The OnePlus 11 is coming soon and I can’t wait to try it
The OnePlus 11 is coming soon and I can’t wait to try it
Unsurprisingly, OnePlus’ next phone is called the OnePlus 11 5G. It is currently available in China, and the the phone is expected to launch worldwide on February 7. It follows on from last year. OnePlus 10 Pro and comes on the heels of the OnePlus 10T which left a bad taste in our mouths because of its questionable compromises and confusing value proposition.
Luckily for us, OnePlus has provided a look at the 11 in december. And now the new phone is on full display on the OnePlus China website. After devouring it with the help of Google Translate, I remember Leonardo DiCaprio’s oft-quoted line from the movie Django Unchained.
“Gentlemen, you had my curiosity. But now you have my attention.”
I already had high hopes for the 11, as it would be the third-generation phone to come out during OnePlus’ partnership with iconic camera company Hasselblad. So far, Hasselblad’s influence has largely been behind the scenes with camera tuning and nifty software features like the Xpan panoramic style. The OnePlus 11 could be the first time we’ve seen new camera hardware resulting from the partnership.
I should also point out that details and nuances can be lost in translation, so keep that in mind as you read on.
The OnePlus 11 looks fantastic
The design of the 11 picks up where the 10 Pro left off. Translated, the site says that the look of the OnePlus 11 was inspired by a “black hole in science fiction”. But instead of a square camera bump found on the 10 Pro, the 11 is circular on top with tapered sides that flow into the edge of the phone. This is reminiscent of the clasp of a leather attache. When the phone is in landscape mode, the shape of the camera bump almost resembles the silhouette of Darth Vader’s helmet.
The site shows the phone in two colors. There’s a matte green color, which isn’t quite a British racing green, and a textured black finish, which the translated text says is “silk glass”. I guess that means the finish looks textured, but to the touch it’s just flat glass.
My CNET colleague Andrew Lanxon got his hands on a OnePlus 11. While we’ll have to wait a bit to hear his thoughts on the test, he did share a few phone pics on twitter.
There aren’t many pictures of the front, but it does have a screen with cascading edges that flow down the right and left sides of the phone. The front camera is housed in a punch-hole cutout on the top left side.
An alert slider can be seen in a product video on the site which also shows flashy stylized close-ups of the OnePlus 11. OnePlus has previously confirmed that the button will return after it was absent on the OnePlus 10T. The 11 joins the likes of the Nubia Red Magic 8, which has a similar hardware slider to put the phone into game mode.
The OnePlus 11 has the latest Android hardware
The phone has a 6.7-inch AMOLED display with a variable refresh rate that peaks at 120Hz. The display is LTPO 3. Last year’s 10 Pro had an LTPO 2 display. LTPO stands for Polycrystalline Oxide at low temperatures, allowing displays to have a high refresh rate without killing your battery. According to the translated text, LTPO 3 is smoother and even more energy efficient. One graph claims the display can go as low as 1Hz, which is the same refresh rate as the The iPhone 14 Pro uses for its always-on display.
Inside, the 11 runs on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip which, according to a OnePlus press release, has 35% faster CPU performance and a 25% faster GPU. The 11 is one of the first phones to feature the new Qualcomm chip. The 11 also comes with 16GB of RAM and 256GB or 512GB of storage.
It’s all powered by dual 2,500mAh batteries supporting 100W fast charging. Last year’s 10 Pro had the same dual-battery setup and supported 80W fast charging, except US models that were capped at 65W fast charging. The OnePlus 10T supports 150W charging globally and 125W in the US. For perspective, the iPhone 14 Pro supports 20W fast charging. OnePlus says the 11’s batteries can recharge from empty to 100% in 25 minutes.
The cameras are the same but different
The OnePlus 11 has a 50-megapixel main camera system and a 48-megapixel ultra-wide camera system similar to the 10 Pro. It also has a telephoto lens with a 32-megapixel sensor and 2x optical zoom compared to the 8-megapixel sensor and 3.3x optical zoom of the 10 Pro.
Sony manufactured all the image sensors, including that of the new telephoto lens. But you have to wonder if OnePlus and Hasselblad chose the 32-megapixel sensor and short telephoto combo because it gives better photos than the 10 Pro’s tele. If so, this is the first time we’ve seen a camera hardware design that stems from the OnePlus and Hasselblad partnership.
The translated text suggests that the new telephoto lens can take pictures with more accurate colors. The OnePlus China site says portrait mode photos have better simulated bokeh that mimics the look of images taken with Hasselblad’s XCD medium format lenses.
Sample photos from the 11 look good, with balanced colors and fading highlights for skin tones. We should take these photos with a big grain of salt, because almost every phone manufacturer’s website features impressive photos taken with their phones – ah, marketing! Unfortunately, it is not specified whether these photo enhancements will apply to video recording.
Is there a OnePlus 11 Pro?
From everything I’ve read on the website, the OnePlus 11 is the best-designed OnePlus phone ever. It seems to be the “pro” model this year despite the lack of nomenclature. Its 6.7-inch screen is the same size as the 10 Pro. Indeed, the Chinese president of OnePlus Li Jie claimed that there is no “pro” version of the OnePlus 11 in response to a question on the Chinese social network Weibo.
This would mark a continued shift from OnePlus’ previous product strategy. Until recently, OnePlus had released three models of its flagship phones, a regular version, a “pro” and later in the year a T model. For example, in 2020 there was a OnePlus 8, 8 Pro and 8T. The pro models usually have larger screens with higher resolution and a third rear camera with a telephoto lens compared to the standard version.
Last year, the company only released a OnePlus 10 Pro without a standard model.
What’s next for the OnePlus 11?
The new phone will be launched in China on Monday, January 9. OnePlus is holding a global launch event in India on Tuesday, February 7, where it will also showcase the OnePlus Buds Pro 2. I’m really looking forward to trying out the phone for myself, especially this new telephoto lens.
OnePlus 10 Pro is a competitively priced premium phone with the best specs of 2022
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