Oppo embraces near-stock Android to sell more phones beyond China

It’s relatively easy to buy Oppo’s smartphones in many places around the world. However, it’s still obvious that they were originally designed for Chinese buyers, who tend to favor heavy customization — how is Oppo supposed to make a name for itself abroad? By stripping things down, apparently. The company has released a beta version of Project Spectrum, a firmware release that gets much closer to stock Android. You’ll still find signature Oppo features like a custom camera app and screen-off gestures, but you’ll see much more of Google’s original interface (specifically, Lollipop). It’s only available to download for the Find 7 and Find 7a at the moment, but there are plans for both broader hardware support and a Marshmallow upgrade in the months ahead.

Oppo makes no bones about why it’s developing this purer software: it’s to appeal to “Western markets,” where more buyers tend to prefer stock Android. While it’s not explicitly stated, the hope is clearly that Oppo can sell more phones in Europe, North America and other regions where its devices tend to be overshadowed, even among fans of unlocked hardware. You won’t necessarily see something like the R7 sitting in your local carrier store in the future, but you may have more of a reason to consider Oppo if you’re an enthusiast.