It’s a well-known fact in 2023 that the iPhone 14 Pro has an excellent camera system. Whether you’re taking carefully crafting portraits or just casually snapping photos without much thought, the iPhone 14 Pro is capable of churning out incredible results. But now that the OnePlus 11 is here, is there a new camera challenger to consider?
- OnePlus 11 vs. iPhone 14 Pro: camera specs
- OnePlus 11 vs. iPhone 14 Pro: main camera
- OnePlus 11 vs. iPhone 14 Pro: ultrawide camera
- OnePlus 11 vs. iPhone 14 Pro: telephoto camera
- OnePlus 11 vs. iPhone 14 Pro: portrait mode
- OnePlus 11 vs. iPhone 14 Pro: night mode
- OnePlus 11 vs. iPhone 14 Pro: macro mode
- OnePus 11 vs. iPhone 14 Pro: selfie camera
- The OnePlus 11 camera is a game-changer
At first glance, you may not think that the $699 OnePlus 11 is much competition for the $999 iPhone 14 Pro. And while there are areas where the iPhone 14 Pro has a definite advantage, the OnePlus 11 holds its own a lot better than you might anticipate. For a closer look at the surprising results, here’s our full OnePlus 11 versus
OnePlus 11 vs. iPhone 14 Pro: camera specs
Before getting to the photos, we’ll start with the specs. The main camera on the OnePlus 11 is a 50MP sensor with an f/1.8 aperture and OIS (optical image stabilization). It’s joined by a 48MP ultrawide camera with a 115-degree field of view, plus a 32MP “portrait tele lens” capable of 2x optical zoom. The selfie camera is a 16MP fixed-focus sensor.
What about the iPhone 14 Pro? Its main camera is a 48MP sensor with an f/1.78 aperture. You also get a 12MP ultrawide camera with a 120-degree field of view, in addition to a 12MP telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom. The selfie camera is a 12MP sensor with autofocus capabilities.
OnePlus 11 vs. iPhone 14 Pro: main camera
We’ll kick things off by comparing the main camera, starting with the photo above of the building set against a gray, overcast afternoon in southwest Michigan. Both photos look great at first glance, though there are some clear differences the closer you look. The iPhone photo is cooler and more similar to how the scene really looked. The OnePlus 11 cranks up the saturation levels with greener grass and a brighter yellow for the traffic lines — and even amps up the colors of the building in the background. It’s not particularly accurate, but it’s not overkill, either — and it results in an image that pops more.
We see something very similar with the photo of my dog, Damon. Look at how different the color of his fur is between the two photos. Damon’s fur appears much warmer in the OnePlus 11’s shot, while his fur is a more muted tan in the iPhone 14 Pro image. The
Another great example of these differing colors is present in the picture of the mossy tree. Look at the OnePlus 11 image, and you get a very warm photo with an almost yellowish hue for the moss. Move your eyes to the iPhone 14 Pro photo, however, and it’s a different story. The shot is much cooler and — again — is more representative of what the tree actually looked like. That said, the
Interestingly, it’s a different story with the next picture of the early morning sunrise. As we saw in our Pixel 7 Pro versus iPhone 14 Pro camera comparison, the iPhone 14 Pro isn’t afraid to boost contrast levels and keep dark shadows in place. You see this on full display with the darker trees and buildings in the background, along with the bluer sky and much more intense sunrise in the right corner. The OnePlus 11 tries to eliminate these shadows to make the trees and buildings more visible, but in doing so, greatly reduces the drama of the scene.
I had originally called the iPhone 14 Pro the winner of this round, but after looking through the photos over and over again, I’m calling it a tie. Both phones get so much right on a technical level. The camera apps are easy to use, they capture photos quickly, and it’s difficult to take a truly bad photo with either one. It all comes down to your personal preference for color science. The
OnePlus 11 vs. iPhone 14 Pro: ultrawide camera
Moving to the ultrawide camera, we can draw many of the same comparisons that we did with the main camera. Even looking at the pond on (another) overcast Michigan afternoon, there are very different colors between the OnePlus 11 and iPhone 14 Pro. Look at the ground in the bottom-right corner and how much more saturated it is in the
Heading downtown and peering through the alley, there are highs and lows for both phones. I continue to appreciate the iPhone 14 Pro’s more lifelike colors, but the sky between the overheard lights is pretty clearly overexposed. The OnePlus 11’s image doesn’t have this problem. And when you zoom in a lot, the
I’m giving this round to the OnePlus 11. The iPhone 14 Pro’s ultrawide camera doesn’t always do a good job with bright/overcast skies, and it’s not uncommon for the sharpening to go a touch overboard. The
Winner: OnePlus 11
OnePlus 11 vs. iPhone 14 Pro: telephoto camera
The telephoto camera is a much different story. The iPhone 14 Pro’s 3x telephoto camera certainly isn’t the longest zoom length we’ve ever seen, but compared to the measly 2x telephoto camera on the OnePlus 11, it’s much, much better. You see this first with the picture of the glass building. The images were taken with the 2x zoom option on both phones. The
This conclusion also holds true when comparing 3x images from both phones. The iPhone 14 Pro uses its dedicated telephoto camera for 3x shots, while the OnePlus 11 simply does a digital zoom beyond its 2x optical limitation. This results in the building being significantly sharper in the
The third shot of the neon sign is another example of a 2x picture from the phones. The OnePlus 11 keeps making scenes warmer than they should be, and in a photo like this, it reduces the contrast of the bright, red lights against the faded white sign. It makes everything look faded in the
Winner: iPhone 14 Pro
OnePlus 11 vs. iPhone 14 Pro: portrait mode
Although the OnePlus 11’s telephoto camera isn’t great for taking photos of faraway subjects, it’s a lot stronger when used for portrait shots. We’ll begin the portrait section with a photo of me on a nature trail. As we’ve seen throughout this article, the iPhone 14 Pro delivers more natural and lifelike colors. The
We see this again with the portrait photo of my partner having a drink at a local bar. The iPhone 14 Pro blurred a lot of their shirt in addition to the background behind them, plus it makes their face appear super soft and lacking any detail. The OnePlus 11 retains the lost detail of their shirt, delivers a pleasing blur effect, and shows substantially more detail in their face. Both phones struggle with the hair, but it’s clear that the
How about a portrait photo of a non-human subject? I enlisted the help of Mr. Frog for this next picture, and the results are interesting. The iPhone 14 Pro holds its own a lot better than in the previous two shots, keeping the frog in focus while also producing a nice blur effect. The OnePlus 11 does the same, making this particular example a draw.
The portrait round goes to the OnePlus 11. Apple’s portrait mode has needed an upgrade for a while, and although you can get really good portrait shots with the iPhone 14 Pro, the
Winner: OnePlus 11
OnePlus 11 vs. iPhone 14 Pro: night mode
We’ve seen how the OnePlus 11 and iPhone 14 Pro fare during the daytime. But what happens to the phones when you turn the lights down? The first picture was taken at 9:30 p.m. during an overcast evening (surprise, surprise for the Midwest in January). With absolutely no sunlight to assist with the shot, the
In the second night mode example, we’re heading indoors to a dimly lit bar. This time, there are clear differences between the two phones. The OnePlus 11 keeps the scene a bit darker with more contrast, while the iPhone 14 Pro decides to brighten the scene significantly. The added brightness makes the iPhone photo jump out at you first, but upon closer inspection, I prefer how OnePlus handled the scene.
Surprisingly, it’s the OnePlus 11 that more accurately captured the color of my drink and the brightness of the bar. It also handles the spiced apples much better; the iPhone 14 Pro over-sharpens them and makes them appear rather unappetizing. There’s also much more detail in the glass and spear in the
Looking at these examples, and how the other lowlight photo of my partner above, I have to give the OnePlus 11 the win. The iPhone 14 Pro is by no means a bad performer with lowlight photography, but time and time again, I find myself preferring night mode shots from the
Winner: OnePlus 11
OnePlus 11 vs. iPhone 14 Pro: macro mode
Both the OnePlus 11 and iPhone 14 Pro have a macro mode you can use to take detailed, super-up-close pictures. Both phones achieve this using their respective ultrawide cameras, rather than a dedicated macro camera. Starting with the macro photo of the snow on the picnic table, the
The iPhone 14 Pro gets the edge again with the macro photo of my beanie. The OnePlus picture isn’t bad, but the iPhone delivers more contrast and sharper details — making it the better image of the two.
As you can probably tell, the iPhone 14 Pro wins this round. I’m happy that OnePlus has moved away from cheap 2MP macro cameras (like the OnePlus 10T had), but this is an area where the iPhone remains king.
Winner: iPhone 14 Pro
OnePus 11 vs. iPhone 14 Pro: selfie camera
Selfies may not be your thing, but they’re important to some people! And if you’re an avid selfie taker, there are some things about the OnePlus 11 and iPhone 14 Pro you should take note of. I took this selfie outdoors in portrait mode, and the
Another big advantage of the iPhone 14 Pro’s selfie camera? It has autofocus, allowing you to change the focus of your shot to make sure everything’s in focus the way it should be. The OnePlus 11’s selfie camera is a fixed-focus lens. In other words, it has one set focus distance you can’t change. It’s how most selfie cameras are, but it’s much less versatile compared to the
Winner: iPhone 14 Pro
The OnePlus 11 camera is a game-changer
So, where does that leave us? The OnePlus 11 won three rounds, the iPhone 14 Pro won three rounds, and there was one tie. Going into this camera comparison, that’s not at all how I expected things to go.
For years and years, camera performance has been a weak link on OnePlus smartphones — never quite matching competitors from Apple, Samsung, and others. But as this direct camera battle against the iPhone 14 Pro clearly shows, OnePlus has made huge strides toward changing that, and the OnePlus 11 has the best camera on a OnePlus phone yet.
The iPhone 14 Pro is still the go-to phone camera if you value accurate and lifelike colors above all else. OnePlus 11 photos have a distinct style to them, and while I initially found it off-putting, I’ve come around to really appreciating what the
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