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oneplus 11r rear back on orange background
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority
aa2020 recommended

OnePlus 11R review: The flagship killer you probably can't buy

A stellar return to flagship killer territory... but only in one country.

Published onMarch 14, 2023

aa2020 recommended

OnePlus 11R

The OnePlus 11R is a stunning return to sub-flagship territory for the brand, even more so than the OnePlus 11. It gets almost all the essentials right and delivers a fantastic balance between power and value. This is the OnePlus phone most fans have been waiting for, but sadly very few will have access to.

What we like

Premium design and build
Capable primary camera
Excellent battery life
Fast 100W charging
Speedy performance
Improved update policy

What we don't like

Lackluster secondary cameras
Imbalanced speakers
No IP rating
Extremely limited availability
aa2020 recommended

OnePlus 11R

The OnePlus 11R is a stunning return to sub-flagship territory for the brand, even more so than the OnePlus 11. It gets almost all the essentials right and delivers a fantastic balance between power and value. This is the OnePlus phone most fans have been waiting for, but sadly very few will have access to.

It’s been a long journey for OnePlus to find its footing ever since it officially became an OPPO sub-brand. Between iffy software, missing essentials like the alert slider, or just pricing that never quite hit the mark, OnePlus hasn’t always achieved its goal of being the “Flagship Killer” it set out to be. The 2023 crop of OnePlus phones, however, has hit a bit differently. In fact, in our OnePlus 11 review, we called it a return to the flagship killer ethos. It didn’t quite crack the formula enough to rank among the best Android phones, but it remains a compelling option for those not wanting to pay premium prices. The OnePlus 11R amps up the value quotient even further.

The OnePlus 11R is part of the company’s long-standing attempt at creating a value-focused phone for its biggest market: India. However, it faces ample competition in the region from the likes of Xiaomi, iQOO, and even Samsung. In the Android Authority OnePlus 11R review, we find out if the phone balances performance with the perfect amount of value.

About this OnePlus 11R review: I tested the OnePlus 11R over a period of eight days. It was running Oxygen OS 13.0 (CPH2487_11_A08) on the January 5 security patch. The unit was provided by OnePlus India for this review.

What you need to know about the OnePlus 11R

OnePlus 11R placed on a table
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority
  • OnePlus 11R (8GB/128GB): Rs. 39,999 (~$484)
  • OnePlus 11R (16GB/256GB): Rs. 44,999 (~$544)

The OnePlus 11R is the third in a lineup of affordable-flagship phones that have launched in India and stayed in India. The R-series harkens back to the company’s flagship killer roots, and looking at the spec sheet, the OnePlus 11R is a true blue entry to the category. The phone takes the OnePlus 10T formula, including the same Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset, and rejigs it a bit tfo fit the company’s 2023 design template for smartphones.

The value-focused smartphone makes additional concessions like dropping the charging speeds from 150W to 100W. Meanwhile, the screen gets a slight upgrade in size from a 6.7-inch panel to 6.74 inches. Beyond that, the feature set is largely familiar. It includes the same trifecta of cameras that we saw on the OnePlus 10T, a primary 50MP shooter paired with an ultrawide camera and a macro lens, as well as an all-day 5,000mAh battery. The phone is shipping with Oxygen OS 13 built on top of Android 13 out of the box and will get three major Android updates and four years of security patches — that’s an extra year for both compared to the outgoing OnePlus 10R, which was essentially a rebadged Realme phone in a OnePlus disguise.

The OnePlus 11R is being fielded in a choice of two variants. Buyers can opt for 8GB or 16GB of RAM accompanied by 128GB or 256GB of storage. It comes in a choice of two colors: Galactic Silver and Sonic Black.

For those in India, the OnePlus 11R can be picked up from Amazon India and the OnePlus online store.

What’s good?

oneplus 11r in hand showing interface
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

While the OnePlus 11R takes specs cues from the OnePlus 10T, it cribs its polarising design from both the OnePlus 11 with minor changes to hit a lower price point and to accommodate the large camera module. Like the OnePlus 11, the camera circle now sits to the left and includes an etched finish around it that adds a distinctive flair. The budget-oriented device misses out on the Hasselblad camera tuning, so predictably there’s no Hasselblad branding to be found here.

The value pricing belies the build quality and feel of the OnePlus 11R.

Over the week I spent testing the phone, it became clear that OnePlus has done an astonishingly good job at creating a phone that gets you much of the OnePlus 11’s touch-and-feel experience for a lot less money. The Gorilla Glass 5 back panel feels suitably high quality and has a matte sandstone-like finish in the Sonic Black variant. The finish does an excellent job keeping fingerprints at bay, though the same can’t be said about the high-gloss metallic element around the cameras.

oneplus 11r alert slider
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

The Galactic Silver version opts for a polished back all the way through. Considering the budget-oriented pricing, the midframe has been swapped out for plastic compared to the OnePlus 11; it feels premium enough, and I wouldn’t consider it a big loss. Unlike the OnePlus 10T, the OnePlus 11R brings back the alert slider — a feature that has been a fan favorite and one that I personally love about OnePlus phones. Additionally, the OnePlus 11R has an IR blaster and accompanying app to control TVs, air conditioners, and other electronics.

The OnePlus 11R's screen looks fantastic, but compromises on an LTPO panel and Gorilla Glass protection.

The display panel on the OnePlus 11R is largely excellent. The 6.74-inch screen doesn’t have the pixel density of the OnePlus 11’s display, but the Fluid AMOLED panel looks plenty good with vibrant colors out of the box and the option to switch to a more natural color profile in the settings. Unfortunately, OnePlus opted out of using an LTPO panel which means that automatic refresh rate switching is limited to fixed intervals between 40Hz, 60Hz, 90Hz, and, finally, 120Hz. You can, of course, lock the phone to 60Hz for better battery life. Elsewhere, while some concessions have been made with the lack of Dolby Vision support for multimedia content, and in overall peak brightness levels, though the screen is still perfectly visible under direct sunlight.

I’m not a huge fan of curved displays, but the OnePlus 11R does an excellent job of keeping accidental touches at bay. Placed next to the OnePlus 11, the screen doesn’t curve quite as much here, but the difference is barely noticeable in day-to-day use. OnePlus did, however, opt for a Dragontrail protective glass solution over Corning Gorilla Glass Victus which was found on the OnePlus 11.

The OnePlus 11R keeps it straightforward in terms of performance. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 might be 2022 chipset, but the performance is still plenty good for a majority of tasks, making it a perfect fit chipset for the value-oriented price point. In fact, at launch, the OnePlus 11R is the most affordable 8 Plus Gen 1-toting smartphone in India, making it a great deal for bargain-hunting enthusiasts. Interestingly enough, at the default optimized settings, the phone scores lower results than the OnePlus 10 Pro and the OnePlus 10T in single-core tests, indicating worse thermal optimization or a binned chipset.

The OnePlus 11R's Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 doesn't hit peak performance, but there's enough power for almost any use case.

However, those are benchmark figures. In actual use, performance was never a hassle, nor was thermal throttling. The phone makes short work of games like Genshin Impact and never skips a beat tossing around multiple tabs and apps. For those who want to unleash the full power of the chipset, a high-performance mode is included, but that leads to a noticeable increase in heat, and I’d recommend keeping it switched off. Storage speeds are equally capable but vary by model; where the 128GB version ships with UFS 3.1 storage, the 256GB version takes it to UFS 4.0.

oneplus 11r software screen
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

Perhaps my favorite aspect of the OnePlus 11R is its focus on software refinement and optimization, which is visible in the fluidity of everyday use. Oxygen OS 13 might still have the slightly cartoonish oversized look commonly seen on OPPO’s phones, but it gives users more flexibility over the feature set they may or may not want. Recent versions of Oxygen OS made the OnePlus Shelf the default option when swiping down from the top — it’s now an optional add-on. I don’t particularly care about the one-stop-shop menu for contacts, a step counter, and other widgets, and kept it switched off during my time with the phone.

It’s also great to see a longer commitment to software updates. OnePlus isn’t matching the very best software update policies with its three years of Android versions and four years of security patches, but it’s a comprehensive enough offer for a more affordable device.

Finally, battery life on the OnePlus 11R is excellent. I consistently clocked between six to seven hours of screen-on time. The 5,000mAh battery has been a long-standing feature of OnePlus phones, so there are no surprises there. However, optimization matters, and OnePlus has done a good job of eking out a bit more from the hardware. The phone charges quickly, too, with the proprietary 100W charging solution taking under 30 minutes to a full charge.

What’s not so good?

OnePlus 11R rear back placed on a table
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

Interestingly, some of the best aspects of the OnePlus 11R are also the areas that raise concerns. For example, while performance is more than sufficient for most users, there’s no getting around the fact that the phone doesn’t benchmark quite as high as previous OnePlus phones. For a company that has built a reputation on offering elite power at all price tiers, that’s a real slight knock.

The OnePlus 11R cuts some sensible corners, but some cut a little too deep.

Similarly, the OnePlus 11R, like the OnePlus 11, includes 100W charging, which is great. I’m certainly not going to complain about a phone taking a mere thirty minutes to go from zero to a hundred. However, that figure is a noticeable step back from the 150W-capable OnePlus 10T. There’s also no sign of wireless charging, though that’s hardly a surprise when the OnePlus 11 also missed out. Moreover, the use of a USB-A plug over the much more ubiquitous USB-C just doesn’t make sense. Any USB-C-only cables you have won’t be of use, and if you have a laptop that lacks USB-A ports, you won’t be able to transfer data using the cable you get with the phone.

Elsewhere, the OnePlus 11R lacks any splash resistance or waterproofing. OnePlus has stayed shy of adopting IP ratings across the board, but as more and more budget-minded phones opt-in for the feature, it’s a rather disappointing omission.

Finally, OnePlus hasn’t done much to improve the speakers on the OnePlus 11R. Unlike the excellent stereo speakers on the OnePlus 11, the downward skew is very evident here. While the actual output is plenty good, with a clear focus on midrange frequencies and loud, punchy music output, cranking up the speakers breaks the illusion of proper stereo separation.

OnePlus 11R camera review

oneplus 11r screen on camera app
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

The OnePlus 11R uses the same 50MP IMX890 camera sensor as the OnePlus 11 on the primary lens but drops it down to an 8MP sensor for the ultrawide. There’s no telephoto lens here either. Instead, you get a 2MP macro lens.

Unlike the OnePlus 11, the OnePlus 11R eschews the Hasselblad partnership for its in-house color science. Hasselblad’s camera involvement is primarily restricted to the color profile on the OnePlus 11, so we were curious to see how well OnePlus’ camera tuning would fare on the same sensor on the OnePlus 11R. Elsewhere, Hasselblad also contributes the X-Pan camera mode, the lack of which isn’t a huge miss.

The OnePlus 11R drops the Hasselblad partnership, but keeps the same camera sensor as the OnePlus 11.

Is OnePlus finally ready to take on the best camera phones? Not quite. However, even a passing glance at camera samples makes it clear that OnePlus is at least making an effort with its camera processing. In particular, photos from the primary sensor tend to be very good, especially in well-lit conditions.

Photos tend to look bright and vibrant, and this is particularly noticeable in red and blue tones that have a certain pop to them. The punchy images look pleasing to the eye, and the saturation boost is subtle enough not to appear overwhelming. Even in more challenging conditions, the OnePlus 11R’s much-improved HDR processing shines through. The phone manages to effectively even out darker and brightly lit sections of the shot, showcasing good dynamic range.

Brightly lit situations pose no challenge at all for the phone. There’s ample detail to be found here — both in the subjects, as well as background elements like the foliage on the trees, in addition to micro detail when zooming into text elements.

Picture quality takes a slight dip indoors, though the situation isn’t nearly as dire as we’ve seen on previous OnePlus phones. Smearing and the company’s signature heavy-handed noise reduction have been curbed dramatically, and the images tend to vary from usable to good. It’s only when you go to extremely challenging low-light environments that the limitations of OnePlus’ camera processing become evident. However, few phones outside the Google Pixel 7 are able to excel in darker scenes at the same price point.

Sadly, the ultrawide camera is where the image quality starts dipping. While OnePlus has largely fixed the color variance when switching between cameras, the 8MP ultrawide sensor doesn’t have a high-enough resolution to resolve a good amount of detail. Daylight shots tend to fare better, but the quality nosedives indoors and in low light. Pixel peeping and cropping-in are an absolute no-go on the ultrawide camera.

Dedicated macro cameras on phones are rarely any good, and the 2MP sensor on the OnePlus 11R is no exception. It is possible to get some usable shots out of the sensor outdoors, but blowing them up anything beyond Instagram size immediately reveals the limitations of the sensor and the resolution. Honestly, I wish OnePlus had opted for a higher-resolution ultrawide camera that doubled up as a macro shooter instead, as we saw with the OnePlus 11.

OnePlus seriously amped up its portrait detection algorithms on the OnePlus 11. By all appearances, it looks like the company carried that same prowess over to the OnePlus 11R. The phone delivered consistently great bokeh fall-off and managed near-perfect boundary detection, even around my mop of hair.

Similarly, OnePlus has done a great job with the front camera on the OnePlus 11R. Out of the box, the 16MP camera captures punchy shots without any telltale signs of smearing or overwhelming beauty mode enhancements. There’s ample detail to be found here. Portrait mode does a good job, too, though I found it to err on occasion when surrounded by more complex backgrounds.

Video recording on the OnePlus 11R tops off at 4K/60fps and does a good job balancing colors and taming highlights. The camera tuning has a proclivity to oversharpen footage, which I wasn’t a big fan of. Additionally, while the OIS can smoothen out the footage to a large degree, micro jitters while walking still tend to show up in the final results. The ultrawide camera, on the other hand, maxes out at soft looking 1080p footage. Similarly, the front camera tops off at 1080p recording.

Head on over to our Google Drive link for full-resolution OnePlus 11R camera samples.

OnePlus 11R specs

OnePlus 11R
6.74-inch Fluid AMOLED
20.1:9 aspect ratio
2,772 x 1,240 resolution
120Hz variable refresh rate
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1
Adreno 730
8GB or 16GB
128GB or 256GB UFS 3.1.2
No expandable storage
5,000mAh battery
100W wired SuperVOOC charging
No wireless charging
- 50MP wide, 1/1.56-inch sensor, OIS, EIS, ƒ/1.8, 1.0μm, Sony IMX890
- 8MP ultrawide, ƒ/2.2, 120-degree FoV
- 2MP macro lens

- 16MP, EIS, ƒ/2.45, 1.0μm, Sony IMX471
Dual speakers
Dolby Atmos support
No 3.5mm headphone port
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
Gorilla Glass 5 back
Gorilla Glass 5 front
Wi-Fi 7 supports 802.1 a/b/g/n/ac/ax/be
Bluetooth 5.3
NFC support
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
In-display fingerprint reader
Face unlock (software)
Ports and switches
USB 2.0 via USB-C
Dual-SIM (2 Nano-SIM)
Alert Slider
Oxygen OS 13 based on Android 13
3 years of Android updates
4 years of bimonthly security patches
Dimensions and weight
163.4 x 74.3 x 8.7mm
204 grams
Sonic Black, Galactic Silver
In the box
OnePlus 11R
100W SuperVOOC power adapter
USB-C to USB-A cable
USB dongle (Type A to C)
Pre-applied screen protector
Protective case

OnePlus 11R review: The verdict

oneplus 11r camera module
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

The OnePlus 11R is a thorough return to the company’s origins. While it might not pack the absolute latest chipset, it does have sufficient grunt under the hood for all but the most ardent performance enthusiasts. It might not be the first OnePlus to achieve a good balance between value and outright performance, but it follows in the footsteps of the OnePlus 11 in getting more right than wrong, and does so at a lower price where the stumbles aren’t as keenly felt.

Overall performance is exactly what you’d expect from the hardware in question, with some optimizations made for heat dissipation, and the gradually improving software experience matches up with that focus on performance. Add to that a very good display and a capable-enough main camera, and you’ve got all the makings of a successful flagship killer.

The OnePlus 11R delivers value in spades, making it even more disappointing that you can't buy it outside of India.

The OnePlus 11R’s chief competitors in India include the Xiaomi 11T Pro, the company’s 2021 flagship with a Snapdragon 888 chipset and 108MP camera. There’s also the iQOO 9 to consider with its Snapdragon 888 Plus chipset. However, the fact of the matter is that the OnePlus 11R offers exceptional value in the single region you can actually buy it in.

For those in markets where the OnePlus 11R isn’t being sold, the OnePlus 10T ($451.71 at Amazon) gets you much of the same experience, albeit with a worse camera sensor that really hampers its appeal. That said, you do get access to faster charging, and recent price reductions — often to just under $500 — make it far more palatable than at launch. The OnePlus 11 ($1296 at Amazon) is your other best bet, though the inconsistent camera, lack of wireless charging, and limited waterproofing start to sting at the higher price point, especially when the Google Pixel 7 ($354.99 at Woot!) exists.

Overall, the OnePlus 11R isn’t perfect, but the laser focus on all the essentials dear to OnePlus fans might just make it the flagship killer enthusiasts have been waiting for — if you can buy one.

OnePlus 11ROnePlus 11R
OnePlus 11R
Premium design and build • Fast 100W charging • Excellent performance
An excellent entry in the OnePlus lineup
The OnePlus 11R combines last year's flagship chipset with a 2023 design and a large sprinkling of value. Camera performance has been leveled up, and the fast 100W charging is a nice-to-have add-on.

Top OnePlus 11R questions and answers

The OnePlus 11R is worth considering if fluid software and great performance are your primary considerations. You’ll have to let go of some features like the latest chipset, better secondary cameras, and Dolby Vision support.

No, the OnePlus 11R has no waterproofing.

Yes, the OnePlus 11R supports dual-SIM cards.

The OnePlus R-series has never been sold outside India, and the OnePlus 11R is likely to stay an India-exclusive.

The two phones target very different market demographics, which reflects in the price difference. Upgrading to the OnePlus 11 gets you niceties like Dolby Vision support, a metal mid-frame, and the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, as well as a higher resolution ultrawide camera, and a dedicated optical zoom lens, making it a significant-enough upgrade for those who want a full-blown flagship.

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