Carl Pei reviews the OnePlus 11 and compares it to his Nothing Phone (1)

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OnePlus co-founder and current CEO of Nothing, Carl Pei, took to YouTube yesterday to share his thoughts on the OnePlus 11, the latest phone from his previous company. His review of the phone was mainly positive, with some small gripes when it came to the design and the user interface, but found it to be a solid and premium piece of hardware overall.

Pei admitted at the beginning of the video that at first it felt strange to review a OnePlus phone after such a long time, but that ultimately it felt like another device he was curious to check out.

Pei's first impressions of the phone were, in his own words, that it is actually quite a beautiful device. He made it a point to mention all the small and interesting details, such as how the finish plays against the light or how good it looks when on a desk. Ultimately, he found that it looked quite good and quite premium.

The Design

As far as the design, he was a fan of the rounded edges and curved glass, which in his opinion, gave the phone a more narrow feel than it actually has. He was also a fan of the different kinds of finishes the device has, such as the sandstone black-ish finish on the black model against the shiny finish inside the camera housing.

However, there were things he did not like, such as the side buttons, which he found to be really thin hen compared to the nothing phone, and what he thought would be a challenge for users to tell apart when trying to feel around for them.

Another small detail Pei took issue with was the fact that the mute and volume rocker buttons were not perfectly aligned with each other. Not such a big issue for users, but just an eye-sore for those that notice those little details.

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He also made sure to mention that because the OnePlus phones look different every year, there really isn't an identifiable feature or an "identity" to the phone. According to Pei, Android fans will recognize the phone, but regular people off the street won't be able to tell which phone it is, unlike when they see a phone from a more recognizable brand.


At the time the video was taken, the pricing on the OnePlus 11 had not yet been revealed, so Pei was working with the assumption that the device would cost $800 as opposed to the $700 that it actually costs. Based on that assumed pricing, Pei mentioned that the price matches up with the premium quality of the hardware.

He also made the assumption, or rather an approximation based on his own experience with suppliers for the Nothing Phone, that the OnePlus 11 probably cost $460 to manufacture. That is without including licensing fees and other expenses.


Pei incorrectly assumed that the OnePlus 11 camera was using the IMX766 sensor from Sony, which actually turned out to be the IMX890. However, based on that assumption Pei admitted that photos on the OnePlus 11 are better tuned than on his own Nothing Phone (1).

This observation was made particularly when comparing photos taken in scenarios with lots of light, where the OnePlus 11 camera captured more details. This realization prompted Pei to admit that his team still has work to do when it comes to improving camera quality on the Nothing Phone.

Another detail Pei thought was important to mention regarding the cameras was that on the OnePlus 11, is that they are all useful to the consumer and not purely a spec flex with an insane amount of megapixels.


Pei was the first to admit that he's not that much into customization, so he didn't play around with that aspect as much. However, he did notice that the screen calibration was very vivid on the OnePlus 11 display.

That said, he did have some gripes with the level of polish in the user interface, noting that he found little quirks, such as when swiping up around the google search bar on the home screen and other details that didn't exactly behaving like a normal Android device.

The Verdict

All in all, Carl Pei was pleased with the hardware but not so much with the software, and made it a point to make recommendation to those looking for a premium smartphone in the same price range. Surprisingly, Pei recommended iPhone for those who like iOS and a Pixel phone for those who like Android, with a final plug to his own Nothing Phone (1) for those that are looking for something at half the price.

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