Oh Hasselblad, wow Hasselblad…where art thou, Hasselblad,” one of our colleagues wrote while reviewing the OnePlus 9 in 2021. Her annoyance was understandable. After all, OnePlus had gone to town with talk of its collaboration with the legendary camera brand, Hasselblad (learn more about it here) when it launched the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro in 2021.

oneplus 11 camera review

However, notwithstanding endless promotions and comparison snaps over the months that followed, OnePlus flagship cameras (in the OnePlus 9 and 10 series) seemed to be off the phone photography pace when compared with the likes of the Pixel and the Galaxy S series.

Hasselblad did bring some extra controls and effects to the OnePlus photo table, as well as its legendary Xpan mode, and we were told about how the brand was helping OnePlus cameras deliver more realistic colors, but on the ground, the facts were that OnePlus flagships had good rather than great cameras.

The OnePlus 11 changes that.

We do not know whether it is the Hasselblad influence finally bearing significant fruit or OnePlus hitting the right combination of hardware muscle and software smartness, but the fact is that the OnePlus 11 is perhaps the first OnePlus flagship whose cameras can compare with the likes of the Pixel 7 Pro, the Galaxy S22 Ultra and the iPhone 14.

We know that is quite a claim to make. The fact, however, is that the OnePlus 11 churns out surprisingly pleasant snaps with amazing consistency. And all this without getting into the fuss of modes and settings. The OnePlus 11 does extremely well in the area in which most people use their smartphones – the Auto mode. This is why we have based this article on the most simple of modes.

The analysis and conclusions in this article are based on shots taken in auto mode, with no changes to the default settings, apart from switching to portrait mode and switching lenses for ultrawide and telephoto views. We are keeping this simple because that is what makes smartphone photography popular.

OnePlus 11 Camera Review: Adding portrait mode muscle


The OnePlus 11 comes with some serious camera hardware on the back. The triple camera set up on its rear comprises a 50-megapixel Sony IMX 890 sensor with OIS, a 48-megapixel Sony IMX 581 ultra-wide sensor, and a 32-megapixel Sony IMX709 “Tele Portrait” camera. A closer look at that camera array shows the subtle shift in OnePlus’ photography priorities – the OnePlus 10 Pro had a 48-megapixel main sensor with OIS, a 50-megapixel ultrawide, and an 8-megapixel telephoto sensor with OIS.

This time around, the telephoto sensor has been moved up from 8 megapixels to 32 megapixels, but optical zoom has actually gone down – it was 3.3x in the OnePlus 10 Pro and is just 2x in the OnePlus 11. The reason for that lies in the nomenclature of the lens – OnePlus has called it a Tele Portrait lens. And that gives away its main functionality and also perhaps explains why it does not come with OIS – that telephoto sensor is actually targeted more towards taking portrait snaps than for letting you zoom into distant subjects. OnePlus rather boldly claimed that the Tele Portrait lens would, in fact, try to match images taken by a Hasselblad camera fitted with XCD 30mm and 65mm lenses.

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That’s a tall claim. And the OnePlus 11 actually delivers on it. Yes, pixel peepers will still find something to complain about, but by and large, we were astonished at the quality of portrait shots served up by the OnePlus 11. We found it handled colors very well and did not try to overdo the bokeh as some other phones do. We often ended up with a reasonably sharp and well-outlined subject and a background that faded out gently without any artificial attempts to create circles of light where none existed. We also got surprisingly brighter portrait snaps than we did on the Pixel 7 Pro, although the Pixel definitely scored on detail.

Related Read: OnePlus 11R Review

OnePlus 11 cameras: Great ultrawide, rich colors

In fact, the secondary sensors of the OnePlus 11 are a key reason for its camera prowess. The 48-megapixel ultrawide camera is one of the best we have seen on the phone in the segment. It not only captures a wider perspective, but thanks to its high megapixel count, it also gets a lot of detail in – very different from the 8 and 12-megapixel ultrawide sensors we get to see on many Android devices. Yes, the corners of the shot still tend to converge a little or bend inwards, but colors and details are very well captured. This is a phone that is great at snapping landscapes and cityscapes.

oneplus 11 ultrawide

oneplus 11 ultrawide sample

The handling of colors is, in fact, a key strength of the OnePlus 11. Whereas the OnePlus 9 Pro and the OnePlus 10 Pro had perhaps carried the Hasselblad goal of delivering realistic colors a little too far, resulting in images that sometimes looked a little dull and washed out, the OnePlus 11 has opted for a slightly brighter route. The results are far more striking and easy on the eye. Purists might say that the colors are slightly oversaturated at times, but most people are unlikely to complain. What’s more, we still get plenty of detail, as we did with the OnePlus 10 Pro. Mind you, this is not the Pixel 7 Pro level of detail, but that becomes evident only if you really start zooming into images.

OnePlus 11 cameras: Surprising low light performance

What, however, takes the OnePlus 11 into the serious camera phone contender zone is its low-light performance. We were surprised at the level of detail and the handling of colors at night. The detail did get blurred (as it does on most phone cameras), but there was none of the artificial “yellowing” of the night sky, which was often kept dark enough. We still ended up with images that looked very good indeed. In most cases, even flare from light sources was handled very well (something the iPhone consistently fails at doing).

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The Pixel 7 Pro and the S22 Ultra might capture more detail, but the OnePlus 11 got snaps that actually “looked” better than those two super camera phones. Now, that is saying something. Some might accuse the phone of over-sharpening low-light images or of over-saturating colors, but we doubt too many general consumers will complain. What’s more, we even got some decent portrait shots at night, which is a rarity even in high-end smartphones.

OnePlus 11 cameras: Not perfect, though

This is not to say that they do not have problems. Video from them is good but not really in the great category, with sound and detail being casualties, although colors remain vibrant. In fact, even capturing photographs of moving objects at times was a bit of a challenge, with blur creeping in. These are superb cameras for relatively static conditions but need some work before they get comfortable in active zones.

There is also the odd occasion of inconsistency in color, with shots taken within seconds of each other showing slightly different shades of the same object. Also, while the Tele Portrait lens is fantastic for portrait snaps, it is rather ordinary when it comes to acting as a telephoto lens – 2x optical zoom is not really that much, and its digital zoom is of not much use beyond 7x.

The 16-megapixel selfie camera is a bit of a letdown and is not quite up there with its snappy siblings on the back in terms of quality, producing slightly faded colors and struggling when the lights tend to go dim. Finally, while we like the Spartan cleanliness of OxygenOS, we really do wish there were more editing and shooting options on the device itself. Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, and Samsung have a massive edge over OnePlus in this department.

Click here for full resolution pictures + additional samples.

OnePlus 11 camera review verdict: The Pixel and Galaxy S have reason to worry

Vibrant colors, decent details that seem realistic and not over-processed (like what we have seen in the Pixels), very good low-light performance, and exceptional portrait snaps – all of these make the OnePlus 11 perhaps the first OnePlus flagship whose cameras go toe to toe against the best in the business. We would rate the OnePlus 11 very close to the Pixel 7 and better than what we have seen from Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo in the Indian market in recent times. It loses out to the likes of the Pixel 7 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra mainly because of its underperforming telephoto sensor.

But if all you are going to do is point and shoot stills – which is what most smartphone photographers do anyway – then the OnePlus 11 is capable of giving any flagship a run for its money. What’s more, this being OnePlus, it is reasonable to assume that the cameras of the OnePlus 11 are likely to improve as updates are rolled out to them.

All of this means that after a decade of its existence, a OnePlus phone is finally in the super cameraphone house.

Buy OnePlus 11 5G

Buy OnePlus 11 (USA)

  • Excellent portrait mode
  • Superb ultra-wide
  • Good main sensor
  • Very good color and details across sensors
  • Average selfie camera
  • Underwhelming video
  • Some might find colors slightly saturated
Review Overview
Main camera
Secondary cameras
Selfie camera
Video quality
Camera Features

OnePlus 11 is the first phone from OnePlus that seriously challenges the likes of the Google Pixel and Samsung's Galaxy S series. It is not perfect, but it is finally a contender in the best camera phone stakes.

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