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News for nerds

Reliable leaker OnLeaks is offering what’s likely an early look at the upcoming OnePlus 11, with an updated camera bump treatment and the beloved alert slider intact. The image, courtesy of GadgetGang.com, shows a sleek round camera bump, green and black color options, and the alert slider alive and well on the device’s side rail above the power button. It also corroborates an earlier leak. All told, it looks like the 11 will represent a slight cosmetic update to the 10 Pro’s design — a welcome sight to OnePlus fans who feared that the slider was on its way out when it was omitted from the 10T.

In addition to a slight design update, the OnePlus 11 is likely to include more of the same under the hood. A previous spec leak points to a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset (that’s a gimme), fast 100W wired charging, and a 6.7-inch screen with up to 120Hz refresh rate. Nothing surprising there. But then there’s the name — earlier reports called the device the 11 Pro, but this latest leak alleges that OnePlus will drop the “Pro” and call it the OnePlus 11. That would be a reversal from this year when the company launched a 10 Pro and 10T but no OnePlus 10.

The OnePlus 11 — assuming that’s what it’ll be called — would be the latest step on the company’s path to designing a true flagship phone capable of competing with the category heavyweights. Its past couple of efforts have shown up with strong specs but lacked a few of the necessary components to make it a true contender, like 5G support from all three major US carriers and a healthy software update support policy.

Meanwhile, the OnePlus that early fans knew as a disruptor to the big phone brands is all but gone. It’s now more tightly integrated with parent company Oppo, and that’s more evident than ever in OnePlus’ software. With Android 12, OnePlus merged its OxygenOS with Oppo’s ColorOS, resulting in some immediate growing pains. The changes haven’t gone over well with many longtime fans, but a more Oppo-like OnePlus has some surprisingly good devices, especially in the lower and midtier budget brackets.

As for its flagships, the company has made some slow and steady progress on that front: it recently brought AT&T 5G to the OnePlus 10 Pro and just announced that some of its 2023 phones will get a longer software support lifespan with five years of security updates. Between this commitment to improvement and the leaks thus far, on paper at least, the OnePlus 11 is shaping up nicely.