You'll be able to buy a OnePlus 11 next month, but you won't be able to get a Pro version. That's because, according to OnePlus China president Li Jie, replying to a curious user on Weibo (via PhoneArena), there's no Pro model being made.
While the OnePlus 10 Pro was also a solo act when it launched last year, this will be the first time in four years we've not had a OnePlus flagship with a Pro title.
We had been wondering where the Pro model this since the initial OnePlus 11 launch only showed off one phone, especially in light of pre-release rumors (via leaker Max Jambor) that there was to be only a vanilla OnePlus 11 available. A message from the company's president, albeit through informal means, seems to be pretty inarguable proof we're not getting a Pro, and I think that it's cause for celebration.
No Pro? No problem
OnePlus started launching a single phone a year, but since then its annual line-up of phones has expanded enormously, particularly since the introduction of more expensive Pro models in 2019 and the cheaper Nord line-up in 2020. While more choice is generally a good thing for consumers, something I mentioned in the past when I argued that OnePlus needed a base OnePlus 10 when it only had a 10 Pro on sale, only a few of the enlarged OnePlus phone family have proven to be actually good and worthwhile purchases.
If OnePlus concentrates on fewer models and goes back to its historic tendency of "flagship killers" — high-spec phones priced noticeably lower than competitors — then it'll probably be a wise move long-term. Even though that could mean it can't compete as directly with entry-level Samsung or Google flagships, it can still appeal to potential customers on value alone.
Users concerned that a basic OnePlus won't have the quality and features they're looking for may take some solace from Li's comment that the OnePlus 11 will "be a phone in place" of the Pro, suggesting OnePlus is considering the 11 a pro-grade device. What's more, the already-confirmed features of the phone, like its 100W charging, 6.7-inch 120Hz display and reworked Hasselblad-tuned cameras (including a new 32MP 2x zoom portrait lens on the back), also indicate this is a sequel to the OnePlus 10 Pro in all but name.
OnePlus does bring out a mid-life refresh to its numbered flagship models each year in the form of a T model, so we'll likely see another OnePlus 11 model at some point this year. It may have a different focus for its specs though, similar to how the OnePlus 10 Pro had high-quality cameras and display, while the OnePlus 10T offered a more powerful CPU and quicker charging.
We're looking forward to trying out the OnePlus 11 when it launches in the U.S., U.K. and Australia on February 7. Even without a Pro model, the phone looks on paper like it's worthy of a high spot on the best Android phones guide, despite tough competition from the Google Pixel 7 Pro and the likely dangerous rival of the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S23 series.