A premium phone and camera
The OnePlus 11 isn’t just a premium phone, it’s also a premium camera thanks to the third-gen Hasselblad camera for mobile, stunning large screen, and the ability to reproduce natural colors. With the Oxygen OS 13, meanwhile, you can truly make it your own.
- Fabulous camera system
- Super-fast charging
- Extra-large, vibrant screen
- Fast refresh rate
- Plenty of power
- No wireless charging
- No storage expansion
- Not totally water-resistant
A solid Galaxy device
The Samsung Galaxy S23 is no slouch in the camera department and has a stunning screen as well, along with a high-end camera system that even allows you to shoot in RAW mode. You get customization through Samsung One UI as well as access to useful Samsung apps, like Health and Wallet.
- Supports wireless charging
- Fast and adaptive refresh rate
- Useful Samsung apps
- No storage expansion
- Smaller, lower-res screen
- Smaller battery
The OnePlus 11 vs. Samsung Galaxy S23 is a pretty fair fight. The two phones are around the same price and have comparable features. This makes choosing between them difficult. But we’re here to help with a head-to-head comparison of the two devices.
OnePlus 11 vs. Samsung Galaxy S23: How they look
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Before getting into how they work, let’s look at how these two phones look. The OnePlus 11 has a large 6.7-inch AMOLED QHD+ LTPO 2K Super Fluid 3,216 x 1,440 screen with an ultra-fast 120Hz refresh rate, a feature gamers and content creators will love. Because of the larger screen, it’s naturally the larger phone of the two, including being a bit thicker as well, and heavier.
Available in Eternal Green or Titan Black, it’s made of surgical-grade stainless steel with Corning Gorilla Glass Victus coating on the screen, and a starlight dial that OnePlus says “shimmers” for an elegant look. Android Central’s Harish Jonnalagadda says in his review that the phone feels really good to hold as well, with nice, premium materials. He loves the matte finish on the back, but keep in mind that’s only for the black version (green is glossier).
It runs on OxygenOS 13, which is based on Android 13 but affords additional personalization features for the user interface as well as look and feel. This includes the fun aquamorphic designs.
Available with either 128GB or 256GB storage that isn’t expandable (there’s no microSD card slot), it has a 5,000 mAh battery. While this phone does not support wireless charging, it does come with an 80W SuperVOOC charger in the box so you can recharge it back to full in under half an hour, says OnePlus.
Additional features in the OnePlus 11 include face unlock, dual SIM cards, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC, and support for Type-C headphones (no 3.5mm headphone jack). It’s also IP64 rated, which means it’s protected from dust and small sprays of water. You’ll want a waterproof case on it if you’re planning to use it around bodies of water where accidents can happen.
The Samsung Galaxy S23, meanwhile, has a smaller 6.1-inch FHD+ screen that’s lower resolution at 2,340 x 1,080. Smaller and slightly thinner, it comes in green, Phantom black, Lavender, or Cream as well as Samsung exclusive colors like Lime and Graphite. All the finishes are inspired by nature with Earthy tones and made using natural dyes infused within the polished metal frame. The screen, meanwhile, is made of Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 3, so you can expect it to be durable.
In his review, Android Central’s Derrek Lee says he loves that the new design does away with the camera island, instead leaving a clean, flat rear panel with three camera modules that only slightly protrude.
Running Android 13 with Samsung’s One UI overlay, there’s a level of customization with this phone, too, through your own personal widgets, lock screen, and more. You can also enjoy a continuity experience with other devices, syncing the phone with a computer, for example.
Equipped with a smaller 3,900 mAh battery, you’ll get up to 22 hours of continuous video playback, says Samsung. While we don’t have a direct comparison, given the battery size, you might end up getting more juice per day from the OnePlus 11. However, the Samsung Galaxy S23 does support fast charging, so you can be back up and running in no time, or easily charge at night. And Lee says he was pleased with the battery, saying it easily lasted him a full workday. But he is disappointed with the mere 25W wired charging speed and the only 15W wireless charging speed.
Available in 128GB or 256GB capacities as well, the Samsung Galaxy S23 also does not have a microSD expansion slot, so you’ll have to resort to cloud storage if you need more. It has a higher IP68 water-resistant rating, which means it’s not only protected from dust and splashes but can also be submerged in water up to 1.5 meters for up to 30 minutes, making it more durable overall than the OnePlus 11.
OnePlus 11 vs. Samsung Galaxy S23: Spec rundown
Let’s run down the basic specs, speeds, and feeds of these two smartphones
|Header Cell – Column 0||OnePlus 11||Samsung Galaxy S23|
|OS||OxygenOS 13 (based on Android 13)||Android 13 (with Samsung One UI)|
|Colors||Eternal Green, Titan Black||Green, Phantom Black, Lavender, Cream + Samsung exclusives Lim and Graphite|
|Screen Size||6.7 inches||6.1 inches|
|Screen Resolution||3,216 x 1,440||2,340 x 1,080|
|Screen Type||QHD+ LTPO AMOLED||FHD+ AMOLED|
|Refresh Rate||120Hz||adaptive 48-120Hz|
|Processor||Snapdragon 8 Gen 2||Snapdragon 8 Gen 2|
|Storage||128GB, 256GB (not expandable)||128GB, 256GB (not expandable)|
|Camera||50MP main, 48MP ultra-wide, 32MP portrait, 16MP front||50MP wide-angle main, 12MP ultra-wide, 10MP telephoto, 12MP front|
|Speakers||Dual Reality Speakers with Dolby Atmos||Stereo Speakers with Dolby Atmos|
|Size||6.42 x 2.92 x 0.34 inches||5.8 x 2.79 x 0.3 inches|
|Weight||205 grams||167 grams|
There are a few notable differences here, but let’s dig deeper.
OnePlus 11 vs. Samsung Galaxy S23: Processing power and performance
So, when it really comes down to it, how do these two smartphones actually perform? Let’s take a look at how they compare, diving deeper into things like processing power, cameras, and other useful features.
The OnePlus 11 is powered by a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor and comes with an impressive up to 16GB of LPDDR5X RAM+ UFS 4.0, which is a simple way of saying it’s blazing fast, can handle data intensive apps like gaming, and will keep up with your daily multitasking. It features 8GB to 16GB RAM (16GB RAM only with the 256GB edition) but has a neat feature for automatically dedicating RAM allocation to heavier tasks, like the camera.
Combine this with the 120Hz refresh rate, Dolby Vision and HDR10/10+ support along with the dual reality speakers with Dolby Atmos support and it’s a delight to use for gaming, watching (and shooting) videos, and more. Connect via Wi-Fi 7 with dual-band Wi-Fi for both 2.4GHz and 5GHz spectrums, and everything from video calls to gaming and streaming will be flawless. Indeed, Jonalagadda calls this phone “a beast,” saying it handles intensive tasks with ease, with noticeable gains on the gaming front. Just keep in mind that games are limited to 60fps, but you still get a “smooth, lag-free experience.”
You can even enjoy cinematic audio with directional spatial audio using the OnePlus 11, along with instant app launching, and even better cooling to prevent overheating: yes, Jonalagadda says it really works! “I ran synthetic benchmarks on it for an hour,” he says, “and it was barely warm.”
Pair the phone with OnePlus Buds Pro 2 true wireless earbuds and you can enjoy spatial audio and Dolby head tracking for a more immersive private listening experience. Overall, OnePlus says the phone offers a fast CPU, AI, rendering, wider bandwidth, better user efficiency, and faster read/write times.
Powered by the same Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, the Samsung Galaxy S23 taps out at 8GB RAM, which is still pretty respectable for a smartphone. It, too, has a 120Hz refresh rate which is adaptive as well, from 48-120Hz, depending on the task at hand.
This is combined with Eye Comfort Shield for a more comfortable experience during long gaming sessions or while watching movies. With stereo speakers as well along with Dolby Atmos support, you’ll get a nice cinematic experience for movies, gaming, or just general scrolling.
It connects to Wi-Fi 6e and boasts a fast mobile processor with the ability, as noted, to sync seamlessly with PCs and other Samsung Galaxy devices, from true wireless earbuds to tablets.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 also comes loaded with tons of useful Samsung apps that you can easily pair with a Samsung TV, for example, like Samsung Health, as well as useful apps like Samsung Wallet (which means, of course, that it also has NFC). While some Galaxy phones are compatible with the Samsung S Pen, this one is not.
OnePlus 11 vs. Samsung Galaxy S23: The cameras
These days, our smartphones are our primary cameras, so we want to know: how do they perform when taking photos?
Camera-wise, the OnePlus 11 has a triple main camera system that includes a 50MP main camera, 48MP ultra-wide camera, and 32MP portrait camera with 2x optical zoom, along with a 16 MP front “selfie” camera, all from Sony. You can enjoy better, more accurate color reproduction through the natural color calibration along with exposure and white balance optimization for all three cameras. Jonnalagadda calls it the “best camera on a OnePlus phone yet.”
With its third-generation Hasselblad cameras for mobile, this is a pretty serious smartphone camera. You’ll also get a portrait tele-lens that offers depth tracking, natural bokeh effect, and flares for Instagram-worthy, and even print-worthy, portrait photos. Other photo related features include selfie HDR, nightscape selfie, and even face retouching.
Jonalagadda saw noticeable gains when it comes to shooting video with this phone compared to previous generation models, including better colors, especially with low-light videos. He got “fabulous shots” in daylight situations, with wonderful dynamic range, no visible noise, and “accurate color rendition.”
The camera system in the Samsung Galaxy S23 isn’t quite as impressive, though it will still yield wonderful photos. You get the same 50MP main camera, which is wide-angle and optimized for taking enhanced low light selfies, along with a 12MP ultra-wide second camera, 10MP telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom, making it better for snapping photos from farther away while maintaining detail, and a 12MP front selfie camera.
Overall, Lee says he was impressed with the camera performance, saying it doesn’t often overexpose photos, and that night shots are great, too. But he says shutter speed can sometimes lead to blurry images or missed moments. He loves the punched-up colors in videos, though, and says the artificial bokeh works beautifully.
Samsung offers special features for enhancing photos, too, like Nightography through enhanced AI that allows for taking better night selfie shots. The front camera has dual pixel technology to focus faster, even in low light. It also promises to offer authentic color, no matter the ambient light. The night selfie feature, by the way, also works for videos.
There’s also Detail Enhancer technology that Samsung says offers sharper quality with your photos and the ability to show hi-res RAW images for pro-level editing. Photo Remaster, meanwhile, enhances dark and blurry images and can even help upscale lower-resolution photos so you can save an otherwise throwaway shot. You can even use the feature to redo fuzzy GIFs and reduce noise in photos, overall.
OnePlus 11 vs. Samsung Galaxy S23: Which should you buy?
You really can’t go wrong when it comes to the OnePlus 11 vs. Samsung Galaxy S23. Looking at all the specs overall, the OnePlus 11 is a better, all-around phone. It has a larger battery, higher-res screen, more RAM (if you choose that option), and better overall cameras. But keep in mind that Jonalagadda did say that while the phone performed like a dream when it was working, it did also freeze on him a few times during the two weeks that he tested it.
Samsung is, of course, the top brand when it comes to smartphones, particularly Android smartphones. The specs for the Samsung Galaxy S23 might not be on par with the OnePlus 11, but they are pretty close. If you own other Samsung devices as well, you’ll be able to leverage the seamless communication with them. This is a big enough deal to warrant opting for this device to have a nice ecosystem of products that speak to one another, both inside and outside of the home.
If you do decide to go for the OnePlus 11, your best bet is to opt for the 256GB variant. Not only will this afford more storage space, which will be crucial since there’s no memory card slot, but this is also the only version with 16RAM. It also uses newer UFS 4.0 storage (versus UFS 3.1 in the 128GB version), which Jonnalagadda says is “significantly faster.”
Bottom line: the better phone of the two spec-wise is the OnePlus 11, but both perform beautifully and will leave you smiling from ear-to-ear. If you have lots of Samsung gear, go for the Samsung S23. If you’re open to any brand and have been thinking of trying OnePlus, the OnePlus 11 won’t disappoint. To explore other options across different price ranges, have a look through the best Android phones and you’re sure to find something that meets all your needs.
A wonderful mid-range phone with premium features, the OnePlus 11 won’t disappoint. With amazing specs that everyone from gamers to entertainment enthusiasts, multitaskers, and business folks will love, this phone can keep up with all your demanding tasks and looks good while doing it. This is, as our reviewer calls it, a “beast of a phone.”
Totally worth getting
If you’re looking for a Samsung Galaxy device that doesn’t cost in the thousands but still has premium features, the Samsung Galaxy S23 is one to consider. The specs might not be quite as high as with the OnePlus 11, but you’re still getting a powerful phone with a blazing fast processor and tons of cool photo features.