OnePlus 11 evaluation: Smooth, shiny, and never particularly revolutionary

As an iOS lifer, I’m often jealous of what number of genuinely good telephones Android fanatics get to select from annually. The identical holds true for the OnePlus 11.

The newest flagship smartphone out of the Chinese language tech big is an train in minor iteration. There aren’t many eye-popping new software program options to play with or a radical redesign that can make you rethink smartphones typically. As an alternative, it brings maybe the coolest-looking digital camera within the biz, wonderful efficiency because of a model new chipset, and an all-around premium really feel for a considerably less-than-premium worth.


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The OnePlus 11 is a typically good smartphone that you just don’t want to interrupt the financial institution to get, because it begins at simply $700. It gained’t change the world, but it surely doesn’t have to.

The fanciest digital camera bump round

OnePlus 11 camera bump

Have a look at that!
Credit score: Kyle Cobian/

Identical to final yr’s OnePlus 10 Professional, the OnePlus 11 is a giant cellphone with a giant battery and impressive-looking specs on paper. It is also accessible in black or inexperienced. Right here’s how a very powerful specs shake out:

  • 6.7-inch show with 120Hz variable refresh price and 3216×1440 decision

  • 8 or 16GB RAM

  • 128 or 256GB storage

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset

  • 5,000mAh battery

  • 50MP major digital camera lens with a 48MP ultrawide lens and a 32MP portrait lens

  • 16MP selfie digital camera

Proper off the bat, the cellphone’s bodily traits are each scintillating and irritating. OnePlus 11 is a actually cool-looking cellphone, one which will surely catch the attention of somebody sitting throughout from you on public transit. Its distinctive round digital camera bump (full with the brand for Swedish digital camera model Hasselblad) simply seems to be refined in comparison with different smartphones. It’s good-looking, not simply utilitarian.

Sadly, the cellphone’s bottom doesn’t simply supply a swanky trying digital camera. OnePlus’s again glass is just too slippery, whether or not the cellphone is within the hand or laying on a flat floor. I tend to put my cellphone flat on a pillow subsequent to me whereas I sleep typically, and that’s a nasty concept with the OnePlus 11 as a result of it’ll inevitably slip off and wind up misplaced in your mattress someplace. 

OnePlus 11 power button

The facility button continues to be on the improper aspect, for those who ask me.
Credit score: Alex Perry/

That’s only one minor instance, however normally, I didn’t discover the OnePlus 11 as comfy to carry as I would love. It’s a bit of too huge for long-term one-handed use, and OnePlus didn’t repair the issue I had final yr the place the quantity rocker and energy button are on reverse sides of the cellphone. That’s OK with one thing small like an iPhone SE, however right here, it simply means having to drag up one other hand to regulate quantity.

Different odds and ends embrace an in-display fingerprint sensor that by no means wavered for me, and a equally efficient face unlocking mechanism. Except for the comparatively minor issues addressed above, the OnePlus 11 is a formidable system on the floor. It stays pretty spectacular if you dig deeper, too.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Quick, 2 Livid

One of many huge promoting factors for the OnePlus 11 is the inclusion of the state-of-the-art Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip powering the cellphone. It’s considerably of a rarity in telephones proper now (Samsung’s barely costlier Galaxy S23 additionally has it), so any alternative to see the way it works ought to be cherished. 

The decision? It’s high-quality! OnePlus claims the brand new chip supplies velocity boosts of 25 and 35 % to to the GPU and CPU, respectively, however the proof is extra in how the cellphone feels to make use of as an on a regular basis system. Once I examined it utilizing my regular eating regimen of copious quantities of social media, Spotify and YouTube streaming, and basic messing round on-line, I didn’t detect any efficiency hiccups that had been price noting. 

It’s a clean, speedy expertise, helped by the 120Hz show. I do really feel that there are diminishing returns with every new era of chips, as I didn’t have any efficiency issues with final yr’s cellphone, both. That stated, it’s cool to have the ability to have a bunch of apps open without delay (on the 16GB RAM mannequin) with out feeling any strain to shut them.

OnePlus 11 top of the phone with screen turned on

This can be a fairly spectacular show with efficiency to again it up.
Credit score: Kyle Cobian/

OnePlus 11 runs on OxygenOS 13, a barely altered model of Android 13. Which means it comes pre-loaded with a folder filled with OnePlus bloatware, like a proprietary Notes app. That stuff is simple sufficient to disregard, however a number of the different distinctive software program options are price , for higher and worse. 

For instance, you’ll be able to multi-task apps by stacking one on prime of one other vertically. Doing so is simple; merely open up the view of all of your open apps, faucet the three dots within the higher proper nook of the display, and hit the “Break up display” possibility. Stacking Twitter on prime of Spotify is a neat trick, although I’ll say that it’s considerably much less helpful right here on a standard cellphone show than it might be on an even bigger system, just like the Galaxy Z Fold 4


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There’s additionally the dreaded “Shelf,” a OnePlus-exclusive drop-down menu that seems if you swipe down from across the center of the show. This is filled with widgets like a clock, the climate, and a just lately performed view on Spotify. I don’t discover any of this significantly helpful, and the truth that you’ll be able to simply carry it up if you’re attempting to swipe down into the notifications view is problematic. 

In actual fact, the OnePlus 10 had the identical drawback. Perhaps subsequent time round they’ll get round to fixing it.

Battery increase

USB-C charging port on OnePlus 11

The true winner right here.
Credit score: Kyle Cobian/

By far essentially the most spectacular facet of the OnePlus 11 is its battery. Curiously, it’s not the battery life itself, however the restoration time from a depleted cost that gained me over essentially the most.

That’s to not say the battery life is unhealthy, thoughts you. I used to be capable of get about 24 hours out of a full cost, and that included downloading sizable updates for cell video games and loads of music streaming with the display at or close to full brightness. You may nearly actually squeeze much more out of it with extra cautious utilization.

However it’s the 80W wall charger that comes packaged with the cellphone that seals the deal. Utilizing that charger, I used to be capable of get from 15 % battery to 100% in lower than half an hour. It’s absurd how briskly this factor fees. I had enjoyable simply staring on the display and watching the share meter slowly (however not practically as slowly as different telephones) creep up in the direction of 100. 

I hope sometime my iPhone can cost that shortly.

Vibrant evening pictures

Going again to that fancy-schmancy Hasselblad-branded digital camera, it is not simply there for seems to be. It takes pictures, too, and does it pretty effectively.

That trio of rear lenses produces pictures with terribly vivid colours. I did most of my testing in sub-optimal situations (New York is not essentially the most shiny and cheery place in January and February), and pictures nonetheless got here out trying sharp and colourful.

Sign that reads "If you can't clean up after your dog, get a cat" on a brick wall

Message obtained!
Credit score: Alex Perry/

There’s nearly a hyper-real high quality to a few of these pictures, because the environs I took them in weren’t essentially this vivid in actual life. I am fairly into that, conceptually, because it creates handsome social media pictures. In the event you’re striving for hardcore actuality, nonetheless, it is perhaps a bit of irksome.

Herbert Von King Park ampitheatre

The ultrawide lens does its job fairly effectively.
Credit score: Alex Perry/

Portrait mode is right here and works as marketed, including a pleasant depth-of-field impact to pictures taken shut up on a single topic.

Tree with blue painting on it

I do not know why this tree is painted blue.
Credit score: Alex Perry/

There are additionally some good choices for taking pictures of extraordinarily up-close topics, or topics which can be a bit of out-of-reach. Macro pictures enables you to get in actual shut on small objects, like seeds and pebbles, producing extremely detailed pictures. The zoom lens, alternatively, is fairly first rate, sustaining an sufficient stage of readability from a average distance.

Macro shot of a flower with OnePlus 11

Macro pictures seems to be fairly good right here.
Credit score: Alex Perry/

Zoomed in shot of a blue plastic bag on a tree

This was taken at about 12x zoom, and nonetheless seems to be actually sharp.
Credit score: Alex Perry/

There’s additionally nighttime pictures, which brightens darkish pictures to make them extra legible. The outcomes are enticing sufficient, although sticklers for realism would possibly discover that a few of these pictures look extra like daytime than nighttime. The software program processing tends to brighten the pictures fairly a bit, making them look nearly as in the event that they’re lit by studio lights. It is not pure, but it surely would not look unhealthy, both.

Graffiti on a wall at night

This one maintains a pleasant nighttime ambiance.
Credit score: Alex Perry/

Spare tire on a sidewalk

This one doesn’t, although oncoming automotive headlights did not precisely assist.
Credit score: Alex Perry/

Simply one in all many choices

When it comes time to lastly select a brand new Android cellphone in 2023, the OnePlus 11 should not get left off the listing. This can be a lovely cellphone with a high-end chipset, a stunning show, and one significantly fast-charging battery. On the very least, none of your folks may have telephones that look as cool as this one.

It additionally would not damage that you’ll pay a most of $800 for it. That places it $100 beneath the Pixel 7 Professional, which I’d maintain up as the present gold normal of Android telephones. That cellphone has a a lot cleaner software program bundle with none bloatware, comparably wonderful efficiency, and total higher cameras that may do extra. The bottom Pixel 7 can be wonderful, and to OnePlus’s detriment, it is solely $600.

Personally, I might go Pixel 7 if I had been in search of a brand new Android handset. However OnePlus deserves your consideration, too.

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