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OnePlus officially announces Oxygen OS 13, which isn't supposed to exist

We really wish OnePlus would just stay consistent on this.
By
February 11, 2022
OnePlus Oxygen OS 11 Android 11 oxygen os
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • OnePlus has scheduled an Open Ears Forum to talk about Oxygen OS 13.
  • That sounds fine, but Oxygen OS isn’t supposed to be happening anymore because of the Oppo merger.
  • Is OnePlus sticking with the Oxygen OS name? Has the “unified OS” been delayed? We don’t know.

In 2021, OnePlus announced “OnePlus 2.0,” which is its name for its merger with sister company Oppo. As part of this announcement, the company said it would merge its own Oxygen OS skin with Oppo’s Color OS skin to create a “unified OS.” It said this new skin would drop with one of its flagship phones in 2022.

Related: Everything you need to know about OnePlus

Well, the flagship phone we all expected that to be is the OnePlus 10 Pro. However, that device is only out in China, where it has Color OS installed. To make things even more confusing, today OnePlus officially announced Oxygen OS 13, which we assume will be based on Android 13.

The company made the announcement in tandem with one of its Open Ears Forums. This OEF will see developers and fans come together to talk about Oxygen OS 13. The forum is only open to 15 guests, so get your application in if you are interested.

Ultimately, we are very confused by this whole situation. We figured Oxygen OS 12 would be the final version of the system, with the unified OS taking over. Although OnePlus has already merged Color OS’s core code into Oxygen OS, today’s news doesn’t really jibe with what the company has been telling us.

Oxygen OS 13, Color OS, or unified OS?

OK, follow along if you can. OnePlus has already made Oxygen OS 12 into a hybrid OS, in that it is basically Color OS with some subtle tweaks to make it more like Oxygen OS. This is still Oxygen OS 12 though, as confirmed by the company’s multiple references to the name.

Even though this version incorporates Oppo code, it is definitively not the “unified OS” the company promoted when it announced OnePlus 2.0. That Android skin will debut on a 2022 OnePlus flagship, as stated earlier.

See also: Get all your favorite OnePlus wallpapers here

If that’s still true, then what is Oxygen OS 13? The final version of Android 13 won’t launch until late Summer, at the very earliest. By then, the OnePlus 10 series should (theoretically) have launched in full. We originally speculated that the global launch of the OnePlus 10 series would use the unified OS, but now that doesn’t appear to be the case. After all, why would OnePlus launch a flagship with the unified OS in the first half of the year, and then switch back to Oxygen OS 13 in the second half?

It’s possible, then, that OnePlus is going to stick with the Oxygen OS branding. This didn’t seem to be the case when the company announced its merger with Oppo, but it’s possible the company is keeping its branding separate from Oppo’s even if the code is identical across both. That seems like a weird decision, but the very existence of Oxygen OS 13 suggests that could be possible.

Of course, it could just be that OnePlus has delayed the unified OS. That would make sense, too.

Regardless, we have reached out to OnePlus directly to get some clarity on this. We will be sure to let you know if and when we hear back.