Although not really its flagship brand, the OnePlus Nord was definitely one of the company’s highlights last year. It came at an opportune time when people were looking towards mid-range phones due to a pandemic and a global economic crisis. The phone also came just months before Google rolled out Android 11 to the masses, which meant that owners of OnePlus’ first new mid-range line would have to wait to get their turn. That time has finally come and, after two months cooking in beta, OxygenOS 11 is ready to be served with Android 11 on the side.
The biggest change in OxygenOS 11 is, of course, the fact that Android 11 is part of the package. That, ironically, might also be the last thing that users will actually notice. They will first notice the user-visible changes that the update brings and not all of them have sat well with OnePlus users.
OxygenOS 11 is the first time that OnePlus diverged greatly from the stock Android UI, offering that the company argues is a more comfortable experience that takes into account the taller phones we have today. This style of UI has easily been compared with Samsung’s new One UI, which is as non-stock Android as it gets. Ironically, it seems that stock Android itself might be taking a few steps in that direction as well.
That new user experience might be the highlight but it is far from the only new treat coming to OnePlus Nord owners. Other notable changes the company highlighted include new ways to manually or automatically toggle Dark Mode as well as new features for Ambient Display, a.k.a. Always-on-Display. Under the hood, Android 11 itself brings a new power button menu with shortcuts for smart home controls as well as official chat bubbles.
The OnePlus Nord OxygenOS 11 update comes at a massive 2.77GB and the company strongly advises that users keep the phone’s battery above 30% while updating. With the OnePlus Nord now updated, owners of the OnePlus Nord N10 5G and OnePlus Nord N100 will probably start wondering when they will get the same treatment this year if at all.