OnePlus unveils HydrogenOS 11 with always on display, smart gallery and design tweaks

OnePlus has unveiled HydrogenOS 11 in China. The Android 11 based UI was showcased at a livestream event in China yesterday. It brings with it a host of new features, design changes and improvements. Key features include an always on display, a new memory management system, a one-handed mode, an improved dark mode and a smart gallery with built-in image/video editing features.

Unlike OxygenOS, which is found on OnePlus smartphones globally, HydrogenOS does not come with Google Mobile Services. However, we can expect most, if not all of these new features to make their way to the Android 11 based build of OxygenOS. HydrogenOS 11 is available for download in China right now.

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HydrogenOS 11 features in detail

The new always on display features a vertical line in the middle of the screen where-in the date and time is displayed. Rather ingeniously, the date and time move from the top to the bottom of the line as time progresses. It also showcases digital wellbeing information such as time spent on the phone and number of unlocks.

HydrogenOS 11 also brings with it a redesigned dark mode. It uses different shades of black to highlight information and supports time-based activation. OnePlus has also added a dark mode toggle in the quick settings panel. Furthermore, the new dark mode has also passed the WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) Double A Certification, which should equate to a better experience for visually impaired users.

The OS also features a new ORM memory management system. This system is expected to improve memory utilisation, reduce the possibility of apps being terminated in the background, and allow more applications to run at the same time. Other features of note include three new themes in Zen Mode (OnePlus’s meditation mode), a one-handed mode, redesigned icons and animations and a smart gallery with integrated editing features.


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