I’m An iPhone User, But I’d Buy The OnePlus 11 – Here’s Why…
The OnePlus 11 represents something of a return to form for OnePlus. Here’s why I think it’s an excellent buy in 2023…
- The Pixel 7 and Galaxy S23 are known for their awesome specs, bleeding-edge camera tech, and performance. However, the OnePlus 11 is a serious contender with its excellent Android updates, performance, and display.
- OnePlus 11 Android Updates: The phone will get four years’ worth of Android updates and five years’ worth of security updates, surpassing both Google and Samsung.
- Performance: The OnePlus 11’s performance is comparable to the Galaxy S23 with its Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 CPU. It has a couple of distinct edges over the Pixel 7 Pro as it gets more Android updates and is more powerful.
- Display: For $699.99, you’re getting a mighty impressive display with a 6.7-inch OLED with a 1440p resolution and a refresh rate of 120Hz thanks to LTPO 3.0 technology.
- Overall, while the OnePlus 11 lags behind Samsung and Google’s camera tech, it excels in other areas making it one of the biggest surprises in smartphone technology for this year.
For Android users, or fans of Google’s platform, things are pretty good right now. Google and Samsung are making excellent hardware and both are focussed on providing better support to their latest phones.
If you go the Pixel 7 or Galaxy S23 route, you’re getting access to awesome specs, bleeding-edge camera tech, and plenty of performance. Add in things like multiple years’ worth of Android support and it’s easy to see why most Android users gravitate towards Samsung and Google.
I’ll admit the Galaxy S23, with its Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 CPU, has the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro pegged when it comes to overall performance. But Google’s Tensor 2 is much improved and, thanks to its AI smarts, it definitely has some serious USPs over Samsung’s S23 range.
And that’s before you even get to the Pixel 7 Pro’s camera which, as you’d expect, is bloody fantastic – even when compared to the 200MP shooter on the Galaxy S23 Ultra.
With all this in mind, why would anyone bother with the OnePlus 11?
In our review of the OnePlus 11, I noted that the phone is damn good in nearly every conceivable way, save for its camera which still lags behind Samsung and Google’s tech.
But there’s a few areas where the OnePlus 11 really does excel, and it is here that I think the OnePlus 11 could well be one of 2023’s biggest surprises. Here’s why…
OnePlus 11 Android Updates
First and foremost, when you’re using an Android phone that isn’t made by Google or Samsung, one thing that is a constant worry is whether or not you’ll get the latest version of Android.
A lot of the cheaper, Chinese-made Android phones on the market might launch with Android 13 but they’ll likely be stuck on that version or, if you’re lucky, Android 14, for the remainder of their lifespan.
Google guarantees three major Android updates and four years’ worth of support for its Pixel phones. Similarly, Samsung now matches this with its higher-end Galaxy S and Fold devices.
But OnePlus has just outdone both of them: the OnePlus 11 will get four years’ worth of Android updates and five years’ worth of security updates.
That is huge. And as of right now, no one else is providing this level of support inside the Android space.
In fact, if you wanted that kind of range from a phone you’d have to bite the bullet and switch to Apple’s iPhone.
Bottomline: if you want the most Android updates possible, the OnePlus 11 is currently the only game in town right now, surpassing both Google and Samsung.
All things being equal, the OnePlus 11 and Galaxy S23 / S23 Ultra are fairly evenly matched in the performance stakes. Like most modern, high-end Android phones, both run on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 CPU.
The OnePlus 11 is available, in its base configuration, with 8GB of RAM, far less than Samsung’s base configuration for its S23 Ultra which comes with 12GB of RAM.
With the base model S23, arguably the OnePlus 11’s main competition anyway, things are the same with 8GB of RAM.
For this reason, performance between both the OnePlus 11 and Galaxy S23 will be more or less the same in most instances (benchmarks may differ, but real-world experience will be markedly similar).
Compared to the Pixel 7 Pro, which runs on Google’s Tensor 2 CPU, both the Galaxy S23 and the OnePlus 11 will be vastly superior. Google has yet to match Qualcomm’s SoC where it counts – raw performance.
In this context, the OnePlus 11 has a couple of distinct edges over the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. It’ll get more Android updates, which is bonkers when you consider that Google actually makes the Pixel phone and Android, and it is a more powerful phone.
OnePlus 11 Display
The OnePlus 11 ships with a mightily impressive display. For $699.99, you’re getting a 6.7-inch OLED with a 1440p resolution and a refresh rate of 120Hz, thanks to its use of LTPO 3.0 technology.
If you’re an iPhone user, as I am, you’d have to shell out a TON of money to get something similar. Apple’s base models do not support this technology, only its Pro and Pro Max models.
The Pixel 7 Pro is very similar in this regard, having much the same display specs as the OnePlus 11, so in this respect both are more or less equal.
And it is also worth nothing that the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro’s camera is superior to the OnePlus 11’s, as noted by Phone Arena who managed to test both of the phones side by side:
OnePlus 11 Charging Speed
But the OnePlus 11 does have one additional USP up its sleeve that both the S23 and the Pixel 7 / Pixel 7 Pro lack. I’m talking, of course, about fast charging.
The OnePlus 11 will do 100W fast charging (outside the US) and 80W charging in the USA. This is very fast, especially compared to what you get with the Galaxy S23 (45W) and Pixel 7 (20W).
And this, often over-looked feature, is one that really does pay dividends when it comes to overall usefulness. As someone that uses an iPhone 13, I know all too well the pain of really slow charging. If my iPhone is dead, I know it’s going to be a good hour before its fully charged.
With the OnePlus 11, you’re looking at less than 20 minutes. And that, whichever way you slice it, is very impressive.
Why I’d Buy The OnePlus 11
The OnePlus 11 is a very impressive offering for 2023. As an iPhone user, it has certainly piqued my interest. It’s priced well, it packs in a ton of useful hardware and features, and it is the best Android phone on the market right now when it comes to Android updates.
And while it does lose ground to Samsung and Google in the camera department, I think its wider features and capabilities more than make up for this.
And for $699.99, it is closer to an Ultra flagship than both the Galaxy S22 and Pixel 7.
To say I’m tempted to ditch my iPhone 13 for this phone would be an understatement. I think OnePlus really has something special on its hands here.
I’d argue the OnePlus 11 is an excellent option over the Pixel 7. OnePlus matches Google’s support level, the OnePlus 11 has a better CPU than the Tensor 2 used inside the Pixel 7, so performance will be better, and, speaking personally, I think it is a much nicer looking phone.
For me, the ONLY reason why you’d get the Pixel 7 over the OnePlus 11 is because you want that Pixel-grade camera quality. If you can live without that and are more interested in overall performance in general, then, yes, the OnePlus 11 is totally worth it in 2023.
- Big & Bold Design
- Excellent Software + Support
- New Price ($699) Makes It Better Value
- Very Decent Camera
- 100W Fast Charging
Richard GoodwinRichard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He has written for Den of Geek, Fortean Times, IT PRO, PC Pro, ALPHR, and many other technology sites. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.
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