OnePlus 11 5G Review: Speed Demon

Samsung and Apple have flagship smartphones that begin at $800, however pay a bit further and you will get even extra of a flagship cellphone (flagshippier?) with the phrases “Ultra” or “Pro” hooked up 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 constructing you pay extra for the mark, there will not be a OnePlus 11 “Pro” in any respect. The customary flagship ought to have every little thing 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 a couple of options you’d anticipate finding at its $699 base value, like wi-fi charging and an IP68 water-resistance ranking. But it manages to compete with most different high-end telephones in virtually each different manner, from efficiency and battery life to the cameras. It’s not my first suggestion in the event you’re on the lookout for a new smartphone, neither is it my second, but it surely’s nonetheless an all-around respectable system. 

Going to 11

Photograph: OnePlus

OnePlus has all the time leaned on velocity over every little thing else, and that rings true right here with the OnePlus 11. Underpinning the system is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset with 8 gigabytes of RAM and 128 GB of inner storage. You can improve to 16 GB RAM and 256 GB of storage for $100 extra (and in the event you like the flowery inexperienced coloration, 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 a complete 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 word 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 quicker knowledge switch speeds with improved energy effectivity, so apps and video games ought to load quicker whereas costing you much less battery life, although you will seemingly solely discover the distinction whenever you put these gadgets aspect by aspect. They’re already lots 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 you could use OnePlus’ 80-watt SuperVooc+ charging adapter, which is chunky. But hey, no less than it is included within the field, in contrast to with most other phones nowadays. 

Worried about damaging the battery? The cellphone will intelligently recharge at slower speeds when it detects that you simply’re juicing up at bedtime, however in the event you forgot to plug it in and are speeding 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 an alternative. Maybe, however I’m undecided why each cannot coexist, particularly because it wasn’t an issue on the OnePlus 10 Pro. I a lot desire plopping a cellphone on my bedside wireless charger as an alternative of fumbling for a cable in the dead of night. Oh nicely. 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 problem for you, however with most new gadgets going solely with USB-C ports and cables, it seems 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 can be positive in opposition to mud and rain, but it surely won’t be as protected in the event you 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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