There’s no doubt that the average selling price of high-end Android phones has increased in recent years, although the current launch cycle seems to have softened a bit, likely due to the uncertain economic climate. OnePlus has historically led the charge when it comes to bringing “never before set” premium specs and features to a reasonably priced flagship offering, although the company’s newer versions have also gone up in price. Thankfully, with the OnePlus 11 5G, the company has returned to its value-focused roots and in doing so, delivered what I believe to be one of the best Android flagship phone values ​​this year, starting at $699.

Top-tier specs: killer screen, redesigned camera module, powered by Snapdragon

Let’s start with the vital signs here. The OnePlus 11 5G is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, which in my opinion is one of the best mobile platforms the company has ever delivered, with both solid and long-lasting performance on a wide variety of phone workloads. More on that in a moment.

The back of the device is clad in Gorilla Glass 5, and the Eternal Green color you see here looks gorgeous and resists fingerprints well, but it’s super glossy and slippery. It’s a shame to cover it up, but OnePlus makes some really great cases and I highly recommend strapping one on to protect that gemstone finish. The front display is covered in Gorilla Glass Victus for a bit more durability.

Speaking of display, OnePlus’ 6.7-inch 3216×1440 resolution LTPO OLED panel brought to the table a 120Hz dynamic refresh rate that can automatically switch to lower refresh rates when not needed. , to save energy. It’s a gorgeous, bright (1300 nits) and punchy OLED display with a slight cascading curved edge that blends seamlessly into the outline of the phone’s aluminum side rails. And yes, ladies and gentlemen, the OnePlus alert slider is back, letting you put the phone on vibrate or DND mode with a simple flip of that edge-mounted switch. Why others haven’t adopted this simple, thoughtful feature is beyond me.

The rear of the OnePlus 11 5G features a sleek, round redesigned camera module with a main shooter driven by Sony’s excellent IMX890 50MP sensor, measuring at a bodacious 1/1.56in, with an f/1 aperture .8 and optical stabilization. This camera takes great photos on the fly, with just a touch more focus, compared to the Pixel 7 Pro. And like the competitor made by Google, it can sometimes narrow things down too much. However, for all intents and purposes, the results are very satisfying, and OnePlus’ partnership with Hasselblad is really starting to pay off. The color science that Hasselblad brings to the table translates to superior accuracy, and I much prefer the lifelike color capture of this phone, over the sometimes muted imagery of the Pixel 7 Pro.

Here’s a quick taste…

The OP 11’s wide-angle camera is larger than the previous generation, but with a narrower field of view at 115 degrees compared to the OnePlus 10 Pro’s 150 degrees. The color capture in the shots above is very true to life, for January in New England. There’s also a solid 2x telephoto lens on board the OnePlus 11, although it lacks image stabilisation. Either way, zoom shots with the camera, as well as digital zoom, do the job well enough, with a steady hand.

My teammate Ryan at HotHardware captured this shot on his OnePlus 11 5G, and here you can see Hasselblad color science in action. It’s a busy and detailed shot with lots of color variations that all render well, with good separation and accurate capture.

This is a relatively easy portrait mode shot for the OnePlus 11, although it was captured on a glass table with a sliding glass door in the background and lots of reflection, so which can make it harder to detect edges and render background blur. especially with this glass jar of pepper salad. Anyway, again, the OP11 handles subject detection quite well. I still wonder if Google’s Pixel 7 Pro has an edge here, although I think it does, by a hair’s breadth.

Top-notch Android performance, powered by Snapdragon 8 Gen 2

Moving on to the general performance results of this new OnePlus flagship, the numbers it put up were pretty fantastic. Qualcomm’s move to TSMC for the manufacture of its mobile platform SoCs (System on Chip) has been very successful, resulting in excellent performance even over time and thermal saturation of the internal cooling solution of the OnePlus 11 5G. Here are some figures that say a lot…

You can see the OnePlus 11 5G is neck and neck with two other new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 powered flagships, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and the RedMagic 8 Pro. The performance differences here for competitors number 2 and 3 are really within the range of benchmark variability. However, when we switch to the 3DMark Wild Life stress test to see how performance changes under a continuous 20-minute load that loops the benchmark, we were treated to literally near zero performance variability.

Samsung’s Galaxy S23 Ultra, which has a special, faster version of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 called Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy, scores slightly higher in the main test, but it bleeds around 8-10% approximately. over time, while the OnePlus 11 is stable as a rock.

Software, user experience and fantastic battery life

OnePlus’ new OxygenOS 13 is a slightly stripped down Android 13 theme, but with more Oppo Color OS shine than ever before. I will say this is probably my least favorite version of OxygenOS, as previous versions of Android from OnePlus didn’t try to reinvent the wheel so much and just felt like cleaner versions of Android, more close to bone stock, which I prefer.

It’s not a hindrance, however, and these preferences are more subjective to the user than anything else. In general, I still prefer OxygenOS 13 to Samsung’s One UI, but again, that’s a personal preference, and I prefer Google’s Android setups in Pixel phones, in general.

What I really appreciate is the battery life of the OP 11 5G. It’s definitely a two-day capable device, and I’m very impressed with the heavy mixed day-to-day use, power management capability of this phone. I also think this is a great testament to the power efficiency of Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2.

However, while I’m totally disappointed that OnePlus omitted (likely cost-saving) wireless charging from the OP 11, what I like is this phone’s 80-watt wired fast charging, which is ridiculously fast. With the included 80W SuperVOOC charger, the OnePlus 11 will draw a full charge in just 27 minutes and in just 12 minutes will give you a 50% recharge.

OnePlus Buds Pro 2 and the recap

I’m still running and hitting the gym with the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 headphones, but so far I’m impressed. Their active noise cancellation and acoustics are excellent with full, rich bass, clear, open mids, and crisp, clean treble reproduction. I’m still digging into the sound quality of the mic, though. Anyway, for $179 with a $20 Amazon gift card offer right now, they’re solid value I think.

All told, I think OnePlus got it right with the new OnePlus 11 5G, and while I really wish wireless charging was on board, 80W wired charging with this phone is delightfully fast. And at an MSRP of $699 for the 8GB RAM/128GB storage model and $799 for the 16GB RAM/256GB storage model, this is one of the best deals in Android phones currently on the market. Amazon also has a $100 gift card offer running with these phones, to sweeten the pot even more.

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