The OPPO R11 running Color OS 3.1 on Android 7.1.1 has partly improved notifications compared to the OPPO R9s but there are also some disappointing aspects (please note article EDIT at bottom).
The OPPO R9s Color OS 3.0 based on Android 6.0 was annoying as some notifications didn’t appear reliably and to view currently queued up notifications you had to swipe down and then across.
My Ausdroid colleague Scott will be writing our regular style Ausdroid indepth new phone review but while he’s working on that I’m publishing this story which focuses on an aspect of the OPPO experience which has changed significantly compared to the previous R9s and R9s Plus models.
I have taken screenshots with the OPPO R11 to show you how notifications work now with Color OS 3.1 based on Android Nougat 7.1.1. If you also own an iPhone running the latest iOS you’ll find it to be very similar indeed.
When you press the R11 power button to show the lock screen, swipe down from the top to show queued up notifications (left screenshot below). Annoyingly you can’t dismiss individual notifications quickly, you have to slide to the left and then press delete. To dismiss all queued up notifications at once, press the X at bottom of screen (right screenshot below).
From the lock screen swipe up from the bottom to show Quick Settings (left screenshot below). To improve your phone security you can turn off access to Control Panel in the Quick settings lock screen by going to Settings, Notification and status bar (right screenshot below).
Regarding the Quick Settings, there are extra options and Customisation available if you swipe right from the top and bottom of the Quick Settings popup.
While you’re using the R11 notifications of incoming SMS messages will look like the left screenshot below. As you can see in the right screenshot OPPO still does not allow you to change the default SMS application on the R11, even if you install other SMS applications they will not appear in the list of choices for default Messages app. This is disappointing 🙁
To make sure Fitbit notifications work reliably follow the steps as shown below. Open Fitbit app, press Account (bottom right), press the name and picture of your Device (Alta HR for me), press Notifications in the General section, and then Enable Notification Widget.
Overall the R11 handles Notifications and access to Quick Settings much better than the R9s and R9s Plus but the need to swipe and press to remove individual notifications is an unnecessary extra step compared to default Android 7.1.1.
EDIT: My colleague Scott noticed that there are no notification icons displayed in the R11 status bar at top left of screen whether the phone is unlocked or not (example shown below).
We asked OPPO to advise us if this also occurs in the R11 handsets which will be sold by Australian retailers shortly.
OPPO’s response was very disappointing: “With the status bar, the notifications are no longer displayed there to give the phone a clean look and feel.”