The OnePlus 11 is the brand's latest attempt to re-capture its past glory, when it was the go-to brand for flagship killers. A lot has already been said about this phone and if you’ve stumbled upon this review, chances are you’ve already seen enough commentary about this device. But having spent a few weeks with the OnePlus 11, I think there’s some things you should know that perhaps other reviewers haven’t said much about. So, without wasting any more time, let’s get into it—the OnePlus 11.
So let’s start with what’s new on the OnePlus 11.
You get the latest and greatest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, you get faster 100W wired charging, and you get a whole new set of cameras.
What’s also new is the price tag—at ₹56,999 for the base model, the OnePlus 11 offers incredible value for money, second only to it’s own sibling, the OnePlus 11R.
So is this OnePlus returning to its roots? Making flagship killers? Well, not quite.
Let me demonstrate:
You have the latest WiFi 7 standard, but no wireless charging.
You have ultra-fast UFS 4.0 storage, but only a USB 2.0 port.
You have a 100W charging adapter in the box, but with a Type-A port instead of Type-C.
You have Gorilla Glass Victus for the screen, but only an IP64 rating.
Now none of these are deal-breakers, in fact, most people won’t even notice these omissions, much less criticise them, but I think it’s important to note that these are features OnePlus has offered previously.
Anyway, let’s get into how all these new features perform.
Let’s begin with the cameras, because let’s face it, they’re one of the main things that guides our buying decisions when getting a new phone.
The OnePlus 11 has a triple camera setup with a 50MP primary sensor, a 48MP ultra-wide sensor, and a 32MP telephoto sensor. This is one of the first times OnePlus has offered all three sensors with such high resolutions, and I have to say, it’s paid off.
In day-to-day scenarios, pictures come out well in nearly all situations. HDR is well balanced, colours are punchy but not over-saturated, and contrast levels are typically OnePlus. Even in mixed lighting conditions, there’s a good amount of sharpness and clarity, and colours are largely true-to-life. In low-light conditions, images do tend lose a little sharpness, but they retain a surprising amount of colour and dynamic range.
When it comes to the ultra-wide, there’s a lot less difference in images between this and the main sensor than you’d imagine. Colour science between the too isn’t very far apart, and thanks to the high-res sensor, ultra-wide shots have a good amount of detail. Sure, in low-light shots, it struggles to keep up with the main sensor, but I still think it does a good enough job.
The telephoto sensor takes good pictures, but the phone often switches to the main sensor, especially when trying to get a close-up shot. This may be due to better stability and focus on the main sensor, but I wish there was a way to override this.
Anyway, like I said, pictures from this sensor are great, with good sharpness, detail and colour accuracy.You do get OnePlus’ new Hasselblad Portrait with this sensor, but I’ll be honest, I didn’t seem to find it incredibly useful. Portrait pictures are still good, with strong edge detection and ample depth of field, but they still don’t look as natural as Samsung manages to do with its S23 series of devices.
However, one Hasselblad feature that never disappoints is the underrated X-Pan mode. It's super-wide format and moody look make everyday frames look cinematic, particularly in black-and-white. It's also good in colour mode, but a film look for the colour mode would be a great addition.
Now let’s turn to video, because this is a bit of a mixed bag. So you can record at up to 8K at 24fps which is great, even though it’s not incredibly useful, and 4K videos can be shot at 60fps, with optical image stabilisation. However, there’s no 4K 60FPS option for the ultra-wide sensor, the highest it’ll go is 4K at 30FPS.
Anyway, video quality is quite nice—colour processing is mostly accurate, there’s not a lot of white-balance shift, and stabilisation is also pretty smooth for the most part. I will say this though, I ended up using the Film feature to take most of my video samples, purely because of how much manual control it gave me, and the fact that it gave all my footage this really nice look. Contrast was punchier, colours were more vivid, and sure, in some cases there was visible noise, but if you’re trying to get some nice cinematic shots straight from the phone itself, the Film feature is incredibly useful.
Okay, enough about the rear cameras, let’s talk about the front camera. It’s a 16MP sensor, that takes good enough pictures in both outdoor and indoor settings, and the edge detection in portrait images is decent. Skin colours aren’t the most accurate, and images do tend to lack a bit in the sharpness department, but overall, the front camera produces respectable results. I do wish that a phone at this price point and with otherwise incredibly strong hardware had the ability to record 4K videos with the front camera, but it doesn’t.
Now like I mentioned earlier, the OnePlus 11 comes with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, which is arguably the best chipset on the market for Android devices. We’ve seen it perform brilliantly on Samsung’s S23 Ultra, but unfortunately, it seems as though it hasn’t been optimised as well on the OnePlus 11, at least when it comes to benchmarks.
For instance, on 3D Mark’s Wildlife Extreme Stress test, the OnePlus 11 achieved only 42.1% stability, and on a second run, it was even lower, at 37.7%. In a 15-minute CPU Throttle test, the phone throttled to 80% of peak performance almost immediately, and never really recovered.
I will say this: all of these are benchmark scores, which don’t tell the full picture of how a phone performs in day to day life. For example, if you don’t play something as demanding as Genshin Impact for hours on end, you’ll be absolutely fine. I ran Call of Duty Mobile and PUBG New State on this phone for a while, and there were no issues with performance, even at the highest graphic settings possible.
The phone did get a bit warm to the touch when gaming for a while or when shooting a lot of videos, but nowhere enough for me to worry about it overheating.
Okay, let’s move on to battery performance and charging. The battery capacity remains unchanged at 5,000 mAh, which is the same as the OnePlus 10 Pro. However, the charging is now 100W with the included charging adapter. I’m somewhat surprised that it’s not 150W like we had on the 10T and 10R, but I’m guessing some sacrifices had to be made to reach a competitive price point. It still went from flat to full in like 30-35 minutes, so it’s definitely not slow, but it’s certainly not the fastest charging we’ve seen from OnePlus.
Anyway, that larger battery spells great things for battery life, and even with the gorgeous 1440p 120Hz LTPO display that this phone has, it easily gave me a day’s worth of moderate usage. If you’re a particularly heavy user, I would suggest lowering the screen resolution to 1080p, which should even get you through two days if you’re frugal.
On the software front, things are mostly the same as before. Despite the ColorOS takeover of OxygenOS, it’s still one of my favourite Android skins. Moreover, it's great to see that OnePlus has stepped up by offering 4 years of major OS updates and 5 years of security updates, matching Samsung's commitment. Stereo speakers are also still here, as is the fingerprint scanner, and both work as well as they did before.
So that, folks, is the OnePlus 11. A bittersweet mix of functional performance, and necessary sacrifices. I still think that for the money, this is possibly as good as it gets—a fantastic display, solid cameras, great battery life and reliable performance, what more can one ask for? At the risk of sounding like a fanboy, I’m going to say that the old OnePlus is back. Maybe not exactly how we remember it, but it is back.