Every year I see dozens of smartphones of all shapes and sizes, at all sorts of budgets, and with all sorts of features. But every year, there are just a few that stand out as some of the very best phones in the business.
Unsurprisingly, the top players in the game are pretty much always Apple, Samsung and Google, they set the standard for everyone else. In recent times, OnePlus has positioned itself as another of those smartphone manufacturers racing ahead of the rest, and their latest handset is proof of that.
Launched on the 7th of February, the OnePlus 11 is one of the first big smartphone releases of 2023. I've been trying it out and there are a few reasons why I would actually buy one.
First things first, the phone looks really nice. It has an elegantly curved screen and a smart circular camera module on the back. You can buy it in Eternal Green and Titan Black, both of which are sleek and sophisticated.
The 6.7-inch display is a beauty with a QHD+ resolution of 3216 x 1440p, 1300 nits peak brightness as well as HDR10+ and Dolby Vision support. Because the screen is LTPO with a maximum refresh rate of 120Hz, it doesn't just look good but it feels silky smooth to use too.
Naturally, a great screen needs to be backed up by powerful hardware, and the OnePlus 11 certainly ticks that box. It's one of the first phones to come loaded with the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, and you can buy it with up to 16GB of RAM. The result? One of the speediest smartphones yet. Whether you plan to edit photos or play mobile games, it'll be able to handle just about everything and anything you could throw at it.
The camera system is a winner too, made up of a 50MP IMX890 main camera with a large 1/1.56" sensor, a 48MP ultra-wide camera with a 1/2" sensor and 115-degree field of view, and a 32MP portrait tele camera, with a 32MP selfie camera. I was really impressed at its point-and-shoot potential. The snaps I took were vibrant, full of colour and intricate details. Granted the zoom left a lot to be desired but that's something most people will be able to look past.
So you might be wondering what the catch is, and as with anything, there is one that could put you off. The battery life. During my testing, it rarely made it through an entire day, never mind into the next one. It doesn't even come close to what you get from some other phones in that realm, like the Oppo Find X5 Pro or the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.
Luckily, the charging capabilities do sort of makeup for the weak battery life. You get a 100W charger included in the box (80W if you're in the US), which is able to take the phone from flat to full in as little as 25 minutes, so even a speedy 10-minute charge will get you almost halfway there!
Perhaps the very best thing about the OnePlus 11, though, is the price. For the base model with 128GB of storage and 8GB of RAM, you're looking at spending £729 in the UK (about $829), or to up that to 256GB of storage, it’ll be £799 (about $899). That's cheaper than other more affordable flagship devices were at launch, like the Google Pixel 7 Pro (£849/$899) or the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus (£999/$850).