- The OnePlus 11R is the more affordable of the recently released OnePlus 11 series, starting at Rs 39,999, as compared to Rs 56,999 for the OnePlus 11.
- Although it has a lower price than the OnePlus 11, the OnePlus 11R comes packed with some very powerful hardware and almost the exact same design as its more expensive sibling.
- Its price not only makes the OnePlus 11R one of the best phones below Rs 40,000 but also marks a return to the brand’s flagship-killing roots.
After making ‘flagship killer’ a proper smartphone category, oddly enough, it seemed as if OnePlus stepped away from it. The brand took on premium devices by showing consumers that you could get flagship specs and performance and even decent design at a fraction of the price of a premium flagship’s price. But it then moved into premium flagship waters itself, sparking debate about how it had moved away from its roots and given up on its own business ideology.
Yes, the brand did get back into a more affordable territory with the likes of the Nord series, but with lower prices came significant spec compromises. OnePlus also introduced an R variant to its flagship range, but again that was seen as being a significant step down from its Pro variant, with the previous iteration of the device, the OnePlus 10R. It even took the flak for its design, its processor, and for deserting the alert slide, which for many is a OnePlus staple feature.
The OnePlus 11R sees OnePlus return to the flagship killing zone after a brief sabbatical. It is the closest the brand has come to releasing a device that adheres to its original vision since perhaps the OnePlus 7, which came with a flagship chip (the Snapdragon 855) at a remarkably affordable Rs 32,999 way back in 2019.
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OnePlus 11R Review: A more glitter-y OnePlus 11
In terms of design, the OnePlus 11R is an almost exact copy of the OnePlus 11. Both phones have a tall, curved display in front and a curved glass back as well. They have a similar button and port arrangement on the sides as well – the power/display button and alert slider (yes, it is there) on the right, a USB Type C port and speaker grille on the base, the volume rocker on the left, and a relatively plain top (there’s a small change there, but more on that later).
Even the camera units on the back are similarly large and circular, although the OnePlus 11R does not come with the Hasselblad branding that marked the OnePlus 11. Even the proportions are almost exactly the same – the OnePlus 11 is 163.1 x 74.1 x 8.5 mm, while the OnePlus 11R is 163.4 x 74.3 x 8.7 mm. The difference in weight is even smaller – the OnePlus 11 is 205 grams, and the OnePlus 11R is a mere one gram lighter at 204 grams. The Sonic Black unit of the Oneplus 11R we received was more glittery than the Titan Black OnePlus 11, but if you leave out the Hasselblad branding on the camera unit, you would find it very difficult to tell the two phones apart.
There are subtle differences, though. The OnePlus 11R uses Gorilla Glass 5 on its display, rather than Gorilla Glass Victus, and the frame, which looks metallic, is actually a plastic one. We have no problems with the plastic frame (it looks good and feels solid enough), but some might consider it to be less premium than a metal one. A closer look at the top of the OnePlus 11R will also reveal an infrared blaster, something the OnePlus 11 lacks.
All said and done, if you liked how the OnePlus 11 looked (we did), you will like the OnePlus 11R’s appearance (we do) as well. It looks elegant and feels good to hold. The camera unit might divide opinion, but we like it as it gives the device a very distinct look – it can only be confused with the OnePlus 11, which we do not think the OnePlus 11R owners will mind one bit! We would have loved dust and water resistance, though.
OnePlus 11R Hardware: Hello, OnePlus 10T with OnePlus 11 main sensor!
It might share the looks of the OnePlus 11, but the OnePlus 11R is largely the spec soulmate of the OnePlus 10T, though it does borrow some features from the OnePlus 11. That does place it a notch below the OnePlus 11 but keeps it very firmly in the flagship range. The 6.74-inch display is a fluid AMOLED full HD+ one with a 120 Hz refresh rate, although the refresh rate switches only between 30/60/90/120 Hz, depending on the content being shown on it. It is impressively bright and colorful, though.
Powering the phone is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip, which until the end of 2022, was the most powerful processor around and also drove the OnePlus 10T. You get two RAM and storage variants – 8 GB/ 128 GB and 16 GB/ 256 GB, and like the OnePlus 10T, you get UFS 3.1 storage, not UFS 4.0 as on the OnePlus 11.
The three cameras on the back comprise a 50-megapixel main sensor with OIS, an 8-megapixel ultrawide, and a 2-megapixel macro, while a 16-megapixel camera in front handles the selfies. On paper, that might sound like a carbon copy of the OnePlus 10T, but the main sensor on the OnePlus 11R is actually the same as seen on the OnePlus 11 – a Sony IMX890. The battery on the device is similar to the OnePlus 11 – 5000 mAh with support for 100W charging, with a 100W charger in the box. You also get stereo speakers and support for Dolby Atmos. The phone runs on Android 13 with Oxygen OS 13 and will receive three years of Android updates and four years of security updates, a year lesser in each regard as compared to the OnePlus 11.
It might lack the very latest chip in town, and there might be some frowns about the secondary sensors, but all said and done, the OnePlus 11R is easily one of the most powerfully specced phones in its segment. It is not as much of a step down from the OnePlus 11 as the OnePlus 10R was from the OnePlus 10 Pro, and it can still be considered a flagship in its own right.
OnePlus 11R Performance: Rock solid flagship throughout
With that level of hardware, it is hardly surprising that the OnePlus 11R turns in a very good performance in all departments. We were able to run resource-hungry games like Genshin Impact and Call of Duty at maxed-out settings without any problems on it, and multitasking was a breeze. The display might have a lower resolution than the OnePlus 11, but it is remarkably bright and easy to use even during peak sunny hours. The speakers also deliver very good sound, and seem louder than the ones on the OnePlus 11, although the audio quality itself seems a little inferior.
OxygenOS 13 runs smoothly right through, and notwithstanding all the concern about Oppo’s influence on it, we still think it is one of the cleanest Android UIs out there. The phone comes with support for 5G and can pick up the Airtel 5G network in Delhi easily. A welcome addition to the connectivity options is infrared connectivity, which is seen on a OnePlus flagship for the first time. The phone also comes with an IR Remote to let you connect a number of devices, such as televisions and air conditioners – a shade of Xiaomi that we welcome! The in-display fingerprint sensor also works smoothly, as does face unlock, although we prefer using the former in Android devices.
One department where the OnePlus 11R actually beats the OnePlus 11 is in battery life. Whether it is because of the lower resolution display or better battery management, we cannot say for sure. Still, the OnePlus 11 easily sails past a day and a half of hefty usage, something the OnePlus 11 struggled to do when kept at its maximum 2K resolution. The 100W charger gets the battery from nil to full in about 25-30 minutes, the same as on the OnePlus 11. This is pretty much a flagship-level performer.
OnePlus 11R Cameras: Stick to the main sensor, please
The OnePlus 11R is a flagship-level performer in the camera department as well, provided you stick to the main 50-megapixel sensor. There is no Hasselblad involvement on the device, so you do not get the Hasselblad natural color science, special filters, or modes like the Xpan mode or the orange shutter button, but you will not miss them when clicking from the main camera. We got slightly vivid but very pleasant colors and excellent detail from the main sensor, and even low-light snaps were surprisingly clear, with not too much noise to spoil the show. We would say that the main sensor is among the best in this segment.
The other two sensors, however, cloud the sunshine of the primary one. The 8-megapixel ultrawide does give you a wider perspective, but often at the cost of detail. As for the 2-megapixel macro sensor, we would advise giving it a miss and instead simply taking a snap from the main sensor and cropping it. Selfies are decent enough and actually a little more colorful than the ones we got on the OnePlus 11 (is that the impact of Hasselblad and its stress on natural colors?). However, we did see our skin being smoothened and our appearance a little beautified.
Video quality is good on the main sensor, and while some might be concerned about the absence of support for 8K video, we feel 4K is more than ample for most users. It will not give the iPhone 14 series a run for its money, but with careful handling, you can get good videos.
OnePlus 11R Review Verdict: Worth a buy? Heck, yeah!
The OnePlus 11R is available at Rs 39,999 for its 8 GB/ 128 GB and Rs 44,999 for its 16 GB/ 256 GB variant. At its starting price, we have no hesitation in calling it hands-down the best phone you can get for under Rs 40,000. In fact, if one is not obsessed with benchmarks and cameras, the OnePlus 11R does enough to make one doubt the wisdom of investing in some of the premium flagships out there. There’s a lot of premium flagship about the OnePlus 11R – the bright and curved display, the processor, the main camera, the battery and charging speeds, and even the design. All of this at a price that is about Rs 6,000 more than OnePlus’ own Nord 2T!
We are not going to talk about the competition, because honestly, there isn’t any. Do you want the best phone for Rs 40,000 or a shade above it? Go for this one. The flagship killer is back in town.
To paraphrase Ini Kamoze
Here comes the flagship killer (murderer)
The OP original gangster (murderer)
Excuse us, never settler (murderer)
We still love you like that…
Na na na an…
- Smooth performance
- Eye-catching design
- Good battery life and fast charging
- Very good main camera
- Secondary cameras are meh
- No dust and water resistance
- Some might not like the plastic frame
OnePlus 11R Review: At Rs 39,999, the OnePlus 11R sees OnePlus return to the flagship killing zone after a brief sabbatical. Here's our in-depth review!