Oppo has been putting a customized version of Android on its phones for years, but now it's letting you strip most of those customizations away. It released a nearly stock version of Android today that's basically just Android Lollipop with a few pieces of Oppo software, including its camera app, audio tools, and gesture support. The new release, which it's calling Project Spectrum, is able to be installed on its Find 7 and Find 7a phones and will be coming to other Oppo phones in the near future. Sometime early next year, Oppo plans to release an updated version for Android Marshmallow.
For now, Oppo's phones still come installed with ColorOS — its take on Android — and buyers will have to install the near-stock release on their own. That's a hassle, but it's part of Oppo's plan to start broadening its reach outside of China. In particular, Oppo says, its goal with this release is to "better connect to consumers in Western markets," who tend to prefer fewer customizations. Smartphone buyers in China, where Oppo is based, and in other developing markets like India have been more interested in customized Android releases, since they often include localized additions, including different app stores or payment systems. Though Oppo doesn't comment on its plans, it seems likely that future phones headed for the US will come with this cleaner Android release by default — that's what'll actually help it gain attention from prospective buyers.