It’s interesting to review a flagship gadget by the company that introduced the term ‘flagship killer’ in the smartphone market.
If you’re a bit greedy about maximising the real estate of your phone, you’ll love the massive 6.7-inch display on the OnePlus 11. The curved screen merges into a barely-there bezel. I can’t think of many tech companies that recall their design and hardware changes based on customer feedback, as quickly as OnePlus has. Thanks to tonnes of users being vocal about how much they missed the alert slider on the previous-gen models, the standout hardware feature is back. A sleek metallic volume rocker is on the left-hand side of the smartphone, while the power button is on the right, just below the alert slider.
I love the soft matte finish on the rear panel that houses the triple-camera setup. The display has some superlatives you’d expect - refresh rates of up to 120Hz and 2K resolution on an AMOLED display. Everyday content consumption - endless Insta reels, crazy YouTube videos, and the latest Netflix obsession - looks crisp on the smartphone. The OnePlus 11 also has HDR 10+ certification support, which means there’s a pretty decent contrast range on the media I watch.
Built with dual speakers with Dolby Atmos support, the speakers on the handset have a very well-balanced sound profile. While the max volume does suffice, other flagships definitely go higher with their volume. Having said that, there’s almost no distortion even at the highest volume on this phone.
The camera setup on the OnePlus 11 is pretty stellar. There’s a primary 50-MP lens with OIS, supported by a 115-degree ultra-wide lens and a 32MP portrait tele lens. Luckily, I got to try out the telephoto lens at Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary during the golden hour with flocks of painted storks, spoonbills, and pelicans doing the rounds. The camera delivers sharp-enough images even when zoomed in a fair bit.
One of the things I love about the picture quality is how true-to-life the colours and skin tones are. While we may have normalised skin lightening through filters, flagships are expected to deliver accurate skin tones and the OnePlus 11 does that really well. It also handles low-light situations well and delivers some great portraits both in natural lighting and under spotlight-like setups indoors.
One glitch I noticed with stills is that, while taking consecutive shots - without me tweaking any setting - it changes the colour tone to warm. Here are two pictures for reference.
While it may not deliver as flawlessly as maybe the Google Pixel 7 Pro, it’s still a great camera system that’ll keep your inner shutterbug hooked.
The OnePlus 11 5G runs Android 13 OS and is equipped with Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 that supports ray tracing - the brand new buzzword that you’ll be hearing as more flagships are launched this year. I tried out Blade Idle and Genshin Impact on the OnePlus 11 and while there isn’t a dramatic jaw-dropping improvement in graphics, the overall lighting, shadows, and illumination effects do look a smidge more realistic. Each time I ran a game, the system auto-cleared RAM to optimise gaming performance. The smartphone uses a proprietary feature called RAM-Vita - a machine-learning technology that selects RAM already in use, releases it from current tasks, and reallocates it to other resource-heavy tasks as and when needed.
Given that the unit is powered by the most powerful chip in any Android device right now, there’s no slowing down. On the AnTuTu benchmark tests, the OnePlus 11 scored a whopping 10,10,287 points getting itself a rightful spot in the top 2 percentile of smartphones.
The 5,000 mAh battery on the OnePlus 11 did not disappoint! With the hotspot on for most of my workdays and a moderate amount of browsing, gaming, and minimal calls, the handset still had about 20-30% of juice left at the end of each day. With a 100 W SUPERVOOC charger packed in, the phone gets back to full charge before you know it!
There’s no denying that the OnePlus 11 is a powerful performer with a pretty impressive camera and battery life. OnePlus has also done what many other companies would be hard-pressed to do - make a flagship available at a relatively more affordable. That’s always refreshing to see.