OnePlus 11 Review: the best OnePlus flagship phone in years and it is priced right

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OnePlus 11 Review

OnePlus 11 Intro


OnePlus is at a crossroads. The company which started with exciting "flagship killers" is now better known for its humdrum budget phones instead. But OnePlus is set to change that and its new flagship phone, the OnePlus 11, is the first big step in that direction.

As a fresh start, the OnePlus 11 comes with a new and more refined look including a gorgeous round camera system, but the bigger changes are on the inside. It helps that all of that change is driven by the impressive new Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip, one of the best mobile processors in years. The phone also comes with signature OnePlus touches like insanely fast charging speeds and the useful Alert Slider.

OnePlus 11 pros and cons

Pros

  • Affordable price (at least in the U.S.)
  • Powerful chip inside
  • Camera snaps good looking photos
  • One of the fastest and smoothest phones around
  • Incredibly fast charging
  • Great haptics

Cons

  • Video recording quality is below average
  • Display does not get as bright as others
  • OxygenOS makes some weird changes to Android behavior
  • No wireless charging
  • Throttles quicker than other Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 phones

So with all those improvements, can the OnePlus 11 finally match the big dogs like the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, iPhone 14 Pro Max and the Google Pixel 7 Pro? Let's find out!


What’s new about the OnePlus 11

  • Refined design with round camera system
  • Three cameras on the back
  • 2X zoom camera for portraits
  • OnePlus alert slider is back
  • Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 inside
  • Possibly best haptics ever on an Android phone
  • 6.7-inch OLED screen with 120Hz
  • Insane 100W fast charging
  • No wireless charging support

Table of Contents:

OnePlus 11 Specs


We've already mentioned the new processor and camera system, but take a look at all of the OnePlus 11 specs highlights below:


Don't forget that we have an in-depth look at the OnePlus 11 specs, and you can easily compare it against other phones too, like this here OnePlus 11 vs OnePlus 10 Pro specs comparison.


OnePlus 11 Unboxing



The OnePlus 11 ships in a big red box with the words OnePlus and Hasselblad printed on the cap and the letters 11 beautifully engraved on it.

Inside the box you will find the following:
  • Phone with pre-applied screen protector
  • 80W charger with USB-A port (100W outside the US)
  • Red OnePlus cable with USB-A to USB-C connection
  • See-through silicone case
  • Stickers
  • SIM tool
  • User manuals

This is generous packaging for a 2023 phone, considering that most flagships these days don't even have a charger included in the box, let alone a case, so we appreciate OnePlus still packing all of those things in the box. 

OnePlus 11 Design & Colors

Finally, a flagship phone that does not feel too big


The OnePlus 11 comes in one size only and while it is a big phone with a 6.7-inch screen size, it does not feel as large and as heavy as the Galaxy S23 Ultra or iPhone 14 Pro Max. This is one of our biggest complaints against those otherwise great devices, so we're happy to see OnePlus going with a more svelte device.

The design of the OnePlus 11 is actually similar to the previous OnePlus 10 Pro, but compared side to side, you can definitely see the refinement of this new phone. The OnePlus 11 features a glass back and aluminum frame. The glass is Corning's Gorilla Glass Victus on the front, while on the back you have Corning's older generation Gorilla Glass 5.

The power button and Alert Slider are on the right, volume buttons - on the left. On the bottom, you have a USB-C port, but one setback here is that it only supports the quite slow USB 2.0 standard.

OnePlus phones usually don't have an official IP rating, but this one does. The OnePlus 11 is rated IP64 for some water and dust protection. That is less than the IP68 rating of other flagships that can easily survive being submerged in water for a while, so it's definitely not a good idea to submerge this phone in water.

The dual loudspeakers have gotten a welcome upgrade with dual sub-magnets and NLC low-frequency algorithm, all fancy words, but we were glad to see that in reality, audio quality is noticeably improved indeed.

The phone comes in two colorways: you have a green version and a black model, the green features a smooth glass finish, while the black one has a new kind of coating which glimmers when light hits it at certain angles.

OnePlus 11 Display

While others have implemented the new E6 OLED panel, OnePlus falls behind with an older generation screen


The OnePlus 11 features a 6.7-inch OLED screen which is curved at the sides.

It's a nice looking screen and it supports 1440p resolution for extra crispy detail, plus it also features a dynamic refresh rate that can go from 1 Hz all the way up to 120Hz, thanks to LTPO 3.0 technology. The 1Hz option is great if you use the AOD (Always-on Display) function as it drains less power than before.

OnePlus is not disclosing the panel technology used, but unofficial sources say it uses the older Samsung E4 OLED panel, rather than the newer E6 panels. This is one slight compromise compared to other new 2023 phones, but you probably have to be really obsessed about screen quality to actually notice.

Display Measurements:



In our display measurements above, notice that this screen does not get as bright as other phones outdoors, so you'll have to squint harder to read it out on a sunny day. The other concerning number is the minimum brightness which is actually way too bright for night time use and will tire your eyes faster.

Next, in terms of biometrics, the OnePlus 11 uses an optical in-screen fingerprint scanner, which feels fast and accurate, so we have no complaints. Also, you have face unlock via the front camera, just keep in mind that this is simple image-based 2D system and is not as secure as the 3D type like Apple's Face ID.

One of our favorite features of the OnePlus 11 is a brand new vibration motor, which is 67% larger than before. OnePlus humbly calls it "the king of Android motors", and we have to agree that it feels incredibly precise. It gives off delicate haptics while typing, while you still don't miss calls and notifications. For the first time, you now have support for "double vibration", particularly useful in games. Others in the Android space now have to catch up.

OnePlus 11 Camera

Some strange camera choices, but can OnePlus make it work?

OnePlus 11
PhoneArena Camera Score
BEST 153
139
PhoneArena Photo Score
BEST 160
146
Main (wide)
BEST 85
79
Zoom
BEST 27
18
Ultra-wide
BEST 25
22
Selfie
BEST 30
27
PhoneArena Video Score
BEST 147
132
Main (wide)
BEST 79
74
Zoom
BEST 21
13
Ultra-wide
BEST 23
22
Selfie
BEST 28
24

The OnePlus 11 comes with a redesigned camera system that looks big and impressive from afar.

Let's break down the camera specs:
  • 50MP wide (main) camera, Sony IMX890 sensor, f/1.8 aperture
  • 48MP ultra-wide, Sony IMX581 sensor, f/2.2
  • 32MP 2X zoom, Sony IMX709 sensor, f/2.0 (up to 20X digital zoom)
  • 16MP front cam, ISOCELL 3P9 (S5K3P9) sensor

You get a 50MP main camera sensor here, but interestingly, OnePlus uses the Sony IMX890 sensor, which at least in theory is not quite as impressive as the larger 1-inch type Sony IMX989 sensor used by rivals from Xiaomi and Vivo.

The ultra-wide camera sensor is a 48MP one and it can focus as close as 3.5cm for macro shots and the third rear camera is a 2X zoom lens, great for portraits. However, those who want to be able to zoom further might be disappointed as the OnePlus 11 lacks a long-range zoom lens.

So... how good is this camera system in real life? And can it shoot photos and videos as good as your Galaxy, iPhone or Pixel?

Main Camera



The OnePlus 11 main camera tends to capture warmer colors with a good amount of saturation without going to the extreme. Images are contrasty, with deep blacks and overall we like this look, it's a bit more toned down than your typical Samsung phone, but much more vibrant than say a Google Pixel, so it's kind of a good middle ground.

Night Photos



In low light, the OnePlus also does an excellent job. Exposure is good, detail is just a tiny bit sharper than ideal, but nowhere nearly as extreme as on the latest iPhone 14 Pro or Galaxy S23 Ultra, so that's a good thing.

Ultra-wide Camera



Similarly to the main camera, the OnePlus 11 favors warmer colors and a brighter exposure with its ultra-wide camera during the day. This is one of the best ultra-wide cameras we have tested in 2023, photos look great both during the day and at night.

Telephoto Camera and Zooming



While the OnePlus 11 lacks a dedicate long-range zoom camera, it does a decent job with digital zoom. Sure, it's a step back compared to phones like the Pixel 7 Pro which has a 5X zoom camera or the Galaxy S23 Ultra which has two zoom cameras, a 3X and 10X one, but it's not too far behind.

Portrait Mode



In the camera app, you get 1X and 2X portrait modes. 1X is actually a simulation of a 3.5/30mm Hasselblad XCD lens and the 2X mimics a 2.8/65mm Hasselblad XCD lens with cool swirly bokeh.

Portrait mode quality on the Pixel uses very rough crops from the main camera and the quality is the worst out of any modern flagship. The OnePlus 11 on the other hand is able to capture very pleasing portrait mode shots and the 2X zoom lens is a god-send for portraits.

Selfies



For selfies, the differences between the two are only amplified, as the OnePlus captures an even brighter exposure than typical, and the Pixel goes for an even darker and moodier shot than usual. Both are not ideal, but if we had to pick one, we would go with the brighter shots out of the OnePlus.

OnePlus 11 Video Quality


Video Thumbnail

The OnePlus 11 can record up to 8K video, which sounds impressive on paper, but once put to the test, you can see that video quality is just not on par with flagship rivals.

We opted for 4K recording as the most common format and while in perfect conditions you can get decent videos, there are two bigger issues with OnePlus 11 video quality. The first one is about the stabilization, which is below average, and the second is with the slightly washed out colors and often too bright exposure during the day. When you film while walking around there is a noticeable pulsing in the colors too.

In low light, the viewfinder on the OnePlus 11 is deceptive as it appears that the recording is extremely dark, while the final processed video is actually brighter. However, you notice the poor stabilization again, as well as a lot of noise in the darker areas. The OnePlus 11 gets a passing grade for video quality, but not much more. 

OnePlus 11 Performance & Benchmarks

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 goodness


The OnePlus 11 has the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip, the fastest one in the Android space so far in 2023.

The base version of the phone ships with 8GB of RAM which is okay, but if you opt for the 256 gig version, you get the OnePlus 11 with a whopping 16GB of RAM. This is an insane amount of RAM, and it's a worthy upgrade. OnePlus says that the base 8GB RAM OnePlus 11 version can have 18 apps running in the background, while the 16GB RAM model can have an incredible 44 apps running in the background. We haven't put this to the test, but this is the kind of performance that you usually get on more expensive phones.

In terms of RAM, the OnePlus 11 beats the Galaxy S23 Ultra, Pixel 7 Pro and pretty much all other phones on the market, except for the gaming-oriented Asus ROG Phone.

Performance Benchmarks


Geekbench 6 SingleHigher is better
OnePlus 111510
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra1971
OnePlus 10 Pro1294
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max2423
Google Pixel 7 Pro1412
Geekbench 6 MultiHigher is better
OnePlus 115046
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra5115
OnePlus 10 Pro3676
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max6306
Google Pixel 7 Pro3303
3DMark Extreme(High)Higher is better
OnePlus 113692
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra3828
OnePlus 10 Pro2582
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max3382
Google Pixel 7 Pro1836
3DMark Extreme(Low)Higher is better
OnePlus 111739
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra1951
OnePlus 10 Pro1617
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max2327
Google Pixel 7 Pro1292

When it comes to CPU performance, the OnePlus 11 is big jump over the previous generation and about on par with the rest of the 2023 Android flagships. 

For gaming, we run the 3D Mark Wildlife Extreme test that runs for 20 minutes and it shows very aggressive throttling on the OnePlus 11. Performance drops quickly, in just about 3 or 4 minutes.

This is probably the fourth or fifth phone with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip that we have used so far in 2023, and none of the others have such severe throttling. We don't think that's much of a problem for casual gamers, but if you want to play Genshin Impact with maxed out settings, you probably will be at least slightly disappointed.

The OnePlus 11 comes in either a 128 gig or 256 gig storage versions, and the 256GB one comes with the newer and faster UFS 4.0 storage, so that's one solid argument for getting it. This newer storage standard brings a huge leap in read/write speeds and allows the actual chips to be smaller. UFS 4.0 has double the read speeds of UFS 3.1, reaching up to 4,200MB/s for read and 2,800MB/s for write.

The RAM on the OnePlus 11 is also of the faster LPDDR5X kind, and it brings a 33% speed boost and is 20% more energy efficient compared to the previous generation.

OnePlus 11 Connectivity

Support all major US carriers, but will not be sold at any of them

The OnePlus 11 will not be sold on US carriers, but you will be able to buy at big box retailers and Amazon with compatible 5G bands for the US market.

It is also a dual SIM, dual active phone that can either have two 5G SIMs or one 5G SIM card and one 4G SIM card. It also supports eSIM.

International models will support different bands, as usual.

The Chinese model of the OnePlus 11 which launched a couple of months earlier has different software and different cellular bands, so if you are buying from some less known store make sure you get the right model for your market.

OnePlus 11 Android version

For the first time, four years of Android version updates!


The OnePlus 11 ships with Android 13, but the actual skin on top differs depending on the model. The US and global models run on Oxygen OS, while the Chinese version has ColorOS 13.

The OxygenOS skin is clean and very well optimized, and for the first time, OnePlus promises four years of major OS updates, which means it will be getting Android 17, just like the Galaxy S23 Ultra. And it will also get 5 years of bi-monthly security updates. This is great news as OnePlus earlier did not have the longest software support, and the 11 is finally fixing that.

At the same time, we have to mention that this is not your standard Android version. Things like clearing and expanding notification happen differently than on most other Android phones. For example, on most Android phones, you can swipe either left or right to clear a notification, while on the OnePlus 11 a swipe left brings a menu instead of clearing the notification. Also, a swipe down on a notification typically expands it on most Android phones, but not on the OnePlus 11, where you have a small button that you have to tap to expand the notification. You get used to that, but it is quite inconvenient.

OnePlus 11 Battery

Decent battery life, extraordinary charging speeds


The OnePlus 11 battery comes in at a 5,000mAh capacity, which has become the de facto standard amongst large-sized Android flagship phones.

PhoneArena Battery Test Results:


Web Browsing(hours)Higher is better
OnePlus 1113h 22 min
OnePlus 10 Pro13h 33 min
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra18h 57 min
Samsung Galaxy S23+16h 37 min
Google Pixel 7 Pro14h 19 min
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max19h 5 min
Video Streaming(hours)Higher is better
OnePlus 118h 23 min
OnePlus 10 Pro10h 7 min
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra8h 54 min
Samsung Galaxy S23+8h 15 min
Google Pixel 7 Pro9h 39 min
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max11h

In our independent battery tests, we found the OnePlus 11 lasted about on par with last year's model when it comes to web browsing, and it scored lower on our YouTube video playback test.

The video streaming results are strong on the OnePlus 11, it even beats the Galaxy S23 Ultra on that test, but interestingly in the use case with web browsing the OnePlus 11 scores way below the average. Altogether, you should not expect wonders out of the OnePlus 11 battery, but no huge disappointments either. This phone will last you through an even more intense day easily, but it's not on the same level as battery champs such as the iPhone 14 Pro Max or Galaxy S23 Ultra

What is extra-ordinary about the OnePlus 11 is its charging speed. You get 80W max charging speeds (100W if you live outside the US), which a neat upgrade from the 10 Pro. A full charge takes just half an hour, truly impressive!

Here is a breakdown of the charging speeds:
  • in 15 mins - 57% on 80W, 67% on 100W
  • Full charge - 100% in about half an hour (32 mins on 80W, 27 mins on 100W)

OnePlus promises that despite those fast charging speeds, there will be no quick degradation of the battery health and a battery should last around four years before it's due for replacement, which the company estimates is twice as long as competitors.

Of course, this charging speed is not quite a world record, this is currently held by Xiaomi and its 210W charging system (full charge in under 10 minutes). However, those phones are not available in the U.S. market, so the OnePlus 11 is currently the fastest charging phone state-side. 


Interestingly, in our OnePlus 10T review we saw that older phone had a 150W fast charger, which is even faster.

The OnePlus 11 does NOT support wireless charging, which might disappoint some people. But if you ask us, we don't think this is much of a loss with this kind of wired charging speeds.

OnePlus 11 Models



The OnePlus 11 is the flagship OnePlus phone for 2023. There is no OnePlus 11 Pro or 11 Ultra at this time.

OnePlus explains that it's removing the "Pro" because that just adds unnecessary complexity to the name. You don’t need to have a Pro name for a device that’s already Pro, says OnePlus, and it doesn't want to upsell you a "Pro" or an "Ultra". It's about being honest with customers, according to the company, and we appreciate that.

We have two storage/RAM versions of the OnePlus 11 in the US:

  • 8GB RAM + 128GB storage: $699
  • 16GB RAM + 256GB storage: $799

OnePlus 11 Competitors


At the $700 price of the OnePlus 11, it is one of the cheapest phones running on the powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip and undercuts even the Google Pixel 7 Pro. This is excellent value and very exciting news for those who don't want to spend a fortune on a flagship phone.

Comparing the Galaxy S23 Ultra vs OnePlus 11, the OnePlus is cheaper, not as gargantuan, it has faster charging, while the Galaxy has a more versatile camera system with longer zoom range, the S Pen, and the Samsung Experience interface. Of course, the Galaxy is nearly 50% more expensive.

Comparing the OnePlus 11 vs Pixel 7 Pro, the OnePlus is more affordable yet has a faster processor, it's a better device for gaming, it has faster charging, and is able to capture better looking portrait shots. The Pixel, on the other hand, has day one Android updates, its own quirky UI that many people like, an overall slightly better camera system and a few interesting features like Call Screening and superb voice recognition.

Comparing the OnePlus 11 vs iPhone 14 Pro, the OnePlus has the advantage of being of a more manageable size, more affordable, plus it's got faster charging and the open Android system, while the iPhone has the iOS platform with long software updates, a slightly faster chip, better video recording quality and funky features like the Dynamic Island.

OnePlus 11 Summary



After using the OnePlus 11 for a while, we can say that it feels like OnePlus is kind of back.

The company made quite a few mis-steps in the past couple of years, but the OnePlus 11 feels like a device that is well positioned for success. At its $700 price, it undercuts most other phones on the market. It is actually the most affordable flagship phone with the powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip inside.

Here is what we loved the most about the OnePlus 11: the beautiful and lightweight design feels way more comfortable than lugging around a giant and heavier phone, the phone runs fast and smooth, the insane charging speeds change the way you think about charging your phone in general, and all just seems to work well.

The camera remains the one thing that OnePlus cannot quite impress us with. It's a decent shooter, but decent doesn't cut it when you are competing with the Galaxy S23, Pixel 7 series and the iPhone 14 family. We are also iffy about the software and all its quirks and weird way to clear and expand notifications. We were also surprised to see the phone throttle more than others with this powerful chip, but this should probably only worry hardcore gamers.

However, the big promise that OnePlus makes is that it will support this phone longer than ever before and it will keep it up to date. That's huge! If OnePlus lives up to its promise, the OnePlus 11 is finally a new flagship by the company that we can actually recommend.

*Disclaimer: You may notice review scores have changed on PhoneArena! Since September 20th, we have started using a new scoring system. Learn more about the new PhoneArena Smartphone Review Rating system here.

Pros

  • Affordable price
  • Powerful chip inside
  • One of the fastest and smoothest phones around
  • Incredibly fast charging
  • Great haptics

Cons

  • Camera quality a step below rivals, especially video
  • Display does not get as bright as rivals
  • OxygenOS makes weird changes to accepted Android gestures
  • No wireless charging
  • Throttles quicker than other Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 phones

PhoneArena Rating:

6.6

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