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OnePlus 11 drops 'Pro' branding and keeps the alert slider, company confirms

The company's flagship launch event is set for February 7 in New Delhi, India, where it will unveil the OnePlus 11 5G and OnePlus Buds Pro 2.
Written by Kerry Wan, Senior Reviews Editor
OnePlus 11 Dec 19 Announcement
Image: OnePlus

Chinese technology maker OnePlus has announced that its upcoming global launch event -- where it will reveal the OnePlus 11 5G and Buds Pro 2 -- will be held on February 7 in New Delhi, India. 

The company shared with ZDNET a banner image of what looks like the rear triple-camera module of the next-gen flagship smartphone, along with some fancy marketing lingo that's almost too open for interpretation: "Cloud 11" and "Witness the Shape of Power." Am I supposed to feel hyped or puzzled?

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On Cloud 11

A OnePlus spokesperson tells me that the Cloud 11 theme "represents the upgraded technology and performance delivered by the brand's latest products, and to elevate the user experience from Cloud 9 to Cloud 11." It's not quite the moonshot marketing that we've seen from the company in the past, but I'm still looking forward to seeing how OnePlus will improve on the 10 Pro and Buds Pro -- two products that received excellent reviews when ZDNET tested them at launch.

OnePlus 10 Pro in Emerald in front of red boxes.

The OnePlus 10 Pro 5G received an 8.9/10 from ZDNET's reviews team.

June Wan/ZDNET

No more "Pro" branding

What's certain is that while OnePlus has stuck with its "Pro" branding for its flagship phones over the last three generations, the OnePlus 11 5G does without it. It's not a typo. 

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Whether that means that the device will have a more capable successor later in the year or OnePlus has realized that consumers aren't just buying phones for the sake of it having "Pro" in the name is up in the air. I'm just grateful that I won't have to write out "OnePlus 11 Pro 5G" when it's review time.

The alert slider (and Hasselblad) is back

OnePlus has also confirmed that the OnePlus 11 5G will leverage the company's partnership with Swedish camera maker Hasselblad after it had committed to investing $150 million over three years back in 2020. What's more important -- especially to OnePlus users -- is that the alert slider is back. The company had removed the infamous mute switch from its most recent smartphone, the OnePlus 10T, leaving many to wonder if there was anything left in the brand's identity. 

With the OnePlus 11, there is an opportunity here for the company to reclaim the public's interest before other manufacturers like Samsung and Google take a swing at the 2023 market. Here's hoping that it doesn't miss.

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