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The “OnePlus 11: A Comprehensive Review of the Device”

October 1, 2023
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OnePlus 11 The new phone makes a significant attempt to merit the title of flagship and effectively functions as a “Pro” model without the label.There are many reasons to be positive about the $699 OnePlus 11, which will be available in 2023. It is OnePlus’ first real flagship device. From its slick, modern design to its highly powerful chipset and speedy charging features, this phone is aiming to be a flagship. 

The OnePlus 10 Pro from a year ago hasn’t received a substantial change, but it’s still terrific. It features a comparable design and a significant (perhaps needless) power increase. Even the improved camera setup doesn’t really help things that much. 

If you were hoping to see a cutting-edge new OnePlus phone, you might be disappointed. Owners of recent OnePlus smartphones shouldn’t consider upgrading because there aren’t enough benefits to justify the price.

The price is undoubtedly an advantage. The $699 (£729 in the UK, or approximately AU$1,270) base variant of the OnePlus 11 has 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Even the higher-end review model I used, with 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, is only $799 (£799 in the UK), making it far less expensive than its competitors. 

The excellent Google Pixel 7 Pro, which costs $899 and is only a little more expensive than the phone, is the phone’s main rival. (Google charges $999 for the comparable 256GB model, but the increased storage doesn’t result in a power increase.)

One of our top smartphones of 2022, the Pixel 7 Pro won the coveted CNET Editors’ Choice title when it was released in October. This was made possible by its outstanding cameras, snappy user interface, and stylish design. It’s a fantastic phone and one of my favourite ways to use Android 13.

The OnePlus 11’s raw strength really shows here: It offers blazingly fast speeds for demanding gaming and multitasking. It also charges more quickly than Google’s smartphones. The Tensor G2 processor in the Pixel isn’t designed for straight-line speed, but it can still handle any Play Store app. The cameras on the Pixel generally perform better, especially with the addition of the 5x optical zoom lens, which the OnePlus lacks, and the software is pure Android 13 and is clutter-free. 

The new Samsung Galaxy S23, which has a 6.1-inch display, triple cameras, 8GB of RAM, and the most recent Qualcomm 8 Gen 2 engine, is another option. It starts at $800. The processor is identical to the one in the OnePlus 11, but it has been modified for Samsung. Once the S23 series goes on sale on February 17, we’ll have to wait to learn how the latest Samsung and OnePlus phones compare.

OnePlus 11: Updated appearance with improved waterproofing

In 2023’s OnePlus flagship, the 10 Pro’s square camera unit has been swapped out for a circular one with metal edges that softly curve to meet the edge of the phone. The green colour of my review model is fashionable and sophisticated, and the curved glass on the front and rear makes it satisfying to hold. 

The OnePlus 11 showcases a curved glass and metal body.

I adore how the phone looks. It succeeds in looking distinct from its forerunners while maintaining a familiar enough appearance to feel like a member of the same family. Gorilla Glass has been used to toughen the glass, so don’t worry too much about breaking it.The new phone exceeds the 10 Pro thanks to its IP64 water resistant rating. We’ve grown to anticipate waterproofing on all flagships, so the fact that most variants of the 10 Pro didn’t have it was disappointing.Therefore, the increased official protection in this area is encouraging. 

But while competitors like the Pixel 7 Pro, iPhone 14 series, and Galaxy S23 series all have IP68 classifications, which protect devices against true submersion in water for at least 30 minutes, IP64 only offers little protection against water splashes. However, IP64 is an improvement over nothing and will undoubtedly help keep your phone secure when you make calls in the rain.

The display’s size of 6.7 inches makes it suitable for playing mobile games, and its maximum 3,216×1,440-pixel resolution renders everything sharply (you may choose a lesser resolution to extend battery life).Dolby Vision HDR and HDR 10 Plus both support SuperAMOLED technology, which is brilliant, daring, and capable of presenting proper HDR content. 

For high-intensity applications like gaming, its adaptive frame rate can increase to 120 Hz, but it can also dynamically decrease to just 1 Hz to conserve power for less demanding operations like web browsing or displaying the always-on display. 

There is an effective in-display fingerprint scanner. The alert slider on the right of the phone, which allows you to immediately change the phone to silent or vibrating, will be welcomed by longtime OnePlus users. On the OnePlus 10T from a year ago, the slider was noticeably missing.

Availability and network

OnePlus has come a long way in making its phones generally accessible to all customers since the company’s founding, but this product constitutes a small setback. I think it’s fantastic news for everyone who buys unlocked.The 128GB edition of the OnePlus 11 with 8GB of RAM starts at $700 and is offered by Best Buy, Amazon, and the manufacturer’s website. Additionally, a 256GB or 16GB RAM and storage upgrade are available for just $100 extra.The phone was released in early February 2023 and is now widely available.

Unfortunately, T-Mobile stores are the only locations where the OnePlus is not available.Although there has been a long-standing close relationship between the company and the Uncarrier, this specific product won’t be seen on retail shelves. Although it’s a minor setback for the brand, it shouldn’t come as a surprise given the state of the mobile market at the moment. According to recent reports, these flagship phones aren’t doing as well with T-Mobile customers as the Nord series is still doing.

However, the OnePlus 11 will continue to function on T-Mobile’s 5G network and will also support 5G on the networks of Verizon, AT&T, and any of their MVNOs. Even though it’s disappointing that the brand’s most recent smartphone is no longer available in carrier stores, an unlocked handset will still function normally once it’s in your possession.

Camera

It still feels simple to exclude OnePlus from the discussion after a run of average cameras throughout the 2010s. Although Apple, Samsung, and Google currently manage to garner most of the media attention, I believe there is something to be said about this company’s photography abilities, particularly with the main lens. For the most part, it’s very simple to get some good images out of this phone because OnePlus is once again using three lenses together with Hasselblad-branded colour calibration.

Any 10T owner should be familiar with the principal sensor. Despite switching to an IMX890 sensor, OnePlus is still using a 50MP f/1.8 lens that bins down to 12.6MP. In most circumstances, especially in reasonably low-light environments, it’s a perfectly acceptable shooter when left in auto mode. However, overall, I liked the oversaturated style certain cameras—ahem, Apple—currently output. Daytime images did occasionally look a little bit overexposed or, in some cases, washed out in comparison to the actual scene. Overall, I continue to believe that the OnePlus 11’s computational photography capabilities are superior to those of the Pixel 7, but in well-lit scenarios, the choice comes down to personal preference.

However, I did manage to take one of my all-time favourite photos of my cat with this phone, which is something I honestly didn’t expect to say when I first opened the box. Don’t be fooled by the image’s warmth; it actually catches some fantastic detail without appearing overly sharpened and is, in my opinion, fairly accurate to the lighting in my living room.

Although it’s not always necessary to capture a good image, you’ll still need to manually enable night mode in the camera app to properly shoot low-light scenes. The first nighttime stroll in San Francisco was hit-or-miss while using the normal mode of the camera. Depending on the ambient light level, a steady hand can capture a reasonably good image with lots of detail. Unfortunately, my caffeine addiction practically guarantees some shakiness, making many of my nighttime photos useless.

The camera occasionally had trouble properly exposing an entire subject, either blowing out brilliant lights to catch darker areas or accurately capturing neon signs while completely darkening the environment. Even though turning on night mode seems to result in better pictures if you have the time, I’d want to see OnePlus truly integrate this mode as an automatic trigger in the future.

The OnePlus 11 sticks with a 32MP lens with a 2x optical zoom, unlike some of the most recent smartphones from Google and Samsung that have telephoto lenses that have 5x and 10x magnification. The company’s marketing makes it obvious that this specific sensor is made to sync with portrait mode, offering the look and manner of shooting with a DSLR lens, even though you can undoubtedly rely on it to get a closer look at distant subjects.

With portrait mode set at 1x, I didn’t see much of a change in the backgrounds, but at 2x, the telephoto lens clearly displayed a blurrier background. To be honest, I think it’s a bit of a gimmick, but with enough perseverance and the right lighting, it might be a great way to get some amazing pictures of your friends.

2x, 5x, 10x, and 20x, in that order.

Because of the 2x optical zoom, you will have to use digital zoom to go closer to items in the camera, and to be very honest, it is simply not up to par with the hardware offered by Google and Samsung. You can get a passable image at 5x zoom in good lighting, but anything farther starts to appear blurry. Prior to taking into account the absence of OIS, the Pixel 7 Pro’s present amazing 30x digital zoom—not to mention the S23 Ultra’s 100x option—indicates that it is undoubtedly lacking. In the end, it’s barely more than a gimmick.

Ultra-wide vs. wide-angle lenses

Although I’m not the biggest fan of how these pictures turned out, using an ultra-wide lens can help you fit more of your scene into the frame. Nearby objects were frequently distorted, and I noticed that the colour temperature was significantly lower than with the regular lens. With this lens, the OnePlus 11 also allows you to take macro photos, but the results are typically confusing and washed out.

Macro examples, an ultra-wide shot with significant warping around the lamp, and a selfie sample are included.

The video quality is passable, if not stunning. When filming in 4K, even with steady mode disabled, OnePlus kept their video smooth and shake-free, but my footage appeared ragged around the edges in 8K, with some strange jutter that could make you uncomfortable if you looked at it for too long. In all, save for the brightest lighting situations, my recordings were a little too noisy for my tastes in terms of quality, but if you’re not selective, it’ll do the trick.

I don’t have much else to say about the front-facing camera, but it works nicely. Selfies and the rare mobile video call can be made with it, but the first few times you try taking a picture for Instagram, it frequently comes out unclear. Additionally, you are unable to alter your field of vision so that a group shot includes more individuals.

 Design and display

The OnePlus 11 will be comfortable in your hands if you’ve already used either of the OnePlus flagships from 2022. It’s evident that the firm has settled on a design aesthetic because it makes the prominent camera bump the focal point of the entire phone. The module encircling the grid of cameras is brand-new and has been maintained by OnePlus for an additional year. The maker claims that the design, which is effectively just a circle with the Hasselblad logo tucked inside, was motivated by a black hole.

Personally, I dislike the way the OnePlus 11 looks. The camera boost definitely has the edge over some fans, but in my opinion, it’s a swing and a miss, a plainly excessive addition to an otherwise modest smartphone. Camera bumps are out, and divided camera lenses are in, so OnePlus would be wise to take lessons from Samsung in this regard.

Along with the redesigned shape, the camera hump sticks out from the phone significantly farther, which might interfere with some external gamepads. The OnePlus 11 fit into a Razer Kishi, but it required some fiddling. This is important to keep in mind if playing vampire survival on the fly has become your go-to method.

I have the green OnePlus 11, which is fairly attractive for as long as it stays smudge-free, which is sadly only for about five minutes. However, the black model employs the same matte finish as its forerunner, so it’s the colour to choose if you’re worried about fingerprints or oil buildup. Overall, it feels substantial in the hand without being overly hefty. There is also no discernible chassis flex, and the enormous camera module does provide some leverage for balancing it when it is placed in your palm.

The green concept raises serious concerns about fingerprints.

Mics, a bottom-firing speaker (which, when combined with the earpiece, can generate some really excellent stereo sound), the power button, a volume rocker, and a SIM card slot are all found along the borders of the phone. Additionally, I’m overjoyed that OnePlus brought back the alert slider after removing it from the 10T last year. A quick toggle for your notification toggles is one of the nicest features offered by the firm and something that every Android phone needs to have.

a sight to be hold.

Naturally, the phone’s front is decorated with a huge 6.7″ 1440p at 120Hz display. It has a curved screen like the majority of the company’s most recent flagships, which bends outward towards the frame to help narrow the phone. Despite the fact that I found the OnePlus 11 to be a little more pleasant to hold than, for example, the Google Pixel 7 Pro, I’d still prefer to see manufacturers avoid curved displays in the future. While making the phone less ergonomic and producing some color distortion at the corners, the change produced by downsizing the phone is negligible at best. Leave this trend where it belongs—in the past.

Once you alter the phone’s default resolution, the actual panel is excellent—bright and vibrant enough for outdoor use and crisp enough to make reading enjoyable. These days, most flagship phones come out of the box in 1080p mode, and the OnePlus is no exception. As you’ll see later in this review, increasing the resolution to 1440p didn’t seem to have an effect on battery life. After unboxing, make it a priority to change; your eyes will appreciate it.

After turning on “Nature Tone Display,” which attempts to adjust the colour temperature of the screen to the lighting surrounding you, I did experience some strange bugs. I observed as the OnePlus 11’s screen alternated between warm and cool tones on several occasions, unable to make sense of my surroundings. Although it wasn’t a constant problem, you might want to leave this feature disabled if you’re easily offended by display issues.

Software and performance

The OnePlus software experience has been the subject of criticism over the past few years, especially as parent company Oppo has taken moves to exert more control over its subsidiary. Although OxygenOS is no longer a pure Android build, the most recent version operating on this particular phone is still more than adequate.Although One UI 5 and Google’s Android 13 Pixel experience feel more polished and neat, OxygenOS 13 mostly stays out of the way.

The vast majority of the problems that former AP editor Ryne Hager listed in his review of the OnePlus 10 Pro last year have either been fixed or were of no concern to me while I was using it.

OxygenOS, for instance, might not yet have native support for reading QR codes in its viewfinder, but a Lens shortcut makes it simple to access menus and other connections. My T-Mobile SIM card and Google Assistant both operated without a hitch right out of the box, and I was more than pleased with the customising choices offered by Android 13.

Please, OnePlus, allow dynamic themes on your games app.

Even some of the more annoying features—like the swipe-down shortcut to access Shelf rather than the notification tray or the fact that apps like Gmail and Instagram are by default locked to the multitasking menu—can be turned off with ease. While I don’t like OxygenOS nearly as much as either of those, it has improved since it was a complete train wreck a year ago. It doesn’t take much to fall somewhere between One UI and Google’s Pixel experience.

There are certainly many tools and features on here that are intended for a user base far different from the initial OnePlus enthusiast community. The top of the settings menu repeatedly asked me to set up my Omoji, a virtual avatar of my likeness that is obviously attempting to adopt Apple’s Memoji for a different community, until I finally ignored it after two weeks with the phone. Other choices, such as Smart Sidebar, Kid Space, and Simple Mode, aren’t for me, but they’re all tucked away under a “Special Features” section at the bottom of the settings, making them easy to overlook.

On the left, there is a menu choice labelled “Special Features”. Chinese lessons for the Notes app.

However, I did notice a few random bugs and problems that I believe the firm can and should fix with some upcoming upgrades. A few minor annoyances I had throughout my time with the phone included language difficulties in apps like Notes, the settings menu crashing while changing preferences, and the gaming UI failing to be removed after I’d exited games like Genshin Impact. However, none of these were major problems; rather, they were small issues.

Speaking about Genshin Impact, the OnePlus 11 performs as well as you could anticipate. I’ve had no trouble getting games to run at their top settings on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 powering this device, despite the fact that the firm has seen its fair share of throttling problems over the previous several years. 

Genshin Impact is the ideal example; with all of the settings on high, I had nearly constant 60FPS performance with only the rare dip down to 58FPS or so during my time with the game. The only time I genuinely felt the phone heat up in my hands was when it became warm to the touch. In addition, despite running Genshin for several hours, I was unable to destroy the machine—but more on that later.

As 2023 approaches, OnePlus has one more significant perk: an updated upgrade policy. Starting with this phone, the business intends to provide four significant OS releases and five years of security updates for a limited number of handsets. Even though customers will still be dealing with bi-monthly updates rather than receiving an update on time once every few weeks, it’s a major step in the right direction. It also overrides Google’s current Pixel strategy, which guarantees Android 17 for the OnePlus 11 in 2026 but only Android 16 for the Pixel 7 series.

Battery life

OnePlus is repurposing their flagship from last spring’s launch, which included a 5,000mAh battery.  It shouldn’t be a surprise that this gadget is a long-lasting champion, given the enhanced efficiency of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 powering it.

There is no denying that the OnePlus 11 is a two-day smartphone with normal use. I had just under 50% left at the end of the day when I unplugged the phone first thing in the morning; it had decreased to only 3% over night.I eventually plugged it back in on day two at 10:30 p.m. when it hit six percent. That is without using any of the built-in battery-saving settings and with the device set to 1440p; not bad.

Even though it’s not necessarily “bad,” the USB-A charger is an unusual feature.

Here as well, OnePlus’ 80W quick charging is crucial. In my testing, I discovered that the company’s claim that a full charge takes just over 30 minutes is correct. I reached 95 percent after 30 minutes, and my phone was fully charged after three more. This is no longer a device you plug in at the end of a long day, thanks to the amazing battery life. It is entirely revolutionary to switch to a “top-up-when-needed” lifestyle, and not simply for your regular schedule. Depending on how you use your phone, it’s perfectly possible to leave your charger at home when going on little overnight vacations. Battery bricks could, at the very least, go out of style.

Let’s chat about the newest SuperVOOC brick while we’re on the subject of travel. It’s much appreciated that OnePlus is one of the last Android manufacturers to maintain the charger in the package. Even though the brick this year is a slight improvement over the one that came with the 10T last year, it’s difficult to gripe too much about speeds this high. The use of USB-A to USB-C wires once again, as opposed to the now-usual and widely used USB-C to USB-C cables, is more significant.

The business claims that this is a fan-focused change because its clients prefer USB-A cords because these ports are so common when travelling. Although I can’t say I’ve needed to use these connections frequently, I can clearly appreciate the case until USB-C is more frequently available in hotels and on aeroplanes.

However, the choice to fully eliminate wireless charging from this generation, following the example of the 10T from the previous year’s budget-conscious lineup, may prove to be less popular. It’s difficult to understand this as anything other than a cost-cutting measure, despite the company’s assurances that it’s not even necessary given the 80W charging and long-lasting battery. I can’t say I missed the 50W wireless charging here, as much as I want to agree with those who might be disappointed. However, if your home is already filled with wireless charging stations, this phone might not be the right choice for you.

It’s important to note that the OnePlus 11 does support 100W fast charging, which is even faster outside of the US and enables the battery to be fully charged in as little as 25 minutes. A member of my team who is stationed in Europe can attest that the feature operates as intended. It’s unfortunate that this feature isn’t offered in the US, but I didn’t feel that this restricted my use of the phone.

Conclusion

The OnePlus 11 will be the brand’s first real flagship device when it is released in 2023. It has a sleek, updated design, a potent chipset, and quick charging capabilities. The $699 entry-level model comes with 128GB of storage and 8GB of RAM. The more expensive review model, which has 256GB of storage and 16GB of RAM, costs only $799. The Google Pixel 7 Pro, which costs $899, is the main rival to the phone. One of our favourite smartphones of 2022 was the Pixel 7 Pro, which won a CNET Editors’ Choice award for its outstanding photography, user-friendly interface, and stylish appearance.

The OnePlus 11 stands out for its sheer power, providing lightning-fast speeds for gaming and intensive multitasking, charging more quickly than Google’s phones, and handling stock Android 13 software. The phone has a new design as well; instead of the 10 Pro’s square camera module, this one is round and is fringed with metal that flows beautifully to the edge of the device.The new phone exceeds the 10 Pro thanks to its IP64 water resistant rating. While competitors have IP68 classifications, IP64 only provides mediocre protection against water splashes.

The 6.7-inch SuperAMOLED display on the OnePlus 11 offers a maximum resolution of 3,216×1,440 pixels. The phone offers a bright and striking display and supports Dolby Vision HDR and HDR 10 Plus. For intense applications like gaming, the adaptive frame rate can increase to 120 Hz, but it can also dynamically decrease to 1 Hz. Additionally, the phone has an in-display fingerprint reader and an alarm slider for vibrating or silence. 

The 128GB model of the OnePlus 11 features 8GB of RAM, and it costs $700 to buy it unlocked. For an additional $100, you can expand the RAM and storage to 256GB and 16GB, respectively. The OnePlus 11 is no longer available in T-Mobile shops despite being the company’s new flagship phone, which has an impact on how unlocked devices work. With a 50MP f/1.8 lens and Hasselblad-branded colour calibration, the phone’s camera is a respectable shooter in most circumstances.

FAQS

Is the OnePlus 11R display good or bad?

However, Dolby Vision is not supported. The OnePlus 11R’s display, in my opinion, is extremely nice but falls short of that of the flagship OnePlus 11’s great display.

How long will the OnePlus 11 last?

OnePlus 11

The policy guarantees five years of security updates given every two months, along with four significant Android updates. Since the OnePlus 11 shipped with Android 13 out of the box, you can anticipate that it will continue to get security updates and receive updates through Android 17 throughout that time.

Is it worth upgrading to the OnePlus 11?

It doesn’t offer much improvement over the OnePlus 10 Pro, but it does a few things better. Since there isn’t a significant price difference between the two, the OnePlus 11 is our recommendation for people wishing to get a new phone right away.

Is OnePlus a good device?The luxury style and top-notch features of OnePlus phones are well known. Additionally, OnePlus phones are renowned for their powerful batteries and quick charging abilities. Everybody can find a phone from the OnePlus line, whether they’re searching for a strong gaming device or something more affordable.