OnePlus has been in a bit of a slump lately with many claiming that the company had "settled" and lost its way. Well, with the release of the OnePlus 11 5G that I'm reviewing today, the company seems eager to prove doubters wrong.
Offering impressive top-of-the-line specs at a lower price point compared to most flagships in the market, the OnePlus 11 signifies a return to the old formula that put OnePlus on the map in the first place. However, like its previous so-called "flagship killers", the company made a few compromises - which we will go in-depth about further down the line - to cut down on costs.
So, how does it perform? More importantly, with a starting price of RM3299, is this the perfect smartphone for you? Well, read on to find out!
Design - A bold twist to a familiar design
The first thing you'd notice with the OnePlus 11 is its rather bold circular camera bump at the back with the Hasselblad branding. OnePlus called the design "unapologetically eye-catching", and that description is quite apt, as the device is instantly recognisable from afar.
A closer inspection of the phone's exterior would make you appreciate its build quality, especially the unibody design. It feels premium and sports a curved frame rather than the more boxy designs of today's flagships.
While I would prefer a flat screen rather than the curved display of the OnePlus 11, the curvature does exude a classy aesthetic. More importantly, it's more ergonomic for users. The glass back also adds to its premium feel but is merely cosmetic as the device doesn't support wireless charging - one of the more obvious cost-cutting measures employed by OnePlus. In addition, the OnePlus 11 only has IP64 rather than an IP68 water and dust resistance rating, another prominent cost-cutting measure.
The rear design of the OnePlus 11 5G
A closer look at the camera module
How the OnePlus 11 5G looks with the official Aramid Fiber Bumper case on
However, the glass back makes the smartphone very slippery, though thankfully, it is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5 and the front by Gorilla Glass Victus. The Eternal Green variant I'm reviewing is only available with the pricier 16/256G variant (RM3599). It looks gorgeous, though admittedly quite a fingerprint magnet. We recommend you get a case for the device like the official Aramid Fiber Bumper case (Black) above, which is reminiscent of the back of OnePlus smartphones of the past.
The power button is on the right side with the iconic alert slider that's making a return after being removed in the OnePlus 10T 5G. Personally, I'm thrilled to see that OnePlus listened to its fans and retained the alert slider, as it's one of the more unique and practical features the company has come up with.
At the bottom, there's a USB Type-C port for charging and data transfer, a dual-SIM slot and a grille for one of the device's stereo speakers. There's nothing at the top of the device except two small holes for the onboard mic, while the volume rockers are on the left. Unfortunately, like most Android flagships these days, the OnePlus 11 doesn't have a 3.5mm audio jack or expandable storage.
The screen is bright and usable even in direct sunlight
Right: Power button and the return of the iconic OnePlus alert slider
Left: The 11 5G's volume rockers
There are two microphone holes at the top
Bottom: The USB-C port, speaker grills and the dual-SIM slot
On the front is a gorgeous 6.7-inch curved AMOLED display with thin and uniform bezels. The screen also utilises a punch-hole for the selfie camera, located in the top left corner. Another feature of note is the haptic motors which is one, if not the best in the market right now which further adds to the 11 5G's premium feel.
Overall, I find the design quite clean and minimalistic despite the large circular camera module at the rear. If anything, the bold camera module design adds character to the device, which is welcomed in the sea of monotonous, cookie-cutter smartphone designs currently in the market.
The Eternal Green colour looks really nice but its finish can attract fingerprint smudges easily
Tech specs and features - Stacked with the latest and greatest internals
What makes this phone a compelling purchase is its internals, featuring the best of the best specs currently available for Android devices in the market. I mean, check out the full specs and features below:
- 6.7-inch 2K 120Hz LTPO 3.0 Super Fluid AMOLED Display, Dolby Vision and HDR 10+ support, up to 1000Hz touch sampling rate ~89.7% screen-to-body ratio
- Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC
- 8GB/16GB LPDDR5X RAM
- 128/256GB UFS 4.0 storage
- 50MP main + 48MP ultra-wide + 32MP telephoto triple-camera setup
- 16MP selfie camera
- 5000mAh battery (Dual-cell 2,500 mAh, non-removable)
- 100W SUPERVOOC fast charging
- Android 13 OS via OxygenOS 13
- Bluetooth 5.3, supports aptX HD, aptX, LDAC, LHDC, AAC, SBC
- 5G connectivity
- IP64 rating
- NFC, WiFI 7
- Under-display fingerprint scanner
- Dual “Reality” Speakers with Dolby Atmos support,
- Colours - Titan Black and Eternal Green
The OS specs of the OnePlus 11 5G
The AMOLED panel has vibrant colours and super deep blacks
The OnePlus 11 sports a 6.7-inch 2K 120Hz Super Fluid AMOLED (LTPO 3.0) Display, which was developed by OnePlus and certified for SGS Low Blue Light Ex. The panel also has a TÜV SÜD 48-month Fluency A Rating, TÜV SÜD Precise Touching S Rating, SGS Perceived Fluency A+ and is certified by TÜV Rheinland for Safe Charging and Usage.
In other words, the display is top-notch with vibrant colours and super deep blacks. Consuming content and playing games on the panel is a treat, with the 120Hz refresh rate making the device feel snappy and smooth.
As for the OS, it runs on Android 13-based OxygenOS 13. This UI should be familiar to Android users, as it retains most of a stock Android's look and features. It's intuitive with a clean design and is supplemented with various special features, plus customisations that enhance the user experience.
The latest OS version and some of the special features of the OnePlus 11 5G
Furthermore, OnePlus promised to provide 4 major OxygenOS updates and 5 years of security updates, which pretty much guarantees its longevity. Further future-proofing the device is its use of LPDDR5X RAM, UFS 4.0 storage and WiFi 7, all of which are standards that should be relevant for years to come.
As for biometric lock/unlock, the under-display fingerprint scanner is super fast. It's hands down one of the best in the market. There's also an option for face unlocking using the selfie camera, which works fine. Though I wouldn't recommend using it as it lacks IR, as it's not as secure as the optical fingerprint scanner.
The in-display fingerprint scanner is one of the fastest in the market
The UI and various modes of the camera app
In terms of imaging, the camera setup is a significant upgrade from its predecessor. Gone are the useless 2MP sensors that were just there to make up the numbers, and in their place are competent camera sensors. The camera features available on the device include AI, Pro, Extra HD, Portrait, Night, Panorama, Slow Motion, Time Lapse, and Dual-View Video that can now even record at 8K24fps. I'll be diving deeper into the camera performance further down this review.
Performance - Absurdly fast with battery for days
Next, let's dive deeper into the OnePlus 11's performance. Accordingly, here are the results generated from the Geekbench 5 and 3DMark benchmark Wild Life Stress tests for the smartphone:
Geekbench 5 comparison
3D Mark Wild Life Stress test results
Under the hood, the smartphone is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC. That's essentially the best Android chipset in the market right now. Besides that, the OnePlus 11 also has a new RAM-Vita technology that allows for as many as 44 applications active in the background.
The SoC, coupled with up to 16GB of LPDDR5X RAM, makes light work of all tasks thrown at the OnePlus 11. It breezes through tasks like web browsing and can scroll through social media feeds and more with no hiccups.
In terms of gaming, the device will run all high-end mobile games such as PUBG Mobile, Asphalt 9 and even Genshin Impact at high settings and frame rates. The device's new Cryo-velocity VC Cooling System works well too, avoiding throttled performance during extended gaming sessions.
PUBG Mobile and Genshin Impact gameplay screenshots
There's a special Hyperboost mode for enhanced performance in games
I've enjoyed my experience gaming on the device, and it's not an understatement to say that besides all the gaming-focused phones out there, this is one of the best Android devices to game on. Check out our gameplay screenshots on OnePlus 11 below:
Moving on, the phone has stereo speakers for an immersive experience while consuming content or playing games, and the sound quality is excellent. The speakers are crisp and can get really loud, though the sound quality feels worse when playing at max volume. As mentioned earlier, the smartphone lacks a 3.5mm audio jack, so you need to rely on a USB dongle or use wireless headphones for private listening sessions.
As for charging speed, the OnePlus 11 is a downgrade from its predecessor's 150W, charging at only 100W SUPERVOOC. And before you ask, yes, the charger is included in the box. On the flip side, it does have a bigger 5000Mah battery. Also, the charging speed is still fast, fully replenishing the battery from zero in just 25 minutes. I'd definitely prefer a bigger battery than faster charging.
The battery life is excellent and can last up to 2 days with regular use. I recently took the device for a road trip to Thailand and used it as my GPS with the screen on while turning on the hotspot for my iPhone 12. My iPhone's battery actually died first. That just goes to show how impressive the battery life is.
The battery life after hours of using Waze (screen on) and turning on the hotspot on the OnePlus 11 5G
The 100W SUPERVOOC charging can fully recharge the device in under 25 minutes
Moreover, the standby power consumption is also minimal, with instances where the smartphone lasted up to 4 days with intermittent use. There are also power-saving modes to make it last even longer, which is superb.
Moving on to its cameras, the rear triple-camera setup is really solid. I'm especially impressed by the device's colour science. OnePlus claimed that the phone has 12% better colour accuracy thanks to the Hasselblad collaboration and the 13-channel Accu-spectrum Light-color Identifier embedded in the rear camera module. From the photos I've taken, I'd have to concur as the colours are natural and impressively true to life.
The 50MP main camera is the best of the bunch and utilises the Sony IMX890, a 1/1.56-inch sensor with OIS and f/1.8 aperture. The image quality is excellent in well-lit conditions and performs super well in low light too. Images are sharp with great details, and given the size of the sensor, there is natural Bokeh on closed-up shots to make your photos look more cinematic. Like other smartphones with a large sensor, you can shoot at the full 50MP resolution if you want to.
Sample shots from the 48MP ultra-wide
Sample shots from the 50MP main camera
Sample shots from the 32MP telephoto lens (2x zoom)
Sample shots from the 32MP telephoto lens (5x digital zoom)
Sample shots from the 32MP telephoto (10x digital zoom)
As for the ultra-wide 48MP camera, it has a 115-degree field-of-view and uses the Sony IMX581 sensor with an aperture of f/2.2. Its image quality is not as good as the main camera. But it's still excellent and better than most ultra-wide sensors in other smartphones in this price range, even in low light. The wide FOV is definitely welcomed since it allows you to take creative shots.
Completing the setup is a 32MP telephoto which uses a Sony IMX709 sensor with an f/2.0 aperture. This is definitely the weakest of the three, with images produced in low light being rather grainy and full of noise. In well-lit conditions though, you can definitely take some great shots with this sensor.
Sample night mode shots with the 50MP main camera
Night mode with the 48MP ultra-wide has a slight yellow tint
Night mode with the 50MP main camera provides true-to-life colours
Night mode with the 32MP telephoto lens
The main camera retains natural colours even in difficult HDR shots
The colours are natural and true to life, with impressive details retained
Portrait mode with the rear camera setup has also improved from the predecessor, though far from being the best in the market. One thing I noticed was the lack of consistency in the white balance of all three sensors, with the ultra-wide seemingly having a more yellow tint to it. This is most apparent when switching from one camera to the other in video mode, which could be pretty distracting.
As for the 16MP selfie camera, the Sony IMX471 sensor produces excellent image quality even in a slightly below-par lighting situation and has excellent HDR. The FOV is also decent, perfect for all your selfie needs.
Sample shot from the 16MP selfie camera
The HDR capabilities of the selfie camera are excellent
For videos, you can record up to 8K24fps with the 50MP primary camera. But you'd definitely fill up storage fast when recording at this quality. More so, considering the highest storage option available in Malaysia is only 256GB. Besides that, Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) is available across all cameras on all resolutions and frame rates.
As for the quality of the video recordings, naturally, the primary camera captures the best footage given the large sensor size. Footages from the primary and ultra-wide sensors are detailed with natural colours and excellent dynamic range, with the telephoto lens again being the worst of the bunch. The video quality from the selfie camera is also quite decent. Overall, the OnePlus 11 has a solid camera setup and has improved much from the OnePlus 10T 5G.
Conclusion - A return to form for OnePlus
Priced at RM3299 for the 8/128GB variant and RM3599 for the 16/256GB configuration, the OnePlus 11 is hands down one of the best overall smartphone packages in the market. The combination of top-of-the-line specs, a solid camera system and excellent battery life is almost unbeatable at this price range.
If you can "settle" with shortcomings like its lack of wireless charging, IP64 rating, only 256GB of non-expandable storage, and mediocre telephoto lens, then it's definitely a no-brainer purchase. More than anything, the OnePlus 11 is a return to form for OnePlus after its slump over the past couple of years.
One thing to consider if your budget allows for it is whether you should spend more and get the Samsung Galaxy S23. At RM3899, the Galaxy S23 offers a slightly better processor with the customised Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy, wireless and reverse wireless charging, an IP68 rating, as well as a better, albeit smaller display. However, the 11 5G does have considerably faster wired charging and a significantly bigger battery.
That's it for our OnePlus 11 5G review! So, what do you guys think of this latest flagship by OnePlus? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below. And as always, make sure to stay tuned to TechNave for more tech news and reviews like this.