First Impression: OnePlus 11 5G And Buds Pro 2
The moment people began looking at a portrait I’d just taken of my dog a few weeks ago, they insisted I must’ve used a high-end digital SLR camera for the job. But in fact, my tool of choice was the new OnePlus 11 5G smartphone and its built-in Hasselblad 50MP rear camera. The colors I get from it are rich, warm and realistic. And the crispness of the images blows away anything I’ve seen from other phones – Android or Apple.
But the OnePlus 11 – which debuts today in America – is much more than a great and super cool-looking circular camera. It’s every bit about the speed. Literally everything on this high-end device works fast. It starts with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor that offers more power with less power consumption. Translating this into real life: I was able to charge the phone from 0 to 100 percent in just less than a half-hour, with its included 80W SUPERVOOC dual-cell, high voltage fast charger. No exaggeration. And I’ve been using the phone all day every day, doing the regular things I do on a phone. Despite all of the usage, the battery has lasted all day long without any recharging necessary. Put it this way, when I get up in the morning and read email, play Wordle and do the NYT crossword, I’m usually down 10 percent on my iPhone SE. With this phone, I’m still at 100 percent. And that’s with the brightness jacked up about three-fourths of the way to its powerful 1,300 nits.
Again, everything is snappy – opening apps, taking photos and video, loading websites, streaming YouTube and live TV, and playing games. There’s no noticeable lag. It uses the latest Wi-Fi 7, by the way. The 8GB model lets you keep 18 apps open in the background, while the 16GB lets you leave 36 apps open. And the 6.7-inch display sports a fluid 120 Hz refresh rate, AMOLED panel, Gorilla Glass, Dolby Vision, and pristine HDR clarity. The Dolby Atmos, dual reality speakers yield deeper and tighter bass with less distortion. Plus the phone has dual SIM slots – and an eSIM. Aside from the 3rd generation Hasselblad 50MP main camera with 1/1.56” sensor, the phone also sports a 115-degree ultra-wide 48MP camera in which you can bring the subject to just 4 cm away, a 32MP portrait tele camera for “almost DSLR” portraits that look fantastic, and a 16MP front camera. It really is a complete package, if you’re in the market for an Android phone. For now, the phone will run you between $699 and $799, depending on the version.
I’ve also been trying out the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 noise-canceling earbuds ($179) that uses Audio ID 2.0 to scan the structure of your ears, for a more customized sound. They also feature MelodyBoost dual drivers, LCP diaphragm – think deeper bass with less distortion, BassWave enhancement algorithms, and Google fast pair. There’s even a gyroscope built in that tracks your head and cervical spine – to remind you to stop slouching. It also works with the Zen Mode Air app, to offer white noise. You can listen to music in noise cancellation mode for up to 25 hours per charge. And 10 minutes of charging gets you 3.5 hours of listening time. You can also activate spatial audio, for immersive, theater-quality audio. All I know is that when I first used that feature, I swore someone came up right behind me to talk. When I turned around, there was no one there and I quickly realized it was just part of the podcast I was listening to. A crazy, embarrassing occurrence that really wowed me.