A Tad Bit Away From Perfection
At one of their biggest launch events ever, OnePlus has announced the OnePlus 11R, OnePlus Buds Pro 2, the Q2 Pro TV, and their latest flagship for the year, the OnePlus 11 5G, which comes equipped with the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. I have been using it for a few days now and found out, that OnePlus has done some improvements, after the OnePlus 10T 5G’s criticism by fans and experts. So let’s dive into the review of the OnePlus 11 5G, and find out what has improved, and is OnePlus back.
OnePlus 11 5G Review
I have divided my OnePlus 11 5G review into segments, which you can access from the table of contents. Now, without any further adieu, let’s dive into the review.
The package of OnePlus 11 5G, comes in the signature Red color and comes with the following contents:
- OnePlus 11 5G
- Soft TPU Protective Case
- 100W SuperVOOC Power Adapter
- USB A to USB C cable
- Welcome Letter
- OnePlus Stickers
- Quick Start Guide
- Safety Guide
- SIM Ejection PIN
The OnePlus 11 5G comes in a glass sandwich design, where the back supports Gorilla Glass 5, and the front is protected by Gorilla Glass Victus. The design language is similar to that of OnePlus 10 Pro and OnePlus 10T 5G, where the frame and the camera decor are made of one-piece steel, blending smoothly with the rear glass.
Listening to the criticism from the media, and the OnePlus user community, we have got back the Signature Alert Slider on the right side, followed by the Power key. Carrying over the flat top edge from OnePlus 9RT, we get a mix of flat top and bottom, while the right and left side of the phone is slightly curved. This makes the device feel modern, yet ensures it is easy to hold and sturdy to carry around. One missed corner is the lack of any IP certification.
You get the following ports and buttons on the OnePlus 11 5G:
- Top Flat Edge – Secondary Microphone, Additional vent for Secondary Speaker
- Left Curved Side – Volume Rockers
- Right Curved Side – Power Switch, Alert Slider
- Bottom Flat Edge – Primary Microphone, Primary Speaker, USB 2.0 Port, Dual Nano SIM Card Tray
OnePlus has cut a corner on the USB port, as the OnePlus 10 Pro 5G had a USB 3.1 port, which will affect the data transfer speed to some extent. To make up for the flagship experience, OnePlus has upgraded the storage to UFS 4.0 on one variant, for on-device read and write operations.
The OnePlus 11 5G, rocks a 6.7″ QHD+ Fluid AMOLED, with an adaptive refresh rate of up to 120Hz. The display panel is now, upgraded to LTPO 3.0 panel, compared to LTPO 2.0 on the OnePlus 10 Pro, with a peak brightness of 1300 nits. During my time with it, I watched HDR 10+, and Dolby Vision Content on Netflix, while outdoors, and in a metro, and this display handled it like a charm. It was legible even in direct sunlight, however, it is not the brightest display when compared to other phones in the market.
In terms of Audio experience OnePlus 11 5G comes with dual stereo speakers, with support for Dolby Atmos. Which are pretty loud considering how slim the phone is. We compared it to the Moto Edge 30 Fusion and Xiaomi 12 Pro and found the OnePlus 11 audio to be much louder and rich among the three.
OnePlus 11 5G is powered by the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 mobile platform, which is fabricated on the 4nm process. This is much improved from the 8 Gen 1, in terms of thermals, as we didn’t notice any thermal issues during our testing. It scored a whopping 10,31,073 on Antutu Benchmark, without breaking a sweat.
On the GPU front, it comes with Adreno 740, with support for Ray Tracing Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, which allows getting a more realistic experience in games like Genshin Impact, COD, and PUBG. There’s a dedicated 90 fps mode for PUBG, which locks the graphics on lite. This paired with the O haptics motor makes the overall gaming experience very much life-like on the OnePlus 11 5G.
For to keep the device temperature under control, OnePlus has packed in the largest vapor chamber ever, with a 3685 mm2 VC area. It also has a 5673 mm2 mid-frame layer of graphene, and a dedicated layer of crystal graphene for the display to improve its heat dissipation capabilities.
It comes with Oxygen OS 13, out of the box, based on Android 13, which feels fast and snappy. The OnePlus fan in me is not impressed because of the ColorOS visual elements, which add extra touches and swipes. But in terms of stability and performance, it feels much improved and stable compared to OxygenOS. There aren’t any bloatware, not even the Amazon app, except for the Netflix app, which is a welcome move from OnePlus.
OnePlus has released a statement that it will receive 4 years of OS upgrades, and 5 years of security patches. We have received one update, which improved the camera performance and system stability.
Network and Communication
OnePlus 11 5G supports 13 5G Bands in India, which makes it read for all three major telcos namely, Airtel, Jio, and VI. However, the 5G connectivity is dicey, as I was able to test Jio 5G and even got a download speed of 500Mbps, but later on, 5G was disabled on Jio. There’s still some room for improvement, as the software is still not optimized for Indian 5G networks.
In terms of other connectivity options, there’s no compromise, as it supports NFC, WiFi 7, Bluetooth 5.3, and dual-band GPS. In terms of calling, I didn’t face any issues in a day-to-day use case, except for underground metro travel. As it does lose the connection a few times.
OnePlus had really worked on the camera front this time, as this time the camera results impressed us. The Hasselblad camera science does capture the skin tones, and colors just right, as it should be. There are three sensors on the rear namely: 50MP (IMX890) which utilizes both OIS and EIS, paired with a 48MP ultrawide sensor (IMX581), and a 32MP 2x Telephoto (IMX709). On the Video front, it can record up, to 8k 24fps, which does have some focusing issues. But when switched to 4K, we did not experience any no such issues.
The front is a 16MP left-aligned punch-hole camera (IM471), which can record up to 1080p videos with EIS. It was able to handle HDR well, but you might notice the HDR lacking in portrait videos recorded with the front camera.
It comes with the third iteration of the OnePlus and Hasselblad partnership, which is now much improved. As the Hasselblad camera science camera tuning handles colors well, I didn’t notice any color shifting between lenses. I specifically liked, how well it performs in portrait shots, thanks to AI Sensing cameras on Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, as the OnePlus 11 5G stimulates, the XCD 3.5/30 lens for 1x portrait shots, and XCD 2.8/65 for 2x portrait shots. You can check the camera samples to get a better idea of the camera performance of the OnePlus 11 5G.
Fueled by a dual-cell 5,000mAh battery, inside an 8.53mm chassis, weighing 205 grams without the case, I was able to get approximately 5 hours and 45 minutes of screen time on OnePlus 11 5G. This result is with moderate gaming, movement in low network areas, media consumption over Bluetooth, and an active mobile hotspot from OnePlus 11. During this time, the screen was set at QHD+ coupled with a 120Hz refresh rate, and with FHD+ resolution it can last for more than two days of moderate usage.
As for the charging, during our usage, the 100W SuperVOOC power adapter, provided in the box was able to juice up the 5000 dual-cell from 10-100% battery in just 22 mins. If OnePlus could have bundled a PD charger, that would have been great, but it’s a standard 100W charger. The lack of Wireless charging also feels like a missed corner.
For the starting price of INR 56,999 (USD 699), OnePlus has done a pretty good job, to bring back its Flagship Killer image, as flagships from Google, Samsung, and Apple are touching nearly USD 1000. OnePlus has definitely cut some corners to achieve this, like No IP Rating in India, the Omission of a PD adaptor, and the lack of Wireless charging. But it comes with a great set of cameras, and top-tier performance, in a beautifully designed chassis.
It’s good to see OnePlus going aggressive at the competition, but there are still some things like the UI fixes and 8K video optimizations, etc. Nonetheless, would say OnePlus is kind of back but still has some way to make a perfect flagship phone. Do let me know what you think about OnePlus 11 5G, will you pick it up as your daily driver? Stay tuned to GadgetsToUse for more such reviews, and how-tos.
You can also follow us for instant tech news at Google News or for tips and tricks, smartphones & gadgets reviews, join GadgetsToUse Telegram Group or for the latest review videos subscribe GadgetsToUse YouTube Channel.