A while back, OnePlus finally pushed through with the global release of its latest flagship smartphone, the OnePlus 11. While the phone was initially launched in Asia back in January, it wouldn’t be until February that the device would make its way to international markets including the UK, US, and Europe.
With that said, the phone packs some of the latest features available, including a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, Android 13, a gorgeous 6.7-inch AMOLED display, a triple-camera set-up with Hasseblad colour calibration, and up to 16GB of RAM and 512GB of internal storage. Perhaps one of the most stand-out features of the phone is its pricing, coming in at just £729.
This price point is a stark contrast to a lot of other base-model flagship phones like the iPhone 14 and Galaxy S23, which start above £800, and while it’s not priced the same like devices such as the Pixel 7 (which goes for £599), it’s a nice way of showing that folks after premium hardware and flagship-level performance don’t need to spend a lot from the get-go to get the device they’re after.
It almost feels like it’s been a while since we’ve seen a flagship phone (Google Pixels aside) that was priced a bit more competitively. It’s not exactly a secret that most manufacturers today push out handsets that really push the boundaries when it comes to pricing, with companies like Apple and Samsung charging a premium fee for the latest hardware. And to see a relatively-“cheaper” Android phone in this day and age helps make a case for this price-to-prestige ratio, amidst a sea of premium devices.
Of course, we have to take into account some of the downsides of having a phone with a more accessible price tag. There are some compromises that come with the OnePlus 11, which will undoubtedly affect the purchase decision of some consumers who are after certain features.
For one, the phone lacks wireless charging, something that we’ve gotten on a lot of modern flagship phones, including iPhone, Galaxy S-series devices, as well as Pixel hardware. While not everyone will use wireless charging, it’s somewhat gained a reputation of being a must-have feature for a lot of enthusiasts who are shopping for top-of-the-line smartphones. Another example would be the IP64 rating on the phone, which while not a major difference compared to what is offered by its contemporaries, might give the illusion of the phone being overshadowed by rival devices.
At the risk of sounding like a nitpicker, it’s missing features like these that serve as a tiny reminder that the OnePlus 11’s price does come with some drawbacks, and while matters like these might serve as a dealbreaker for some, it should still be said that the appeal of the OnePlus brand is not lost on a certain percentage of consumers – OnePlus has cultivated some of the most loyal fans in terms of Android brand recognition, and we’ll pretty much still see a following for the new phone.
At the end of the day though, we go back to the OnePlus 11’s price tag – it’s great that we still see newer flagships that don’t cost an arm and a leg, and while it still remains to be seen if the new phone turns out to be worth it in the long run, it’s competent enough, with hardware and processing power that look promising, and this will hopefully lead to more “affordable” flagships down the line.