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OnePlus 11 vs Google Pixel 7 Pro: Battle of the sub-$800 flagships
While Apple and Samsung flagships exceed the $1000 price point, two other companies offer compelling options that can save you a couple hundred dollars
Pixel 7 Pro now starts at $749, OnePlus 11 5G at $699
Similar in size, battery capacity, triple rear cameras
OnePlus excels at super fast charging and haptics
Google excels in still image processing
Software isn’t necessarily a win for the Pixel 7 Pro
The $1,000 price point seems to be an expected starting point for the high-end flagship smartphones we see today with prices for more storage escalating from there. Given the state of the economy and the one to three year upgrade cycle, people may be looking to save money on their smartphone purchase.
Thankfully, there are options available to you that are more affordable with very few, if any compromises. One surprising fact about the OnePlus 11 5G and Google Pixel 7 Pro is that both OnePlus and Google have promised 4 years of Android updates and 5 years of regular security updates.
After seeing the recent launch of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and it’s rather staggering starting price of $1,099 (along with fairly poor trade-in offerings, which is a step back for Samsung) it gave me pause to really think about what I would purchase if I had to buy a new phone. Thankfully, I’m in the business of reviewing phones so I am blessed to have the opportunity to check phones out as long term loaners and rarely have to purchase one.
The OnePlus 11 5G is $699 for the 8GB RAM/128GB storage model, but right now OnePlus is offering the upper end 16GB RAM/256GB storage model for that same $699 price so if you have any interest in it then I recommend you order one NOW.
Normally, that higher capacity model is $799, still a great value compared to Apple and Samsung flagships.
The Google Pixel 7 Pro currently starts at $749 for the 12GB RAM/128GB model with the 256GB storage option priced at $849 and the 512GB option at $949. 12GB of RAM is standard for all storage model options.
Let’s focus on the hardware aspects of the two phones and I’ll give you my opinion on the strengths of each and why you should consider one over the other.
Both phones are available in some cool color options, have triple rear camera systems, have 5000 mAh batteries, and are just about the same size even though the 2.5mm narrower width of the OnePlus 11 just feels better in my hand.
Reasons to buy a OnePlus 11 5G
Fastest, latest generation Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and modem: There’s something special about using Qualcomm’s proven technology and is one reason OnePlus phones have fantastic cellular reception.
Higher capacity RAM option and UFS 4.0 storage: The phone has the fastest internal speeds currently available.
Alert slider: The three-way ringer switch on the OnePlus phones is the best in the industry and blows away Apple’s lame small switch. Bringing it back on the OnePlus 11 was great to see.
Flawless fingerprint sensor: I love the side fingerprint sensor on the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and usually hate the under display sensors. However, the one on the OnePlus 11 has been flawless and restored my faith in them with perfect placement and response.
Stunningly fast SUPERVOOC 80W charging: It’s amazing to top off the OnePlus 11 in minutes while it seems to take FOREVER to charge a Pixel at 30W. In addition, OnePlus includes the cable and the charging brick IN THE BOX.
Haptics: If you have used OnePlus devices in the past you know that the company gets this aspect right and continues to offer the best experience when it comes to haptic control and strength.
Less expensive: You can save $50 with the OnePlus 11 and if you pick up the 256GB model for the $699 launch deal, then you are saving $150 compared to the 256GB Pixel 7 Pro.
Reasons to buy a Google Pixel 7 Pro
The point-and-shoot capability for still images is top notch. This is actually due to software more than hardware, but the Pixel 7 Pro does have that solid periscope zoom camera with 5x optical support. Check out sample shots from the Pixel 7 Pro, OnePlus 11, and Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max in my Flickr album.
Wireless charging and higher water resistance: I wanted to find a second reason to choose this phone, but neither of these are that important to me with super fast wired charging as an option. You also should really never intentionally submerge your phone as most warranties do not cover that failure even with some level of water resistant rating.
While both phones run Android 13, there are some differences between the stock Google experience and OxygenOS.
Both Google and OnePlus promise five years of Android security updates so you can count on a having a phone that is relevant for a few years.
Reasons to buy a OnePlus 11 5G
Four major Android updates: You may think I put this under the wrong phone, but OnePlus has promised four major Android updates after Android 13 that comes on the phone. Google promised three years of Android updates so OnePlus beats out Google at its own game.
Camera software: OnePlus may not have the amazing algorithms that make Google Pixel images so good, but there are several unique modes designed to spur creativity with the phone. I enjoy using XPan and Tilt-Shift for mixing things up and I am a fan of the Hasselblad color influence.
Shortcuts and settings: Explore the settings on the OnePlus 11 to find things like floating windows, quick launch, smart sidebar, and exhaustive gesture support.
Reasons to buy a Google Pixel 7 Pro
Android as Google intended: Honestly, I like to tweak and customize the heck out of my phones so have never been an Android purest that wants a plain stock experience, but some people like Android as designed.
Small touches make big impacts: The Pixel phones are the only Android phones I have used where visual voicemail works in the native phone dialer. On other Android phones I have to download and use the clunky carrier app. The At a Glance widget seems to present things well in advance of looking things up and the Pixel truly shows how a smartphone can be working for you without you having to make it happen.
Voice to text: You can use voice to text on the OnePlus 11, but Google has reserved the best experience for its own devices. Once you start using voice to text you may never go back to tapping away on the keyboard on your phone.
You can visit the official pages for each phone to see all of the features, functions, and specifications. Unfortunately, Substack doesn’t support some basic HTML code, such as tables so I have to use a bullet list to share some of the key specifications with you here in this article.
In the list below, I’ll show the OnePlus 11 spec on top of the Google Pixel 7 Pro spec:
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform
Google Tensor G2
6.7-inch AMOLED LTPO 1440x3216 pixels with 120 Hz refresh rate
6.7-inch pOLED LTPO 1440x3210 pixels with 120 Hz refresh rate
163.1 x 74.1 x 8.5 mm and 212 grams
162.9 x 76.6 x 8.9 mm and 205 grams
5,000 mAh with 80W wired charging (charger/cable in the box)
5,000 mAh with 23W wired charging and wireless charging
WiFi 7 and Bluetooth 5.3
WiFi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2
50MP main, 48MP ultra-wide, 32MP portrait/tele (2x optical) and 16MP front-facing
50MP main, 12MP ultra-wide, 48MP periscope tele (5x optical) and 10.8 MP front-facing
Titan Black and Eternal Green
Obsidian, Snow, and Hazel
After using both of these phones for more than a month, if I was going to buy one then I would pick up the $699 OnePlus 11 5G with 16GB RAM/256GB ROM for myself. I’ve had bad luck with Google Pixel phone hardware failing on me in the past and I’m still not convinced the Google Tensor is the best processor option for Android, especially after the complete failure I experienced with the Pixel 6 models and lack of cellular connectivity. I’m personally just not ready to fully trust Google with the Tensor yet, although the Pixel 7 Pro has done much better than the Pixel 6 Pro.
Both devices have the same battery capacity, but I’m getting much better battery life out of the OnePlus 11. I also LOVE the super fast wired charging and cannot stand the slow charging, especially wireless, of the Pixel 7 Pro that often has me switching SIM cards out because of a dead phone.
The Pixel 7 Pro is a pretty amazing phone to take along for still images and has captured things my eye couldn’t even see. The OnePlus 11 5G holds it own though and many times I couldn’t tell the difference between the resulting shots from both phones.
*Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. OnePlus and Google sent the OnePlus 11 5G and Pixel 7 Pro for evaluation purposes as long-term loaners, but neither company has any influence over the content in this article. All opinions are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that add no additional cost to you and I may earn a small commission.
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