Let's start with the obvious, if you have last year's top model, the OnePlus10 Pro, then there might not be much reason to upgrade, but if you have an older Android phone or just want to switch, then the OnePlus 11 looks to be a good bet.
The prices aren't too bad, 8GB RAM costs £729.00, the same as last year's top model, and the new 16GB LPDDR5X RAM costs £799.00. Our test model came with a charger, but no cover, and I don't think you should expect that with the retail version either - I think you can demand one, even if it's just a thin silicone shell, you can use the phone straight away without having to worry. RAM, by the way, is something that's now controlled by AI, and for example there's always at least half a gigabyte dedicated just to the camera app.
This year there's the Snapdragon 8 Gen. 2 processor, and the memory runs on UFS 4.0, and there's charging with a 100 watt charger - so it's fast even with a 5000mAh battery. It's certified to the TüV standard so it doesn't all fizzle out while charging through real-time monitoring, but we still have to say it's best to stay awake while charging. It's still an Adreno 740 GPU and a Kryo CPU hiding in there, and with pretty big improvements in both performance but especially battery life. The press material says that the RAM, CPU and storage are so fast that you can have up to 44 applications open at the same time - that sounds grotesque, and if anyone has that, they need to go to school or just not be allowed to use a mobile phone at all. Incidentally, it should be noted that the 128GB version has UFS 3.1, not UFS 4.0 as the 256GB version has.
OnePlus has switched to a "Battery Health Engine" to prevent the battery from dying too quickly with such heavy charging. I can't quite fathom how, but OnePlus claims that it's at the hardware level that they're able to take better care of the phone's battery.
The screen is a 525ppi 10-bit 3216x1440p 120Hz AMOLED at 6.7" with LTPO 3.0, which pretty much controls everything, especially the refresh rate and makes sure the screen uses as little power as possible by being adaptive. There's HDR10+, Dolby Vision and stereo speakers that are ok for a mobile, but distort more than they should when turned all the way up. They're on par with most others at the sub-£1000 mark, but to call them "ground breaking audio quality" is just over the top, they're not much better to my ears than those in the 10 Pro model, and that's not bad, but it's not great, and for good reason they can't be so great when you have so little space to play with.
The camera uses a triple configuration consisting of a 50 megapixel Sony IMX890 sensor and a 32 megapixel IMX709 RGBW telephoto lens dedicated to Hasselblad's potrait mode, as well as a 48 megapixel ultra wide angle. There are again Hasselblad Masters camera settings and calibration, and if you want to play professional photographer this is an easy way to get started. I'm still most a fan of the "Emerald" setting, but then I also shoot mainly nature and wildlife. Or cats. I take a lot of cat pictures. Night Mode is solid, there's a bit less image noise than last year's standard model, and I'd actually like to commend OnePlus for getting someone to do a neutral colour calibration, because a lot of phones take pictures with oversaturated, overdone and exaggerated colours. In addition, at the hardware level, there is a built-in light sensor that can compensate for color differences caused by ambient light. The IMX890 also supports AI-driven video, where light in particular is distributed and recorded differently, so the OnePlus 11 naturally offers that too. I generally don't think it a huge evolution, but both focus, light and contrast control, much of the part with AI I can see gives a better result, but I may be doubtful that quite ordinary users will appreciate how advanced it actually is. The selfie camera is 16 megapixels with a Sony IMX471 sensor. 8K/24fps or 4K/60fps is the maximum video resolution. There is slow-mo, but it's limited to 480fps in 720p.
On the gaming front, OnePlus is still one of the only to have a feature to keep the frame rate stable through machine learning, and then it even has the ability to turn up and down depending on how intense the game is. I don't notice much difference, but the battery can feel it, because it just lasts longer.
There's Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on the back, Victus on the front. Nice. Bluetooth 5.3, Aptx HD and also LDAC and AAC are supported as well as - WIFI 7 - yes, it's disabled, but according to the guide handed out to the press, it's due to different regulations, but the phone is simply prepared for WIFI 7. Until then, you'll have to settle for WIFI 6E.
I don't understand why they've removed wireless charging though - will it be in a OnePlus 11T later this year? It's something that's now standard in all phones at around the £500 mark, and I'd actually like a logical explanation for it, there are tons of QI-based products sold, even mouse pads and PC cases, and yes, we're some people who are too lazy to throw in a cable, even if it's 100 watts of charge that takes the phone from 5% to fully charged in just over 20 minutes - it's extremely fast.
There are nice little upgrades here and there, nothing that makes upgrading from a OnePlus 10 Pro attractive, but if you have an older model they'll feel like a big upgrade, especially with the really long-lasting battery I easily got to last two days, And while the camera isn't a quantum leap but "just" builds on what was in the 10 Pro, it's still pretty good, but with a lot less image noise than just a few generations ago - so we just need camera with optical zoom and wireless charging.