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OnePlus 11R review: the value phone you’ve been waiting for


oneplus 11r review 2842

“With a gorgeous display, great performance, a good primary camera, and excellent battery life, OnePlus has cut the right corners to make the 11R the best value-for-money OnePlus phone in years.”

Pros

  • Comfortable in-hand feel
  • Excellent display
  • Great performance
  • All-day battery life
  • Good primary camera

Cons

  • Average ultrawide camera
  • Bad macro camera
  • Only available in India

The OnePlus 11R doesn’t only look similar to the OnePlus 11. It also offers several features that you’ll find on the more expensive flagship phone, but for less money.

The 120Hz AMOLED display, 100-watt fast charging, and a 5,000mAh battery all can be found here. The OnePlus 11R is a cheaper OnePlus 11 that shines where it matters. There was some cost-cutting done to reach its lower price, but if you don’t mind what OnePlus has scaled back, the OnePlus 11R could be the budget phone you’ve been looking for.

OnePlus 11R: design

OnePlus 11R in hand.
Prakhar Khanna/Digital Trends

The OnePlus 11R offers a similar design language as the more expensive OnePlus 11. This means you get the same, comfortable in-hand feel. In fact, it looks almost identical to the 11 if you are gazing at the phone. The differences are in the form of a centrally placed selfie shooter rather than it being in the top-left corner, the absence of the Hasselblad logo on the camera module, and antenna bands on the frame.

In my experience, the OnePlus 11R is one of the most well-designed smartphones in its price segment, alongside the Vivo V27 Pro. When compared to its predecessor, I like the 11R’s curved edges as opposed to the flat ones found on the OnePlus 10R.

OnePlus 11R alert slider.
Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

OnePlus omitted my favorite alert slider on the 10R, but it is back on the right edge of the OnePlus 11R. I love having the slider because it lets me switch volume profiles during meetings without fiddling with the display. It is one of the best parts of using a OnePlus phone.

OnePlus has also added an infrared sensor on the top that allows you to control the appliances in your home with your phone. I mostly use it to tone down the loud music in cafes or goof around with the projector during press briefings (it’s fun).

OnePlus 11R always-on display.
Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

The OnePlus 11R’s back is protected by Gorilla Glass 5, it offers a matte finish, so it isn’t prone to smudges, and you can confidently use it without a case. But if you need a case, you don’t need to buy one as you get a protective case in the box. The phone also comes with a preapplied screen protector out of the box. These are some little things that add up to a device costing less than 40,000 Indian Rupees (the equivalent of around $485 in the U.S.).

The only issue that I have with the design is the placement of the in-display fingerprint sensor. While it works 10 out of 10 times, it’s placed too low. I prefer its placement on the OnePlus 11, but you get used to it, and it’s not a deal breaker.

OnePlus 11R: display and audio

OnePlus 11R display.
Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

The OnePlus 11R features a 6.74-inch AMOLED display with a 120Hz adaptive refresh rate  and subtle curves around the edges. But it’s not an LTPO panel, which means that the refresh rate isn’t dynamic. The ADFR 2.0 tech allows the panel to offer content in 40Hz, 45Hz, 60Hz, and 90Hz based on the app you are using. The screen brightness can go up to 1,450 nits, allowing you to view everything easily in broad daylight.

The OnePlus 11R delivers an immersive experience.

The UI runs at 120Hz, which makes it smooth and the experience is similar to the OnePlus 11 in day-to-day use. You get a 2772 x 1240 resolution, which is good enough for the price point. The display itself is great to consume content on. I didn’t have any issues watching movies on Netflix or Amazon Prime, and the colors are sharp and vibrant.

Combine it with the presence of stereo speakers, and you are in for an immersive experience. They aren’t the loudest, but are good enough to listen to music while taking a shower.

OnePlus 11R: performance and battery

OnePlus 11R on top of OnePlus 11 and OnePlus 10R.
Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

The OnePlus 11R is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip, paired with 8GB/16GB of LPDDR5X RAM and 128GB/256GB of UFS 3.1 dual channel storage. You also get a standard graphite cooling solution alongside a large vapor chamber for a better gaming experience. Like the OnePlus 11, the company promises that the 11R can handle up to 44 apps running in the background.

In terms of real-world experience, these specifications translate to a fast, lag-free experience. I didn’t come across any stutters in the UI. The app launch speeds and multitasking are quick. It can run whatever you throw at it, but if you are gaming for more than 20 minutes at a time, the device gets warm to the touch – not enough to make it uncomfortable to hold, but to a level where you do notice it.

The call quality was clear, and so was the signal reception. I didn’t have any issues with GPS either. The Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 is an efficient processor as well. I was able to get a day’s battery life on a single charge with ease. Throughout my usage, I only needed to charge it in the evening once, and that was when I clicked hundreds of photos to test the camera.

OnePlus 11R and OnePlus 11.
The OnePlus 11R (left) and OnePlus 11 Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

The OnePlus 11R packs a 5,000mAh battery that supports 100W fast charging – the same as the OnePlus 11 and 500mAh bigger than the 4,500mAh battery found on the OnePlus 10R. You can plug in the device for 10 minutes, and it goes up to 50%. And you don’t need to go looking for a compatible charger because you get one bundled in the box. Notably, there is no wireless charging support.

The company says that OnePlus 11R packs a “total of 13 temperature sensors to monitor charging temperatures at all times.” I didn’t find it getting uncomfortably hot when charging.  The Battery Health Engine tech also uses a custom chip to keep the cell from degrading over repeated charge cycles. All of this means that the device should last you a long time despite high-wattage charging.

OnePlus 11R: camera

OnePlus 11R in hand with OnePlus 11 and OnePlus 10R in the background.
Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

The OnePlus 11R sports a triple rear camera setup led by a 50MP Sony IMX890 sensor with optical image stabilization (OIS). It is accompanied by an 8MP ultra wide-angle shooter with a 120-degree field of view. The third camera is a 2MP macro sensor. As you can probably already tell, only one of these is good.

The camera app is similar to the one you get on the OnePlus 11 sans the Hasselblad additions. Unlike the 11, the OnePlus 11R doesn’t offer Hasselblad Color Science (HCS) or features like XPan and Hasselblad Pro mode.

The primary camera shoots detailed images with good colors. When compared to the OnePlus 11, the images shot on 11R land on the cooler side. It’s a matter of personal preference as to which one you’d prefer. The camera is quick to focus, and I experienced no shutter lag between quick shots.

The portrait shots are good enough, but not the best, because the system fails to blur the background at some points. As you can see in the above images, it failed to blur the background near my neck. It was a tricky situation with so many books in the background, though. Otherwise, in outdoor conditions, the portraits come out fine, as you can see with the flowers.

I’m also satisfied with the indoor-light performance. The primary camera offers detailed shots with minimal noise. It can go up to 10x digital zoom, but I wouldn’t recommend going over 2x. Overall, the primary camera is one of the better ones in the segment.

Prakhar Khanna shot on OnePlus 11R ultrawide.
Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

The 8MP ultrawide camera drops the image quality with more noise and lesser details. It is also cooler than the tone of the primary camera. And the 2MP macro camera is useless; I’d prefer not to have it. These two sensors pull down the camera performance, but the 50MP sensor manages to capture good shots well enough for me to recommend it.

On the front lies a 16MP selfie shooter. It offers good shots with OK skin tones. It also doesn’t overprocess the image.

As for videos, the OnePlus 11R can shoot up to 4K at 60 frames per second (fps) with only the primary camera. The ultrawide can only go up to 1080p. The video quality is serviceable – nothing over the top, just average.

OnePlus 11R: software

OnePlus 11R settings.
Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

The OnePlus 11R runs Android 13 based on OnePlus’ OxygenOS 13. It is the exact same as the OnePlus 11. This means I like the default icon pack, UI elements, and notification menu.

However, I’d prefer to get rid of notifications by swiping them from any direction, right or left. But the software only lets me dismiss the notification if I swipe it to the right. If I swipe it to the left, it gives me two options – delete or go to settings for the app’s notifications. This might be appreciated by some, but I’m more inclined toward having the same results for both the swipe actions.

The settings menu offers a familiar layout. There are multiple customizable options to make your phone more appealing by personalizing it. The whole interaction with software feels (mostly) frictionless. There are times when the system sends notifications to optimize the battery for certain apps that you don’t use. In my opinion, it should happen by default by learning my usage patterns.

I like how the OS asks if you’d like the notification shade or shelf when you swipe down on the home screen. I have it set up to the former, but the Shelf can be useful for quick glances at your favorite team’s score or the weather. OnePlus says that the 11R will be eligible for three years of Android updates and four years of security updates, which is one year less than the OnePlus 11, but enough for a device in this price bracket.

OnePlus 11R: price and availability

OnePllus 11R punch-hole selfie shooter.
Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

The OnePlus 11R is priced at 39,999 Indian rupees ($485) for the base 8GB RAM and 128GB storage option, and 44,999 Indian rupees ($545) for the 16GB RAM and 256GB storage model. It is available at OnePlus.in, the OnePlus Store App, the company’s Experience Stores, Amazon.in, and offline partner stores in India.

At the time of publication, the OnePlus 11R is only available in India, with no plans to launch it in the U.S., the U.K., or anywhere else in the world.

OnePlus 11R: verdict

OnePlus 11R and OnePlus 7T.
Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

The OnePlus 11R offers an excellent display, great performance, a good primary camera, and all-day battery life on a single charge. All of this is offered for under 40,000 Indian Rupees, which makes it easy for me to recommend the device – despite the average ultrawide camera and bad macro sensor.

The OnePlus 11R reminds me of the OnePlus 7T in terms of value for the money. The 7T offered a brilliant price-to-performance ratio, and the OnePlus 11R matches it.

The 11R is the best value-for-money OnePlus phone in years.

In terms of competition, the Vivo V27 Pro offers a slimmer design and is more comfortable to hold at 2,000 rupees less. The Galaxy S21 FE is another good option that offers an IP68 rating and wireless charging. But none of these phones offer top-notch performance and an overall complete experience like the OnePlus 11R. If you’re looking for a capable midtier phone, don’t ignore the OnePlus 11R. Put it on your short list and seriously consider buying it.I don’t think you’ll regret it.

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