These days, if you don’t want to buy a great new smartphone from Google or Samsung – and you’re not interested in the Apple ecosystem – OnePlus is probably your best bet. The one-time startup has continued to grow over the past decade, becoming a popular choice for Android enthusiasts and making its way into carrier stores like T-Mobile.
With a new year comes a new smartphone launch, and we expect OnePlus to be one of the first companies to launch their 2023 flagship. The OnePlus 11 looks to build on the rear of the OnePlus 10 Pro and OnePlus 10T in some interesting ways, with a slight design refresh, an all-new processor and much more. Here’s everything we know about the OnePlus 11 so far.
OnePlus 11: name, design and specs
From a marketing perspective, the model names used by OnePlus can often be quite confusing. Consider two of the best entries in the Nord series; the N200 and N20. Both phones were sold at the same time, with the N300 succeeding the first. We’ve also seen flagship phones affected by this pattern; the OnePlus 10 Pro was released without a “regular” model, while the OnePlus 10T was, in all likelihood, the original plan for a mid-range device.
All this is to say that OnePlus can be quite confusing when it comes to its plans for devices. This year, we expect the company to release just one smartphone: the OnePlus 11. Despite the lack of a suffix, this device is rumored to have high-end specs but with the potential for a future “Pro” device to follow later in 2023. It’s a confusing move, but one that should pay off in the future if the company sticks to this naming scheme.
Last year, OnePlus used a similar design for both the 10 Pro and 10T, each recognizable by the hob-like camera layout on the back. This year the company wants to shake things up by replacing the square camera bump with a rounded module with a ringed bezel. It’s an interesting look, but one sure to be divisive. However, the grid of camera lenses – along with the flash – remains, sharing some design DNA between generations.
More recent leaks have doubled down on this look, highlighting how the metal frame bleeds into the rear of the phone. It’s reminiscent of recent Google and Samsung phones (as well as the OnePlus 10 Pro itself), but with such a large gap between the bezel of the device and the camera module it might look too extreme for some customers.
Those renders show the two main colors we expect the OnePlus 11 to be in; matte black, with the smooth sandstone finish the company is known for, and glossy green. It’s hard to tell in this particular image – the green hue looks practically matte – but the final version is likely to collect fingerprints and dust much more easily than the more basic black model.
Other than these changes, this seems to be a pretty standard OnePlus release. A 6.7-inch QHD+ AMOLED display returns from the OnePlus 10 Pro (the 10T used a lower quality 1080p panel), ensuring an excellent experience for gaming, streaming and more. More importantly is the warning slider. After the disappearance of the OnePlus, the company’s last mid-range flagship, buyers were assured that the iconic mute switch would return in future releases.
Despite the lack of a “Pro” in its name, the OnePlus 11 is certainly an early contender for the most powerful flagship in 2023. It will be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, the company’s latest chipset that builds on the successes of the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 for it. OnePlus confirmed it planned to use the chipset on the same day as the announcement, making it one of the first next-gen phones we know of.
Otherwise, look for much of what we expect from a modern flagship. Up to 16GB of RAM – though likely just 8GB in the base SKU – a 5,000mAh battery paired with 100W fast charging, Wi-Fi 6e, and UFS 4.0 storage that can reach read and write speeds of up to 4,200MB/s and respectively 2,800MB/s. If you plan on recording a lot of high-quality 4K video, the faster your phone performs, the better.
OnePlus 11: camera
While photography has never been an area of expertise for OnePlus, the company has continued to work towards better results in recent years. Thanks to a collaboration with Hasselblad, the color matching is fairly unique among modern smartphones. Despite the lack of the OnePlus 10T, that branding is back for 2023, appearing smack in the middle of the lens grid.
On the hardware side, look for a 50MP primary lens paired with a 48MP ultra-wide short lens and a 32MP telephoto lens capable of 2x shots. Compared to devices from Samsung and Google, it’s a relatively weak optical zoom, but software tricks may help. In fact, the software is likely to be the make or break of the OnePlus 11’s camera setup; last year’s OnePlus 10 Pro managed to take some impressive shots, but it was wildly inconsistent. We’ll have to wait and see if the company has fixed some of these bugs.
OnePlus 11: Software
OnePlus can often be a bit slow in updating its smartphones, but Android 13 has done quite well this year. From the OnePlus 10T to the OnePlus 8 series, all of the company’s recent flagships now run the latest version of Android. While we can’t be sure this pace will last forever, we do know that the OnePlus 11 will ship with OxygenOS 13 based on Android 13 as standard.
Additionally, thanks to the company’s new update schedule, this device will likely be the brand’s first device to receive four major OS upgrades in addition to five years of security patch support. In short, owners of a OnePlus 11 can look forward to Android 17 in 2028.
OnePlus 11: price and release date
The days of “flagship killer” prices for OnePlus phones are long gone, with the Nord series taking its place as the budget king in carrier stores. Instead, the company usually prices its phones on par with the competition. For example, the 10 Pro started at $900, while the 10T and its downgraded specs cost a much more reasonable $650.
We expect the OnePlus 11 to be closer to the 10 Pro in terms of price, but without a strong rumor to support this, your estimate of an exact number is just as good as ours. A $900 price lock would be an easy win in these inflation-ridden times, but it’s also possible that the company could touch four-digit price tags across all SKUs for the first time in its history.
In terms of availability, a China-focused OnePlus event is scheduled for December 17, but we don’t expect this device to show up at all outside of a possible teaser. Instead, expect a China-focused reveal in early 2023, with global availability in the months following.