One plus one is not eleven, but OnePlus has ticked enough to reach the 11 series of its smartphones… in fact, there is already a OnePlus 11R in the market, trying to pose as the more affordable version the premium brand can offer at the moment. In the journey from the OnePlus One to the OnePlus 11R, this relatively new entrant in the smartphone segment has shown how well it understands the market, the demands of its customers and, more importantly, how much they are willing to pay for what they perceive as a premium device.
The OnePlus 11R has been with me for almost a week and it is everything I expect the brand to offer. But that perception of OnePlus has changed over the past couple of quarters since it started homing in more towards the mother brand Oppo. And this is why I thought of doing this review a bit differently, asking probable buyers what they would like me to test out with the new OnePlus 11R.
The design is as expected from a OnePlus phone, this time with a prominent circular camera bump that makes the phone stand out and be noted. OnePlus fans will be happy to note that the alert slider is still there on the right edge with the volume rocker on the left. The phone offers a decent grip and the sharper edge aids in this. However, it has become heavier than its predecessor and has crossed the 200g mark in weight.
The OnePlus 11R has a 6.7-inch 120Hz Super Fluid Display with 2772×1240 pixels resolution and 500nits brightness that makes it great for gaming and consuming content. Depending on what the user is doing, the display will automatically move between 40 and 120Hz frame rate, thus saving power. For me, the first view of the display animation was good enough to take the cue that this is a great display and certainly better than what was seen on the 10R.
This phone is powered by the top-of-the-line Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1+ as OnePlus seems to have dropped the MediaTek experiment for the R series. This should help the brand keep to its premium image at least for the flagship range and not water it down for the discerning audience. The 16GB should delight power users and gamers alike.
The OnePlus 11R offers a no-nonsense triple-camera system, the kind I have come to expect from this company. This also means the phone offers camera features regular users find value in and hasn’t packed any gimmicks which ultimately they won’t end up using. I was most impressed by the Macro settings and the colour reproduction when shooting regular images. The camera does not make reds look redder or greens show greener. However, in bright light, you have to adjust the focus to ensure images don’t burn out. On the other hand, the ultra-wide angle lens and the macro work best in bright light.
This is where the OnePlus 11R packs some major advantages. The 5000mAh battery easily lasts a day with regular use, even on 5G. When the battery is low, the low battery mode lets you access essential features but still pushes what’s left of the power to stretch for a few more hours.
In the box is a 100W SUPERVOOC + charger that can charge up the phone for a day’s worth in just above 5 minutes and to a full charge in 25 minutes. This is mind-blowing stuff, especially if you like me are always forgetting to charge the phone on time. OnePlus is also packing in some new technology that helps the battery last long with a dedicated chip to manage just this aspect.
UI and usability
I am still a big fan of the original OnePlus Oxygen UI and the breath of fresh air it offered to smartphone users. Of late though, OnePlus UI has started looking more like what you see on Oppo phones and that’s not something I really enjoy, though this does not affect usability in any way. With the OnePlus 11R, I loved the implementation of the Shelf — a top-down swipe on the home screen — which offers updates from all important apps. The all-black low-battery mode is good too and makes it a usable UI and not restrictive as it is on some other phones.