OnePlus launched a set of devices last month with the 11R being one of the more interesting announcements during the announcement. Priced at Rs. 39,999 and Rs. 44,999 (two models). The latter (16GB + 256GB) is the one I have been using for a bit, and here are my thoughts on it.
Design: The OnePlus 11R features a 6.74-inch curved display that carries the front-facing camera near the top-centre and an optical under-screen fingerprint reader near the bottom. The back sports a circular cut-out carrying the triple camera system with an LED flash that’s quite familiar from other OnePlus devices. There’s also the OnePlus branding on the back; the back itself Gorilla Glass that has a matte finish and slightly shimmery look to it. The sides are all made of glossy plastic, but it didn’t really feel low quality during my usage. On the right side, you have the Power/lock key near the middle, while the ring slider (it’s back here) is located next to the camera setup. The left side houses the volume keys. The keys are tactile enough and the alert slider also feels nice to slide up or down. On the top, you have the secondary mic, secondary outlet for top speaker and the infrared port; while the bottom carries the loudspeakers, USB type C port, primary mic and the dual SIM card slot. The phone is quite heavy, weighing above 200grams, but it’s not very slippery in the hand, though it can slide when not placed on an absolutely flat surface. No official IP rating here for dust or water resistance, though with a few minor splashes water, I didn’t notice anything concerning in the slightest.
Display: The device sports a 6.74-inch curved AMOLED (2772x1240) display with Dragontail glass on top. The display supports refresh rates from 40Hz to 120Hz and does a good enough job providing high refresh rates wherever required, albeit some drops here and there once in a while that we did see with the OnePlus 10T earlier on, too. The display is pretty sharp and vibrant in terms of colour reproduction though it can be abit oversaturated for viewing images. It does a decent job when watching full HD videos though HDR output remains a little less than great even if you enable Bright HDR video mode from Settings. When used under direct sunlight, it is readable provided you have cranked up the brightness to at least 60%-70%.
Camera: With a triple camera setup – a 50MP (f/1.8) main camera (with OIS), 8MP (f/2.2) ultra-wide camera and a 2MP macro camera. I liked the main camera’s many times that gives a more natural colour look and doesn’t go overboard with sharpness. It can take balanced detailed shots in daylight, and can hold its own in night shots if held still and your subject isn’t moving too quickly either. The ultra-wide camera is just about okay in favourable day light situations while the macro lens is just there for not much use considering its performance. On the front, you get a 16MP (f/2.4) camera (with EIS) that can take decently stitched shots that can sometimes overdo skin tones but dynamic range is generally quite good. You can shoot up to 4K videos at 30 or 60FPS from the main camera and 1080p 30FPS from the ultra-wide camera (same as the selfie camera).
Performance and software experience: The device runs on OxygenOS 13.0 based on Android 13, having the January security patch installed. It boasts the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset (up to 3.2Ghz octa core processor, Adreno 730 GPU and x65 5G modem) along with 16GB of LPDDR5X RAM and 256GB of UFS3.1 storage. The device has pretty much top of the price range hardware in place for most things and the performance in general shows that. The phone handles day to day tasks without any major troubles. You can rely on it to play games such as Asphalt 8 in at high settings with no concerning heat issues to report. Apps open and close without stuttering and so is scrolling in general. As mentioned above, display refresh rates can drop a bit every once in a while, which isn’t new for OnePlus now. Hopefully that can be further addressed by the company since it’s quite a bit better from some previous devices if you compare. I found the phone to rarely heat up whether after video calling or using its WiFi hotspot for 2-3 hours on the stretch, which is nice to see. The OS itself is similar to what we have been seeing from OnePlus for a while now. It has plenty of customization options, from themes to options such as displaying your connected WiFi version on the status bar, to changing icon packs from the stock launcher. I would have liked to see have the fingerprint scanner somewhere nearer the bottom of the display, but it’s not a deal breaker. One thing weirdly changed from stock Android is the now playing screen that gets a small tile in the dropdown pane in place of a bigger horizontal tile in the notification shade with a more aesthetically pleasing seek bar.
Battery life: I expected the battery experience on the OnePlus 11R to be the best part about it, and it’s the case after using it for a couple of weeks or so. Fitted with a 5,000mAh battery unit, most of the times, the phone lasted over a day, with brightness set at 35%-40%, two Email Accounts on, a lot of Web browsing, media downloading, and messaging apps in place along wit a bit of Twitter and YouTube. You get a 100watt SuperVooc charger in the box (with a USB type C to A cable) and it can charge the phone from 1% to full in about 30-35 minutes, with the phone’s body not getting anything close to alarmingly hot.
Other stuff: I found call quality on the device to be top notch, including sound on the other side. 5G connectivity, on the other hand was lacklustre. Rarely did the phone catch up to 5G network even when outdoors where other 5G devices have been getting stable 5G connections very recently.
Verdict: The OnePlus 11R might well be the phone from OnePlus to get more interest and potential buyers over the more expensive and rounded off OnePlus 11 in the Indian market. The phone has an excellent battery life, good display (not the best we have seen from OnePlus), a capable main camera but not the best set of cameras, generally reliable and smooth performance and a promise of 3 major Android OS updates and 4 years of security updates on the software side of things. SO, if you’re looking for an Android device in the range of Rs. 40,000 to Rs. 45,000, there are not man reasons why the OnePlus 11R shouldn’t be in your checklist.