OnePlus 11 5G Review: Speed Demon

Samsung and Apple have flagship smartphones that begin at $800, however pay slightly further and you will get even extra of a flagship cellphone (flagshippier?) with the phrases “Ultra” or “Pro” connected on the finish. OnePlus used to comply with the same strategy, but it surely’s altering issues up this 12 months with its new OnePlus 11 5G. Instead of creating you pay extra for the mark, there will not be a OnePlus 11 “Pro” in any respect. The commonplace flagship ought to have all the things you want and extra, proper? It’s like the corporate took Marty DiBergi’s query from This is Spinal Tap to coronary heart. 

The new handset is fairly darn good. It omits just a few options you’d anticipate finding at its $699 base worth, like wi-fi charging and an IP68 water-resistance ranking. But it manages to compete with most different high-end telephones in nearly each different manner, from efficiency and battery life to the cameras. It’s not my first suggestion if you happen to’re on the lookout for a new smartphone, neither is it my second, but it surely’s nonetheless an all-around respectable machine. 

Going to 11

Photograph: OnePlus

OnePlus has at all times leaned on velocity over all the things else, and that rings true right here with the OnePlus 11. Underpinning the machine is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset with 8 gigabytes of RAM and 128 GB of inside storage. You can improve to 16 GB RAM and 256 GB of storage for $100 extra (and if you happen to like the flamboyant inexperienced shade, which is the model I examined). I’ve had zero points hopping from one app to a different, and even intensive video games like Genshin Impact really feel tremendous slick on the 120-Hz screen on the highest graphics settings. OnePlus made an entire host of optimizations and {hardware} boosts to maximise this efficiency; I can not go over all of them, however suffice it to say that is an impressively quick and responsive cellphone.

Speed demons will be aware that the bottom model of the cellphone comes with Universal Flash Storage (UFS) 3.1, whereas the 16 GB RAM improve nets you UFS 4.0. The latter storage possibility presents sooner knowledge switch speeds with improved energy effectivity, so apps and video games ought to load sooner whereas costing you much less battery life, although you may seemingly solely discover the distinction while you put these units facet by facet. They’re already loads quick for many duties. 

Battery-wise, I by no means felt like I needed to stick near an outlet. With common use, the OnePlus 11’s 5,000-mAh battery comfortably lasted a full day, with sufficient left within the tank for the next morning. The OnePlus 11 stays one of many fastest-charging telephones within the US. I managed to go from 8 to 95 % in roughly 22 minutes. The catch is that it’s essential use OnePlus’ 80-watt SuperVooc+ charging adapter, which is chunky. But hey, not less than it is included within the field, not like with most other phones as of late. 

Worried about damaging the battery? The cellphone will intelligently recharge at slower speeds when it detects that you just’re juicing up at bedtime, however if you happen to forgot to plug it in and are dashing to move out the door at 8:45 am, it’s going to know to crank issues up. Weirdly, OnePlus has omitted wi-fi charging, a staple on all flagship telephones, claiming that most individuals will depend on speedy wired charging as a substitute. Maybe, however I’m unsure why each cannot coexist, particularly because it wasn’t an issue on the OnePlus 10 Pro. I a lot choose plopping a cellphone on my bedside wireless charger as a substitute of fumbling for a cable at the hours of darkness. Oh effectively. Time to fumble.

Perhaps even stranger is the corporate’s determination to maneuver again from a USB-C charging adapter to a USB-A. The older port remains to be widespread sufficient that this won’t be a difficulty for you, however with most new units going solely with USB-C ports and cables, it looks like a step again. I as soon as introduced the OnePlus 11’s adapter and cable to a espresso store, hoping to apply it to my MacBook. But it turned out the cable was too quick—and I could not swap within the MacBook’s longer cable, as a result of its USB-C plug would not work with the OnePlus adapter. First-world issues, I do know, but it surely’s a foolish snag to have in 2023. 

Then there’s the IP64 water- and dust-resistance ranking. The OnePlus 11 shall be advantageous in opposition to mud and rain, but it surely won’t be as protected if you happen to drop it within the pool as a cellphone with an IP68 rating (which is, er, most flagship smartphones). It’s weird the corporate could not safe a greater ranking. Also, the display is wrapped in Corning’s scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass Victus, however the rear glass employs the older Gorilla Glass 5. Even the cheaper Pixel 7 makes use of Victus on each side, making it extra sturdy (the brand new Galaxy S23 opts for the even stronger Victus 2). 

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