Android 11 is in preparation for OnePlus smartphones, and it seems the company has plans to make some bigger changes than usual to its software. Now, OnePlus has released details on its Android 11 update that reveal Samsung’s One UI is a clear source of inspiration.

Launched in 2019, Samsung One UI was a complete rethinking of the company’s most hated Android skin. The new design language didn’t solve all of Samsung’s software woes, but it felt more polished, and its choices to improve one-handed use were widely praised at the time, too.

Now, OnePlus is taking a crack at a new design language, and, well, it’s a pretty obvious knock-off of One UI in some areas. ITHome details what’s new, including an updated weather app, always-on display, a new one-handed mode, and more. Some improvements have also been made to dark mode, and it appears there are some new wallpapers as well. Apparently, this update is also using a new ORM memory management system which, hopefully, will help OnePlus’ tendency to kill background apps as the company previously promised.

The folks over at TechDroider shared some images that made the comparison clear as day. As seen in the gallery below, OnePlus is clearly using larger titles and excessive amounts of blank space to push action buttons to the bottom of the display to make one-handed use easier. The change in design is clearly apparent in the Settings app, as well as the Messages app. We can’t see animations or other UI elements in these photos, but it’s clear OnePlus is trying to clone some of Samsung’s success.

Notably, too, a couple of these images show us some features of the always-on-display on OnePlus smartphones. There are several different styles to choose from, and apparently, users will have the ability to put GIFs on their AOD, just like Samsung offers. There’s also a “Human Shadows” feature that can convert an image to work better on the always-on-display.

Personally, I have mixed feelings here. It’s great that OnePlus is pulling the one-handed optimizations from Samsung One UI, especially given that OnePlus doesn’t make a single small phone, but the company’s attempt doesn’t feel nearly as polished or clean. That feels weird to say when comparing OnePlus to Samsung, too.

These changes have technically only been shown off so far for the Chinese HydrogenOS release, but it’s extremely likely that similar choices will be made in OxygenOS for Western markets.

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Ben Schoon

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