Chinese manufacturer OnePlus Technology has gone straightforward with its OnePlus 11. The positioning of this flagship Android smartphone for 2023 is somewhat a side swipe to the confusing naming and branding conventions used by other smartphone manufacturers. Consider the entire iPhone 14 lineup from Apple or the Samsung Galaxy S23 lineup which includes the vanilla Galaxy S23, the Galaxy S23+, and the Galaxy S23 Ultra as notable examples. This article provides a concise and quick review of the pros and cons of the OnePlus 11.
Pros of the OnePlus 11
There are no other sub-brands to this flagship smartphone unlike the previous OnePlus 10T and OnePlus 10 Pro. The OnePlus 11 is the sole flagship Android device from OnePlus for 2023. One of its main selling points is the top-tier Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 which has been regarded as one of the most powerful and advanced mobile chipsets.
Other notable advantages of this device are the decent performance of its camera systems, a power-efficient but flagship-grade display, and a sizeable battery capacity. This is also one of the most affordable high-tier Android smartphones in the market with capabilities that rival expensive flagship devices from other manufacturers.
Below are the specific selling points of this smartphone:
• Powerful and Efficient Smartphone: Geekbench scores show that it is miles ahead compared to the OnePlus 10 Pro and performs better in multi-core processing compared to the Google Pixel 7 Pro and the iPhone 14. Scores from 3DMark Wildlife revealed that it even outcompetes the iPhone 14 Pro with its A16 Bionic chip.
• Lasting Battery and Fast Charging: This device has a 5000 mAh lithium-ion battery. A full charge can last around 13 hours of continuous use. It also supports the SuperVOOC fast charging system via 80 watts for the U.S. version and 100 watts for the international version. The newer Snapdragon chip makes this smartphone more power efficient.
• Impressive OLED Display Tech: Another notable selling point of the OnePlus 11 is its 6.7-inch Super Fluid AMOLED display with LTPO 3.0 technology, an adaptive refresh rate that maximizes to 120Hz, a peak brightness of 1300 nits, a 1440×3216 resolution at around 525 ppi, and support for Dolby Vision and HDR10+.
• Above-Average Camera Systems: The main 50-megapixel camera on the rear is a solid shooter that outperforms even the iPhone 14 Pro in terms of color reproduction and brightness. This shame shooter has optical image stabilization and supports video recording at 1080P, 4K, and 8K video resolution.
• Long-Term Software Support: Another advantage of the OnePlus 11 over most flagship Android devices is its longevity from solid after-sales support. OnePlus Technology promises to give this device four major Android operating system updates and five years of continuous security updates.
• Inexpensive Flagship Smartphone: The base model of this device with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage retails for USD 699.00 while the variant with 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage retails for USD 799.00. The base models of the vanilla Galaxy S23 and the bigger Galaxy S23+ have a starting price of more than USD 1000.00
Cons of the OnePlus 11
Nevertheless, considering the aforementioned selling points, this device is far from perfect. The OnePlus 11 lacks certain features that have become standard in high-end smartphones. It is too straightforward that others might find it dull and uninspiring compared to the gimmicky flagship Android smartphones such as the Vivo X90 and the Samsung S23 Ultra.
Below are the issues and limitations of this smartphone:
• Notable Camera System Issues: The selfie camera is average at best. It takes clear and decent photos under bright lighting but struggles with low light. The same is true for video recording. There is also no dedicated telephoto camera. The edge recognition of the Portrait mode is also not as refined as other high-tier flagship smartphones.
• Lacks Wireless Charging Feature: Remember that this device is straightforward and inexpensive. The low price point has been made possible through the removal of certain features found in other flagship devices. One of which is wireless charging. This might be a non-issue for most users while it might be a deal-breaker for some.
• Issues With Throttling and Heating: Another drawback of the OnePlus 11 is its susceptibility to throttling and heating. The performance of its Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip depends on heat management and it appears that this device does not have a solid cooling system in place to prevent throttling and heating.
• Display Struggles Under Bright Light: Its OLED display is impressive but it is not as impressive as other OLED screens. It has a brightness that peaks at 1300 nits which is not enough when used under bright outdoor light. Note that the Samsung S23 lineup, the Google Pixel 7 Pro, and the iPhone 14 lineup have higher peak brightness.
• No Headphone Jack and Card Slot: This device also remains true to the trend seen in most flagship smartphones nowadays. There is no headphone jack for wired audio output. Users are also stuck with either a 128GB or 256GB of internal storage because storage is not expandable due to the absence of a multimedia card slot.
• Limited 5G Network Connectivity: Another disadvantage of the OnePlus 11 is that it does not have the relevant hardware component for connecting to the faster and more advanced mmWave 5G networks. This device still connects to sub-6 GHz 5G networks and 4G or LTE networks which are more available and accessible.
OnePlus 11 Review Verdict: The Pros and the Cons
The aforementioned selling points and advantages of the OnePlus 11 make it arguably the best flagship Android smartphone from OnePlus Technology in years and one of the best high-tier smartphones for 2023. Its affordable pricing and the use of the most latest chipset provide strong reasons for purchasing this device over other flagships and even mid-range smartphones. Nevertheless, despite the notable disadvantages, this device remains a perfect all-rounder smartphone. It can be argued that its drawbacks are negligible considering its price.