From the moment I heard about the OnePlus 11 5G Android phone, I’d been eager to try it out. With an introductory price of $699 and a regular price of $799, I looked forward to seeing how its high-end features lived up to the pricier competition—including the Google Pixel 7 Pro or Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. It didn’t take long for me to get my answer: The OnePlus 11 met and exceeded my expectations. Immediately upon opening the box, I noticed the phone’s sleek design, with its large, circular camera array (designed by Hasselblad) on the back. This got me excited to take photos and see just how well this unique design worked.
Inside sits a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor and equipped with 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. This phone is a powerhouse. OnePlus also sells a less expensive ($699) configuration, with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, but for the phone’s launch, OnePlus, Amazon and Best Buy are each offering enhanced trade-in credit up to $500, plus a $100 gift card (or $100 cash back) and a memory upgrade to the 256GB version.
I quickly discovered it’s the little things—like Dolby Vision HDR support, Dolby Atmos audio, Bluetooth 5.3 and speedy Wi-Fi 7—that help this phone stand out and make it a pleasure to use. It’s the 6.7-inch QHD+ display with a 120Hz dynamic refresh rate and HDR10+ support that makes the phone suitable for everyday use, photography, videography, gaming and higher-end business applications.
I took the OnePlus 11 5G and put it through its paces. Read on to discover exactly how it well performed.
Display size: 6.7-inch | Display type: 3,216 x 1,440-pixel AMOLED, up to 120Hz adaptive refresh rate | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage options: 128GB, 256GB | Battery: 5,000 mAh | Dimensions: 6.4 x 2.9 x 0.3 inches | Weight: 7.2 ounces | Front camera resolution: 16 megapixels | Rear camera resolutions: 50 megapixels (wide), 48 megapixels (ultra-wide) and 32 megapixels (portrait) | Charging: 80W wired | Processor: Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 | OS: OxygenOS 13
- General use smartphone functionality
- Photos and video
- You want wireless charging
- You want even more detailed images
OnePlus 11 5G Review Design: Slim, With Fast Charging
The OnePlus 11 5G offers a thin, rectangular housing that felt comfortable in my hand, despite its large 6.7-inch display. On the right side there’s a single power/sleep/wake button and a tiny alert slider button, which I found handy for changing the volume of notifications (or disabling audible alerts entirely). The left side has a volume up and down rocker. On the bottom of the phone is the USB Type-C charging port, speakers and a nearly invisible SIM card tray. The display seamlessly integrates the fingerprint sensor, while the front-facing camera works for face recognition—either of which work well to unlock the phone.
Available in a metallic and reflective black or green, you can choose between an 8GB of RAM with 128GB of internal storage phone configuration, or a slightly more expensive 16GB of RAM with 256GB of internal storage configuration (which I recommend, especially if you plan to store a lot of high-resolution photos or 6K resolution video content within the phone). The phone features rounded edges which enhance its modern appearance.
The OnePlus 11 5G comes with a USB Type-A to USB Type-C charging cable, along with a Supervooc 80W power adapter for rapid charging from 0% to 100% in 25 minutes. (Unfortunately, the phone does not support wireless charging.) The phone includes a small USB Type-A to USB Type-C adapter as well.
OnePlus 11 5G Review Features: Gorgeous Display, Capable Cameras
The 6.7-inch QHD+ AMOLED touchscreen display supports Dolby Vision, HDR10+ and HDR10. Combined with the 120Hz adaptive refresh rate, everything I looked at on the screen was clear, vibrant and extremely detailed. I found the vivid colors natural and authentic, with not too much contrast.
The display has a maximum brightness of 800 nits. I mainly relied on the auto brightness feature to maintain screen visibility as I traveled between bright sunny outdoor areas to dimly lit indoor areas. Overall brightness was plenty adequate, but not up to par with some competing phones that offer a maximum brightness around 1,000 nits. The adaptive refresh rate makes photos, video, games and any type of animation look buttery smooth. However, when outside in direct sunlight, at times I found the screen difficult to see due to glares and reflections.
The phone’s display uses a Corning Gorilla Glass Victus coating to strengthen it and protect against scratches and cracks. However, because the display’s surface is so smooth, it reflects light. I also noticed it collected fingerprints as I used the phone’s touchscreen capabilities. Thus, I frequently wiped the phone with a microfiber cleaning cloth (the same one I use for my eyeglasses) every few hours.
The OnePlus 11 5G runs OxygenOS 13 (OnePlus’ derivative of Android 13). This gives you almost full compatibility with all Android-based apps available from the Google Play Store, along with an impressive collection of pre-installed apps. And like Android, it’s easy to fully customize the appearance and color scheme of the display.
Of course, the phone works seamlessly with all Google’s services. Over 35 apps, including Google services, come preinstalled on the phone, so right out of the box, it is ready to handle common everyday tasks.
During the phone setup process, I scanned and stored my fingerprint and activated facial recognition to make unlocking the phone faster. I then enjoyed tinkering with the Wallpapers & Style options within Settings to personalize the display’s appearance.
If you’re already familiar with any Android phone’s interface and operation, adapting to the OnePlus 11 5G smartphone and the OxygenOS 13 operating system is straightforward. One disappointing thing, however, was that when I tried to run the Netflix app on the phone, I received a messaging stating it was not compatible with my device. Apps for other streaming services, like Amazon Video, Disney+ and Paramount+ worked fine.
Another thing I noticed is that the touchscreen is extremely sensitive to finger taps and swipes. In some situations, this caused me to tap on the wrong icon or command button accidentally, especially when using apps where menu options and icons appear tiny on the display.
One reason this phone is so often compared to the Google Pixel 7 Pro is because of its camera setup. The rear cameras include a 50-megapixel wide, 48-megapixel ultra-wide and 32-megapixel telephoto camera—each with autofocus, image stabilization and a plethora of other features.
The Camera app that comes preinstalled with OxygenOS 13 is extremely similar to the Android 13 version. In fact, you get so many options available to you via the Camera app, determining which camera and features to use in a given situation can get confusing. There is a learning curve, even if you’re already familiar with the Camera app offered by other Android smartphones.
Besides capturing high-resolution photos with Auto HDR and the option to use an AI scene enhancement tool, the Pro mode gives you manual control over ISO, shutter speed, EV, autofocus and white balance, if you choose to utilize it. You can also choose between capturing and saving images as JPEG, RAW or RAW Plus files, plus decide whether or not to turn on 10-bit color. In addition to selecting the aspect ratio of still images as you’re taking pictures, you can select the ultra-wide, XPAN, or Pano (panoramic) option to capture landscapes or cityscapes. There are a lot of options—and these only touch the surface.
OnePlus 11 5G: Performance
Especially when using the upgraded 16GB of RAM with 256GB version of the phone, I found the OnePlus 11 5G to be highly responsive. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor proved itself to be very fast. It continuously offered excellent performance, regardless of which apps I used. High-action and graphic-intensive games ran smoothly, while all pre-installed productivity and communications apps all performed as expected. The app launching and switching process is quick, as is the phone’s unlocking process—whether you use a passcode, fingerprint scan, or face recognition.
OnePlus reports all-day battery life from the 5,000 mAh (dual-cell, 2,500 mAh non-removable) battery. I found this to be accurate based on my real-world testing. Although on days I did extensive photography, the battery depleted faster.
The camera’s performance was excellent, but it required a bit of time for me to experiment with various camera settings to capture the best quality images. However, once I found the ideal camera settings for what and how I was shooting, the Camera app performed consistently well during the day and at night. The macro shooting capabilities are also impressive. The macro shooting mode consistently captured extreme detail and vivid colors.
For shooting landscapes and ocean views while visiting San Juan, Puerto Rico, St. Kitts and Tortola in the British Virgin Islands, I particularly liked how images shot using the XPAN mode turned out. The only time the results didn’t impress me was when taking sunset photos using the ultra-wide camera. The lens kept generating unwanted glares. Here are some unedited sample images I took using the phone’s cameras in a variety of lighting conditions and using the phone’s various cameras and shooting modes.
For videographers, the OnePlus 11 5G can capture up to 8K video at 24 fps, but at lower resolutions (including 720p, 1080p and 4K) you get a wide range of shooting options beyond just selecting a fps rate. Meanwhile, the front-facing camera (used for selfies and video calls) captures 16-megapixel images and 1080p video at 30 fps.
The phone comes with Google Photos and a separate Photos app pre-installed for viewing, editing, managing and sharing your digital content. While the cameras do a really great job, if you’re serious about photography or videography, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, with its 200MP main lens, is a better phone choice.
The smartphone’s internal dual speakers take full advantage of Dolby Atmos to deliver clear and immersive sound with directional spatial audio. You also get support for six other audio codec, including aptX HD and apt X. This is useful when listening to music or while streaming video content that supports Dolby-enabled audio. However, the speakers also worked well for me during phone calls and video calls when I used the speakerphone option.
Compared to the previous generation OnePlus smartphone, the OnePlus 11’s built-in speakers offer 50% higher bass production and 20% higher sound pressure level (SPL). This gives the speakers higher volume capabilities without forfeiting audio clarity.
When I listened to highly produced pop music via Spotify, for example, and then streamed video content from Paramount+, I found the phone’s overall audio quality and volume capability impressive. This also carried over to impressive clarity when I used the speakerphone option to engage in hands-free calls.
OnePlus Buds Pro 2: The Perfect Companion For This Phone
When taking part in calls, I had equally excellent results using the phone with the new OnePlus Buds Pro 2 wireless earbuds (as opposed to the internal speakers). These $179 earbuds support spatial audio and Hi-Red Audio, but also provide powerful adaptive noise cancellation—a must have feature for phone calls. One feature these earbuds lack: The ability to pause audio automatically when I removed one or both earbuds.
The OnePlus Buds Pro 2s also support Google Fast Pair, which means they can quickly and automatically pair with the Android device you’re using, including the OnePlus 11 5G phone. I found this feature worked quickly and exceptionally well. Three of the most impressive features built into these earbuds, however, are their 54ms low latency (which works nicely with the phone’s Bluetooth 5.3 compatibility), the up to 39-hour battery life and their support for Dolby Head Tracking. This is a feature found in very few earbuds, but it adapts the audio you’re listening to based on your real time head movements.
That said, when I used the earbuds during phone calls, I heard everything clearly, but some people I called stated they heard a slight echo in my voice. However, that could have resulted from the cellular network, not the phone or earbuds. This echo was not present when holding the phone up to my ear or when using the speakerphone option.
OnePlus 11 5G Verdict: How It Compares
I discovered the OnePlus 11 5G offers excellent value for its price. The phone is versatile, performs consistently well, is durable and provides the tools and applications most people rely on in their everyday lives. The shiny and reflective surface can get annoying, especially when it becomes covered in fingerprints. However, during my rigorous testing—which involved voice calls, listening to music, streaming video, playing games and more—I found the OnePlus 11 5G a powerful and reliable phone with a lot of customizable options.
Feature-for-feature, it compares well to the Google Pixel 7 Pro, but it lacks that model’s advanced artificial intelligence enhancements for advanced photography. And this phone doesn’t perform as well as the significantly more expensive Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra.
For over three decades, I have been writing about consumer technology for a variety of print publications, websites and book publishers. I have been writing about Apple iPhones and Android phones since they first became a reality. For Forbes Vetted, I regularly test and write about the latest consumer tech gear—from smartphones and tablets to smart home gear, headphones, wireless earbuds and digital cameras.
How I Tested The OnePlus 11 5G
I began by setting up the phone, inserting a SIM chip to establish cellular service and then going through the various Settings options to customize the phone and its security options to a level I was comfortable with.
I then started testing all aspects of the phone in real-world situations—both indoors and outdoors. I paid attention to the screen’s performance, the speed of the phone, the capabilities of the cameras and how well the phone performed during calls. In addition, I played games on the phone, streamed video content and listened to music to experience firsthand how well the OnePlus 11 5G handled these tasks. I also paid careful attention to commonly used apps to ensure they ran quickly, securely and consistently—even when multitasking.
Why Trust Forbes Vetted
The Forbes Vetted tech team strives to offer accurate and trustworthy product assessments that are the result of intensive research and hands-on testing. Our writers and editors have years of experience writing about a broad range of consumer electronics and have the background and expertise to help you make the best buying decisions possible.
Other Articles You Might Like
Forbes Vetted regularly covers all types of consumer electronics and then reviews and recommends the best products in specific categories. Here are some other articles you might enjoy reading: