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Once upon a time, OnePlus thrived from a business model that delivered premium hardware specs at conventionally lower prices. Over time, the Chinese company departed further from this pattern year after year, eventually succumbing to competing dollar-for-dollar with other flagship smartphones.

But in a surprising turn of events, OnePlus appears to be taking needed steps back, starting with the OnePlus 11. In the U.S., people can get this latest offering starting at $699, which is the cheapest the base model has been for three years. The company also axed the "Pro" model, leaving just one premier OnePlus handheld. This movement seems to be a byproduct of the company's recent partnership with Oppo, which solidifies OnePlus as its formal sub-brand in an attempt to maintain a near-zero net profit margin.

At its newfound price, the OnePlus 11 competes with the likes of the Google Pixel 7 and Samsung Galaxy S23 in the upper-midrange/lower-premium category, which doesn't have a lot of choices here in the States. But does its hardware match the price tag, or can it punch above its weight?

About this review: The product in this review has been loaned out by OnePlus. However, the company had no involvement in the contents of this article.

oneplus11 device in black transparent background showing only back side
Source: OnePlus
OnePlus 11
$600 $700 Save $100

The OnePlus 11 is the company's return to form, offering an almost-flagship experience at a lower price point than what Samsung charges.



Good quality flexible OLED at a fair price

Doesn't get comparatively bright; needs direct sunlight for peak brightness

Great picture tonality in most (but not all) lighting conditions

Slight black clipping at low brightness levels

Great color accuracy in Natural mode

Sub-par HDR10 video experience

Refresh rate locks to 60 Hz in some media apps

Hardware and features: Not much change

When it comes to screen technology, OnePlus typically doesn't hold back, often keeping near the bleeding edge of whatever's available. But like most other OEM's best smartphones, this only applies to its highest-end "Pro" models, which doesn't apply to the newly-singular OnePlus 11. I don't think it's reasonable to expect Pro-level hardware at its asking price, but how close can it get?

OnePlus continues to recycle nearly the exact same front panel design it's used for the past four years, with gentle lateral curves and a corner cut-out for the front-facing camera. I'm all for reusing designs if it means finding refinements elsewhere, but that's sadly not the case here. The OLED luminescent materials on the OnePlus 11 are identical to that of the OnePlus 9, so expect little to no improvements in peak brightness or display power efficiency. There have been changes to how the display driver adapts to varying content frame rates, a feat the company dubs "LTPO 3.0", which I'll cover later. This leaves the bulk of any potential changes to software calibration, which can make or break the viewing experience in low-light and outdoor conditions. Nevertheless, we'll continue running our full display tests on the OnePlus 11.

The OnePlus 11 has good viewing angles that shifts only slightly blue at large angles

Compared to the slightly cheaper Google Pixel 7, one major advantage of the OnePlus 11 is that it uses a premium flexible OLED display stack, rather than the cheap rigid one found on the Pixel. So although both phones inherit the same Samsung Display E4 material set, the OnePlus 11 presents superior viewing angles and lower screen reflectance, ensuing deeper blacks. In the U.S., $700 is typically the cheapest MSRP you can find for a smartphone with a screen of this quality, which matches OnePlus's offering.

OLED display uniformity of the OnePlus 11
The OnePlus 11 OLED has excellent display uniformity, even at very low brightness. Taken at 0.01 nits.

Brightness and power testing: Things got worse

As we covered earlier, the luminescent material of OnePlus' screens hasn't seen any upgrades, so its brightness performance will be largely identical to past models. For Samsung Display's E4 OLED, this typically means a peak manual brightness of about 500 nits and a peak auto-brightness of about 800 nits. Many phones will also slightly boost their screen brightness when emitting fewer pixels, like in dark mode apps, to surpass their nominal peak brightness.

OnePlus claims a peak brightness of 1,300 nits for the OnePlus 11, which is the same figure used for its last two flagships. But this value is very misleading since it's not representative of the usual peak brightness for the phone. It instead describes the phones' maximum luminance measured when only 1% of the screen is lit up, which is not a realistic circumstance for any user in any condition. Further, I only measured about 1,200 nits in this condition with the OnePlus 9 Pro, so OnePlus was definitely overpromising its screen specs. And with the OnePlus 11, things actually got worse.

Peak screen luminance chart for the OnePlus 11
Peak screen luminance chart for the OnePlus 11


1% window

80% window

20% window

Peak auto

742 nits

851 nits

744 nits

798 nits

Peak manual

470 nits

532 nits

473 nits

504 nits

From my latest measurements, the OnePlus 11 reaches an absolute peak brightness of only 850 nits, which is 35% short of its advertised spec and a general depreciation from the OnePlus 9 Pro. These values were measured in Vivid mode, which is the brightest screen mode for most Android phones. For full-screen luminance, the OnePlus 11 only measured around 740 nits out of its advertised 800 nits, though here it's practically identical to the OnePlus 9 Pro.

What's happening here is not necessarily that the OnePlus 11 doesn't get as bright; it's just not using as much OLED brightness boosting at lower pixel levels compared to the OnePlus 9 Pro. The boosting has a negative effect on color calibration, and using too much can degrade the legibility of photos and videos. It's commonly thought that brighter whites make content more visible under bright lighting, but this is not always true; instead, using non-boosted whites with lighter mid-tones and shadows often makes for a more readable image under sunlight. However, this isn't what OnePlus had in mind, and it gains nothing from the greater calibration control afforded by its lower boosting other than being dimmer.

Luminance vs. power chart for the OnePlus 11
Luminance vs. power chart for the OnePlus 11

Besides higher peak brightness levels, the practical benefit of using newer emitters is that they are more efficient when powering the same screen luminescence. Compared to the screen found in the Samsung Galaxy S22+, which is one generation ahead, the OnePlus 11's power-luminescence footprint is about 40% larger. Of course, both the Galaxy S23 series and iPhone are much more expensive handsets. Still, it's probably worth mentioning that there are other phones, such as the Xiaomi 13 or the Vivo iQOO 11, for around the same price as the OnePlus 11 (at least in some countries) that use emitters similar to the Samsung Galaxy S22+. The Google Pixel 7 Pro has also been added as a data point to the chart above, which also uses an SDC E4 OLED (though pushed past its reasonable limits).

Lastly, the OnePlus 11 needs to detect a lot of light for it to enter high-brightness mode — more than any other phone I've measured. Just to surpass 500 nits, the phone needs to detect about 40,000 lux, which is direct sunlight. For comparison, the Google Pixel 7 and the iPhone 14 Pro only need about 6,000 lux to surpass 500 nits, and 30,000 lux for the iPhone to rise above 2,000 nits. To reach its maximum of 740 nits, the OnePlus 11 needs at least 70,000 lux.

Screen refresh testing: A decent upgrade

New to the OnePlus 11 is an updated variable refresh driver the company calls "True LTPO 3.0", which claims to be quicker and more efficient in adapting the screen refresh rate to on-screen content. We did not test last year's LTPO 2.0 on the OnePlus 10 Pro, but compared to the 9 Pro, the upgrade to LTPO 3.0 has been decent.

The revision allows for a larger number of discrete refresh rates, and an appropriate speed is chosen depending on the screen's activity. For example, slow swipes may only render at 40–60 Hz, while normal swipes remain at the full 120 Hz. But from what I've seen, there appears to be no granularity between 60 Hz and 120 Hz, where tons of optimizations could be found; for many UI interactions, there is very little visual difference between 90 Hz and 120 Hz, and deploying 90 Hz for simple things like non-flick swipes would grant moderate improvements to autonomy.

In spite of it all, the OnePlus 11 will still limit its max refresh rate to 60 Hz in some media apps (such as YouTube, Google Photos, or VLC), which can make the overall experience a little choppy. Films shot in 24 or 25 FPS are also not properly frame-matched, with the screen being left at 30 Hz.

Refresh Rate 1 Hz 5 Hz 10 Hz 30 Hz 60 Hz 120 Hz
Display Power 0 mW (baseline) <2 mW <5 mW ~30 mW ~70 mW ~180 mW
*Device power will be greater as CPU/GPU will be used to render more frames

Lately, many smartphone brands have made a big deal about their screens idling down to 1 Hz. Although it's a commendable engineering feat, its reduction in power for smartphones is negligible when compared to 10 Hz. From my testing, there was no discernable difference in device power between the screen idling at 1 Hz, 5 Hz, or 10 Hz — all three modes were within each other's margin of error. Without depending on OnePlus's refresh rate indicator, I can confirm that the screen does go down to 10 Hz, but the optical spectrum is too saturated to confidently say if it actually goes down to 5 Hz or 1 Hz.

Refresh spectrum for OnePlus 11
Refresh spectrum for OnePlus 11

For users sensitive to OLED flickering, the OnePlus 11 continues to use a pulse-width modulation (PWM) frequency of 360 Hz. This is in the middle of the pack, but apparently, enough to be noticeable. It's higher than Samsung's screens, which flicker at 240 Hz, but lower than the latest iPhones, which flicker at 480 Hz.

Like most other high-refresh-rate Android phones, the OnePlus 11 will lock its refresh rate to a static 120 Hz at low brightness levels. Flickering is often seen when OLEDs alter their refresh rates at low luminance drives, so this behavior ensures that this isn't seen. Of course, this comes with the penalty of greater power consumption when using the phone in the dark. More generally, the OnePlus 11 will only ramp down to 10 Hz above 40% system brightness, 5 Hz above 70%, and 1 Hz above 80%. But in the standard 60 Hz refresh rate mode, the screen can idle down to 30 Hz in low brightness, using much less power than 120 Hz.

Contrast and tone response testing: Misses the mark

The very top of my priority list for what makes a quality screen is its tone response capabilities. As portable handheld gadgets, smartphones should be able to adapt to various lighting circumstances to make sure the screen remains legible. For common indoor settings, most phones do just fine with sticking to the tried-and-true 2.2 display gamma. But when the phone is either taken outside or in a really dark room, the tone response needs to compensate for the lost screen contrast.

In the general case, the standard 2.2-gamma response is just fine, like with most other phones. Both the Natural and Vivid color modes reproduce the standard curve with great accuracy, from low to peak brightness, so the display looks excellent for the most part.

One minor change to the OnePlus 11 is that its default Vivid profile has tightened its tone control. Previously, the profile would boost the brightness of whites at lower content pixel levels, which looked good on a spec sheet to advertise a peak brightness that's technically higher. Though, as we mentioned earlier, this has a drawback on calibration quality at higher brightness, making shadows and mid-tones appear relatively too dark. The OnePlus 11 cuts back on the boosting and maintains a much more consistent 2.2 gamma tone response as a result.

But ultimately, this trade-off is fruitless since OnePlus failed to make meaningful calibration choices with it. There are two main areas where OnePlus could have demonstrated thoughtfulness here, and it hasn't managed to land either of them.

OnePlus is on the right track, as it focuses on bumping up the mid-tones when the phone is set near minimum brightness.

When outdoors, for example, the magnitudes of brightness for current smartphones aren't enough on their own to take on the sun. In this scenario, the veiling glare from the sun lifts the screen's black level tremendously, severely limiting the usable brightness of the display. To recover its image, the screen needs to lift its own shadows in return. Otherwise, they'll appear completely crushed by the sun's glare.

This is what is currently done by some flagship phones of today (Apple, Samsung, Google, Oppo), but sadly OnePlus is not one of them. What's interesting is that the OnePlus 9 Pro did follow this behavior, but the company backtracked on it for some unknown reason. Other than when viewing an image in the stock OnePlus Gallery app, it's not available on the OnePlus 11.

oneplus 11 software on screen

On the other end of the brightness spectrum, low-luminance screen calibrations also require a similar treatment due to a lack of available dynamic range. This compression is not because of the sun but because of our decreased acuity in discerning between very dark shades of gray paired with dim white levels. Using the same 2.2-gamma in dark conditions creates shadows that are too steep, and they need to be lifted so as not to force users to increase the display brightness just to be able to make out details when viewing media at night. Here, OnePlus is on the right track, as it focuses on bumping up the mid-tones when the phone is set near minimum brightness. However, shadows and near-blacks are left too dark, so moderate amounts of black clipping occur.

Black clipping photos of the OnePlus 11. Left: medium brightness; Right: Minimum brightness

At least for night dwellers, the OnePlus 11 does have a feature that can automatically reduce the minimum display brightness from its nominal 1.9 nits down to about 0.8 nits, though with a further impact on color quality.

Color accuracy and precision testing: Precise white balance control

Starting with the display's maximum color gamut, we know that its older material set means it'll be identical to that of the OnePlus 9 Pro. This is the gamut covered when selecting the "Brilliant" screen color mode, which grants the most vibrant colors possible on the OnePlus 11.

Color gamut chart for OnePlus 11
Color gamut chart for OnePlus 11

The default Vivid color mode targets the DCI-P3 primaries with a white point around 7200 K, which is much colder than standard. No color management is present in this profile, so all colors are interpreted as sRGB and expanded out to P3, distorting the colors in all content. I am in no way against options for oversaturated colors, but I believe it should be done in a way that doesn't shift their hue and affects all colors uniformly. The Vivid color mode in most phones violates both of these principles, including in the OnePlus 11, which is my primary concern for the profile — it doesn't make much sense to boost only red and green colors.

Min. brightness

Low brightness

Medium brightness

High brightness

Peak brightness

Avg/Max ΔE (sRGB)

3.9 / 9.7

2.0 / 6.9

2.8 / 12

2.2 / 14

3.6 / 17

The Natural screen mode is the color-accurate profile, which supports color management for sRGB and DCI-P3 media. With smartphones, chromatic accuracy hasn't really been an issue for a while, as most phones provide color profiles that are more than decent. The OnePlus 11 is no exception, with colorimetry that gets the job done. In the Natural mode, the OnePlus 11 has an average color error ΔE (ITP) below 3.0, which is satisfactory for a reference viewing environment. High-purity reds at medium stimulus levels are oversaturated, but this is a very tiny slice of the gamut that likely won't be noticed.

While the OnePlus 11 is under direct sunlight, it shows no sign of boosting its color saturation, which would help counter some of the color compression that occurs from increasing glare. Understandably, some screens take it too far (like the Samsung Galaxy S22); but under such conditions, screen visibility is the top priority. Here, the OnePlus 11 simply appears too muted.

Min. brightness

Low brightness

Medium brightness

High brightness

Peak brightness

White CCT

6532 K

6489 K

6506 K

6451 K

6314 K

Avg ΔE






Although color accuracy hasn't been a long-standing issue in the smartphone world, color precision has been problematic since the dawn of OLED technology. Its lack thereof is a telltale sign of cheaper low-quality display hardware with poor linearity, while screen calibration can only fix so much. I'm happy to see the OnePlus 11 do very well in this regard, with precise white balance control all throughout its grayscale and brightness range. Little-to-no tinting is measured on our panel, and its white point calibration in Natural mode is very close to 6500 K. Things get a little warmer at peak-auto brightness, but not significantly so, as the maximum color error ΔE (ITP) for white on our panel is only 2.1.

HDR10 reproduction testing: Could be better

To keep things brief, the HDR viewing experience with the OnePlus 11 isn't as good as it could be. HDR10 playback has been left mostly unchanged with the OnePlus 11, while the gap between the best phones for HDR and the so-so's grows wider every year. Now, the HDR10 experience on the OnePlus 11 simply does not compare to current flagships.

At a glance, these charts look pretty good! A decent trace of the fundamental ST.2084 curve, excellent color accuracy, and precise grayscale coloring. Though on closer inspection, there are deficiencies in the rendering of near-blacks and specular highlights. As a recurring theme for the OnePlus 11, the shadows are rendered too dark, hindering much of the delicate grading for darker scenes. Blotches of black occur as a result, and fine details become difficult to make out. On the other end, a lack of appropriate tone mapping means that HDR content may only see a peak brightness of about 570 nits rather than using up all 750 nits afforded by the OnePlus 11. This lack of headroom means that bright regions like clouds or fire lose out on detail.

The OnePlus 11 (right) renders shadows too dark in HDR10 content. Left: iPhone 14 Pro Max. Source: Whiplash (2013).

One feature new to the OnePlus 11 is its playback compatibility with Dolby Vision deliverables, which provides dynamic metadata as opposed to static metadata solely provided by HDR10. Similarly, OnePlus phones also support HDR10+, a competing standard to Dolby Vision by Samsung. Dolby Vision titles have become more popular on major streaming platforms, so the format's support is welcome. These dynamic formats may attenuate the HDR10 issues I've pointed out, and a quick test with some existing material does suggest that the OnePlus 11 responds to frame metadata. Still, I have no way to verify if it does so correctly currently.

The biggest problem with playing HDR content on the OnePlus 11 still concerns general video exposure. Viewing any HDR content on the phone looks way too dark and requires the display brightness to be set to 100% just for HDR to be exposed to medium brightness levels. To look its best, the "Bright HDR video mode" also needs to be enabled in the Display settings, which allows the screen to surpass 500 nits when playing HDR content (though only in landscape mode). Once this is done, HDR10 content will now look appropriate, but only for viewing in a dark room — take it out to a well-lit room, and it'll be too dim, without any means to further brighten the screen. The Google Pixel 7 Pro is the first Android phone to tackle this issue head-on, and I hope to see similar efforts pushed by more manufacturers later this year.

How does the OnePlus 11's display hold up?

If you haven't noticed yet, there are many other ways to improve a display beyond upgrading its hardware. In this regard, I feel that the screen in the OnePlus 11 has been underwhelming — a downgrade, even, from the OnePlus 9 Pro I reviewed two years ago.

The new phone feels overall dimmer than its predecessor, as there's less boosting that occurs when outdoors; its claim of 1,300 nits is now flat-out incorrect. At low brightness, the OnePlus 11 now clips more of its shadows, although the lighter mid-tones look nice. Furthermore, some features that were present on older OnePlus phones have now gone missing, such as video motion interpolation (MEMC) and DC dimming. It's also no longer possible to adjust the color tint of the screen's white balance, which was helpful to offset the green tint OLEDs have due to metamerism failure.

With all that being said, the OnePlus 11 possess a screen that would otherwise be category-defining — if only it were slightly cheaper in the states. At its current asking price, the screen on the OnePlus 11 delivers the bare minimum for its smooth, luxurious experience. This is not to say it's bad in any way; compared to the Google Pixel 7, the OnePlus 11 screen is almost unanimously superior in everyday picture quality, and pricing them evenly would have been a huge win for OnePlus. But in many scenarios, the quality of its screen can be indistinguishable from the very best, and I think that's exactly the point of OnePlus' new hardware direction.

oneplus11 device in black transparent background showing only back side
Source: OnePlus
OnePlus 11
$600 $700 Save $100

The OnePlus 11 is the company's return to form, offering an almost-flagship experience at a lower price point than what Samsung charges.