There’s no doubt that the average selling price of high-end Android phones has been on the rise in recent years, though this current launch cycle has moderated a bit, possibly due to the uncertain economic climate. OnePlus has historically led the charge with regards to bringing top-end “Never Settle” specs and features to a reasonably priced flagship offering, though the company’s recent releases were bumping up the price as well. Fortunately, with the OnePlus 11 5G, the company has returned to its value-oriented roots and in doing so will deliver what I think will be one of the better Android flagship phone values this year, starting at $699.
High-end specifications: Killer display, redesigned camera pod, powered by Snapdragon
Let’s start with the vital signs here. The OnePlus 11 5G is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, which is, in my opinion, one of the best mobile platforms the company has ever delivered, delivering both strong and durable performance across a variety of phone workloads. More on that in a bit.
The back of the device is covered with Gorilla Glass 5, and the Eternal Green color you see here is gorgeous, and resists fingerprints well, but is super glossy and slippery. It’s a shame to cover it up, but OnePlus makes some great cases and I’d recommend strapping one on to protect the finish of this gem. The front display is covered in Gorilla Glass Victus for a bit more durability.
Talking about the display, the 6.7-inch 3216×1440 resolution OLED LTPO panel the OnePlus has brought to the table sports with 120Hz dynamic refresh rate, which can auto-switch the refresh rate when not needed to save power. It’s a gorgeous, bright (1300 nits), punchy OLED display with slightly waterfall curved edges that blend perfectly with the contours of the phone’s aluminum side rails. And yes, ladies and gentlemen, the OnePlus Alert slider is back, allowing you to leave the phone in vibrate mode or DND with a simple flip of the edge-mounted switch. Why others haven’t adopted this simple, thoughtful feature is beyond me.
The backside of the OnePlus 11 5G houses a stylish, rounded redesigned camera pod with a primary shooter powered by Sony’s excellent 50MP IMX890 sensor, measuring in at 1/1.56-inch with f/1.8 aperture and optical stabilization. Is. Compared to the Pixel 7 Pro, this camera takes great pictures on the fly with just a touch and fiddling to focus from time to time. And like a Google-made competitor, it can sometimes speed things up a tad too much. However, for all intents and purposes, the results are very satisfactory and OnePlus’ partnership with Hasselblad is really starting to pay dividends. The color science Hasselblad brings results in better accuracy, and I prefer this phone’s truer-to-life color capture over the Pixel 7 Pro’s sometimes muted imaging.
Here’s a quick taste…
The OP11’s wide-angle camera is larger than the previous gen, but with a narrower field of view of 115 degrees versus 150 degrees for the OnePlus 10 Pro. The color capture is very true to life in the shots above for January in New England. The OnePlus 11 also has a solid 2x telephoto shooter, though it lacks image stabilization. Regardless, zoom shots with cameras with digital zoom get the job done adequately with a steady hand.
My mate Ryan over at HotHardware captured this shot on his OnePlus 11 5G, and here you can see Hasselblad Color Science in action. It’s a busy, detailed shot with lots of color gradation that’s well-rendered, with good separation and an accurate capture.
This is a relatively easy portrait mode shot for the OnePlus 11, although it was captured above a glass table top with a glass sliding door in the background and lots of reflections, which can make things difficult for edge detection and background blur rendering . Especially with this glass jar of pepper salad. Still, the OP11 manages subject detection well. I’m still debating whether Google’s Pixel 7 Pro has the edge, though I think it is by a hair.
Top-notch Android performance, powered by Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
Going along with the general performance results from this new OnePlus flagship, the numbers that came out were pretty impressive. Qualcomm’s move to TSMC to manufacture its mobile platform SoCs (System on Chip) has been very successful, resulting in great performance even with the OnePlus 11 5G’s internal cooling solution timing and thermal saturation. Here are some statistics that speak volumes…
You can see that the OnePlus 11 5G is absolutely neck and neck with the two other new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2-powered flagships, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and the RedMagic 8 Pro. The performance differences here for the No. 2 and 3 competitors are actually within the margin of variability for the benchmarks. However, when we got down to the 3DMark Wild Life stress test to see how performance changes under a continuous 20-minute load looping the benchmark, we were treated to almost zero variability in performance.
Samsung’s Galaxy S23 Ultra, which has a special, high-speed binned version of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 called the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy, scores a slightly stronger score in the main test, but it’s nearly 8- falls to 10% or less. Over time, while the OnePlus 11 is rock steady.
Software, user experience and great battery life
OnePlus’ new OxygenOS 13 is a lighter skinned theme over Android 13, though with more Oppo Color OS flair than ever. I would say this is probably my least favorite version of OxygenOS, as previous Android versions from OnePlus didn’t try to reinvent the wheel and just felt like cleaner versions of Android, closer to bone stock, which I love. like.
It’s not a showstopper, however, and these preferences are more user subjective than anything. In general, I still prefer OxygenOS 13 over Samsung’s One UI, but again that’s personal preference, and I prefer Google’s stock Android setup in Pixel phones, generally speaking.
I really enjoy the battery life of the OP 11 5G. It’s definitely a two-day capable device, and I’m thoroughly impressed with mixed day-to-day heavy use how capable this phone’s power management is. I also think it’s a great testament to the power efficiency of Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2.
However, although I’m totally disappointed that OnePlus omitted wireless charging (likely to save costs) from the OP11, what I do like is this phone’s 80W wired fast charging, which is ridiculously fast. With the included SuperVOOC 80W charger, the OnePlus 11 will go full charged in just 27 minutes and give you a 50% top-off in just 12 minutes.
OnePlus Buds Pro 2 and the Wrap-Up
I’m still running around and going to the gym with the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 earbuds, but so far I’m impressed. Their active noise cancellation and acoustics are excellent with full, rich bass, clear, open mids and crisp, clean high-end reproduction. However, I’m still digging on the mic sound quality. Either way, currently for $179 with a $20 Amazon gift card deal, I think they’re a solid value.
All said, I think OnePlus nailed it with the new OnePlus 11 5G, and although I really wish wireless charging was on board, the 80W wired charging with this phone is delightfully fast. And at an MSRP of $699 for the 8GB RAM/128GB storage model, and $799 for the 16GB RAM/256GB storage model, it’s one of the best Android phone deals on the market right now. To sweeten the pot even more, Amazon also has a $100 gift card deal running with these phones.