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

“OnePlus phones aren’t exciting anymore.” That’s the first thing I said when I booted the OnePlus 10 Pro recently to give it a second chance before its successor arrived. I know a lot of you reading this post agree with me because OnePlus hasn’t produced something different from everything else on the shelf today. Its devices have been exceedingly incremental for the past few generations. Then why do I have my eyes set on the OnePlus 11, you ask? Well, that’s because there are a few things different this time around.

The Galaxy S23 series looks underwhelming

The Samsung Galaxy S23 series has already leaked left, right, and center; 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 might be the most boring flagship update yet from Samsung. The company doesn’t seem to be making any significant changes to its current crop of flagships, save for a few obvious ones.

The design of the new Galaxy S23 flagships is what concerns me the most this year. For one, only the regular Galaxy S23 and the Plus variants are getting 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 the 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 unwillingness to deviate too much and come up with a good design change is quite frankly very surprising and disappointing to me. Even the leaked renders showing the new colors for the new Galaxy S23 line up looks 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 in comparison to everything I’ve had about the Galaxy S23 so far.

Even the leaked colors for the new Galaxy S23 line up looks very underwhelming.

The matte green and the textured black finish of 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 growing on me the more stare at these renders. It gets me excited in a way the Galaxy S23’s design doesn’t, and that’s a good sign.

The regular S23 and Plus models are left with scraps, again

Another reason why I am not excited about the Galaxy S23 series this year is that Samsung is throwing all the flagship Galaxy S series features at the Ultra model. This once again leaves the regular Galaxy S23 and the 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 nerfing the regular models to push the more expensive Ultra unit.

It almost feels like Samsung is nerfing the regular models to push the more expensive Ultra unit.

It has gotten to a point where the regular and the Plus models have starting to feel like an afterthought. It’s still not as bad what 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 am not against the “Pro” or the “Ultra” variants getting distinctive features, but I don’t like how it comes at a cost of making the other models look weaker in comparison.

This can also be tied to a bigger and an entirely different discussion about having too many phones per series. Part of the reason why I am excited about the OnePlus 11 is that there’s no other variant of the phone to compare it with. A “OnePlus 11 Pro”, for instance, would’ve made the regular OnePlus 11 look less exciting, so I am glad the company is sticking with the idea of ​​delivering one 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 turning out to be a pretty good flagship device in itself. The OnePlus 11 is the third smartphone to be released during OnePlus’ partnership with Hasselblad, so I am looking forward to seeing what they have cooked for us in the camera department this time around. We’re looking at a 50MP main sensor along with a 48MP ultrawide, and a 32MP sensor for portrait shots. It remains to be seen how much of improvement will these sensors offer over the ones we’ve already seen from the company, but I am going to test them with an open mind.

Person wearing a pink sweatshirt holding a green OnePlus 11.

There’s also a new 13-channel multi-spectral light-color identifying sensor to help it perform well in “all photography scenarios”, and I can’t wait to see how this helps make my shots look better. I am also glad that OnePlus decided to consider the community feedback and bring back the alert slider on the OnePlus 11. This is a telltale sign of an improvement or a step in the right direction, so I am quite optimistic about the OnePlus 11. , the OnePlus 11 specs also tally with what we’ve come to expect from flagships in 2023. It’s powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset and will come 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 charge at lighting fast speeds.

OnePlus’ strong software promise

OnePlus found itself under the spotlight many times in the past for not delivering timely and stable software updates to its devices. But it decided to right the wrong 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. That strongly suggests the OnePlus 11 could be the first in line to receive the extended software support from the company.

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

OnePlus’ software commitment is now more in line with Samsung’s promise of delivering four major Android updates and up to five years of security updates to its devices. A better software support than the competing phones is one of the main reasons why I openly recommend Samsung phones, and I am glad that 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 to its midrange Nord lineup in the future. But I believe it’s a good start nonetheless, and it’s definitely something I can add to my list of the reasons why I am 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 are going to be significant enough to make me feel any different about the Galaxy S23 flagships this year. I don’t think the Galaxy S23 series devices are going to be bad. If anything, there’s a good chance they’ll land a spot in our best phones list among the best Android flagships in 2023. But I miss the days when a new Samsung Galaxy device used to get me all excited about the premium Galaxy experience. OnePlus, on the hand, has a good chance of making the most out of this opportunity, and I hope I don’t have to settle for a less exciting phone this year.

I’d like to know your thoughts on the upcoming OnePlus 11 and the Galaxy S23 series device. Which smartphone are you looking to forward more? Let me know by dropping a line in the comments below. If you’re leaning more towards the Galaxy S23 series flagships, then you might want to reserve your units right now to get in on some exciting launch offers.

A promotional image with the 'Book now' text with three camera sensors.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Series

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