OnePlus never seems to disappoint in offering its fanbase consistent refreshes of phones. The latest to enter the lineup is the OnePlus 11 5G. This new addition to the company’s portfolio shows that OnePlus has moved somewhat away from a total disruptor to a polished phone maker.
I’m a big nerd on how a phone feels with no case in the hand. The fluid way it sits in your palm is a massive deal to me and OnePlus nailed this on the OnePlus 11. It’s light but still has a solid construction and a great hand feel.
Otherwise, the design is mostly similar to last year’s OnePlus 10T. The weight, basic chassis design, and size all line up with the previous model. Two things will jump out as different. The coveted alert slider is back! Thank you OnePlus. This is a truly unique thing to your Android products and needed to be here on the OnePlus 11.
The second is the camera housing. We’ll get more into the specs later, but OnePlus nixed the squared design from last year for a circular array for the OnePlus 11. You still get all the Hasselblad-partnered sensors and is mostly cosmetic in the design change with some updated specs.
The left side of the OnePlus 11 has a lone volume rocker and that’s it. Moving to the right, you get that glorious alert slider and the power button. You may think I’m overblowing the alert slider, but it really is great to have a hardware option always available to adjust from Do Not Disturb, vibrate, and audible notifications without software interaction. Whether you are entering a movie or a quick work meeting it’s nice to have this tactile option to know you have the correct setting enabled.
The bottom of the OnePlus 11 is where you’ll find the USB-C charging port and a Dual Reality Speaker array. This new audio technology creates a unique sound system you’d normally find in premium laptops. I have to say it’s pretty impressive giving the 11 5G has one of the best audio experiences I’ve ever used on a mobile phone.
The pride jewel of the OnePlus 11 is the screen. The 11 5G packs a 6.7-inch 2K panel with 120 MHz refresh rates. It’s a Super AMOLED that has a slight curve on the exterior edges and encases the entirety of the front of the phone.
Colors really pop off this screen. Images jump off the screen and are vibrant. OnePlus has really polished its screen tech over the last few generations to make it competitive with anyone in the market. This panel really is one of the standout features of the OnePlus 11 5G.
The internal hardware makes for a superb user experience on the OnePlus 11. The chipset from Qualcomm 8 Gen 2 and dedicated Adreno GPU makes for a fantastic combination. Pair that up with a minimum of 8GB of RAM with options of up to 16GB, and you have yet another powerhouse from OnePlus.
Speaking of RAM, OnePlus has a new proprietary RAM-Vita artificial intelligence allocation program. This system takes allocated RAM being used for older tasks and releases it for current ones. It also assigns RAM to more intensive apps like cameras to help with better and faster post-processing.
I’ve yet to slow down this phone. From games to more than 25 apps open, the OnePlus 11 just keeps on trucking. It truly is a powerhouse of a phone. One thing I have noticed is I think the way it handles app management or background processes does slow notifications at times. I’ve seen numerous instances where I get a push notification just a few minutes sooner on other phones.
I won’t go too much into software here. It’s the newer OxygenOS 13.1 than that used in the recent Nord N300 we reviewed. The OP version of Android 13 continues to mimic Samsung and move further away from the once acclaimed stock variant OnePlus was known for using in early generations.
As mentioned in that previous review, this is all subjective to the user though and one thing OnePlus has continued is optimizing the OS to run very well on the OnePlus 11. There are no stutters. No log jams when running 20-plus apps. This thing just flies all the time no matter what you throw at it.
Finally, it’s Android. All your favorite apps, games, and services are just a Google sync away. Play Store is here and so is the Google Now feed to the far left home screen. Even with the numerous tweaks, OnePlus has stacked atop the base software, most will find it familiar after a few days.
OnePlus has consistently improved the performance of imaging over the years. The OnePlus 11 continues this trend. The picture quality of the phone is one of the best OnePlus has produced. The camera app is snappy, the focus is fairly consistent, and the post-processing seems legit.
This is mostly thanks to the hardware behind all this. The main sensor on the OnePlus 11 is a 50MP IMX890 with optical image stabilization. The heart of this 1/1.56-inch sensor size with f/1.8 aperture allows incredible light intake.
Additional sensors allow for wide angles and a dedicated telephoto lens for portrait photos. The 48MP wide-angle lens has a 115-degree field of few and snaps outstanding landscape shots. The 32MP telephoto lens uses Hasselblad imaging features to create bokeh effects and depth of field.
The combination of the stabilization and sensors creates an environment to produce the shots we’ve taken with the phone. Whether it’s low-lit areas or outdoors, the camera takes great pictures. The same is true with portrait mode. Hasselblad post-processing adds to the equation with crisp outputs.
Endurance is another department in that OnePlus has always excelled and the 11 5G nails this yet again. I’ve gotten a full day and then some with the device under normal usage. Heavy app days might push it to a lower capacity, but still never left me stranded before plugging up at night. Most instances actually got me almost a second day which is insane!
And if you do need to top off the battery tanks, the OnePlus 11 gets you back and powered up in no time with the 80W SUPERVOOC power adapter. The company rates this will get you back to full charge in under 30 minutes and I’ve found that to be accurate.
OnePlus has taken precautions to make sure all this is done safely as well. With Battery Health Engine to ensure that battery lifespan and retain optimal charging rates. There’s also a new electrolyte formula that reduces wear on the battery’s anodes and cathode.
OnePlus has made another great entry into the upper-midrange Android market. The OnePlus 11 5G checks all the boxes. It has a great screen, above-average battery life, and capable cameras. You won’t find a better-performing Android phone under $700 with the horsepower packed inside.
I just can’t help to wonder where it lands in the crowded market with less expensive options like the Pixel 6a or even the Pixel 7. I really enjoyed my time with the OnePlus but I still personally prefer my Pixel. However, I know others don’t feel that way and it’s the absolute best thing about Android: choice!
If you do want to snag a OnePlus 11 5G, head on over to our full launch day retail guide below. Total retail will set you back $699 for the 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, but there are great pre-order deals to be had on that landing page.
The zoom on the OnePlus 11 is only 2X optical. I don’t know if it was worth the hassle. When the light level drops, of course, it switches to the main module. But if the brightness is enough, it shoots fine. Portrait mode works well, blurs the background nicely. I liked the front camera. It does a good job of displaying facial skin tones. Detail is average, pictures at night are 4 out of 5. You can apply background blur. The main camera is excellent. Even at night there is no noise, no artifacts. Colour reproduction is accurate. Stabilization is 5 out of 5. Otherwise a great phone with great mobilespecs.