Budget Android phones are in a great place right now thanks to devices like the $499 Google Pixel 7 and $599 Asus ZenFone 9. However, if you want that true premium Android experience with a top-end processor and a full trio of cameras, you still usually have to pay $899 or more for the latest and greatest. Enter the OnePlus 11 at $699, which, on paper at least, still gives you everything I just mentioned.
In practice, the OnePlus 11 is a great device overall and a real return to form for the recently languishing Android phone maker. There are of course a few things to nitpick, like the slightly slower and completely proprietary fast charging, and that photos that come out of this device might not be to everyone’s liking. But for the most part, if you want a premium Android phone experience, there’s no other device that offers as much for as little as the OnePlus 11 does right now.
OnePlus 11 – Design and Features
The OnePlus 11 is undeniably one of the sleekest-looking smartphones around. It’s a thin device, measuring 0.34 inches (8.53mm), making it slimmer than the 0.35-inch thick Google Pixel 7, but not nearly as thin as the 0.31-inch thick iPhone 14 or the 0.3-inch thick Samsung Galaxy S23. Still, it feels and looks sleeker than it actually is in hand thanks to the way its curved screen further thins out its edges.
The phone also feels premium in your hand – or at least the front half of it does. The front is adorned with a solid sheet of Corning Gorilla Glass Victus that is super durable against scratches. The back of the phone feels decidedly more like plastic due to the speckled, textured finish OnePlus applied to the Gorilla Glass 5 the rear panel is actually made of. Still, the OnePlus 11 looks like a flashy accessory thanks to the smoky, chrome-out stainless steel on the camera housing and sides of the device.
Of course, you will be staring at the OnePlus 11’s 6.7-inch screen more often. The screen size is the same as its predecessor, but now the phone features a sharper 3,216 x 1,440 AMOLED display with a 120Hz max refresh rate. The previous OnePlus 10T had a 2,412 x 1,080 resolution screen.
The jump in screen sharpness helps to make text and images look crisper. Meanwhile, vibrant colors pop right off the display, and it being an AMOLED panel gets you inky blacks too.
Unfortunately, you can’t fine-tune the display to operate at a wide variety of refresh rates. Instead, you’re only given two options: standard to lock it to 60Hz, or high that maxes out at 120Hz. No matter which refresh rate you pick, the screen will adaptively adjust itself and the always-on display actually operates at 1Hz to help preserve battery life.
OnePlus 11 – Performance and Gaming
For a mid-range phone, the OnePlus 11 comes surprisingly well-equipped with the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip, which will also power all of this year’s flagship Android phones. That top-end processor comes paired with 256GB of storage and 16GB LPDDR5X RAM to help keep a dozen (or up to 44) apps cached in the background. The starting SKU comes with half as much storage and memory that largely gives you the same experience, but just less headroom for caching apps.
All of these high-end components kept Android 13 running at a snappy pace whether I was just scrolling through sites, recording 8K video, or playing games. Games are a particular treat on the OnePlus 11 thanks to its 120Hz display and 1000Hz touch response rate.
OnePlus phones have also always been geared more toward gaming than most other mainstream devices thanks to their built-in HyperBoost Gaming Engine features. This “gaming mode” kicks on as soon as you start playing, freeing up memory and optimizing the device’s performance. The phone will also attempt to keep a steady frame rate on the screen, similar to how variable refresh rate works on the Xbox Series X or PS5.
OnePlus 11 – Image Samples
OnePlus 11 – Camera
The OnePlus 11 comes well-equipped with cameras, including the ever-present 50MP Sony IMX890 sensor found in most high-end smartphones. The other two cameras also have a noticeably high resolution of 48MP on the ultrawide camera and 32MP for the telephoto.
Photos from the OnePlus 11 look uniquely contrasty, with an emphasis on darker shadows over bright highlights. It’s an aesthetic I like for the most part, but sometimes images look almost too underexposed to the point that they lose details.
OnePlus 11 – Image Samples
The OnePlus 11 also features the Hasselblad – the famed medium-format camera company – branding and color calibration that was missing on the OnePlus 10T last year. Hasselblad’s color tuning combined with the phone’s ability to shoot in 10-bit color definitely makes photos from this device pop; colors look exceedingly vibrant, but not to the point they’re clipping and banding unnaturally.
The telephoto camera is the real treat of the device. Thanks to its high-resolution sensor, photos from the 2x zoom camera are nice and sharp and you can digitally zoom in without compromising too much detail.
That said, a 2x telephoto camera is pretty underwhelming when the Google Pixel 7 Pro has a 5x optical zoom and the Galaxy S23 Ultra is rocking a 10x lens – but considering other devices in the OnePlus 11’s price range don’t even include a telephoto camera, the inclusion is very welcome.
OnePlus 11 – Battery Life
The OnePlus 11 comes equipped with a fairly large 5,000mAh battery that puts it on par with some of the biggest phones on the market, including the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. A battery of that size paired with a QHD+ screen, plus the power-sipping always-on display, allowed me to finish most days with 30-40% battery life.
Now, most of that daily usage was spent watching videos, listening to music and podcasts, scrolling on social media, and playing mobile games in spurts throughout the day. With lighter usage, the end-of-day battery percentage ticks up to 50 or 60, so you can probably get away with charging the device every other day.
Charging the device ultimately won’t take much time either as it supports OnePlus’ proprietary 80W SuperVOOC charging. You’ll need to lug around OnePlus’ specialty charging brick, but with it, you can go from 0 to 100% battery in just 27 minutes. Curiously, the OnePlus 10T could charge at a much faster 125W pace that was capable of fully charging the device in 20 minutes. The OnePlus 11 takes a bit longer to charge, but seven extra minutes isn’t too much of a hassle.
Using any other charger, even if it’s PD-rated or high wattage, will give you much slower charging speeds. Also, forget about wireless charging as the OnePlus 11 doesn’t feature it at all.