March 15, 2024


I managed to get my hands on OnePlus 11 5G smartphone, and I was curious about the 3rd generation Hasselblad camera for mobile! I brought the smartphone out for several shutter therapy sessions, snapped plenty of images and I am sharing my thoughts on the camera performance. Spoiler alert: I really, really like the OnePlus 11 and I personally think it is currently the best smartphone camera out there in the market. I have made a video review of OnePlus 11’s camera performance, accompanied by POV footage from video screen recording showing the camera in action, while I was composing and capturing the sample images in the field!


I have no connection or association with OnePlus Malaysia. The smartphone was on loan, and I have to return it to OnePlus after my review purposes. This is a user experience review; I am sharing my thoughts using the OnePlus 11’s cameras from a photographer’s perspective. I am only discussing the camera performance of OnePlus 11 for photography specifically, and I won’t be talking about video, or other aspects of the phone. I am not a videographer, and if you want to find out more about the smartphone there are already tons of gadget and tech reviews out there.
OnePlus 11 5G


There are three camera modules at the rear of OnePlus 11: main wide angle, telephoto and ultra-wide. I shall look into each camera and explore their capabilities, testing them in various shooting environment. OnePlus claimed they worked closely with Hasselblad to develop the cameras, with natural color calibration, which I am excited to find out more. After all, Hasselblad is a powerhouse name in the photography industry, and having some of their modern medium format camera technologies trickled down to a smartphone camera got me quite intrigued. Needless to say, I have high expectations from OnePlus 11’s cameras, since they bear the Hasselblad branding.


The main camera features a 50MP Sony IMX890 image sensor, with lens equivalent of 24mm F1.8 with optical (lens based) image stabilization. The 24mm equivalent focal length is versatile and can be useful in most shooting scenarios. I am impressed with the performance of the main camera. Images came out with excellent sharpness, with plenty of fine details and good contrast, rendering realistic, punchy and true to life looking images. What I did expect was the superb lens sharpness from edge to edge and corner to corner. Technical lens flaws like distortion and chromatic aberration are well controlled, I guess thanks to software correction. I also like the color reproduction of the main camera, the colors thanks to Hasselblad’s calibration, came out looking natural, pleasing and vibrant without being overcooked or looking too saturated. I like the “non-HDR” or highly processed look which most other smartphones are going after these days. The more natural rendering captures reality more closely and I really appreciate this direction that OnePlus is taking with their cameras.


The telephoto camera module features a 32MP Sony IMX709 image sensor, with lens equivalent to 48mm F2, without image stabilization. OnePlus claimed that using the telephoto camera with their Portrait Mode, the image rendering characteristics will be similar to what the Hasselblad XCD 65mm lens can produce. Therefore, I tested the telephoto camera mostly with the Portrait Mode turned on.
I appreciate that there is a close to 50mm equivalent lens on this camera (48mm is close enough). I am a street photographer and I also shoot a lot of portraits, and my main lens for these shooting scenarios has always been a 50mm variant from various camera manufacturers. A 50mm produces more natural looking results, with less perspective distortion, creating a more flattering look. Head does not look exeggerated, or the nose does not look comically huge, unlike when shooting with a wide angle lens. Limbs and other human body parts appear more proportionate with a 50mm, versus
Special shout out to Wendy Ling, a dear friend who struck several wonderful poses for me to test the telephoto portrait camera.
The telephoto lens produces decent sharpness, yet the Portrait mode renders smooth bokeh background, though processed, but they looked natural and good enough, provided you don’t max out the shallow depth of field setting. The bokeh (processed) looked smooth, pleasing and the blur helps in isolating the human subject from the background, creating the desirable 3-dimensional look. The model just popped out from the background. I have to say, the artificial bokeh from OnePlus 11 looks the best I have seen from any smartphones today, and I won’t hesitate to use it.
Another point worth noting is the amazing looking skin tone, I believe when it comes to color science it is the most challenging to get skin tone colors right, and the OnePlus 11 with Hasselblad’s color technology nailed it. Wendy’s skin tone looks really natural and believable, definitely, again one of the best skin tones rendering from any smartphones I have seen today!


The third camera module is the ultra wide camera, and it has 48MP Sony IMX581 image sensor, and lens equivalent to 14mm F2.2 with no image stabilization. 14mm equivalent focal length is extremely wide, and can fit a field of view of about 115 degrees. This can be very useful in situations where you need to fit as much as possible within a frame, squeezing in more people in a group shot in a tight space, shooting that interior or capturing some majestic panoramic landscape.
I find the ultra wide angle camera to perform quite well, resolving good sharpness. There is no visible barrel distortion or any other flaws like purple fringing, which I suspected was corrected by software. To me it does not matter, as long as I get good results, I am happy. However, I highly recommend using the main camera instead if you don’t need the ultra wide coverage, as the main camera can resolve better fine details and contrast, producing higher quality images. Use the ultra-wide only when you need to fit in that extra width in your composition.


The OnePlus 11 cameras performed remarkably well shooting in low light environment. Using the main camera, you can get away with superb results, even in very dim light. This is especially thanks to the larger than usual image sensor (1/1.56″), bright aperture lens F1.8 and also image stabilization. The F1.8 bright lens allows more light to be gathered, hence negating the use of very high ISO numbers which will degrade image quality. The image stabilization helps to lower down the shutter speeds for hand-held shooting, I notice the camera dropped the shutter speeds down to 1/10 second and still images come out tack sharp.
The low light images still retain good level of details, contrast and color tonality, even shooting at very high ISO numbers (ISO3000 and beyond). While the telephoto and ultra-wide cameras can also shoot decent low light images, I highly recommend staying with the main camera to get the best out of what the OnePlus 11 can offer.


I am generally very pleased with the smoothness, and lag-free user experience when I was shooting with the OnePlus 11’s cameras.
OnePlus 11 5G
Click and buy Now :  OnePlus 11 5G


I really love the large AMOLED display, allowing me to compose my shots with ease. The display was smooth, stutter free, and was very responsive. I had no issue seeing the screen under bright Malaysian sun. The touch operations were responsive, and I did not experience any difficulties whatsoever. Unlike other smartphones, where there is visible display lag, which can be a problem because if what I see on my viewfinder is already delay, there will be higher chance for me to miss critical moments. That is not the case for the OnePlus 11’s screen.


If you refer to my video review, where I showed the POV footage from video screen recording before I took each shot, you will realize that all the images were taken almost via point and shoot fashion. I did not tinker with the settings, I did not do much work before snapping away. I let the smartphone decide everything – metering, white balance, focusing area, and the OnePlus 11 cameras nailed the shot 99% of the time. This simplifies my shooting process, and I did not have to worry so much as the camera can grab the shots that I wanted with high success rates. If I wanted to put so much work, think so hard, changed so many settings, why don’t I just use my professional cameras to begin with? A smartphone camera should be easy, simple and straight to the point.


As I had the video screen recording enabled at all times while I was shooting hundreds of photographs, it also demonstrated how capable the OnePlus 11 was at multi-talking. I did not experience any lag, stutter or problems, in fact it was really incredible how smooth the operations was all the time. There was not a single hiccup, or any bug, no crashes, no slow-downs, nothing. This was especially thanks to the latest and most powerful processor at the moment, the SNAPDRAGON 8 GEN 2, with the help of abundant RAM (total of 16GB RAM in the model I was testing). Furthermore, I was shooting outdoor, for hours at a time, with no over-heating issue whatsoever.
Also worth noting the OnePlus 11 comes with 100V SUPERVOOC fast charging.


Of course, no camera is perfect, and OnePlus 11 is no exception. I did have some complains and I wish some of these items could have been improved.


I think it is not too difficult, or it won’t cost so much more to include image stabilization in ALL the camera modules. Being a professional photographer, I have come to appreciate the importance of powerful image stabilization in my cameras, and I can see how much more the OnePlus 11’s telephoto and ultra-wide cameras can benefit from the inclusion of image stabilization. You can go lower shutter speeds, effectively lowering down the ISO numbers, and the telephoto lens is more prone to shake due to the longer focal length.


I find that the image processing to be too aggressive especially when it comes to noise reduction, at high ISO shooting, there is no noise and images come out very clean from the OnePlus 11, but they were all smeared and looking watercolor like. The noise reduction not only got rid of all traces of noise, but also destroyed any useful fine details and important sharpness. The images look painterly and not natural at all. I wish OnePlus would dial back the noise reduction several notches, and not wash out the images completely. I don’t mind seeing some noise in the images, but at least make them look like images, not paintings.


When OnePlus 11 switches to macro mode, it basically activates the ultra-wide camera with severe cropping. This leaves us with very low-resolution images, often looking soft and pixelated if you scrutinize the images. I highly suggest that a dedicate macro camera to be include, or maybe don’t use the macro mode at all. It is OK not having a macro mode, if you can’t execute it well, rather than having a poor performing macro shooting.


I do personally think that OnePlus 11 5G is the best smartphone camera I have used at the time of publishing this review.
To me, it is not about having the highest resolution (some other smartphones have 200MP), it is not about having the biggest image sensor (more smartphones feature 1-inch sensor), it is also not about having more zoom (10x zoom or more?), it is not about specifications number or technical superiority on paper.
To me, what makes a great camera is the sum of all parts – great shooting experience with zero-lag, smooth operations and reliable performance, having consistently sharp image output, versatile shooting range with impressive looking natural colors, beautiful looking portrait mode rendering buttery, creamy bokeh background, and almost fail-proof point and shoot shooting with minimal effort, I just compose and let the camera do the work. The OnePlus 11 delivers all these in spades.

I can highly recommend the OnePlus 11 5G to anyone out there. If you are a professional photographer looking for a smartphone with capable imaging performance, or a casual non-photographer who wants to take beautiful snapshots with minimal effort or photography knowledge, the OnePlus 11 should sit at the very top of your list of considerations!

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