OnePlus Nord 2 gets a taste of Android 12 with its first OxygenOS 12 Open Beta

Be prepared to Oppo-fy your OnePlus

You have heard the advice “do not repair what is not broken”, and it could not be more appropriate than when we talk about OxygenOS 12. It feels as if hardly anyone is a fan of the updated user interface that is largely a rebrand of Oppos ColorOS and the many issues that arose after the integration of the two platforms only added clutter. Perhaps because of these lingering concerns, OnePlus Nord 2 users may not be quite as keen on Android 12 as they should be, but for those willing to take the plunge, their time is finally here.

The very first Android 12-based OxygenOS 12 Open Beta build is now available for OnePlus Nord 2 users to download and install on their devices. A long changelog describes everything that changes with the update, and there is a lot to see here, both in terms of new features and tweaks to the interface.

To begin with, the dark mode now supports three different shades for backgrounds – Enhanced, Medium and Gentle – for a more customized experience. There is also a lot going on in the optimization department, which gives a lot of big promises, but we actually have to see how the phone holds up to some punishing apps. Here is the full list of changes from OnePlus:

  • System

    • Recently added Smart Battery Engine, a feature that extends battery life based on smart algorithms and biomimetic self-recovery technology

    • Optimized AI System Booster for 2.1 so that your system can run smoothly, even when the load is high

    • Optimized desktop icons with enhanced textures using a design inspired by brand new materials and uniting light and layers

    • Optimized Extra HD, a feature that can significantly improve image and video resolutions

  • Dark condition

    • Dark mode now supports three adjustable levels, providing a more personalized and comfortable user experience

  • Shelf

    • New extra style options for maps that make the data content more visual and easier to read

    • Recently added access to OnePlus Scout in Shelf so you can search more content on your phone, including apps, settings, media data, etc.

    • Recently added OnePlus Watch Card on shelf, for easy viewing of your health status

  • Balance between work and leisure

    • The Work-Life Balance feature is now available to all users, so you can easily switch between Work and Life mode via quick settings

    • WLB 2.0 now supports automatic Work / Life mode switching based on specific locations, Wi-Fi networks and time, and also brings custom app notification profiles according to personalization

  • Gallery

    • Gallery now allows you to switch between different layouts with a two-finger squeezing motion, intelligently recognizing the best images and cropping the thumbnail based on the content, making the gallery layout more comfortable

  • Canvas AOD

    • Canvas AOD gives you new different styles of lines and colors, for a more personalized lock screen experience with inspiring images

    • Optimized software algorithm and improved face recognition to better identify features and skin color of different shapes

  • Game

    • Recently added HyperBoost end-to-end frame rate stabilizer

Of course, this is an early beta, and OnePlus has already warned of a few known bugs: face lock may not work as intended in the dark depending on the phone’s settings, and players can expect Fortnite to crash. It is only safe to assume that more will be found. In addition, OnePlus Nord 2 Pac-Man Edition users are advised to skip the update as it would cause them to lose all the Pac-Man-themed goodies in OxygenOS 11 for that model – and is that really not the whole point?

OxygenOS 12 Open Beta 1 for North 2 can be downloaded directly from OnePlus and flashed through recovery. For complete instructions, check out the official forum post.


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