It wasn’t just the price, or the beautiful design. A big reason why we loved the OnePlus One was because of its software. Plain and simple, CyanogenMod 11S helped turn a very good experience into a great one, and it ultimately led us to award the OnePlus One with our smartphone of the year award.
While a second flagship still hasn’t been announced, OnePlus has finally released the big Cyanogen OS 12 update it promised so long ago. It doesn’t introduce a ton of new features, though it does bring over the goodness of Google’s Lollipop update, along with a lot of what made CyanogenMod on the OnePlus One such a joy to use in the first place. In short, it makes what is still one of the best phones that much better.
The most obvious change you’ll notice when installing the update is how beautiful and smooth the OS is. Cyanogen already ran well on the OnePlus One, but it’s even better with Lollipop as its base; we’re a year removed from its release, but the device is still one of the slickest and quickest phones on the market. Lollipop only improves upon that experience.
The best thing about Cyanogen OS 12 is that it doesn’t try to hide the look and feel of stock Android. Instead, Cyanogen builds its small tweaks around the Lollipop experience. You still have the gestures and smaller tweaks (turning off/on the software buttons, for example), along with several other additions, like a new email app and something called Baton.
To learn more about what the update has to offer, you can check out the video above for a complete walkthrough. Was the update worth the wait? Or is OnePlus’s OxygenOS the better choice? That’s a video for another day.