ASUS ZenUI vs OnePlus OxygenOS: Which Android Skin is Better for You?

Nowadays, most Android smartphones in a given price range tend to carry similar hardware. For the majority of users, the buying decision boils down mainly to the camera and software experience. As a result, many phone manufacturers are now applying their custom UI skin, which is pretty similar to the standard Android. OnePlus uses OxygenOS on its phones and Samsung sticks with One UI. ASUS now offers ZenUI, which is identical to Vanilla Android.

Speaking of OEMs, both OnePlus and ASUS are battling it out for the flagship killer market at a cost of $ 600 to $ 800. OnePlus has OnePlus 8 / 8T / 8 Pro on the shelves, while ASUS wields the sword with Zenfone 7/7 Pro.

As for the software experience, OnePlus makes headlines with a redesigned one-handed approach with OxygenOS 11, while ASUS stays closer to Android UI / UX with a handful and useful add-ons.

In this post we compare the ASUS ZenUI with the Oxygen OS. The comparison includes the user interface, customization options, features, theming engine, and more. Let’s begin.

user interface

The user interface can make or destroy your experience with a smartphone. If you don’t like what you see on the screen, no features will force you to choose one device over the other. The good news is that neither OnePlus nor ASUS messes with the stock Android much. ASUS ‘ZenUI largely follows material design guidelines, which is nice to see. ASUS made some changes in certain areas. To the example, the settings menu looks different. Otherwise you won’t notice any devastating surprises. So we can almost call it in stock, and that’s fair.

Zen UI notification

OnePlus is following Samsung’s example of implementing a navigation-friendly interface. Most OnePlus apps have a large app title banner at the top, followed by the content that is easily accessible. I’m a fan of Samsung’s One UI approach and I wholeheartedly welcome the changes from OnePlus.

This approach is also aimed at users struggling with a high screen phone. So the buttons and interface options are mostly within reach of your thumb. The other hand only comes into play when you need to check notifications or do other activities that involve touching the top of the screen.

Oneplus home

Oneplus gallery

When it comes to multitasking, Oxygen OS and Zen UI try to be no different. Both operating systems have similar vertical app tabs in the horizontal user interface. The Close All button comes in handy when you want to remove all apps from multitasking view.

Theme support and theming engine

Samsung and OnePlus take a different approach to customizing themes on the device. OnePlus doesn’t go overboard with its own theme store. However, it does offer the option to change accent colors in the settings. You can choose from dozen of color options that apply to the notification and toggle menus of the Oxygen operating system. I like the addition and prefer the orange accent color on my OnePlus 7.

Oneplus switches

ASUS turned the game on its head and focused the ZenUI on functions. The company offers a special theme store for changing the background image, theme, icon style and font.

Zen UI theme

Zen UI theme 2

Packed with extensive customization options, you’ll feel right at home if you enjoy tinkering around. In addition, both the Oxygen OS and ZenUI support the Android 10 Dark Theme.

Navigation gestures

Google has completely redesigned the gestures in Android 10. It’s a lot like iOS with a swipe up to swipe home, swipe up and hold to open a multitasking menu, and swipe from both sides to go back.

Both ASUS and OnePlus offer Android 10 gestures as well as Android 9’s pill-based navigation and the standard old Android navigation buttons.

In my limited usage, I found OxygenOS’s implementation better than ZenUI overall. On OxygenOS, the animations felt smoother and more consistent.

Customization options

OnePlus’ approach is straightforward. You can change the layout of the home screen, add third-party icon packs, notification points and gestures. I appreciate how the company allows you to implement third party icon packs without a launcher. This is my favorite feature on the OxygenOS 11.

Oneplus home 2

Oneplus aod

OnePlus may be late to incorporate always-on display support, but the implementation is spot on. There are thoughtful designs and the customization options are enough to personalize the lock screen experience.

ASUS also offers always-on display support. The choice is limited, however.

You can enable / disable the Google feed menu, add new apps to the home screen, and toggle notification items on and off. I appreciate that ASUS is allowing users to disable the Google Feed menu. Unfortunately, ZenUI does not allow the use of third-party icon packs from the Play Store.

Zen UI customization

Zen ui aod


As expected, Oxygen OS offers far more features than the standard Android. It’s something OnePlus fans appreciate about the company. Clean and distraction-free look with all the features you need.

Oxygen OS has built-in app locker, gaming mode, parallel apps, different display modes, screen recording, scrolling screenshots and more. My favorite is reading mode. The display is set on a black and white theme which is useful for reading text at night without visual distractions.

Zen mode and digital wellbeing were designed to reduce consumption of digital content and enjoy an environment called life. You can think of Zen mode as a charged digital wellbeing.

oneplus zenmode

Oneplus digital wellbeing

ASUS offers a native tool for capturing screenshots and screens. It’s built right into the notification buttons so users can easily access and use the tools.

Zen and functions

Other notable features are App Lock and Hide Apps. I’ve seen many users opt for an insecure third-party app lock app from the Play Store. It is good to see that such functions are built into the standard launcher.

My feed

Recently, OnePlus ditched the shelf and replaced it with the Google Feed menu. ASUS replicated that with a similar mindset. It’s good to see that more Android OEMs are incorporating the Google Feed menu in the left pane of the home screen. Hey Samsung, are you moving?

Which one should you choose

For me, OxygenOS 11 is a welcome departure from the previous OnePlus offering. The company has finally gotten better on the UI / UX front without compromising Android’s core functionality. ASUS is playing a safe game here. The company largely sticks to Google’s vision and only adds small utilities to make a difference.

Next Up:

OnePlus 8T is the newest member of the OnePlus family. Read the following post to learn the most important tips and tricks about the device.

Related Posts