OnePlus 11 review
The OnePlus 11's main camera outputs 12.5MP shots after pixel binning. You can expect great shots from the OnePlus 11 with accurate and pleasantly vivid colors. Details are processed well, with barely any noise in the resulting shots. Sharpness is also well-balanced, and post-processing is kept to a minimum, resulting in less overall noise.
Dark areas of the daytime photos look dark where appropriate. This characteristic of not exposing shadows results in higher contrast, which gives the Hasselblad cameras a more expressive and/or dramatic look. Dynamic range was great as well as images shot with bright backgrounds or backlit subjects looked great.
Switching the AI toggle on in the viewfinder didn't make any discernible difference to the scenes, even upon close inspection of the shots. Even where the AI scene detection would indicate it was a "Blue Sky" or "Building" shot, the two images are exactly the same. We've seen this kind of camera behavior on smartphones from other BBK brands.
The main camera's full resolution mode can be switched from the viewfinder. You can take images using the sensor's native 50MP, but it isn't really worth doing this. These images look to be upscaled from the 12.5MP shots with less detail, more grit, and don't really bring any benefit.
Unlike past years, the Pro mode doesn't produce a less saturated, natural look. This year, it's been tuned with the same color output as the Auto mode. We did notice that Pro mode produces photos with slightly darker exposure and less noise suppression, but these effects are only obvious if you zoom in closely.
2x telephoto camera
The dedicated 2X telephoto camera took excellent shots with plenty of detail and pleasant sharpness. The deep levels of contrast, dynamic range, and exposure are consistent with those of the main camera.
Our only complaint is that we noticed some moiré effect on faraway textures where the main and ultrawide cameras didn't produce any. We also noted that the telephoto tends to stray slightly from the white balance used by the main camera's, though it is negligible.
The ultrawide camera shoots excellent photos and does better than most at capturing details with plenty of sharpness. Although there's certainly some grain when looking up close, the overall image does not compromise the distinct look the other cameras produce.
Again, the white balance is just slightly inconsistent compared to the main camera's, but that's nitpicking at this point. It's not to say these slight differences in white balance are deal breakers by any means.
Unlike the telephoto camera, the ultrawide can also capture images at the full 48MP resolution of the sensor. Like with the main camera, shooting full-res photos will only get you upscaled shots that look softer with less detail.
Once you get close enough to the subject, the camera app will automatically switch to the ultrawide and shoot in Macro mode. This automatic detection can be switched off, but in our experience, it worked pretty well.
The overall quality of the macro shots is great, with nice color reproduction and plenty of detail, and they performed consistently even in more challenging conditions. We were expecting a bit sharper images, though.
Low-light image quality
Whether you are shooting in the Photo mode or Night mode, the camera knows exactly what it needs to do. There's virtually no difference between resulting images shot with the Photo or Night modes. Regardless, you'll be getting excellent low-light photos from the OnePlus 11 with great dynamic range, excellent exposures, nice resolved detail, great sharpness and low noise.
There is no dramatic, excessive brightening in low-light photos using any of the three cameras - a typical characteristic of smartphone "Night mode" processing.
As expected, the low-lit images shot in the 2x mode were automatically shot as Night photos. Again, there's no difference when shooting in Photo more or Night mode. Unfortunately, though, the software would almost always force a crop from the main camera and will use the actual telephoto camera only in more favorable lighting conditions. That's a bit of a disappointment because the sensor is pretty big, and we believe it has the potential to take nice low-light pictures.
As a result, images didn't retain as much detail as in 1x mode in low light, and it tries to compensate by oversharpening a little bit, but the colors are pleasant, and exposures are accurate. Though sometimes details can be crushed in shadows, highlights are well preserved - even when they come from practical lighting - and contrast remains plentiful.
Again, shooting ultrawide photos in low light using the standard Photo mode will kick Night mode in automatically, resulting in no difference between the two modes when shooting at night.
Although the ultrawide is not as great at capturing intricate details and shadows as the other two, it still yielded among the best-looking ultrawide photos with conservative exposures and vivid colors. Brightness is a bit more conservative than the other cameras, but the image is still visible and true to life.
Noise levels are low, sharpness is pleasant, contrast looks nice, and highlights are retained well. We've seen plenty of ultrawide cameras perform horribly in low light, but this one ranks up there with the best.
Here's how the primary camera on the OnePlus 11 stacks against the rest of the competition in the controlled environment of our Photo Compare Tool.
OnePlus is particularly proud of its Portrait mode, which uses not only Hasselblad's color science but also the company's expertise in portrait photography as a whole. That's why OnePlus is marketing the 2x telephoto as a portrait camera simulating 30mm and 65mm focal lengths.
However, the portrait shots made with the main camera are somewhat better-looking overall. The main camera resolves more detail, produces a more natural skin tone, nicer colors and has a warmer overall feel. The telephoto camera can sometimes produce pale skin tones.
Dynamic range in both cases is good, but the dedicated portrait shooter took a better shot with the bright sky in the background in the last scene. Edge detection is nearly flawless, too.
Overall, portraits are nice, and OnePlus and Hasselblad clearly worked hard on this mode, but for some reason, the main camera edges out the telephoto in this regard.
The front-facing selfie camera was changed to a 32MP sensor last year on the 10 Pro, but OnePlus has brought back the tried and true 16MP IMX471 that it has used since the OnePlus 7 Pro. Although the hardware is the same, computational photography has improved enough to produce some really nice selfies from this camera.
The selfie camera certainly has the best color-tuning we've seen from this sensor in previous OnePlus models. We found that highlights clip when shooting selfies in direct sunlight but finding a slightly shady area yields much better results. Detail is plentiful, with excellent exposures and wide dynamic range, even in backlit scenes. The front camera's HDR processing pulls through with vivid colors and high contrast.
Portrait selfies do look great as well, provided that the camera is able to properly find the subject line the first time. In our case, glasses tripped the synthetic bokeh, but when it does work properly, the resulting portrait selfies look high quality, and the separation is convincing.
The OnePlus 11's main camera can shoot up to 8K @ 24fps while the ultrawide maxes at 4k 60fps. Meanwhile, the 2x telephoto camera maxes out at 1080p @ 30fps. When zooming in video mode 1080p @ 60fps or above, the video will come cropped from the main camera. There's an AI enhancement toggle, which further enhances the appearance of the video on the software level, but this is not available in the 8K shooting mode. You can use AI enhancement on the main camera up to 4K, with the ultrawide or telephoto cameras up to 1080p, and the AI mode is only available at 30fps.
Stabilization is on and available from all video modes. There's also an Ultra Steady Pro shooting mode that uses the ultrawide camera to produce super smooth video, though it is limited to 1080p @ 30fps.
8K video has come a long way since OnePlus first brought it on the OnePlus 9, but the limited 24 fps option will seem choppy next to the standard 30fps video from all the other camera modes. Shooting in 8K might be ideal if you plan to crop far into the video using an editor that supports the resolution.
We do see some improvement to the 8K video performance of the OnePlus 11, but it isn't enough to recommend shooting in this video mode. 8K footage has a wider dynamic range and more even exposure (this was an issue last year), but the video stabilization threw the image into a stutter despite shooting from a tripod.
4K video from the main camera looks excellent. Details are sharp, and colors are vivid. White balance is consistent with still images, with well-developed shadows and retained highlights. Dynamic range is wide, and there's little to no noise throughout the footage. Quality is identical between 30fps and 60fps footage.
The telephoto camera can only shoot video up to 1080p@30fps. Although there's a 2x option in the camera viewfinder for 1080p@60fps and 4K modes, those will crop from the main camera. The following is a clip that was actually shot on the 2x telephoto camera.
The video from this camera looks good, but we wish that it was capable of shooting 4K video. Anyway, the video from the telephoto camera isn't as vivid or as crispy as that of the main cameras. Dynamic range takes a hit, and details aren't as great. We also spot more noise than in the 4K video. Neither dynamic range nor contrast is as good either, but they are decent.
Ultrawide camera footage looks just as good as the main camera's. There's plenty of detail and punchy colors. Resolved details are nice, contrast is good with well-developed shadows, and highlights are kept well in check. There's also surprisingly low noise.
Here's a test of the main camera's overall stabilization.
Although the following sample has a lens flare in the shot, we can still see that the camera does a great job of stabilizing the picture when walking through the scene. We're happy to see the video is smooth here, with no abrupt transitions or panning.
Super Steady Pro is a different story. We noticed some weird jelly effect in the shadows of the foliage when walking through.
Since video is taken from the ultrawide instead of the main camera in the shooting mode, details are noticeably softer. It's a shame about the jelly effect, because the video otherwise looks fine: low noise, stable video, and good dynamic range. Colors are not as vivid, however.
The OnePlus 11 is great for shooting night videos. What's more, the viewfinder will remind you to toggle on the AI feature when you're about to record video in a low light setting.
Shooting low-light video with the AI feature, however, doesn't seem to produce any noticeable difference, but the resulting low-light videos is great anyway. Details look surprisingly great, even in the shadowy areas of the scene. Although we're shooting low light here, contrast is preserved well without having to brighten anything and make the scene look unnatural.
Once you are done with the real-life scenarios, take a look at our video compare tool to see how the OnePlus 11 stacks against the other phones we've reviewed.
- Bionic Chip
- 10 Jan 2024
Would love to buy until I saw the daylight samples from the main cam. Image outputs have noticeable noise in them.
- 04 Oct 2023
Yes, it is smoother and fluid than ever and it is as clean as the OnePlus 6. Maybe more clean with less bloatwares or no bloatware at all.
- Jigar Nagda
- 30 Sep 2023
The smoothness is that the same ? Is the UI as clean as it is in Op6 ?