February 24, 2024
A person using the OnePlus 11.
Andy Boxall / Digital Developments

I’ve been utilizing the OnePlus 11 once more, however if you happen to press me on how I really feel in regards to the telephone, you’re going to get a really chilly, scientific reply.

I’ll say it’s excellent for the worth or that it does most of what you could possibly need with out spending a fortune, however I received’t say that I like it. I don’t truly really feel something for the OnePlus 11 as a result of, since its launch in February, it has change into a bit … boring.

There’s nothing improper with the OnePlus 11

The OnePlus 11 resting on a log, and showing the screen.
Andy Boxall / Digital Developments

The OnePlus 11 has been stable and dependable since I put my SIM again in. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 nonetheless offers all the ability I might need. I’m utilizing the model with 16GB, so it’s ridiculously succesful. The display is brilliant and colourful, and the battery has lasted me two days and not using a downside. Once I go to recharge it, it’s again to 100% in half-hour. The specs are glorious.

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I’ve been taking numerous pictures for a comparability between the OnePlus 12 and the Google Pixel 8, and the Hasselblad digicam has returned some lovely, atmospheric, and enticing footage. It’s displaying its age a little bit when capturing in low mild, because it does take a beat or so longer than the Pixel 8 to course of photographs, but it surely’s not a dealbreaker. The selfie digicam has not improved, and the disappointing wide-angle digicam hasn’t both.

Nonetheless, for $700, it’s nonetheless an incredible deal. The OnePlus 11 matches into an area the place it’s surrounded by options at each greater and decrease costs — the aforementioned Google Pixel 8, together with the Samsung Galaxy A54 and Galaxy S23, the iPhone 15, and the Nothing Telephone 2, for instance — so it turns into the secure middle-of-the-road selection. compromise between low-mid-range and entry-level flagship. That’s the OnePlus 11 in direction of the top of 2023: wise.

It’s only a bit boring

The OnePlus 11 on some leaves, showing the camera.
Andy Boxall / Digital Developments

The OnePlus 11 feels as scientific and characterless as most anticipate a bit of electronics to be. The spec listing ticks the bins, the worth has remained aggressive even after 9 months, and it has the Hasselblad identify on the again to assist in giving the digicam some credibility. The advertising and marketing people must be very happy with their efforts.

However wise isn’t all that attention-grabbing, and it actually isn’t thrilling. I’ve not as soon as picked the OnePlus 11 up and smiled or thought how cool it appears to be like or feels. OxygenOS 13.1 is much less annoying than ColorOS and interrupts my day far much less with irritating notifications, but it surely completely lacks aptitude. OxygenOS was all the time scrappy and fairly enjoyable, however these days are lengthy gone.

Nonetheless, virtually none of that is the OnePlus 11 or OxygenOS’s fault. The issue is that the competitors is doing every thing higher than OnePlus, and that makes the corporate’s most inexpensive telephone with the broadest potential enchantment really feel moderately uninteresting. Since reviewing the OnePlus 11 in February, I’ve reviewed numerous telephones, together with the good Motorola Razr (2023), the distinctive Nothing Telephone 2, the stunning iPhone 15 Plus, and the cracking Pixel 8, which can simply be one of the best all-rounder accessible in the mean time.

What you may get as a substitute

The Motorola Razr 40's cover screen, with the Moo character.
Motorola Razr (2023) Andy Boxall / Digital Developments

Let’s speak in regards to the Motorola Razr (2023), because it’s an incredible instance of why the OnePlus 11 has change into boring. The Razr (2023) is a compact folding telephone, which routinely makes it cooler and extra enjoyable than the OnePlus 11 however prices the identical. It truly value much less for a short time, and on the time of writing, there’s a suggestion the place it comes with a free set of $300 Bose QuietComfort II earbuds, making it even higher worth.

The Razr pulls off a trick few different producers can match: it contains an on-screen character that’s enjoyable and fascinating. “Moo” clearly isn’t a purpose to purchase the Razr (2023), but it surely’s unquestionably cute and makes me smile a complete lot greater than the OnePlus 11 does. The inner specs aren’t as spectacular because the OnePlus 11, however specs aren’t every thing, particularly if you happen to aren’t an enormous cell gamer.

The back of the Nothing Phone 2, with the lights active.
Nothing Telephone 2 Andy Boxall / Digital Developments

If processing energy appeals, there isn’t an enormous quantity of on a regular basis efficiency distinction between the Nothing Telephone 2’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 and the OnePlus 11’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, and the Nothing telephone is overflowing with individuality and funky causes to purchase. The software program has an incredible design, the telephone appears to be like good, and the lighting system on the again serves a goal in addition to catching the attention. It’s additionally cheaper than the OnePlus 11.

Lastly, there’s all of the photographic AI insanity contained in the Google Pixel 8, which augments its improbable digicam even additional. By comparability, the OnePlus 11’s onboard photograph editor operates like one thing from years in the past. I had much more enjoyable and will get much more artistic with the Pixel 8’s digicam, which seems like a very next-generation telephone alongside the OnePlus 11.

The OnePlus 12 must be extra attention-grabbing

The OnePlus 11 on a log, showing the rear panel.
Andy Boxall / Digital Developments

There was as soon as a time when OnePlus made telephones that felt distinctive and thrilling, and whereas the OnePlus 11 remains to be an excellent telephone, its opponents have surpassed it in making telephones I can’t wait to make use of on daily basis. It’s astonishing how a lot Motorola, Samsung, Google, and Nothing have pushed smartphones ahead over the previous 12 months, creating particular person merchandise that really enchantment, and their efforts have left the OnePlus 11 feeling stale.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t purchase the OnePlus 11. It’s a extremely good telephone, and I’ve not had any points with it at everywhere in the previous week or so. I’m additionally aware some folks don’t care if the telephone they use is that attention-grabbing. Stable reliability and an incredible spec listing are all that matter. However I would like extra from the machine I spend a lot time with and would anticipate to maintain for years. The competitors has launched gadgets that do that higher than the OnePlus 11, typically for much less cash.

The OnePlus 11 on some leaves, showing the brand logo.
Andy Boxall / Digital Developments

OnePlus must see how the sport has modified, and it has to react with the OnePlus 12. The OnePlus 11’s successor doesn’t want flashing lights and even to fold up; it simply must have a purpose to purchase apart from “It’s good for the worth,” so I can provide it a heartfelt suggestion.

I’m comfortable the OnePlus 11 remains to be a superb telephone as we close to the top of 2023, however I’m ecstatic in regards to the route the remainder of the smartphone world has taken because it was launched, and I would like the OnePlus 12 to satisfy this problem head-on.

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