OnePlus 11 review: Pro price, Ultra features
OnePlus turns the value proposition up to 11
Update: I’ll continue to add context to this in-depth OnePlus 11 review based on my long-term experience and as I continue to test it against Samsung’s new flagship in my ongoing Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review. As I say in this review, they’ll appeal to the same audience – Android power users – but at different price levels.
✅ 💰 Starting at $699, it’s the best value for a big, powerful Android phone
✅ 📺 Impressive 6.7-inch 120Hz AMOLED with 1Hz always-on display
✅ ⚙️ Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset; up to 16GB RAM + 256GB storage
✅ 📳 Physical alert slider toggles silent, ring and vibrate – with good haptics
❌ 📸 Camera is good, but certainly not the best on a smartphone
❌ ⚡ No wireless charging whatsoever
❌ 🪨 Cheaper back glass and only IP64 water-resistance
❌ 🌈 Only two color choices
Review score: 4 out of 5 🏆
The OnePlus 11 is a powerful new Android smartphone that hits differently than the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra that I’m also reviewing. It emphasizes under-the-hood performance at a better price, trading some camera prowess, wireless charging and a stylus for almost half the price.
At $699 for pre-order through OnePlus, Best Buy and Amazon today, and officially releasing on Thursday, February 16, the OnePlus 11 is a compelling choice for people who favor value over having everything a phone can possibly offer. In tough economic times, you don’t have to settle for the cheaper OnePlus 10T (now down to $399) if you favor top-of-the-line specs for under $1,000. There’s a middle ground.
In the US, the OnePlus 11 ends up being the cheapest way to buy into the next generation of Android smartphones featuring the ray-tracing capable Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset from Qualcomm. And, while the $699 version features 128GB of storage and 8GB RAM, there’s a maxed-out edition with 256GB of storage and 16GB RAM for $100 more. That’s the one I’ve been testing for this in-depth review.
It’s not going to woo every potential Galaxy S23 Ultra buyer, especially because the OnePlus 11 50MP camera, while much improved for OnePlus, doesn’t match what I’m seeing from Samsung. Night shots, videos and selfies make this Hasselblad triple-lens camera a solid second-string player that’ll get the job done. It just won’t wow you or your friends, especially with its limited 2x zoom.
In a pair of rare moves – one pro and one con – for an Android phone, the OnePlus 11 has a physical alert slider (something present on most but not all OnePlus phones) to conveniently toggle between silent, vibrate and ring, stealing an iPhone trait and making it even better. But then OnePlus goes right ahead of takes away wireless charging (not available on most, but some OnePlus phones).
Can you live without wireless charging and having the top smartphone camera on the market? If that’s a yes, then this is your best option for a new Android with a 6.7-inch 120Hz screen, up to 256GB of storage, up to 16GB of RAM and some of the fastest wired charging I’ve ever tested on a mobile device. It’s cheaper than the normal 6.1-inch Galaxy S23 and 6.6-inch S23 Plus, emphasizing the value for your dollar in a way that Samsung and Apple cannot.
Why trust my OnePlus 11 review
I’ve had the OnePlus 11 for over a week with its maxed-out specs while also juggling testing the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. It immediately became clear to me that these two smartphones will appeal to the same audience – Android power users – but at different price levels.
I’ve either reviewed or tested every OnePlus phone since the OnePlus 5 and Android phones in general since the Note 3. I’ve run through some industry-standard benchmarks on the OnePlus 11, but I mostly stick to real-world testing in my reviews.
OnePlus 11 specs
📆 Release date: Thursday, February 16, 2023
💰 Price: $699 (8GB+128GB) / $799 (16GB+256GB)
📺 Screen size: 6.7-inch
🖥️ Resolution: 1440p LPTO OLED with HDR10+ and Dolby Vision HDR
⏩ Refresh rate: 120Hz
🪨 Corning Gorilla Glass Victus (front) / Gorilla Glass 5 (back)
📸 50MP main camera
📸 48MP ultrawide camera (115-degree field of view)
📸 32MP portrait telephoto with 2x optical zoom
🤳 16MP selfie camera
⚙️ Chipset: Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
🐏 RAM: 8GB / 16GB (LPDDR5X)
🗄️ Storage: 128GB (UFS 3.1) / 256GB (UFS 4.0)
🔋 Battery: 5,000mAh
📶 5G + WiFi 7
📳 Alert slider
🔒 In-screen fingerprint sensor
🔌 80W SuperVOOC+ fast charging
💦 Waterproof: IP64
🙅♂️ No wireless charging
🥶 Large cryo-velocity VC Cooling system
⚖️ Weight: 205g
🌈 Colors: Titan Black, Eternal Green
🤖 Android 13 with OxygenOS 13
What I loved about the OnePlus 11 ❤️
💪 Power player: It can keep up with even the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, as it has the same ray-tracing-capable Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset at its heart. Yes, Samsung’s phones overclock the new Qualcomm chipset for even more speed, but the OnePlus 11 is nearly as capable, and it stays cool under pressure. You won’t need a OnePlus Glacier Mat case to keep temperatures in check.
💸 Budget performer: OnePlus again nails the price-for-performance equation among phones sold in the US. It’s cheaper than the Samsung Galaxy S23 and S23 Plus, which have smaller screens, so unless you’re going for a last-generation smartphone from 2022, this is your best value in 2023.
📺 Screen queen: OK, Samsung remains king, but the OnePlus really impressed me with its 2K AMOLED (1440p) display and 120Hz refresh rate that can instantly dial things back to 1Hz, depending on the situation (when you switch from intense gaming to an ebook, for example). With HDR10+ and Dolby Vision onboard, the ever-so-slightly curved OnePlus 11 display shouldn’t be underestimated.
📳 Physical alert slider: Every time I review a OnePlus phone and it has this feature, I compliment the company and question everyone else but Apple. So here it goes: Nice job, OnePlus. Every other Android manufacturer, why do you insist on making it difficult to silence our phones in meetings? We don’t have time for unlocking our phones to mess around with on-screen volume controls. Bonus, the vibration haptics feel great on the OnePlus 11 – no longer cheap.
What I disliked about the OnePlus 11 💔
📸 Solid, but second-string camera: It’s a good camera, but having just reviewed the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and knowing how good the Google Pixel 7 Pro still is, it’s clearly not the best you can buy. I’m waiting to test the Galaxy S23 and S23 Plus, so OnePlus may be comparable – its HDR does a nice job of filling in blown-out highlights in backgrounds. But if you’re looking for anything more than a 2x zoom and great night photos, video and selfies, look elsewhere.
⚡ Where’s the wireless charging? OnePlus 11 can charge quickly with the included 80W SuperVOOC+ fast charger brick, but the phone is missing wireless charging – a feature that’s become so standard that even better-late-than-never Apple is doing it. We had about two years' worth of charging from OnePlus phones in the past, but it’s been taken away. For shame!
🪨 Rock a case, please: It looks and feels more expensive than it actually is, but while the OnePlus 11 design punches above its weight for style points, the back has the cheaper Gorilla Glass 5 (the front is Gorilla Glass Victus, so it’s tougher, but still not the Victus 2 on Samsung’s S23 series). It feels a bit hollow when tapping on the back. It’s also slippery, extra reason to grab a OnePlus case.
💦 Not waterproof: It’s IP64 instead of the typical IP67 of most high-end phones, meaning the OnePlus 11 isn’t waterproof. You can get it wet, but submerging it isn’t recommended, and that’s a major downside for some people.
🌈 Colors: I faulted Samsung for its lack of colors, so it’s only right to hold OnePlus to the same standard with even fewer options. I do like the glossy Eternal Green colors – the matte Titan Black color is just OK – but give me something with more pop, too, please.
Should I buy the OnePlus 11?
✅ You want a powerful phone for no more than $700 or $800
✅ You want a big smartphone display for the best value
✅ You appreciate the alert slider and good haptics as much as me
❌ Camera quality is the most important thing on your phone
❌ You find wireless charging even a little bit convenient
❌ You’re a clumsy butterfingers who refuses to use a case