Xiaomi is the world’s fourth smartphone maker. But other China-based manufacturers don’t lay behind much. Say, OPPO is in the top list. So if comparing the so-called second-echelon brands, it’s quite interesting whether their system UIs differ much. In this regard, we decided to compare the features and look of Xiaomi’s MIUI11 and OPPO’s ColorOS 7.
Of course, both systems are based on Android. But due to the deep customization, they offer quite different performance. We mean, they have a unique experience. And in the era of ‘similar hardware’ and ‘similar look’, the system can become a factor that will have an impact on the purchasing decision.
As said, MIUI is Xiaomi’s system. According to the latest reports, there are over 279 million Xiaomi users. This simply means that MIUI users exceeded 279 million. Now, it appears not only on the original Xiaomi smartphones but on the Redmi devices as well. Even, it powers the POCO phones.
On the opposite, ColorOS is OPPO’s operating system. Therefore, it appears on both OPPO and Realme handsets. There are over 300 million active ColorOS users across the world, spread over 140 countries, and using it in 80+ languages.
MIUI 11 is the latest version of this Xiaomi’s system, and ColorOS 7 is OPPO’s latest system version.
MIUI11 vs ColorOS 7: Launch Dates and Timelines
If you remember, MIUI11 was announced along with the Redmi Note 8 series back in October 2019. Starting that date, Xiaomi began pushing the new version of the system to its smartphones one by one. According to the timeline revealed by Xiaomi, MIUI 11 rollout starts from October 22 and will be seeded in phases to many old and new Xiaomi phones till December 26.
The first batch of smartphones to get this update includes POCO F1, Redmi K20, Redmi Y3, Redmi 7, Redmi Note 7, Redmi Note 7s, and Redmi Note 7 Pro.
Phase 2 of MIUI rollout was scheduled to take place between November 4 – 12 for Redmi K20 Pro, Redmi 6, Redmi 6 Pro, Redmi 6A, Redmi Note 5, Redmi Note 5 Pro, Redmi 5, Redmi 5A, Redmi Note 4, Redmi Y1, Redmi Y1 Lite, Redmi Y2, Redmi 4, Mi Mix 2 and Mi Max 2.
Phase 3 kicked off between November 13 – 29 for Redmi Note 6 Pro, Redmi 7A, Redmi 8, and Redmi Note 8.
And finally, the owners of the latest Redmi Note 8 Pro are scheduled to receive an update to MIUI 11 between December 18 – 26.
The OPPO ColorOS 7 was unveiled on November 26 2019. ColorOS 7 based on Android 10 limited trial started in November, and eventually became available for more phones.
The first wave of phones included the Reno and the Reno 10x Zoom Edition. They began getting their updates starting November 26.
They were followed by the Reno2 and the F11 series, in December of 2019.
The first quarter of 2020 will see phones such as the Find X, Reno Z, Reno 2Z, R17 series, RX17 Pro, and the A9 be included.
The next quarter will involve the F7 series, the F9 series, the R15 series, the A5 2020, the A9 2020, and the K3.
But as said, ColorOS powers the Realme handsets as well. So it’s quite interesting to know when this software will be available for the Realme phones.
In fact, Realme is working on its software skin called Realme UI, which will be based on ColorOS 7 built atop Android 10.
The public rollout started with the Realme XT and 3 Pro in January, while the X and 5 Pro will get it in this month, and the flagship X2 Pro in March, the 3 and 3i in April, the 5 and 5s in May, the 2 Pro in June, and the C2 some time in the third quarter of 2020.
MIUI11 vs ColorOS 7: What’s New?
MIUI11 New Features
Xiaomi has designed more minimalistic icons. And the overall design is simpler. It has even won two Red Dot design awards for the visual design and sound effects on the MIUI11. This is the first time for the smartphone software industry. Moreover, the MIUI update uses a new font titled ‘Milan Pro’ for text.
The manufacturer has eliminated a lot of elements from the previous version to make the MIUI11 look more minimalistic. At the same time, new colors have been added a more organic experience along with a system-wide dark mode.
Among the removed design elements, we can mention the dividing lines. It’s been done to provide more areas for content. This is more noticeable in the Settings menu. As for the dark mode, it’s not been surprising if taking into account iOS supports it natively. So Android-based systems have had to come with something like this.
We also should mention the new Always On Display. There is a bunch of clock styles. They first appear on the Redmi K20 series. But now, the company is expanding this feature with more animations, patterns, and even messages.
Xiaomi has also reimagined notification light. The all-new breathing light will make your whole screen come alive when you get a notification in MIUI11. It’s important because the manufacturers are removing bezels on the phones. So the notification light is no more a viable solution. Unfortunately, the feature is only supported by Xiaomi devices with AMOLED displays. This means, only the Xiaomi Mi Note 10, Redmi K20, Redmi K20 Pro, Mi 8, Mi 9T, and Mi Mix 3 support the new notification light update.
With MIUI11, you can now apply a dynamic video wallpaper to the home screens. Plus, there are over 100,000 wallpapers for users to choose from.
MIUI11 displays documents as thumbnails. This makes the searching process faster. The company has partnered with WPS Office, which enables file previews right from the file manager itself. It supports all major file formats, including PDF, Word, Presentation, and Sheet, to name a few.
We like the ToDo list in the Notes app. It’s called Tasks and can be used to note down anything and everything, including voice-based recordings. Of course, this feature syncs with the Calendar app.
The Calculator has a floating option now. It allows us to bring up a mini calculator to the foreground without the need to switch between apps.
MIUI11 has a dedicated steps tracker added to the interface. It keeps a record of the number of steps taken along with distance and calories burnt. Also, Digital Wellbeing allows users to track the time spent on their smartphones. You can even limit the time spent on applications.
Back in August, Xiaomi jointly with OPPO and VIVO organized ‘Inter-Transfer Alliance group’ to create an Air-Drop-like superfast file transfer feature. It’s known as Mi Share. It is available with the MIUI 11. This feature enables Xiaomi users to exchange photos, files, and documents to other handsets coming our way from the mentioned brands. The file-transfer works via Bluetooth and delivers a transfer speed of up to 20 MB/s.
Ultra Power Saving mode is another big change placed under the Battery settings. With this mode, all apps and features except texts and calls will be turned off.
As said at the beginning, Xiaomi got a Red Dot award for two features. In MIUI 11, Xiaomi has brought ambient nature sounds for ringtones and notifications. However, the highlight of the feature is that the sounds are not uniform. Due to AI, the Xioami or Redmi device produces produce a different tone every time when a new message is received.
ColorOS 7 New Features
ColorOS 7 follows OPPO’s Infinite Design concept. In this sense, taking into account the fact that visuals are a pivotal element in making your smartphone experience more interactive, OPPO has stepped up its interaction design game.
First, ColorOS 7 has changed its icon design, featuring rounded squares. Now, the interface is more lightweight and graceful to the optimum. You can even choose the icon styles from a range of options of Default, Rectangle, Pebble and even customize icons details. Instead, its UI is starkly 2D, starkly minimalist. OPPO says that the new icon design works with hundreds of third-party apps, ensuring visual consistency.
As for wallpapers, OPPO has partnered with a number of designers to launch the Special Artist Wallpaper Project.
Like MIUI11, ColorOS 7 has an all-day Dark Mode. It provides a more comfortable viewing experience under any lighting circumstance. Simply put, this mode adjusts the screen color to make it easy for the eyes to adapt to variations throughout the day. Also, due to the black viewing, the battery consumption is reduced a lot as well.
One of the biggest changes is the modal page. It makes the single-hand operations easier. If you remember, first, we saw this on Samsung One UI. And now, OPPO brings its own unique implementation.
MIUI11 and many other systems allow users to take screenshots by swiping down with three fingers. ColorOS 7 does this as well. But it lets users take a long screenshot or a short one by defining the screenshot area, which is not found in any other UI.
ColorOS 7 comes with absolutely responsive physics-based animations. Say, if it rains, the weather screen will match the actual weather outside. All you have to do is long press the screen of the smartphone and you will be able to browse through a variety of weather animations like sunlight, raindrops, night sky and more.
For a better sound effects, OPPO has partnered Danish audio production company Epic Sound to upgrade its overall sound system. As a result, in ColorOS 7, the notification sounds have been improved a lot. These improvements refer to 8 different features of the Keyboard, Calculator, Compass, on-off switches, screen-off gestures and more.
We also liked the new alarm. It will wake you up taking into consideration the whether outside. Say, if it’s rainy, it will inform you about it.
For gamers, OPPO has prepared a surprise as well. oSense is ColorOS’s optimized CPU scheduling mechanism. It not only optimizes the Touch but Frame Rate as well. In other words, it brings a combination of system layer, performance and operation optimization for a smooth and effortless gaming experience.
One of the biggest highlights of ColorOS 7 is the security. We should mention the Personal Information Protection option, which helps users protect their personal information from third-party apps. Plus, there are the Payment Protection and File Protection options.
Private Safe is another example of a privacy-focused feature. It keeps important private files safe by transferring them to a storage folder. With this move, they can’t be accessed, read, or modified by other apps. Moreover, it requires a privacy protection password. And the pattern unlock doesn’t work here.
ColorOS 7 camera app has a new Ultra Night Mode. The latter is said to optimize the clarity, brightness, and color of photos taken at night through multi-frame HDR and “smart AI algorithms”. Also, this reduces the image processing time to 2.5 seconds, improved from the 4-5 second wait time.
Apart from this, there are AI Beautification 2.0, smart AI noise cancellation, and the bokeh effect for portraits as well as videos. OPPO also includes its own video editor Soloop. This is a basic video editor that does the job for casual editing with respect to adding filters and effects.