AI is coming to OnePlus 12 and OnePlus 11 — but there's a catch

OnePlus 12 held in the hand.
(Image credit: Future)

AI is the new hot topic in the phone business, but you wouldn’t know that if you only paid attention to OnePlus. The OnePlus 12 launch was completely devoid of any AI-centric announcements, which had us wondering whether OnePlus would be skipping the trend entirely. That’s no longer the case.

The OnePlus 11 and OnePlus 12 will be getting three generative AI features in an upcoming software update, as spotted by a user on Reddit. The only problem is that these features are coming as a ColorOS update, an operating system that’s only available on Chinese OnePlus (and Oppo) phones.

In international markets, OnePlus phones run on OxygenOS. Both are custom versions of Android, and are generally rather clean versions of Google’s OS. However since the Chinese phone market is pretty distinct, and has different rules on what is and isn’t allowed, the two systems are distinct enough that they need different names.

So, at least for now, only Chinese users will be able to enjoy these new AI features. The three features include an AI summarizer, which can automatically generate summaries of your phone calls. According to OnePlus this involves noting locations, date and time, action items and “other key information”. There’s also an article summary feature that extracts “key information” with a single tap. 

Finally there’s an image editing tool called AIC remover that’s effectively the OnePlus take on Google’s Magic Eraser, This lets you remove objects and people from your photos, with AI filling in the gaps. This only seems to apply to photos, though, so don’t expect to pull stuff from any video or audio clips.

They’re quite basic in the grand scheme of things, which is presumably why these features are coming to the OnePlus 11 as well. But while it’s not industry-changing AI, these features could be enough to get OnePlus fans on the AI bandwagon ahead of a larger AI rollout — whether that’s as part of future software updates or in the OnePlus 13.

The OnePlus 11 and OnePlus Buds Pro 2 in green

(Image credit: OnePlus)

The update log also notes changes like accessing the phones’ fingerprint scanner without waking it, alongside a new “Device motion & orientation” permission — which limits apps’ ability to access phone sensors for gestures and screen orientation.

The question is whether these features will come to the OnePlus 11 and OnePlus 12 in other regions. In the past Chinese OnePlus phones have only had limited exclusivity on new software features, meaning these AI options may come to OxygenOS at some point in the near future. 

While that isn’t guaranteed, OnePlus may need those AI features on non-Chinese phones to try and avoid falling behind the likes of Samsung, Google and Apple. But until we find out from the company itself, you’ll all just have to wait patiently.

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Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.

  • kevin1a
    Personally, I'm inclined to choose OnePlus over the others specifically because they haven't gone overboard with this annoying "AI everything" trend. Companies will call anything AI and the way they are hyping it so voraciously is so annoying it overrides any utility it may actually provide to me.

    The OP 11 & 12 look like a good spec/price balance compared to other options and the bootloader is still unlockable so I will continue to get updates from projects like LineageOS long after manufacturers abandon this year's batch of devices.