The first-generation OnePlus Nord is now finally starting to see Android 12, but, at least for now, it’s in the form of OxygenOS Open Beta 1.

Officially confirmed as rolling out via the OnePlus Forums, the update allows OnePlus Nord owners to test-drive an early build of Android 12 and OxygenOS before the stable release in the coming months. OnePlus didn’t give a timeframe for when the stable update will arrive, but if you’re happy to run preview software, this is a great way to get your now two-year-old handset updated.

OxygenOS 12 offers some substantial changes to previous builds. While we won’t see a full merger between OxygenOS and Oppo’s ColorOS in the coming months, it’s hard to argue that this is effectively ColorOS in all but name. The third-party skin is still very feature-rich, but the clean aesthetic that has helped build a rabid and hardcore fanbase is long gone.

While the UI has changed somewhat, this preview build of Android 12 for OnePlus Nord handsets includes all of the changes added in OxygenOS 12 for newer handsets. Those changes include the adjustable Dark mode, increased Canvas AOD designs, the WorkLife Balance option, plus many more. You can see the full changelog below:

OxygenOS Open Beta 1 based upon Android 12 for OnePlus Nord changelog

  • System
    • [Added] Smart Battery Engine, a feature that prolongs your battery life based on smart algorithms and biomimetic self-restoration technology
    • [Optimized] desktop icons with improved textures, by using a design inspired by brand-new materials and uniting lights and layers
  • Dark mode
    • [Supported] three adjustable levels, bringing a more personalized and comfortable user experience
  • Shelf
    • [Added] new additional style options for Cards, making data contents more visual and easier to read
    • [Added] access to OnePlus Scout in Shelf, allowing you to search multiple contents on your phone, including Apps, Settings, Media Data, etc
  • WorkLife Balance
    • [Added] WorkLife Balance feature, allowing you to effortlessly switch between Work and Life mode via quick settings
    • [Supported] automatic Work/Life mode switching, based on specific locations, Wi-Fi network, and time, also bringing customized App notification profiles according to the personalization
  • Gallery
    • [Supported] switching between different layouts with a two-finger pinch gesture, intelligently recognizing the best-quality pictures, and cropping the thumbnail based on the content, making the gallery layout more pleasing
  • Canvas AOD
    • [Added] new diverse styles of lines and colors, for a more personalized lock screen experience with inspiring visuals
    • [Added] multiple brushes and strokes and support for color adjustment
    • [Optimized] software algorithm and improved face recognition to better identify the features and skin color of different figures
  • Games
    • [Added] HyperBoost end-to-end frame rate stabilizer
    • [Added] Voice effect preview to allow you to record your voice effect or check your voice effect in real-time

As this is a preview build, you may encounter bugs and unexpected issues. So while this a way to get Android 12 on OnePlus Nord, we wouldn’t recommend that everyone install it on their device unless you’re happy to deal with potential problems and sore points. OnePlus even notes that you may have issues with the following:

  • The left bottom button of the keyboard may disappear.
  • Unable to browse, delete and download pictures in Cloud.
  • Personal Safe may not respond.
  • Anti-shake effect in Snapchat may not be obvious.
  • The screen may flicker when previewing after taking pictures.

You’ll need to sideload the ZIP file on your device if you want to trial OxygenOS 12 and Android 12 on your OnePlus Nord. Before doing so, it’s advised that you perform a full device backup. If you are happy to install on your own handset you can find the OxygenOS Open Beta 1 download link here.

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Damien Wilde

Damien is a UK-based video producer for 9to5Google. Find him on Twitter: @iamdamienwilde. Email: damien@9to5mac.com

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