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oneplus 11 back glass standing
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

OnePlus 11 review: Return of the old OnePlus?

There are some things you can't go back to.
By
January 23, 2024

OnePlus 11

The OnePlus 11 is a powerful performer at a great price, and it runs circles around most phones when it comes to charging. However, it skips mainstays like wireless charging, has limited water resistance, and suffers from 'Old OnePlus' camera pitfalls.

What we like

Eye-catching design and finish
Stunning display
Powerful peak performance
Blazing-fast wired charging
Excellent software update promise

What we don't like

No wireless charging
Hit or miss camera colors
Awful low-light shots
Mediocre zoom capabilities
Limited water resistance

OnePlus 11

The OnePlus 11 is a powerful performer at a great price, and it runs circles around most phones when it comes to charging. However, it skips mainstays like wireless charging, has limited water resistance, and suffers from 'Old OnePlus' camera pitfalls.

OnePlus first captured everyone’s attention with its “Flagship Killer” mentality. It challenged the best Android phones every year with a single, affordable device that balanced its premium power with careful sacrifices across the rest of the spec sheet. Then, OnePlus took a bite out of the mainstream apple. One phone became two, the feature list filled out, and prices began to climb in the quest for the killer flagship. Now, the brand wants to go back to those simpler days — whether those days still exist or not. Can it still compete in the modern market with an old-school OnePlus ethos? And, more importantly, is the result worth buying? Find out in our OnePlus 11 review.

About this OnePlus 11 review: I tested the OnePlus 11 (16GB/256GB) over a period of three weeks. It was running Android 13 on the December 5, 2022, security update. OnePlus provided the unit for this review.

Update, January 2024: We’ve updated this OnePlus 11 review with recent software information and new alternative devices.

What you need to know about the OnePlus 11

oneplus 11 cameras
Ryan Haines / Android Authority
  • OnePlus 11 (8GB/128GB): $699 / £729
  • OnePlus 11 (16GB/256GB): $799 / £799

The OnePlus 11 arrived in early 2023, following OnePlus’ increasingly familiar (yet still strange) release schedule of its flagships landing in China a month before they reach the rest of the world. The biggest break with recent tradition, though, is that the OnePlus 11 is not part of a series; there’s no OnePlus 11 Pro, just the OnePlus 11. It completely reverses what we saw in 2022 when the brand launched the OnePlus 10 Pro, but no OnePlus 10. However, this is a OnePlus 10 Pro successor, name or not, and it’ll be the only OnePlus flagship in the entirety of 2023. This single-pronged approach is, as OnePlus puts it, the company’s answer to siding with consumers and returning to its original mantra of undercutting the competition.

As for the design, the OnePlus 11 doesn’t fall too far from the OnePlus 10 Pro and OnePlus 10T tree. It shares a nearly identical 6.7-inch Gorilla Glass Victus display, with a 2K resolution and 120Hz variable refresh rate. The much-loved alert slider is back on the right side following a lot of noise about its exclusion from the OnePlus 10T; you’ll find it opposite the volume rocker. OnePlus stashed its dual nano-SIM tray on the bottom edge, right next to the USB-C port.

Around the back, the OnePlus 11 carries a round camera bump in place of the previous square, though the sensor layout is the same. It packs a 50MP primary lens, a 48MP ultrawide shooter, and a 32MP telephoto lens. Like its predecessors, the OnePlus 11 comes in black or green — now called Eternal Green and Titan Black — and the back panel is made of Gorilla Glass 5. All versions include an IP64 rating for dust and water resistance.

The most obvious change to the OnePlus 11 is the new, circular camera bump, but most of the upgrades lie under the hood.

Beneath the OnePlus 11’s shiny exterior lies plenty of flagship power. This is one of the first devices to land with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, which is backed by 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage in the base model. If you need a bit more might, there’s also a 16GB/256GB model, which is the version we received for testing. There’s a large 5,000mAh battery to round things off, finished with 80W wired charging in the US or 100W wired charging for the rest of the world.

As is usually the case for OnePlus flagships, the OnePlus 11 arrives with the latest version of Android on board — Android 13 with the Oxygen OS skin on top. But in a welcome change, the OnePlus 11 now also has a truly flagship-grade update promise — four years of Android version support and five years of bi-monthly security patches. That puts it among the best in the industry for long-term software support.

OnePlus might be the last brand that hasn’t decided to slim down its packaging. The OnePlus 11 still comes with a 100W USB-A charger (yes, that’s USB-A, not a typo), a USB-A to USB-C cable, and retail versions will include a basic protective case.

OnePlus made its latest flagship available for pre-order on February 7, 2023, from its own site, as well as at Amazon and Best Buy, with open sales beginning on February 16, 2023. It boasts perhaps the widest carrier support yet, promising sub-6GHz 5G connectivity (no mmWave) at launch through the three major US networks and many of their MVNOs.

The OnePlus 11 has also been succeeded by a pair of OnePlus flagships, the folding OnePlus Open, and the more traditional OnePlus 12. While all three phones look quite a lot alike, the two newer flagships offer several improvements. The OnePlus Open, for example, offers one of the best cameras we’ve seen on a foldable phone as well as an excellent aspect ratio, while the OnePlus 12 picks up a newer processor and finally brings back wireless charging.

What’s good?

oneplus 11 standing with oneplus buds pro 2
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

It might not be the number one feature for all users, but the alert slider is back. We had our fair share of complaints about its removal on the OnePlus 10T, so it’s good to see that it was more of a sabbatical than a retirement. The Eternal Green finish is excellent, too. OnePlus is no stranger to green phones, and I’m pleased with how the color looks both in hand and in images.

OnePlus also seems to have found the right balance when it comes to waterfall displays. I frequently run into issues with accidental taps and pressure on most curved displays, but I haven’t had the same problem on the OnePlus 11. It’s easy to hold from both sides without fearing your finger placement. On top of that, the 6.7-inch display is bright and sharp, the 120Hz variable refresh rate is smooth and drops as low as 1Hz, and I had no problems seeing it clearly in the occasional sunlight of a Pennsylvania winter.

oneplus 11 google apps in hand
Ryan Haines / Android Authority
OnePlus 11

After a hit-or-miss year of battery life on flagships, the OnePlus 11 kicks off 2023 nicely with very solid endurance. I found that I could stretch it close to two days of moderate use, which, for me, is a mix of social media, light gaming, and browsing the web. Your results might suffer if you spend most of your time gaming, but you should still be able to reach beyond a day before charging again.

When you do need a charge, the OnePlus 11 is plenty fast. It supports 80W wired charging in the US and 100W wired charging for the rest of the world, which races ahead of speeds from Apple, Samsung, and the rest. I found that I only needed about half an hour of charging at 80W for a full battery, while my colleague Dhruv needed closer to 25 minutes at 100W speeds for his test unit in India.

As for performance, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is no joke. The OnePlus 11 is one of our first chances to put the chip through its paces in a production device, and the results are impressive. It easily outpaces the OnePlus 10T, which was designed as a performance-first device with its Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset. Although the single-core Geekbench 5 score only revealed a 12% increase in both standard and performance modes over the OnePlus 10T, the multi-core score improved by 46% in standard mode and 30% in performance mode — not too shabby.

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 pushes the OnePlus 11's peak performance levels beyond its predecessors.

Controlled benchmarking numbers only tell part of the story, but the OnePlus 11 is an impressive performer in daily life, too. I never noticed stuttering or slowing, even when running graphically-demanding games like Asphalt 9, or while quickly switching between other apps and games. More importantly, the phone never really ran hot. It warmed slightly when playing 3D games for long stretches, but it was never uncomfortable. Our review unit came with 16GB of LPDDR5X RAM, which OnePlus says is enough to keep as many as 44 apps running in the background at any time. I didn’t open 44 apps at any one time, but I never had trouble with apps closing quickly in the background.

Also, it’s a relief to list software updates as a positive for the OnePlus 11. We’ve lamented plenty of underwhelming update commitments, so four years of Android versions and five years of security patches go a long way — right up there with Samsung. Oxygen OS 13 might not be as light and breezy as OnePlus’ skin once was, but there are a few tweaks that make usability better. On the app side, there are still not many OnePlus-flavored additions to speak of outside of Zen Mode and the OnePlus Store, both of which you can uninstall. You can also delete other default apps like Netflix if you’re not planning to stream. Our OnePlus 11 also picked up its Android 14 update during the latter months of 2023. The update brought new customizations to the Shelf menu, as well as a refined “Aquamorphic” design to the entire Oxygen OS skin.

oneplus 11 notification shade 2
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Despite the changes to Shelf, I’m still glad to ditch it in favor of the traditional drop-down menu. In fact, one of the best tweaks I found in Oxygen OS 13 was the ability to get rid of the OnePlus Shelf — a menu that puts things like notes, recent contacts, your step counter, and Spotify in one easy location. Previously, you would either open the Shelf or the quick settings depending on where you swiped down on the display, but now you can choose one or the other. Some users might prefer the Shelf for its all-in-one approach, but I’m happy to hide it.

Rounding out the OnePlus 11, you should have no problems with connectivity or sound. It packs Bluetooth 5.3 and Wi-Fi 7 support, and even if most people don’t have a compatible router quite yet, it’s great to see such extensive future-proofing. The stereo speakers — the earpiece and one down-firing unit — are impressively loud and punchy with Dolby Atmos tuning, though, like many phones, they struggle with bass at loud settings.

What’s not so good?

oneplus 11 with charger
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

OnePlus’ return to its “Flagship Killer” roots also seems to have ushered in a few head-scratching quirks for the OnePlus 11, especially regarding charging. While the 80W wired power is impressive, it comes at the cost of wireless charging. OnePlus has attempted to explain this away, stating that it feels the 80W charging speed is fast enough that most users won’t miss wireless charging. We disagree; users should be given the flexibility to charge their phones how they want. Wireless charging has started to hit sub-$500 phones, and has long been the norm for this price tier. Likewise, while the OnePlus 11 is still far and away one of the fastest charging phones in the US, it still takes a step back compared to the sub-flagship-tier OnePlus 10T with its up to 150W rate.

Wireless charging or fast charging shouldn't be a choice buyers have to make at this price.

Further, the OnePlus 11 comes with a USB-A charging block and a USB-A to USB-C cable. Part of OnePlus’ reasoning was that if you’re traveling and you forget a charger, your hotel is more likely to have a USB-A port that you can tap into. There’s some logic to this, but regular USB-A connections won’t charge your OnePlus 11 at the full 80W clip. You still have to bring the included charger everywhere to take full advantage of fast charging, whether USB-A or USB-C.

The USB-A to USB-C cable also means you’ll quickly run into issues if you have to borrow a friend’s charger and they only have a USB-C option. It won’t plug into USB-C-only laptops, either, making it tougher to transfer pictures and files in a hurry. I also tested the OnePlus 11’s 80W charger with the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and only saw 15W of power drawn from the brick — below the basic 18W Power Delivery we’ve come to expect as a fallback. Unlike previous OnePlus chargers, this one seemingly won’t fulfill all of your fast charging needs.

While we didn’t notice any issues with the OnePlus 11’s performance in most day-to-day tasks, it struggled in stress tests. When running the 3D Mark Wild Life Stress Test, we found that the phone delivered top results for about seven loops before fluctuating wildly. It would throttle performance down to nearly half the original level, as seen in the graph above. The Galaxy S23 Ultra offers higher peaks and a gradual decline, while the other Snapdragon 8 Gen 2-powered device in the chart, the REDMAGIC 8 Pro, shows no such fluctuations at all. You might never experience this level of throttling in real life, but it might be enough to make hardcore mobile gamers opt for the GPU consistency of the OnePlus 10T and its Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 rather than the higher peaks of the OnePlus 11’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2.

I’m mostly content to praise the OnePlus 11’s design, but the Eternal Green finish is also a fingerprint and smudge magnet. The minute you take it out of the box, it begins to pick up marks. The good news is that the Titan Black version supports closer to a matte — or as OnePlus used to call it, Sandstone — finish, which doesn’t suffer the same fate. Perfection would have been an Eternal Green device with a Titan Black texture.

oneplus 11 with oneplus buds pro 2
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

The OnePlus 11’s Gorilla Glass Victus display doesn’t seem to live up to its durable billing, either. I put the phone into an empty pocket when taking it for some photo samples, and it managed to pick up several tiny scratches on the edges and along the bottom along the way. Despite its less durable material, I haven’t noticed any marks on the rear Gorilla Glass 5 panel. That said, Gorilla Glass 5 isn’t premium enough to be on a $700 device when other more affordable options like the Google Pixel 7 offer Gorilla Glass Victus all around.

And while it’s nice to see IP ratings for all OnePlus 11 models and not just ones from specific carriers, IP64 just isn’t enough. It can handle dust just fine, but there’s a big difference between IPX4, which is good for splashing water from any direction, and IPX8, which can handle submersion in shallow water for an extended period of time.

OnePlus 11 camera review

oneplus 11 camera app in hand
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

OnePlus is now in the third year of its partnership with leading camera company Hasselblad, but the evolution hasn’t exactly been drastic enough to really challenge the best camera phones. Hasselblad is still mainly involved with tuning the camera’s color profile and leaving the bulk of the hardware muscle to OnePlus. With the OnePlus 11, most of the changes lie within that hardware, partly down to a reshuffling of megapixels. The OnePlus 11 kicks off with a 50MP Sony IMX890 sensor, backed by a 48MP ultrawide Sony IMX581 with a 115-degree field of view. There’s a 32MP 2x portrait telephoto lens, which uses Sony’s IMX709 sensor to round it all off.

That 50MP primary sensor, for its part, performs very well in bright lighting. The colors in the samples I took are bright and punchy, especially the yellow building front and the red sign to the bottom left. Subject detection is largely good, with soft fall-off behind the clock tower and the cluster of bells. However, the OnePlus 11 seems to struggle as soon as the clouds come out. Both the image of a bicycle and the mural appear much flatter, washing most of the vibrancy out of colors like purple and orange. The small flock of pigeons flying across the street also seems to have been killed with oversharpening and denoise.

The OnePlus 11’s ultrawide lens punches out to 0.6x, which is relatively standard on flagship devices. However, it also shows a noticeable shift in the color profile, especially in the slider below. The ultrawide sample is significantly cooler, and there’s some blue-green color bleeding in the tree to the top right corner. Detail and distortion are well contained across the range of samples, and the color differences aren’t as noticeable in the sunny scene to the bottom left.

OnePlus’ ultrawide sensor also doubles as a macro shooter. Overall, the OnePlus 11 stands up pretty well in macro mode, offering sharp results in the middle of the flower to the right and the knot in the branch below. Sometimes it struggles to grab a clean focus, like the yellow flower to the left, but the color accuracy is better than most of the true ultrawide snaps.

The most impressive piece of the OnePlus 11’s camera setup is its portrait detection. This is where OnePlus and Hasselblad concentrated most of their efforts, tuning the detection and bokeh against Hasselblad’s XCD 30mm and XCD 65mm lenses. It’s crisp and accurate when identifying objects, especially the coffee cup in my hand to the right. The OnePlus 11 accurately identified my entire hand and the cup itself and fell off neatly into the background. The metal flower shows similar accuracy, though the bokeh effect isn’t as pronounced. Some other samples, like the metal pig, accurately identify the head but don’t account for the body.

The OnePlus 11’s camera interface lets you toggle between 0.6x, 1x, and 2x zoom, and that’s where I found myself staying much of the time. You’ll have to pinch in for anything further, and it gets difficult to control due to the size of the display. Unfortunately, the telephoto lens only offers 2x optical magnification, meaning the quality falls off relatively quickly as you punch in. Samples up to about 5x zoom are usable, but anything beyond and it gives up detail pretty quickly — just look at the smudged stars in the 20x shot.

The OnePlus 11's Hasselblad-branded cameras too often suffer from muted colors and poor low-light performance.

Low-light performance is the real sore point, however. The OnePlus 11 can occasionally capture fairly accurate colors when using night mode, but there’s a heap of lens flare even when the cameras are clean. The image of a barn light and the one of Reading Terminal Market were captured on two different nights, yet they suffer from similar issues.

Details also fall apart quickly when you look at the background and the smaller elements, especially around the frame edges. Cars are smudged and poorly processed in the bottom left, the woman’s face is squished and ghosted in the bottom right, and the lights are mushy in front of the house. The aggressive oversharpening is, unfortunately, joined by wonky exposure. The dark shadow around the tower on Philadelphia’s city hall was present no matter how many times I attempted the shot, while the sky is extremely bright across all of my samples.

Finally, the selfie camera. The OnePlus 11’s 16MP punch hole shares many of its strengths with the main rear camera, especially in portrait detection. It captured most of my hair accurately, only ignoring a few wild strands that I’d rather have blurred anyway. The selfie camera surrenders a few details, like the trees and shingles in the background, and my face looks a bit softer than it actually is. However, I’m pleased with the color recreation — my jacket really is that mix of colors.

As for video, the OnePlus 11 can shoot up to 8K resolution at 24fps or 4K at up to 60fps. It opts for 1080p by default, but the results aren’t bad. They might not stand up to Apple’s video prowess, but I was impressed with the automatic stabilization and clarity.

You can also check out full-size versions of these sample photos (and a bunch more) at this Google Drive link.

OnePlus 11 specs

OnePlus 11
Display
6.7-inch LTPO AMOLED
20.1:9 aspect ratio
3,216 x 1,440 resolution
120Hz variable refresh rate (1 to 120Hz)
525ppi

Processor
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
GPU
Adreno 740
RAM
8GB or 16GB
LPDDR5X
Storage
128GB UFS 3.1 or
256GB UFS 4.0
No expandable storage
Power
5,000mAh battery
80W wired SuperVOOC charging
No wireless charging
Cameras
Rear:
- 50MP wide, 1/1.56-inch sensor, OIS, EIS, ƒ/1.8, 1.0μm, Sony IMX890
- 48MP ultrawide, 1/2-inch sensor, ƒ/2.2, 115-degree FoV, Sony IMX581
- 32MP portrait telephoto, 1/2.74-inch sensor, ƒ/2.0, Sony IMX709

Selfie:
- 16MP, EIS, ƒ/2.45, 1.0μm, Sony IMX471
Audio
Dual "Reality" speakers
Dolby Atmos support
No 3.5mm headphone port
Video
8K video at 24fps
4K video at 30/60fps
1080p video at 30/60fps
720p video at 30/60fps
Super Slow Motion: 1080p video at 240fps, 720p video at 240/480fps
Time-Lapse: 4K/1080p at 30fps
Durability
Gorilla Glass 5 back
Gorilla Glass Victus display
IP64 rating
Connectivity
Wi-Fi 7 supports 802.1 a/b/g/n/ac/ax/be
Bluetooth 5.3
NFC support
eSIM
Cellular
4×4 MIMO, Supports up to DL Cat 20/UL Cat 18 (2.0Gbps /200Mbps), depending on carrier support

MIMO: LTE: B1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 25, 30, 38, 40, 41, 48, 66;
WCDMA: B1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 19
LTE-FDD: B1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 30, 32, 66, 71
LTE-TDD: 38, 39, 41, (40), 46, 48
5G NR NSA: N1, N2, N3, N5, N7, N8, N20, N25, N28, N30, N38, (N40), N41, N66, N71, N75, N77, N78
5G SA: N1, N2, N3, N5, N7, N8, N20, N25, N28, N30, N38, N41, (N40), N66, N71, N75, N76, N77, N78
GSM: 850/900/1800/1900
Biometrics
In-display fingerprint reader
Face unlock (software)
Ports and switches
USB 2.0 via USB-C
Dual-SIM (2 Nano-SIM)
Alert Slider
Software
Oxygen OS 13 based on Android 13
4 years of Android updates
5 years of bimonthly security patches
Dimensions and weight
163.1 x 74.1 x 8.53mm
205 grams
Colors
128GB model — Titan Black
256GB model — Titan Black or Eternal Green
In the box
OnePlus 11
80W SuperVOOC power adapter
USB-C to USB-A cable
USB dongle (Type A to C)
Pre-applied screen protector
Protective case
Paperwork

OnePlus 11 review: The verdict

oneplus 11 home screen
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

In many ways, the OnePlus 11 is a successful return to what made the brand exciting in the first place. It offers flagship performance from the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip and wired charging that’s leaps and bounds above its closest rivals. The all-glass design — smudgy as it may get — feels good in the hand. A respectable update commitment is the icing on top, ensuring that you can keep the OnePlus 11 in your pocket for a long time to come.

However, as Little Big Town put it, “there are some things you can’t go back to.” The OnePlus 11 ditches features that we’ve come to expect from modern flagships and even most mid-range devices in the hope that it can make up for them with raw power. A lowly IP rating and weaker rear glass mean its durability isn’t up to flagship spec, and many devices are adding wireless charging rather than removing it. And while the cameras are competent in decent conditions — especially if you like portrait shots — the low-light performance recalls the darker days of OnePlus’ imaging capabilities.

The OnePlus 11 is a return to the 'Flagship Killer' ethos that made the brand exciting in the first place, but it brings with it some nasty old habits.

The OnePlus 11’s aggressive pricing puts it up against a different class of smartphone than its now-defunct Pro line, though it still comes up against some tough competition. It’s more affordable than some flagships like the Samsung Galaxy S24 ($859.99 at Samsung), yet matches the all-around-excellent Google Pixel 8 ($699 at Amazon) dollar for dollar. Google’s flagship brings wireless charging to the table and a full IP68 rating, and it’s tough to top the light, smooth Pixel UI or the search giant’s superb cameras. The Galaxy S24 also offers wireless charging and a well-rounded triple camera system, even if it doesn’t come close in terms of charging speed.

Perhaps the best competitor for the OnePlus 11 is the brand’s own OnePlus 12 (on the product’s website). It costs a bit more, but offers improvements across the entire spec sheet. For starters, the OnePlus 12 upgrades to Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset, and follows it up with a massive 5,400mAh battery. The OnePlus 12 also outdoes its predecessor with 50W wireless charging in addition to the same 80W wired charging that US customers are used to. Perhaps best of all, OnePlus has redone its green glass finish, swapping the high-gloss look for a marbled satin that the brand calls Flowy Emerald.

OnePlus 11OnePlus 11
OnePlus 11
Powerful peak performance • Blazing-fast wired charging • Excellent software promise
MSRP: $699.99
OnePlus is simplifying its lineup and packing all the goods into one flagship device
The OnePlus 11 is all about speed, thanks to 80W wired charging and Qualcomm's flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset. It also features a third-generation Hasselblad camera setup, an IP64 rating, and OnePlus' most aggressive pricing in years.

Top OnePlus 11 questions and answers

The OnePlus 11 isn’t truly waterproof. However, all models do carry an IP64 rating for water sprays. This is a change from previous years when only the T-Mobile version was certified.

The OnePlus 11 is in line for four years of Android updates and five years of bimonthly security patches.

The OnePlus 11’s 5,000mAh battery is actually two 2,500mAh cells next to each other. This allows the high-speed charger to fill both at the same time.

No, the OnePlus 11 does not support wireless charging.

Yes, the OnePlus 11 has a dual nano-SIM slot.