Nothing created quite the splash when it debuted a couple of years ago with its sleek design and hyped up marketing, but you probably first heard of its founder Carl Pei due to his work with OnePlus. In fact, you might’ve also better known him as the co-founder of OnePlus.
Pei did leave OnePlus in 2020, and since then he would go on to form Nothing, the tech company that he’s currently the CEO of. Nothing’s YouTube channel meanwhile does a lot more than just post up marketing material for their products; Pei previously was on there reviewing the iPhone 14. However, he’s back again with another review, and this time it’s with the OnePlus 11, their latest flagship smartphone.
In his review, Pei starts off actually by complimenting the OnePlus 11 quite a bit. He opens with how the smartphone is actually quite beautiful and premium looking, and that the way the sides of the phone is designed makes it look thinner than what it actually is.
Pei does also highlight that there are some minor design flaws here and there, such as the camera module trying to seem like it’s connected to the side rails of the device when it’s actually not, as well as the alert slider and the power button not being aligned properly. The glass back was also noticeably more slippery than the Nothing Phone (1). Overall, with the design, Pei finds that the OnePlus 11 lacks a design identity that sticks out and can be identified with OnePlus.
However it’s perhaps when discussing the OS where Pei criticises the OnePlus 11 the most. OxygenOS has been more or less the OnePlus-flavoured version of Oppo’s ColorOS in recent years ever since they merged the two Android skins a couple of years ago. It’s also Pei’s first time trying out the ‘new’ OxygenOS, which he said has changed a lot. For starters, he says that OxygenOS now has a lot of features that didn’t really appeal to him, though admits it could be of interest of others. He also found the default icons very colourful.
But it’s the weird bugs and inconsistencies in OxygenOS that gives Pei the most anxiety. He goes on to list a few examples, such as odd behaviours with the app drawer and a lack of polish in the overall system. Pei also says that he now ‘gets’ what users mean when they ask him to bring back the old OxygenOS, and adds that he doesn’t understand why OnePlus would change something that worked.
When comparing the OnePlus 11 against his own Nothing Phone (1), he admits that there are some instances where the OnePlus device wins. Gamers for instance will want the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2-powered OnePlus 11, compared to the Phone (1)’s older Snapdragon 778G+. Pei does defend the Phone (1) a little, saying that they’re comparable in camera performance, and that the OS in the Phone (1) was much smoother than OxygenOS.
In the end, Pei does call the OnePlus 11 a solid, premium piece of hardware with a couple of imperfections here and there. He stops short of fully recommending it though, instead saying that both tech enthusiasts and casual users should instead choose between an iPhone or a Pixel, or if they didn’t want to spend that much, opt for the Phone (1) instead.
Admittedly, this is more publicity for Nothing than the OnePlus 11 itself from Pei, but it’s still a rather honest and refreshing look at his take on his former company’s latest flagship. You can watch his full review below, or if you want our own opinion on the OnePlus 11, you can click here instead.