OnePlus 11R, a toned-down variant of the OnePlus 11, is an India-exclusive smartphone that launched early in February. With the OnePlus 11R, the company is bringing back affordable flagships to the market. With a starting price of Rs 39,999, the OnePlus 11R hopes to strike gold in a very competitive market that includes devices from iQOO, Motorola, Xiaomi and others.
The OnePlus 11R is an intriguing device. It has all the ambitions (read solid specifications) of being a do-it-all OnePlus device, without any of the bells/whistles. While OnePlus settled into a familiar pattern since the days of the OnePlus 7T, the company is hoping to get its mojo back by breaking the barriers with the edgy OnePlus 11 Series.
The OnePlus 11R takes all the good stuff from the OnePlus 11 from the design to the software and cuts down on all the frills, to bring in a device that not only feels premium but is accessible to a larger base of customers. Will the OnePlus 11R bring back the company’s mojo? I’ve been using the device for over ten days now, and if the quality of the camera and photo output isn’t all you are after, this is definitely the better buy.
The Cheaper Oneplus 11 Turns Out To Be The Better Buy
The OnePlus 11R and OnePlus 11 are similar in many ways. With the OnePlus 11 R, you get a two-sided curved screen with a tapered frame. You get a fingerprint-resistant glass back cover. You get a ring-shaped camera island. There’s the primary 50MP camera. That 100W fast charging? Check. There will be two variants – 8GB+128GB & 16GB+256GB – up for sale. There’s Oxygen OS (based on Android 13) out of the box. Most importantly, the alert slider is present!
That’s a lot of similarities between the two devices. But yes, that’s where they end. You may get the two-sided curved screen with the OnePlus 11R, but there’s the flat, lower-resolution display on the device. There’s the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip on the 11R. There’s no Hasselblad colour science. The 11R also lacks a dedicated telephoto lens.
Edgy Design And Superfast Performance
OnePlus is done with anything and everything that is considered standard. They’ve gone 360* and done a revamp of their design. The circular camera bump on the back (lacking the Hasselblad branding) is unlike anything I’ve seen in recent times. At first, I didn’t know if I’d like it, but while using the device and reviewing it, I came to like it a lot. One thing to note is that the phone is very slippery and I’d highly recommend getting a grippy case to go with it.
Like all OnePlus devices of the past, the 11R truly excels in one department: performance. The Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip, along with a fast and fluid Oxygen OS, does not let the device down. There was hardly any moment when the device would lag or stutter.
Let’s talk about some other goodies. The 6.7-inch HDR+10 AMOLED panel is a treat to the eyes. Yes, it isn’t the best in the business, and neither is it the best in the price range, but it’s up there with the best. It comes with a 120Hz adaptive refresh rate for smooth scrolling through all your social media feeds. The brightness goes all the way up to 1,450 nits, which means it’s very much useable under direct sunlight.
The battery life of the OnePlus 11R is absolutely incredible. With the 5,000mAh battery, I easily got upwards of 6 hours of screen-on-time (SoT) and the phone lasted me till the morning of the next day comfortably. OnePlus has done a lot of work on battery-saving optimisations and it shows.
If you do run out of battery, or just forget to charge your smartphone, then the 100W SUPERVOOC+ charger will come in handy. It can charge your battery from 0-100 percent in just 25 minutes. The charging brick is large and bulky though, so keep that in mind.
Where The Oneplus 11R Falters?
First, let me just get this out of the way. Unlike the OnePlus 11 which is IP64-certified, the OnePlus 11R lacks any official IP rating. That’s a huge bummer.
Second, the camera on the OnePlus 11R doesn’t live up to the mark. It’s not like the OnePlus 11R comes with a bad camera array, it’s just that it’s standard. The images from any of the lenses will not vow anyone out there.
The OnePlus 11R comes with a triple-camera array. There’s the primary 50MP sensor (with OIS), an 8MP ultra-wide-angle sensor (with a 120-degree field-of-view) and a 2MP macro lens. The macro lens is pretty useless for the most part, as it is on many of the competitors’ smartphones. The ultra-wide-angle camera is good in daylight conditions, but that’s about it.
It’s the primary camera sensor that lives up to the billing with crisp details, true-to-life colours and decent dynamic range. The main sensor has improved over the years and most of the photos I took are worthy of Instagram posts and even printouts. Focusing is fast and there is a natural shallow depth-of-field for all those portrait shots. Low-light is also good, but far from best-in-class. The front-facing 16MP camera is good and does a nice job of pushing out likeable selfies. Again, it isn’t best-in-class though.
Should You Buy The Oneplus 11R?
Absolutely. If you’re after a fast and fluid device that won’t break the bank (Rs 39,999 for 8GB/128GB and Rs 44,999 for 16GB/256GB), then the OnePlus 11R is for you. It’s the value-for-money champion we’ve all been waiting for OnePlus to release for years. The display hardware is one of the best in the price range and the primary shooter is more than capable.
The value-for-money flagship killer is back and OnePlus have finally gone back to their glory days, albeit with an edgy design that may not be to everyone’s liking. Many props to OnePlus for going back to its roots and also for trying something new.
The OnePlus 11R is a fantastic device and a better buy than the beefier OnePlus 11. It’s a device that I can easily recommend to a lot of people.