy-friendly. The OS only expands notifications when the front camera detects you are in front of the phone. Otherwise, the notification content will remain hidden to protect your privacy.

9. Privacy Dashboard

Privacy Dashboard is another new privacy feature in Android 12 that Oppo has integrated into ColorOS 12. As the name suggests, it's a dashboard that displays a timeline of how your installed apps have used various permissions on your phone.

For example, you can see the number of times the Location permission has been used over the last 24 hours and what apps have been doing it.

10. Quick Return Bubble

The Quick Return Bubble is another ColorOS feature that Oppo has further improved in the latest iteration of its skin. The feature makes it easy to jump back into a game if your session was interrupted with something more important.

The Quick Return Bubble pops up whenever you go back to the home screen while playing any supported game. The bubble displays important metrics related to the game, which you can tap to jump back into your gaming session.

11. Improved Performance and Battery Life

With ColorOS 12, Oppo has optimized a lot of things under the hood to improve performance. The company claims to have reduced background power consumption and memory usage by 20% and 30% respectively, leading to a 12% increase in battery life.

Oppo has also improved the One-tap Power Saving mode by adding more customization options to it. You can now turn off the mobile hotspot, reduce the screen refresh rate, turn on Night mode, and more to further extend the battery life of your Oppo device.

12. Stock Google Apps

To deliver a consistent user experience, Oppo is using the Google Messages and Phone apps as the defaults in ColorOS 12 across all its devices. Additionally, the Google Discover feed in Google Assistant will also be easily accessible from the leftmost home screen panel.

ColorOS 12 Is a Feature-Packed Android Skin

Oppo's ColorOS 12 does not look like stock Android, but that's actually a good thing. The skin offers plenty of customization options and useful features that you won't find in a Google Pixel or any other Android device running stock Android.

There are some UI oddities, especially with the notification shade, but the ColorOS experience can be very rewarding once you get used to them.

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