Ameya DalviFeb 07, 2023 21:19:26 IST
It is time for the next generation of OnePlus phones, mainly the OnePlus 11 5G. By the time you read this piece, it would already been officially unveiled in India. We had access to the device for the past few days, and though the full review will take a bit longer, there are a handful of things about the phone we can tell you about. We can also tell you how it differs from its predecessor, the OnePlus 10T, across various key parameters like design, display, camera etc.
To be brutally honest, beating the 10T was always going to be a walk in the park for its successor, as it didn’t set the bar particularly high. In fact, personally, it was arguably the most disappointing product from the company last year after Oxygen OS 13, of course. It seemed more of an R series phone. Come 2023, the need of the hour was not just to beat it with some incremental updates but overhaul it, and that’s what OnePlus has attempted with the 11 5G.
We will hold back the camera samples and performance benchmarks for the final review, not because we want to keep you waiting, but from our past experience, we expect another software update or two in the coming days that might change things. Today, let’s look at the upgrades the OnePlus 11 5G brings to the table over its predecessor.
OnePlus 11 5G vs OnePlus 10T: Design
From the front, the OnePlus 11 5G looks more like the 10 Pro than the 10T, with a curved display, slim bezels and a punch-hole at the top left of the screen for the selfie camera. The same applies to the back of the black variant that we received, with a matte glass that serves as a throwback to the sandstone finish of the first OnePlus phone. For the first time since the OnePlus 8T/9R, you get an Aluminium frame on a non-Pro device, and even better, the alert slider is back, which was inexplicably removed in the 10T.
While the position of the rear cameras is similar, the squarish camera island on the 10 series now makes way for a circular one on the 11. It is hard to say which one looks better, but neither looks bad, so no complaints. The OnePlus 11 is 0.3 mm slimmer than the 10T, but the weight is quite similar. The biggest change here is the display, and it’s not just the curved edges I am talking about but a lot more. Let me elaborate further.
OnePlus 11 5G vs OnePlus 10T: Display
For the first time ever on a non-Pro OnePlus phone, we have a QHD+ display. That’s a resolution of 3216 x 1440 pixels, as opposed to a Full HD+ resolution of 2412 x 1080 on the 10T. The display on both phones has a refresh rate of 120 Hz, but while the 10T uses a standard Fluid AMOLED display, the OnePlus 11 has an LTPO3 AMOLED screen with a variable refresh rate ranging from 1 Hz all the way to 120 Hz for better power efficiency.
While both phones have 6.7-inch HDR10+ compliant displays, the one here flaunts Dolby Vision compliance too. The 10-bit display on the OnePlus 11 can get up to 1300 nits bright. The screen protection has also been upgraded from Corning Gorilla Glass 5 to Corning Gorilla Glass Victus.
OnePlus 11 5G vs OnePlus 10T: Processing hardware
No surprises here. OnePlus has opted for the latest and the most powerful Qualcomm SoC around, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2; the first phone with that SoC in India, if my memory serves me right. Speaking of memory, you get up to 16 GB of LPDDR5 RAM on the OnePlus 11, and up to 256 GB of UFS 4.0 storage. Not sure if the 512 GB storage variant will be available anytime soon. Needless to say, it is blazing fast, and the scores are consistently higher than the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip found in the 10T.
OnePlus 11 5G vs OnePlus 10T: Camera
A 50MP primary camera with Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS), 8MP ultra-wide camera and a 2MP macro/depth sensor is the combination OnePlus offered on most of their non-Pro phones in 2021-2022. The Nord 2, Nord 2T, OnePlus 10R and OnePlus 10T all had the same, and finally, thankfully that streak is broken. The OnePlus 11 too has three cameras at the back, but the combination is drastically different.
You get a 50MP primary camera with a Sony IMX890 sensor with OIS. The second camera is a 48MP ultra-wide shooter with auto-focus. This is probably the first time since the OnePlus 7T that we have an ultra-wide camera with auto-focus on a OnePlus non-Pro phone. That feature generally lets your ultra-wide camera double up as a macro camera too. We will explore that aspect in more depth in the OnePlus 11 review.
The third camera here is a 32MP telephoto portrait camera for clicking high-quality, professional-grade portrait shots. Hasselblad is back to handle the colour calibration and also lend some pro tricks for portrait shots. You also get a Pro mode for finer control over the exposure, white balance, shutter speed and more if you like to play around with the camera settings. We will reserve our judgement about the camera performance for the final review.
OnePlus 11 5G vs OnePlus 10T: Battery and charging
The battery capacity has seen a slight increment from 4800 mAh on the 10T to 5000 mAh here. However, the 10T still has the upper hand when it comes to charging times, thanks to its 150W SuperVOOC charger. OnePlus has bundled a ‘relatively slower’ 100W charger with the OnePlus 11 that claims to charge it fully in just 25 minutes, which is just about 5 minutes slower than its predecessor. I will update you with the exact charging time in a few days, but it is definitely under half an hour with the bundled charger.
OnePlus 11 5G initial thoughts
Our initial impressions of the OnePlus 11 5G are quite positive, and it feels like a big upgrade over the OnePlus 10T in most departments. In fact, at times it feels more like a successor to the OnePlus 10 Pro. OnePlus is yet to announce the price of this device at the time of writing, and I sincerely hope they don’t get too greedy. They badly need a win early in 2023 after a largely lacklustre 2022. Let’s wait and watch what Cloud 11 rains upon us.