OnePlus has developed a somewhat contentious image in recent years, owing mostly to its growing cooperation with sister smartphone company Oppo and the gradual erosion of its characteristic “flagship killer” strategy.
At first sight, the OnePlus 11 doesn’t appear to have altered much. A deeper inspection, though, shows some intriguing facts.
With a huge camera island in the rear, OnePlus has split opinions. It also causes the phone to shake on a flat surface. However, this artistic approach sticks out in a sea of rectangular or squircle camera bumps on most phones, which is a win in and of itself.
Furthermore, the modest wraparound effect along the left margin is appealing. The back panel has a lovely matte texture that isn’t abrasive but still provides a solid grip despite the velvety touch. Thin vertical lines run over the surface, like a polymer-deposited cloth surface. It’s distinct and superior to any current flagship from Samsung or Apple.
This Feels Effortlessly Good
OnePlus’ latest product is made of Gorilla Glass Victus and stainless steel. It’s not the Gorilla Glass Victus 2 found on rival smartphones, but the result is a quality phone that outperforms the glossy painted-over finish found on iPhones.
The phone’s curved edges make it a pleasure to handle. The screen is also curved, and while this increases the risk of breakage, it appears far more polished than a flat display.
The OnePlus 11 boasts a 6.7-inch HDR-10+ certified 10-bit OLED display with a resolution of 3216 x 1440 pixels. The refresh rate may be dynamically adjusted, ranging from 1Hz for simple tasks like reading to 120Hz for scenarios like high-FPS gaming.
The screen has a good saturation level and sufficient viewing angles. Compared to the iPhone 14 Pro, Apple’s flagship has a substantially greater brightness output. However, the OnePlus 11’s OLED display is one of the finest, especially in this price range.
The imaging gear comprises a 50MP primary camera, a 48MP wide-angle shooter, and a 32MP telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom output. More testing is required, but the camera has so far pleased.
The colour profile is similar to natural, with plenty of crispness and much improved HDR processing over its predecessor. Zoomed-in photographs within the telephoto camera’s optical zoom range also pleased, with the phone delivering clearer images with a more vibrant colour profile, particularly for things closer to the camera lens.
Selfies are also detailed, with excellent skin texture and colour preservation, but some over-sharpening is visible indoors.
On the software front, the OnePlus 11 runs Oxygen OS 13, based on Android 13. OnePlus has promised four Android OS updates, one more than Samsung flagships and one more than Google’s Pixel phones. It’s sleek and fast but lacks the UI refinement that OnePlus was previously known for.
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC inside is powerful, with up to 16GB of RAM. While playing a few difficult games, the phone handled them with no jitters or frame drops at the highest graphics settings. Even after playing Call of Duty: Mobile for around 50 minutes, the phone didn’t become hot.
However, due to the phone’s quick charging capabilities, the phone did become hot when charging.
Notably, OnePlus includes a 100W brick in the retail packaging, which is unusual compared to Apple and Samsung and also highly handy. On the other hand, buyers in the United States will receive an 80W charger (and 80W fast charging speeds).
The standby battery drain was aggressive after a week of use, but that’s not unusual for a new phone and will most likely be rectified with a few tweaks with a software update.
Overall, the phone is an undoubtedly incremental improvement, but enhancements occur where they count. The OnePlus 11 is an excellent device, especially given its low starting price of $699.