That’s why I’m more excited about the OnePlus 11 than the Galaxy S23 series this year

Person wearing a yellow jacket holding a black OnePlus 11.
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“OnePlus phones aren’t exciting anymore.” That was the first thing I said when I booted up the OnePlus 10 Pro recently to give it a second chance before its successor arrived. I know many of you reading this post will agree with me because OnePlus has produced nothing different than everything else on the shelf today. Its devices have been incredibly incremental over the past few generations. So why am I eyeing the OnePlus 11, you ask? Well, that’s because there are a few things that are different this time around.

The Galaxy S23 series looks underwhelming

The Samsung Galaxy S23 series has already been leaked left, right and centre; leaving nothing to our imagination. From the new design and color options to the refreshed internals, we already know pretty much everything about the new phones. And all the leaked information – in my opinion – suggests that the Galaxy S23 series could be the most boring flagship update yet from Samsung. The company doesn’t appear to be making any significant changes to its current crop of flagships, barring a few obvious ones.

The design of the new Galaxy S23 flagships is what worries me the most this year. First, only the regular Galaxy S23 and Plus variants get a new design, while the Galaxy S23 Ultra looks exactly the same as the current model on the market. And even the new design for the Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus doesn’t exactly scream “flagship” or “premium” to me. They simply have three protruding camera lenses now as opposed to the contour cut design we saw last and the year before.

Yes, it’s true that smartphones are expected to be boring this year, but Samsung’s reluctance to deviate too much and come up with a good design change is frankly very surprising and disappointing to me. Even the leaked renders showing the new colors for the new Galaxy S23 series look very underwhelming, but I’ll reserve my final judgments until I get my hands on the phone or see them in person. The OnePlus 11’s design picks up where the 10 Pro left off, and it looks fresh compared to everything I’ve got about the Galaxy S23 so far.

Even the leaked colors for the new Galaxy S23 series look very underwhelming.

The matte green and textured black finishes on the OnePlus 11 aren’t new, but they look like a refined version of what we’ve already seen from the company in the past. The circular camera bump has also started to grow on me the more I stare at these renders. That excites me in a way that the Galaxy S23’s design doesn’t, and that’s a good sign.

The standard S23 and Plus models are left with scrap, again

Samsung Galaxy S22 ultra white back

Another reason why I’m not excited about the Galaxy S23 series this year is that Samsung is throwing all the flagship features of the Galaxy S series towards the Ultra model. This again leaves the regular Galaxy S23 and Plus model with only minor improvements. The same was the case with last year’s Galaxy S22 and the Galaxy S21 a year before that. They weren’t bad phones by any means, but it almost feels like Samsung is beefing up the regular models to push the more expensive Ultra device.

It almost feels like Samsung is discounting the regular models to push the more expensive Ultra device.

It’s gotten to the point where the regular and Plus models have started to feel like an afterthought. It’s still not as bad as Apple did last year by leaving the iPhone 14 with an older chipset, but it looks like Samsung is just delaying the inevitable at this point. I’m not against the “Pro” or “Ultra” variants getting distinctive features, but I don’t like the cost of making the other models look weaker in comparison.

This can also be linked to a larger and completely different discussion about having too many phones per series. Part of the reason I’m excited about the OnePlus 11 is that there’s no other variant of the phone to compare it to. A “OnePlus 11 Pro,” for example, would have made the regular OnePlus 11 look less exciting, so I’m glad the company is sticking with the idea of ​​delivering a good phone, at least for now.

Optimistic about OnePlus 11 improvements

Let’s not make this argument entirely around the Galaxy S23 series, because I think the OnePlus 11 is also proving to be a pretty good flagship device in its own right. The OnePlus 11 is the third smartphone to be released under OnePlus’ partnership with Hasselblad, so I’m looking forward to seeing what they’ve got in store for us in the camera department this time around. We’re looking at a 50MP main sensor alongside a 48MP ultrawide and a 32MP portrait sensor. It remains to be seen how much of an improvement these sensors will offer over the ones we’ve already seen from the company, but I’ll be testing them with an open mind.

Person wearing a pink shirt holding a green OnePlus 11.

There’s also a new 13-channel multispectral light color detection sensor that helps it perform well in “all shooting scenarios,” and I can’t wait to see how this helps make my photos look better. I’m also glad that OnePlus decided to consider the feedback from the community and bring back the alert slider on the OnePlus 11. This is a sign of an improvement or a step in the right direction, so I’m quite optimistic about the OnePlus 11. Also, the OnePlus 11- the specs are also in line with what we’ve come to expect from flagships in 2023. It’s powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset and comes with up to 16GB of RAM. You’ll also get a 6.7-inch 120Hz OLED display along with a 5,000mAh battery that can be charged at lightning-fast speeds.

OnePlus’ strong software promise

OnePlus came under the spotlight many times in the past for not delivering fast and stable software updates to its devices. But it decided to right things by committing to a longer support period, starting with select phones. The company made an announcement saying that “select devices launched in 2023 and beyond will receive four major Android updates and five years of security updates. This strongly suggests that the OnePlus 11 could be the first in line to receive the extended software support from the company.”

The OnePlus 11 could be the first in line to get the extended software support from the company.

OnePlus’ software commitment is now more in line with Samsung’s promise to deliver four major Android updates and up to five years of security updates to its devices. Better software support than competing phones is one of the main reasons I openly recommend Samsung phones, and I’m glad I can now add some OnePlus phones to that list. I hope the extended software support isn’t limited to its flagship phones, and OnePlus will also apply it to its mid-range Nord line in the future. But I think it’s a good start nonetheless, and it’s definitely something I can add to my list of reasons why I’m excited about the upcoming OnePlus 11.

Look, I know Samsung probably has some software surprises for us at the Unpacked event, but I doubt any of them will be significant enough to make me feel any differently about the Galaxy S23 flagships this year. I don’t think the Galaxy S23 series devices will be bad. If anything, there’s a good chance they’ll land a spot on our list of best phones among the best Android flagships of 2023. But I miss the days when a new Samsung Galaxy device used to get me excited about the premium Galaxy experience. OnePlus, for its part, has a good chance of making the most of this opportunity, and I hope I don’t have to settle for a less exciting phone this year.

I would like to know your thoughts on the upcoming OnePlus 11 and Galaxy S23 series. Which smartphone are you looking forward to more? Let me know by dropping a line in the comments below. If you’re leaning more towards the Galaxy S23 series flagship, you might want to reserve your devices now to take advantage of some exciting launch deals.

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