The OnePlus 11 has a twin. It looks almost identical, it hardly lacks in power and performance, it runs the same software, and it costs so much less. The OnePlus 11R, launched in India, is in fact the ‘flagship killer’ OnePlus always aimed for, even though it may well be trying to kill its own flagship.

Set side-by-side, the OnePlus 11, which starts out at ₹56,999, and the 11R (starting $9,999) can barely be told apart, especially if you get them in the same colour. There are minor details telling you which is which. The OnePlus 11 is the one that has the Hasselblad branding leaping out at you on the camera housing but its absence on the 11R isn’t bothering customers in particular. The camera setup on the back otherwise is in the same style - large circular section contouring into a squared off merging with the main body of the device. The back panel on both phones looks the same. On the 11R, the frame is plastic, but by no means looks it. With glass beginning to look like plastic and plastic beginning to look like glass, there’s little point worrying about what the back panel is made of and all one wants is to see is whether wireless charging is supported — which it isn’t. Other than that, users will typically use a case at any rate. There is some minor difference in the feel of the buttons on the two phones, but thankfully both come with the signature ‘alert slider’ which is a relief to fans and previous users of OnePlus phones. The OnePlus 11 has flatter sides and interestingly the 11R has an infra-red blaster. Neither phone has a 3.5mm audio jack.

In terms of hardware specs, the OnePlus 11R does have a few specs that are lower than the flagship OnePlus 11. The 6.7-inch AMOLED screen is in a resolution of 1240 x 2772 pixels - the 11's is 1440 x 3216 pixels. Not that it looks it. Perfectly crisp and clear with good colours and brightness, the display is great for day to day usage. The bezels, although not quite as slim as those on the flagship, are still minimal, leaving the expanse of the display free for use. For some reason, the front camera punch hole is in the middle instead of to one side where it would have been less noticeable. Since there’s no logic to this placement it’s likely to just be a matter of differentiating. The 11R's display also has a 120Hz refresh rate, though less adaptive than its more expensive sibling's. The touch sampling rate, important for gaming, is also lower, though nevertheless good enough. Also missing is Gorilla Glass Victus. In this way, a number of hardware capabilities seem to have carefully been differentiated to be able to offer the device at a lower price.

Proven strength

The biggest hardware difference between the two new phones is the processor. The OnePlus 11 uses the newest Snapdragon 8 Gen2 while the 11R uses the 8+ Gen1, which is still recent enough to be on the majority of high-end phones. This generation difference sounds like a huge leap and indeed benchmark tests do show the Gen2 to be faster but performance on the OnePlus 11R is still smooth and speedy enough to suit the majority of users while those looking for some future proofing and cutting edge specs could turn to the OnePlus 11. Both phones use the same software: Oppo’s ColorOS flavoured OxygenOS 13 on Android 13. The software upgrades offered on the flagship are for four years while the OnePlus 11R gets three years.

Other miscellaneous features include the in-display fingerprint sensor on the 11R which one half expected to be mounted on the power button, again, for differentiation. It works expectedly fast.

The OnePlus 11R doesn't have a water resistance rating, a fact that annoys many users. It seems to have an IR blaster.

Both phones in this line-up come with a 5,000mAh battery which lasts very well through the day and which supports fast charging at 100W. The big charger is very much in the box. These phones charge from nothing to full in under 30 minutes, so there really needs to be no preoccupation with battery life.

Standard fare

The OnePlus 11R comes with a three-camera array. There’s the primary 50MP sensor( which actually has optical image stabilisation, an 8MP ultra-wide-angle sensor with a 120-degree field-of-view and a 2MP macro lens - which users have now taken to loving to hate. The camera set up is standard fare; not bad by any means, but not bringing anything special to the table. Images from the main sensor are quite crisp and punchy in healthy lighting conditions. While not the phone of choice if you plan to work on content creation in a big way, it does a good job with everyday casual clicks.

If you're not a 'power user' but want a smartphone that zips through everyday tasks and actions at a rapid clip, consider the less expensive  OnePlus 11R and be assured that it will slow down for years.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube & Instagram to never miss an update from Fortune India. To buy a copy, visit Amazon.