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The OnePlus 11 5G Android smartphone follows the same playbook as last year’s solid OnePlus 10 Pro. Unveiled in early 2023, the value-packed product offers top-tier design and hardware specs at a price point that significantly undercuts its big-name competitors that rock Samsung and Google badges.
Sporting a $700 starting price, the OnePlus 11 is $200 cheaper than the Google Pixel 7 Pro and $300 less than the Samsung Galaxy S23+ — its direct big-name, big-screen Android rivals. The newcomer’s launch sticker is also $100 lower than its predecessor’s.
I spent more than a month putting the OnePlus 11 5G to the test and liked the experience. The device’s specs and everyday performance are top-notch, giving much pricier offerings a serious run for their money. Here’s why it’s the best big-screen Android that’s not named Samsung or Google.
The OnePlus 11 design is elegant, decidedly premium, and distinctive. The product’s uniquely shaped camera bump helps it easily stand out among its high-end Samsung Galaxy and Google Pixels rivals, whose designs followed a similar pattern with minor variations over the past couple of years.
Compared to last year’s OnePlus 10 Pro, the follow-up has a circular rear camera module instead of a squarish one. The all-screen fronts of the phones are indistinguishable as usual and in line with the rest of the product category.
The IP64 rating of the OnePlus 11 certifies that the phone can withstand exposure to dust and water splashes. Pricier rivals can survive complete submersion underwater, but the lower cost of the OnePlus offering is an acceptable tradeoff.
You can order the phone in black with a textured finish or green with a striking glossy finish. The latter looks great in the metal, but it’s more prone to smudges than the black version. The phone feels solid, but could still use a protective case like every top-shelf handset.
The large 6.7-inch AMOLED display of the OnePlus 11 is sharp, vibrant, and excellent overall. Its 120 Hz maximum refresh rate makes scrolling and gaming incredibly smooth, while support for HDR10+ and Dolby Vision formats ensures that enhanced content looks fantastic. Depending on the onscreen content, the panel’s refresh rate can drop as low as 1 Hz to reduce power consumption.
I enjoyed interacting with the display of the OnePlus 11 — it’s one of the best in its class. It is sharper than the screen of the Galaxy S23+ and on par with the Pixel 7 Pro in resolution.
However, the maximum display brightness of the Samsung and Google offerings mentioned above is superior. Higher brightness could be a difference maker if you frequently use your phone under direct sunlight.
The Hasselblad-tuned triple camera of the OnePlus 11 is capable and versatile, as expected from a product in its price category. During my testing, the phone snapped still images with stellar quality in multiple scenes and lighting scenarios. Selfies captured by its front-facing camera were also instantly shareable.
Video clips recorded by the phone’s cameras were also crisp and detail-rich. An option to capture 8K footage with the primary camera sensor is available, though far from necessary in 2023 — the high-resolution format is far from entering the mainstream.
The camera interface is packed with tools yet very intuitive. My favorite bit about it is the orange shutter button. The last-mentioned bit is a calling card for the thunderously expensive Hasselblad cameras, giving me a sense of occasion with every press.
In an inevitable head-to-head comparison with the Google Pixel 7 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy S23+, the OnePlus 11 holds its ground reasonably well, though it won’t take the cake as the best in its class. Its big-name competitors offer better optical zoom and more versatility. On the other hand, despite having lower-resolution sensors, their selfie cameras can record 4K footage (the OnePlus 11 tops out at Full HD).
Regarding sheer hardware capabilities and speed, the OnePlus 11 is the best Android phone worth your attention. Featuring Qualcomm’s latest and most powerful chip that also powers the Samsung Galaxy S23 range, the phone consistently treated me to instant interactions and smooth gameplay.
Toggling between 15 to 20 open apps on the OnePlus 11 didn’t slow the phone down either. The version I tested had 16GB of RAM — more than the notebook I used to create this review and on par with a high-end MacBook Pro or PC laptop. The costlier Pixel 7 Pro and Galaxy S23+ are available with up to 12 and 8GB of RAM, respectively.
The battery of the OnePlus 11 has the same capacity as the energy source of the considerably more expensive Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. I wasn’t surprised to get a full day of heavy use between charges from the phone. What stopped me in my tracks was its charging speed.
Believe it or not, it will take you less than half an hour to charge the OnePlus 11 from empty to 100%. In real life, such speed allows you to be careless about your screen brightness and resolution when using the device. Knowing I could get many hours of screen-on time while taking a short break for a shot of espresso was a real eye-opener while I evaluated the phone.
Plus, in a time when charging adapters — sometimes even cables — are no longer included in smartphone retail boxes, the OnePlus 11 comes bundled with an 80-watt SUPERVOOC charger for taking full advantage of its capabilities. Its charging speed and included adapter are legit reasons to contemplate an upgrade alone.
The custom Android 13 interface of the OnePlus 11 is brimming with tools to make it your own. You can customize various elements, including the shape and design of the app icons and the fingerprint unlock animation, among many other bits.
I also like the phone’s exceptional haptic feedback, ultra fast fingerprint sensor, and slider button for changing between sound and vibration or disabling them. The slider has been a signature OnePlus functionality for many years.
Regarding Android platform updates, the latest OnePlus phone will receive years’ worth of timely ones. You won’t have to fret about having an up-to-date experience between phone upgrades.
Dollar for dollar, the OnePlus 11 5G is the best big-screen Android phone for the money. Its effortless power and insanely fast charging capabilities make it easy to recommend, especially to Android enthusiasts seeking top-tier specs and performance that won’t break the bank.
If you want a superior camera setup with a bigger zoom, a tougher build that will survive submersion underwater instead of just splashes, and wireless — if significantly slower — charging, you should spend extra on a Google Pixel 7 Pro or a Samsung Galaxy S23+. But if you want to keep your upgrade budget below $1,000, the OnePlus 11 is your best option.
The $700 OnePlus 11 has 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Adding $100 will double your RAM and storage.
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