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After years of trying to crack into the premium smartphone market built by the likes of Apple and Samsung, OnePlus is taking a step back with the new OnePlus 11, settling for the more humble midrange segment by focusing on speed, performance, and value above all else.
The result? A $699 handset that still goes toe-to-toe in some areas with the best phones we've tested but misses out on flagship fundamentals we'd expect, like wireless charging and an official IP68 rating for water and dust resistance.
It's the classic give-and-take play by OnePlus, like it or not.
By comparison, last year's OnePlus 10 Pro, which we found didn't cut as many corners, is looking even more enticing with its now-discounted price tag.
Also: The best phones under $430
So, which of the two OnePlus handsets should you buy? Clearly, the answer is not as simple as it looks, so let this comparison guide you to make the ideal buying decision.
OnePlus 10 Pro
6.7-inch AMOLED with 120Hz, LTPO 3.0
6.7-inch AMOLED with 120Hz, LTPO 2.0
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
8GB/16GB RAM with 128GB/256GB
8GB/16GB RAM with 128GB/256GB
50MP Wide, 48MP (115-degree FOV) Ultrawide, 32MP Portrait telephoto, 16MP front
48MP Wide, 50MP (150-degree FOV) Ultrawide, 8MP telephoto, 32MP front
OxygenOS 13 over Android 13
OxygenOS 12 (upgradable) over Android 12
4G LTE, 5G: sub6
4G LTE, 5G: sub6
Titan Black and Eternal Green
Volcanic Black and Emerald Forest
While the OnePlus 11 looks nearly identical to the OnePlus 10 Pro, save for the circular camera module, the company quietly specced out the 11 with features that should keep the phone relevant for much longer. The list includes Wi-Fi 7, UFS 4.0, up to 16GB of LPDDR5X RAM, and OnePlus' new commitment of four years of operating system upgrades and five years of bi-monthly security patches.
Review: OnePlus 11: You win some, you lose some (features)
All of this, while subtler than the typical hardware changes, makes the OnePlus 11 the better phone to invest in if you plan on using it for as long as you can.
There's nothing more valuable than time, and that's why the OnePlus 11's 100W fast-charging (or 80W in the US) is a benefit we'll most definitely take for granted. With the proprietary SuperVOOC tech baked into the included charging brick, the OnePlus 11 can go from 0% to 100% battery in less than 30 minutes. In comparison, the OnePlus 10 Pro caps out at 65W fast-charging, which, to be fair, is still a step up from Apple and Samsung's 30W and 45W options, respectively.
But if you always find yourself plugging in your phone for a last-second charge or are just sick and tired of camping by a wall outlet, then the OnePlus 11 not only offers faster charging than the 10 Pro but is the fastest in the US market.
Historically, OnePlus phones were never known for great cameras, but the company's done a commendable job over the past three years of fine-tuning its mobile shooting system, even teaming up with Swedish camera maker Hasselblad to co-engineer its hardware and post-processing capabilities. Based on photo samples captured with the OnePlus 11, we can safely say that this is the best camera on a OnePlus phone yet, unless you have one particular preference we'll discuss below.
It's true. The OnePlus 11 has the better overall camera system of the two. But there's one area in particular where the OnePlus 10 Pro shines brighter, and that's its 150-degree FOV ultrawide lens. Having a wider field of view means that you're able to capture a greater amount of what's in front of you, making the 10 Pro preferable for landscape photography.
Review: OnePlus 10 Pro: Still an excellent all-arounder
Whether you're taking pictures of the cityscape or want to capture the essence of a crowded room in one shot, the OnePlus 10 Pro should serve you better than the 11.
It's not all sunshine and rainbows with the newer OnePlus phone, especially if you've built a lifestyle around wireless charging. I'm not the only one who passively charges their phone whenever there's a charging pad within arm's reach, right? While OnePlus tells me the company ditched wireless charging on the 11 because "the faster wired charging should make you forget about it," the 10 Pro still has that capability -- and it can ramp up to 50W rates at that.
The OnePlus 10 Pro was already a great deal with its $799 sticker tag, but with the launch of the OnePlus 11, the price has since dropped down to as low as $599. If you dig deeper into third-party retailers or can settle for a used or renewed model, then there are even cheaper options available right now.
Open to other smartphone prospects? Consider these ZDNET-recommended devices: