Oxygen OS: an Operating System you’re yet to know in full.


Oxygen OS is an Operating System launched seven years ago, precisely March 2015, by a China-based phone manufacturer- Oneplus. This article aims at elaborating the features, pros, cons, and comparison of Oxygen OS with Oneplus Chinese-based OS, the Hydrogen OS.

Features of Oxygen OS

1 Easy to apply gestures

The standard navigation bar usually at the bottom of the screen (home, multitasking buttons, and back) is replaced by the on-screen gestures, making the user interface simpler and neater.

Swiping up from the bottom Center edge of your screen will take you to the home screen. Swiping up from the bottom right edge takes you back while swiping up from the bottom Center edge, and holding on to the screen without letting up takes you to the multitasking window. It works pretty fast like magic, though it may require some time to perfect this navigation. Still on gestures, Oneplus, when it launched her Oneplus 6T, added a gesture in Oxygen OS that allows users to switch between the two apps they use more often by swiping up and to the right of the screen while using one of the apps. 

Added to this is the ability to navigate to the Google Assistant on your phone by holding the power button for just half a second, so to that effect bringing up the power menu meant holding the button a bit longer than usual. For music control, you need to swipe two fingers down the display to Play/pause the music and move to the previous and following. As you use this app, all needed is to draw the < and> characters.

Capturing a screenshot is easier with Oxygen OS, as simply swiping down the display with three fingers gets this done.

2 App locker for privacy and security 

Many who handle your device would often like to take a brief look at some of the data-sensitive apps on your phone, which has made the privacy of many become “open secrets.” Still, with the App locker, you would be asked to enter a PIN or fingerprint scanner to open an app, making you the only one that can use any app you enable for this.

This feature is incredible for such apps as Messenger to protect your private chats budgeting apps so that others do not get to see your financial expenditures. Google photos is another app to think of, as many would not like others to view their photos uninvited.

To enable this feature, go to Settings>Utilities>App locker, then enter your PIN code, tap the “add apps” option to add apps you want to lock using this feature. Notification contents could also be hidden when using this App locker.

3 Shelf

This feature lets you take notes, check data consumption, and access current weather in your location, contacts, and apps. This feature also has a dashboard that shows the available storage, how much data is left in a given billing cycle to avoid being taken unawares, and battery percentage left. 

All you have to do is swipe right on the home screen to access this feature. You can turn off this feature if you don’t like it by long pressing on the empty part of the home screen, tapping Home setting, and you would see an option for turning off the shelf.

4 Face Unlock lets you unlock your device by simply looking at it for higher security and privacy.

5. Better gaming mode

Oxygen OS comes with a gaming mode that lets users avoid distraction while playing games by allowing you to block all notifications, but not alarms and calls. However, in the Oneplus 6T, message and call alerts appear only as floating notifications, and you still have an option of customizing them to show as white text at the screen top. 

Using a newer Oneplus device, you can disable automatic brightness while playing games.

With the OnePlus 6T, the company improved the Gaming mode even further. Alerts from messaging and calling apps can appear as small floating notifications. You can even customize them to show up as white text at the top of the display.

You need to go to Settings>Utilities>Gaming mode to access this. Then you’ll find a lineup of options like “Lock buttons” and block notification, both of which you can activate with just one tap, then select “Add Apps for Gaming mode” you’ll at this point select the gaming sections during which you don’t want to be disturbed. 

The gaming Mode Feature is quite impressive because it also works with non-gaming apps, like  Zoom cloud meeting may be another good time to activate it. 

Also, on gaming, with Fnatic introduced by Oneplus on the launching of the Oneplus 7pro, all notifications (except alarms) can be blocked to give your game undivided attention. Any game pro would opt for Oxygen OS considering this feature.

6 Parallel Apps 

Due to one reason or the other, many phone users have multiple social media accounts, like more than one, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter account. Now instead of having to log out all the time to check out what’s happening in your second account, you can create a cloned version of an app to use both accounts same time.

7. Zen mode

Do you seem to get addicted to the use of your device at times? If yes, then this feature is for you, the Zen mode introduced with the release of Oneplus 7 and Oneplus seven pro would help reduce the amount of time spent on device usage. 

Once Zen Mode is enabled, it mode locks down your device, you would be only able to take photos and make emergency phone calls. It works like the Fnatic and gaming mode discussed above, but one unique difference is that when it comes to Zen mode, once you activate it, you can’t deactivate it until 20 minutes, even if you power off restart your device.

The Zen mode feature is currently available on Oneplus 7,7 pro, 6, and 6T.

8. Night mode that helps filter blue light 

Pros and Cons of Oxygen OS

Every good thing they say “has some elements of badness in it,” and Oxygen OS is not an exception. Let’s now give attention to this.

Pros of Oxygen OS
  • It’s a stable operating system with no touch issues.
  • Very easy to use User Interface (UI)
  • Light/less weight
  • It does not have third-party apps.
  • All of the apps in Oxygen OS are from Google.
  • The camera App it uses is Google Camera App, which also works pretty fine.
  • Oxygen OS gives you an Android user experience. many say it’s “pure android” there is a lot of customization on the Android-based OS
Cons of Oxygen OS (what you will miss from CM12/11S)
  • There is no MaxxAudio.
  • Does not have a double-tap to sleep
  • Does not have status bar customization
  • Does not have status bar customization
  • No Live display
  • It does not have an option for long-pressing the Recent button to go back to the previous app.
  • It does not have an option for long-pressing the Recent button to go back to the previous app.
  • There is no status bar sliding to help change device brightness.
  • It does not have a back button long press to kill an app.

Oxygen OS vs. Hydrogen OS (comparison)

The Hydrogen OS is just like a glorified Oxygen OS. They both share many similarities with a few differences. Hydrogen OS is built for Oneplus users in China because Chinese users do not use Google services. Below is a comparison of the two.

Hydrogen OS With the Hydrogen OS 11, OnePlus added some Hydrogen OS features that are not in Oxygen OS. Examples are always-on display, redesigned weather app, updated dark theme, etc., which many believe would soon be added to the Oxygen OS when its new update comes up
Oxygen OS.Oxygen OS uses Google services while Hydrogen OS doesn’t, so if you’re looking for an operating system that allows you to use Google services, Oxygen OS is the answer.
Hydrogen OS is China-specific and has some of the features needed for devices in China which you won’t see in Oxygen OS.


8.5Expert Score
Amazing user exprience

As noted earlier in the features, Oxygen OS comes with Zen mode to avoid addiction, better gaming mode, and many other excellent features. If you have no problem using devices that run on Google, considering the features of Oxygen OS, I would call it “an operating system that suits your needs.

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