Forget the OnePlus 11T — the OnePlus 11 is the only phone you need

Back view of OnePlus 11
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Now that the OnePlus 11 is available to purchase, my mind is already looking ahead to what's next for 2023 — that's just the nature of the job. I like the latest flagship from OnePlus, especially considering its value proposition. But if you know the phone maker, then you're probably wondering if there's a OnePlus 11T on the horizon.

We don't know OnePlus' full plans for the rest of the year, but I do know that the T series has long presented an issue for prospective phone buyers. Starting with the OnePlus 3T all the way back in 2016, the company released two phones a year, roughly six months or so apart.

At first, the T models were supposed to introduce some big changes over the non-T variants. The OnePlus 3T got the Snapdragon 821, which offered more power and efficiency over the OnePlus 3's Snapdragon 820. The OnePlus 5T showed off the 21:9 aspect ratio, offering slimmer bezels than the OnePlus 5. And when the OnePlus 6 introduced an iPhone X-style notch for the front camera, the OnePlus 6T changed it up and brought a teardrop-shaped notch.

But I'm telling you right now we don't need a OnePlus 11T. Here's why. 

The problem with the T series

After the OnePlus 6T, the T series stopped providing meaningful upgrades with the OnePlus 9T getting canceled. The most recent entry in this long-running lineup was the OnePlus 10T in 2022, which, like the OnePlus 3T, brought a newer and more powerful chipset, the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 — and it dropped the much-beloved alert slider.

I've always thought the T series introduced a sense of purchasing paralysis. You could buy the mainline OnePlus phone at the start of the year, but then the T would come out six months later.

So what that does that mean for 2023, and why do I think that we no longer need the T series? (In fact, I would be glad to see it die.) The lack of a OnePlus 11T would lead to a more streamlined portfolio for OnePlus, something I've asked for before. It be a return to the company's older days, dating back to the OnePlus 2. Remember that despite the lack of a OnePlus 9T, we got the OnePlus 9 to complement the OnePlus 9 Pro.

That's right, we haven't had a single OnePlus flagship in a year since 2015, back when the phone maker was but an upstart underdog with asinine marketing tactics.

I've always thought the T series introduced a sense of purchasing paralysis in some people. You could buy the mainline OnePlus phone at the start of the year, but then the T would come out six months later. Similarly, you could buy the T and the next entry in the primary series would launch early the following year. It created a vicious cycle of FOMO, something you only really saw with Sony's two-flagships-per-year strategy.

OnePlus 11T outlook

Back view of OnePlus 11

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

I have nothing substantial to back up my thought that maybe OnePlus has finally come around to putting the T series out to pasture. The OnePlus 11 is a good phone, and it's all we need from OnePlus this year. I do not think that a OnePlus 11T would add anything meaningful, especially with the OnePlus 10T to serve an example. 

I will almost always encourage a streamlined portfolio that offers products that meet the needs and demands of the target market. OnePlus' recent strategy has created too much noise, so I grew more hopeful when we didn't see a OnePlus 11 Pro. We instead got a single flagship that set out to offer as much as it could as a killer price.

It's time for the T series to lie in its final resting place. It long ago served its purpose and we just don't need it anymore.

Jordan Palmer
Phones Editor

Jordan is the Phones Editor for Tom's Guide, covering all things phone-related. He's written about phones for over six years and plans to continue for a long while to come. He loves nothing more than relaxing in his home with a book, game, or his latest personal writing project. Jordan likes finding new things to dive into, from books and games to new mechanical keyboard switches and fun keycap sets. Outside of work, you can find him poring over open-source software and his studies.

  • Masong397
    You are forgetting the most notable design difference between the "T" series phones. The flat screen. I'm waiting and hoping for a OnePlus 11T because I want a flat screen. Doing away with the normal OnePlus 11 and keeping the "T" series would be better in my opinion.