Scott’s open letter to OPPO got a bit of attention. It seems it hit a note with a number of our readers, but it also got OPPO’s attention, and perhaps not entirely for the right reasons. Though we had discussed some of the issues we found with the OPPO R11s with the company before publishing, they weren’t privy to the entire letter before it was published. Fair enough, we could’ve done that.

Still, it opened the door to a bit of a dialogue with OPPO about what we thought they’d done right with the OPPO R11s (quite a lot) and a few things they’d got wrong (ultimately, not too many).

In response, we’ve received this letter from OPPO Australia’s Michael Tran, and it is published verbatim below.

Dear Scott and the Ausdroid team,

As always thanks so much for taking the time to review our latest device, the R11s Plus. It’s great to hear you’re a fan of the OPPO hardware. As I’m sure you can appreciate, a lot of time and resources is invested by OPPO, as we continue in our quest to deliver the perfect device for our customers – such as your mum – at a price point that Aussies can afford.

Over the past couple of years, we have experienced unprecedented growth both in Australia and overseas. This is a result of listening to our customers, analysing the market and continuously innovating. Over this period, we’ve introduced numerous innovations, such as the world’s thinnest phone, the world’s first rotating selfie camera, the world’s fastest and safest charging technology and features such as full screen flash, which have since been adopted more widely by the industry.

With the R11s Plus, continued to make further improvements to the camera technology. Through our software enhancements, we allow real time switching between our dual camera setup, with both rear cameras being primary cameras for the first time on an OPPO device. This allows for the best pictures yet, without costing Aussies upwards of $1,000 for a handset.

From a software perspective, we take the same approach, continuously innovating and improving ColorOS. Our team of software engineers work tirelessly to create a fast, simple and intuitive platform for our local market.

As a business, we respect individual taste and preferences. We strive to deliver something that appeals to the majority of people, whilst being easy to use and giving them the best possible experience. As you reported in a previous article, OPPO was recently awarded the Canstar Blue award for Overall Customer Satisfaction in the smartphone category. As a completely independent piece of research, we believe this acts as testament to the quality of our devices and shows how far we have come in a relatively short period of time.

But we’re not perfect. Like any manufacturer there are things we can always improve and are constantly reviewing feedback to improve the overall experience. We focus on the core needs of our customers and listen to what they want from their device. Start with the user and end with the product. This is our approach to product design and innovation.

We are still learning and listening to what our customers want. This is why we will be rolling out the next update to ColorOS in Q1 2018, which will address many of things raised including accessibility, notifications, and launchers.

We also appreciate that our award winning devices come jam-packed with gestures and features that perhaps aren’t communicated clearly enough. Things like access to widgets by pinching the screen, or our host of screen-off gestures add tremendous value to the end user. We will be producing and releasing a series of short tutorial videos to help ensure people get the most out of their OPPO devices.

We appreciate your feedback and will keep you updated with our latest enhancements and innovations. In the meantime, early sales figures suggest the R11s series will be our most loved device to date. And at $659 and $779 respectively, we believe that’s down to the flagship experience at a mid-range price point.

As we continue to grow in Australia, our customers will play a key role in shaping future devices and offerings. We look forward to seeing what we can accomplish together.

Many thanks

Michael Tran
Executive Director
OPPO Australia

We appreciate the time Michael’s taken to respond, and acknowledge that they, too, have recognised some of the issues that we’ve found with the device. Some of what OPPO have referred to – e.g. pinching on the home screen to use widgets – we’ve not been able to actually do on an R11s. Other things, around notifications, accessibility and the ability to choose a launcher, are acknowledged as problems which OPPO will fix.

Fundamentally, though, OPPO believe they’re onto an award winning formula with their mobile devices, referring to the Canstar award last year for overall customer satisfaction. For the most part, we’d agree.

However, it’s over to you – the reader. You’ve read Scott’s thoughts on where OPPO’s headed, especially with ColourOS and the R11s, and now you’ve had the opportunity to read OPPO’s response. So, jump on into the comments. How do you see it?

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I hope their short tutorial videos come out soon. I have found this phone quite confusing as I was used to a Samsung phone. The tutorials I have found have been from Indian presenters who speak quite fast and being a mature aged person this was not helpful. Otherwise I am very happy with the OPPO R11s. I long for the days of a manual I could keep referring to as I used the phone.


Was thinking of buying an Oppo phone, but now my enthusiasm has been curtailed after reading this thread because I don’t know what Oppo might see as non-Oppo-standard apps. Can one load Whatsapp, Westpac, Instagram, Spotify, Facebook, other weather channel or browser apps, etc. on say the A75 which runs on colourOS 3.1?


I had this issue since moving to Oppo in April. Tried everything and nothing worked.

I installed the updates from the Oppo website, now I can finally change to Pulse messenger/Textra without any issues. It no longer reverts back to the default messenger app after sending a message.
Currently using Nova Launcher with Pulse Messanger.


My wife got an R11s and couldn’t place app icons where she wanted them on the screen – they kept snapping to the top. So I installed Google Now launcher from the App Store. Worked fine until after 2 days the phone wouldn’t start. Managed to get it to turn on by pressing volume up and on buttons together but wouldn’t go any further. Eventually returned to seller who said installing Google Now had crashed it irrevocably, it was all our fault but they would replace the phone out of the goodness of their hearts. Why don’t Oppo want to… Read more »


The major frustrations I have with my Oppo R11S are all software related. I can’t run the apps I want to run, namely SMS; and my widgets won’t auto update.

There are others as well like when the Oppo keyboard decides it needs to be used and K can’t run in Developer Mode without that God ugly orange bar (and it resets after a reboot anyway).

Just let the user do what they want and you’ll gain a larger following. Coming from a One Plus 5T, these are a few things that are really annoying.


Oppo should allow users to install apps of their choice. I don’t like the stock message app because I can’t set a repeating notification. On my previous android phone, my app of choice could be set to repeat which is handy if you’re away from your phone when a message is received.


Oppo phones… never again. I bought mine through Virgin Mobile. They should have had a sign that warned potential buyers of all the headaches that this phone causes. This should have never been sold in Australia.

Kirk Rogers

I’ve taken to deploying handsets to our staff (including myself) as an alternative to the expensive Apple / Samsung alternatives. For the most part, this has been pretty successful. Great thing at this price point, if staff break their phone, we throw it out and get them a new one… not as easy to justify with a $1000+ Apple / Samsung. However, we’re now starting to run into trouble where some of our apps (ie Duo) are telling us our phones are out of date and a security risk. It’s easy for us to ensure our fleet of iPhones are… Read more »


I have a oppo R11s plus, I’m not happy about value for money and late software updates.
I think oppo will be a better company if lowers the price and roll out software updates faster.
I paid $779 for my oppo R11s plus and I’m not happy about the value because this phone doesn’t have NFC!, bad and late software updates! And that absolute mid-range processor!!! And… ( no USB type C )
But the things only like is battery life and that excellent VOOC charger and 6GB ram
Other than that pretty average

Bob Sandow

Hi Michael. Unlike some of the other readers, I believe that for the pricepoint you have produced a great phone that is being let down by abysmal support from Oppo. I recently gave my R9s to my son and purchased an R9s Plus because I enjoy dual sim functionality. I use an app called Prof reminder that takes care of the notification weaknesses. an ability to use RAW photo functionality would be nice to match this great camera. Good luck with obtaining updates for us hard done by Aussie users. Bob

Bob Sandow

Hi Ilobo and all others with notification problems. Have a look at the Prof Reminder app for notifications. Take a bit of setting up and needs an occasional restart, but handles most of my requirements


Motorola A920. I loved that phone.

Max Luong

Project Treble fixes all of this. Once an Oppo comes out with Oreo, then I will finally consider buying one since I know I can easily replace the software.

Oppo would be wise to provide customers with details on how to do this like Sony did with the Concept ROMs.

Philip Clark

Michael Tran: since you’re here responding (which is a much better look than the pr blurb above), maybe you can bring something to Oppo management that many others here have noted: ditch colourOS for western markets and just run stock android. You’ll immediately go from an also-ran to top of the heap in reviews and customers’ consideration, and you’ll save money developing and supporting the answer to a question no one asked. Seriously, not enough Android handset manufacturers get this, it would actually be a point of differentiation for Oppo.

Michael Tran

Hi Philip, thank you for your comments. I am already working with HQ to localise the device for the Australian market. However, these changes take time, particularly as we manufacture a huge number of devices for various different countries around the world. But rest assured, I will continue to work with management to provide our Aussie customers with the best OPPO experience.

Le Sigh

Oppo deflecting deflecting deflecting in the first half before begrudgingly admitting that an update is coming which I seriously doubt – the R9S has been abandoned. Then they end with more deflection. The price point is a laugh too, $659 for something that is $500 at best with Australia copping the Aussie tax as usual.

And I don’t like stock Android but the Mate 10 I use daily isn’t a bastard software wise either. EMUI used to be a nightmare but no more.


Yeap, I’ve asked them multiple times of when the so called major update promised for the R9s and R9s Plus is coming and I’ve received generic responses every time.

The ETA that was given by Oppo has come and gone with not a single peep out of them which is the most disappointing thing.

I don’t mind a delay on the update, but at least let users know what the go is.


Brandon D'Souza

Wouldn’t recommend to anyone i know or buy a phone with anything other than stock or extremely close to stock Android. ColorOS IMO tries to appeal to the Chinese market by looking like an iOS clone. My view on Oppo phones would be completely different if they stayed with Project Spectrum for western markets.

Richard Frost

How about removing the fascist ‘only Oppo SMS App’ feature which automatically replaces the phone owner’s choice of messaging app with Oppos and you CANT turn this OPPO default app off. Oppo also allows you to change the ‘default SMS app’ yet you still get told effectively this : ‘this SMS app may be untrusted so we are replacing your SMS app with the default OPPO SMS app’. And how about supporting the Oppo R9s which you promised the next major release of Android in 2017 but now you have wiped its existence from your website – you leave a… Read more »


I looked at one of these but I gave it a miss as from memory it didn’t have NFC which is needed for android pay.


I may be the odd one out. I love the launcher (very Nokia N9-ish but Android will never match its Multi-tasking functionality) not a social media Junkie and I don’t Geek my phones. Like 99.99% of users – I just use it as a phone and camera. I nearly bought the Find 7 but got the R7+ nearly bought the OnePlus 5T (gave up waiting for the Find 9) but now with the R11s+ and liking it very much. Swipe ups from bottom, off screen gestures, full screen vids and photos – awesome. Super Macro is gone but x2 photo/vids… Read more »

Luke Roberts

@ Michael Tran – Cudos for being open and brave enough to get on and respond. Good job champ. To be fair, whilst I totally agree with Scott’s views re ColorOS, we have to remember that Oppo shipped something like 78 million phones in 2016… the VAST majority of these would have been to China ( and perhaps India? ). Any and all software that the company developed will, out of necessity, be branched from the Chinese base software. The FUNDAMENTAL set-up and nature of mobile devices in China is so vastly different to the western market – this means… Read more »

Michael Tran

Thanks Luke, appreciate the comments. What I will say is that, although you are correct in pointing out Australia is a smaller market than China and India – where OPPO is in the top two smartphones sold – it is still a really important market to us and for me in particular, being an Aussie. We want to become a mainstream brand in Australia and in order to do that, we will have to continue to listen to our customers and change our devices to suit. But, as you rightly point out, it is not an insignificant task for our… Read more »


I have never in my life seen such a Frankenstein piece of shite version of Android. In trying to make things “simple” like iOS, Oppo have broken the fundamentals of Android, and ended up with an experience that will make you want to throw your phone against a wall. When you change a setting, you want it to stay changed. When you feel like using a new launcher or messaging app, you shouldn’t get nagged with pop up boxes and then have the phone revert to the stock app. And notifications should just work dammit!! There are countless forums and… Read more »

Michael Tran

Thanks for your feedback ilobo and raising these concerns. We are working hard to address these issues and have escalated them to our engineers.

We understand some power users want the capabilities to customise their device and we want to make sure you have the option to do so, whilst still receiving the benefits our ColorOS software provides, in optimising and getting the most out of the hardware.

Richard Frost

Totally agree with you – ColorOS is in no way embracing the core values of ‘choice’ where the phone owner chooses their own apps. I am talking about valid apps downloaded from the Google Play Store. OPPO decides what apps IT wants on its phone – not the end user. If this is a phone experience that you enjoy then good on you. But a phone that refuses to install the Google SMS App for example is ridiculous. Until OPPO REMOVES all of these stupid restrictions from its ColourOS – I advise everyone to stay away from these phones. I… Read more »


Hi Ilobo and all others with notification problems. Have a look at the Prof Reminder app for notifications. Take a bit of setting up and needs an occaisional restart, but handles most of my requirements

Dan L

Sorry Michael Tran from Oppo, but your response is not good enough. I was considering getting an R11 as a replacement for my current phone, the response that you will provide no alternative to ColorOS on your products means that you just literally lose a sale. I am going to get a Nokia instead. Thanks.

PS: Just an FYI, the deliberately broken accessibility features on ColorOS may make your company vulnerable to a discrimination lawsuit if it stays that way. Don’t say that you are not warned.

Michael Tran

I’m sorry you feel that way Dan. We are working hard to enable launcher functionality and accessibility features in our next update of ColorOS. It’s important to us that we provide you with the best experience possible and we hope, once we have updated our software, you feel like giving us a go.


Blocking other launchers seems pretty shady. If a company won’t let me have more than 4 columns of icons per screen I don’t want the device. When I changed from my N5X to a moto-z I had to increase the DPI via ADB command and install nova launcher just to get back to the setup I had on my stock 5X. Why do companies insist on removing functionality provided by vanilla android? Surely it’s less work to just leave it alone.

Michael Tran

Thanks for your comments and we understand your concerns. The reason we adapt vanilla Android and developed ColorOS is to ensure we can make the most out of the hardware. In this way, we can offer premium features and functionality at an affordable price, such as fast fingerprint unlock, gaming optimisation, long battery life and VOOC flash charge. However, we understand some users want to change the look and feel of their device and we are working to enable launcher functionality. We just want to make sure you don’t lose any of the hardware benefits ColorOS brings. In doing so… Read more »

Richard Frost

“Premium” features like your insistence that the user use the OPPO SMS app over one from GOOGLE! Sorry I call BS on that. You seriously think the Google SMS app and other SMS apps are a ‘security’ risk???


It doesn’t matter how good the hardware is if the software makes it a PITA to use. I absolutely love where OPPO are going in hardware terms but I will not buy one until they improve the software, addressing the issues Scott highlighted.


Exactly. As a MySMS subscriber the access to SMS on the desktop in a lightweight app is crucial. Smart Launcher Pro 3 is my favourite for auto-categorisation of apps is if not essential a damn nice way to manage multiple devices. Oppo needs to remember Android is designed to be open. Have your Oppo defaults, but let the power users change it. We may not be the bulk of their sales, but we’re the noisiest market segment and can help or hinder further sales.

Michael Tran

Thank you for your feedback Adam and Russ. As mentioned in our response, we will be providing the ability to use a launcher in the next update of ColorOS, which will enable you to further customise the device.

ColorOS has been designed to make the most of the hardware inside the device, optimising the performance and functionality of the phone. However, we understand the need for choice and will have our engineers working to further improve the software.


Hello Michael, Thanks for taking the time to respond to some user feedback and questions. Can you please tell me when the “major” promised update for the R9s Plus will drop? The original ETA’s for the R9s were Q3 17 and Q4 17 for the R9s Plus, yet these have come and gone with no update in sight. The most disappointing part is the lack of information being provided by Oppo. I have contacted support and all I received was a generic answer with no information about any updates actually coming to the phone. The phone right now feels like… Read more »


Hi Michael. Unlike some of the other readers, I believe that for the pricepoint you have produced a great phone that is being let down by abysmal support from Oppo. I recently gave my R9s to my son and purchased an R9s Plus because I enjoy dual sim functionality. I use an app called Prof reminder that takes care of the notification weaknesses. an ability to use RAW photo functionality would be nice to match this great camera. Good luck with obtaining updates for us hard done by Aussie users. Bob

Richard Frost

This is the app my wife needed to use on her new OPPO and it wont work because OPPO forces everyone to use their sh*t SMS app. We have been using MightyTEXT for years on phones with no problems. The OPPO phone is the first Android phone in years that refuses to allow any other SMS app to be installed. WHY THEN DO YOU LET THE CUSTOMER CHANGE the DEFAULT SMS APP FFS – why not have a message “Sorry OPPO Inc does not trust any other SMS App on this phone” !! – Please REMOVE ALL of these stupid… Read more »