Nothing Phone 2 vs. OnePlus 11: don’t pick the wrong phone

Nothing Phone 2 next to the OnePlus 11.
Joe Maring/Digital Trends

There are currently a lot of solid Android phones to pick up if you’re trying to stay away from some of the bigger names in the space, like Samsung and Google. Both Nothing and OnePlus have launched cutting-edge Android smartphones this year that are some of the best on the market, but making a purchasing decision between the two can be a little tricky.

Luckily, we’re here to help you compare and contrast both phones and better understand which one is right for you. Regardless of what you pick, you’ll be walking away with a great device. However, there are some major things that set the Nothing Phone 2 and the OnePlus 11 apart.

Nothing Phone 2 vs. OnePlus 11: specs

Nothing Phone 2 OnePlus 11
Size 162.1 x 76.4 x 8.6 mm (6.38 x 3 x 0.33 inches) 163.1 x 74.1 x 8.5 mm (6.42 x 2.92 x 0.33 inches)
Weight 201.2 grams (7.09 ounces) 205 grams (7.23 ounces)
Screen size 6.7-inch OLED 6.7-inch AMOLED
Screen resolution 2412 x 1080 pixels (394 pixels per inch), 120Hz refresh rate 1440 x 3216 pixels (525 pixels per inch), 120Hz refresh rate
Operating system Nothing OS 2.0 (based on Android 13) OxygenOS 13 (based on Android 13)
Storage 128GB, 256GB, 512GB 128GB, 256GB, 512GB
MicroSD card slot No No
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
RAM 8GB, 12GB 8GB, 12GB, 16GB
Camera 50MP main camera, 50MP ultrawide camera, 32MP selfie camera 50MP main camera, 32MP telephoto camera, 48MP ultrawide camera, 16MP selfie camera
Video Up to 4K at 60 frames per second (fps) Up to 8K at 24 frames per second (fps), 4K at 60 fps
Bluetooth version Bluetooth 5.3 Bluetooth 5.3
Ports USB-C USB-C
Fingerprint sensor Yes, in-display Yes, in-display
Water resistance IP54 IP64
Battery 4,700mAh

45W wired charging

15W wireless charging

5W reverse charging

5,000mAh

80W wired charging

App marketplace Google Play Store Google Play Store
Network support AT&T, T-Mobile Most major carriers
Colors

Dark gray, white

Titan Black, Eternal Green
Price Starting at $599 Starting at $699
Buy from Nothing OnePlus, other electronics retailers
Review Nothing Phone 2 review OnePlus 11 review

Nothing Phone 2 vs. OnePlus 11: design, display, and durability

A person holding the Nothing Phone 2, with the lights lit up.
The Nothing Phone 2 and the OnePlus 11 are on two opposite sides of current modern smartphone designs. The Nothing Phone 2 is following the
iPhone 14‘s lead with flat edges and curved corners, while the OnePlus 11 is much more rounded. When looking at their rears, the Nothing Phone 2 keeps both of its cameras in a horizontal line in the northwest corner, while the OnePlus 11 has a large circular raised island for its three cameras and flashlight.

Obviously, design taste will vary from person to person. However, the Nothing Phone 2 was designed to be a stylish luxury device, a detail that’s clear when simply looking at the phone’s LED panels and clear-backed design. The OnePlus 11, on the other hand, is a little less stylish. It’s a fantastic-looking smartphone, and both feel great to hold, but the Nothing Phone 2 is clearly more unique.

Someone holding the OnePlus 11.
Joe Maring/Digital Trends

The displays for both phones are sized identically at 6.7 inches with refresh rates of 120hz, offering a smooth user experience. However, their resolutions and PPIs differ slightly. The Nothing Phone 2 has a resolution of 2412 x 1080 and 394ppi (pixels per inch), while the OnePlus 11 has a resolution of 1440 x 3216 and 525ppi. On average, this means that the OnePlus 11 offers a sharper, crisper image with nearly 150 more pixels per inch. Both phones have excellent OLED screens, but the OnePlus 11 can display nicer images on it.

The OnePlus 11's screen.
OnePlus 11 Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

When it comes to their durability, neither phone is exactly up to the standards set by other major flagships with their IP ratings. The Nothing Phone 2 is rated IP54, which means it’s dust-protected and splash resistant, but isn’t dust-tight or fully waterproof, meaning that it should avoid water at all costs and shouldn’t be exposed to small solid particles like dusty or sandy environments. The OnePlus 11 is rated IP64, which means it shouldn’t have any issues with dust as it’s rated to be dust-tight. However, the phone has the same rating as the Phone 2 when it comes to its water resistance.

Choosing a winner for this category comes down to preference. The OnePlus 11 has a nicer screen and is a bit more durable than the Nothing Phone 2. However, the Phone 2’s design is just so much more enticing. With that said, this round goes to the OnePlus 11 based on the fact that design is simply an aesthetic element and not something that will impact the user experience at all.

Winner: OnePlus 11

Nothing Phone 2 vs. OnePlus 11: performance, battery life, and charging

Playing Asphalt 9: Legends on the OnePlus 11.
OnePlus 11 Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Both the Nothing Phone 2 and the OnePlus 11 are outfitted with some of the best processors on the market, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 and the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, respectively. While both chipsets are excellent, the OnePlus 11’s chip is the most recent iteration of Qualcomm’s processors, while the Nothing Phone 2’s is from a previous generation. This means that the OnePlus 11 will see slightly better performance than the Nothing Phone 2.

That said, the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 could hardly be described as slow, so if you end up picking up the device, you would only begin noticing an issue if you directly compared it to something with a more recent competitor. Because both phones have displays with 120Hz refresh rates, they both feel snappy and responsive when being used, especially when paired with their chipsets.

The battery in the OnePlus 11 is 5,000mAh, a solid-sized cell that’s a bit bigger than the 4,700mAh one found in the Nothing Phone 2. In our testing, the OnePlus 11 lasts a bit longer per charge. The Nothing Phone 2 easily gets through a full day or day and a half, depending on your use, while it’s more likely you’ll make it through two full days per charge on the OnePlus 11.

The Nothing Phone 2's home screen.
Nothing Phone 2 Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

What about charging? The Nothing Phone 2 offers 45W wired charging, 15W wireless charging, and 5W reverse charging. Those charging specs are pretty standard for what’s being seen in the current crop of flagship Android phones, and the fact that it supports wireless charging and reverse charging is a huge plus. The OnePlus 11, on the other hand, can only be charged using a wired connection. That said, it supports 100W charge speeds internationally and 80W in the U.S., which means that charging times for the OnePlus 11 are drastically shorter than what’s possible with the Nothing Phone 2.

The lack of wireless charging is certainly a knock against the OnePlus 11. However, the fact that it can go from 0% to 100% in roughly 25 minutes means that you hardly even need it in the first place. When you add that together with the slightly better performance and more robust battery life, the OnePlus 11 ends up taking another win.

Winner: OnePlus 11

Nothing Phone 2 vs. OnePlus 11: cameras

Nothing Phone 2 next to the OnePlus 11.
Joe Maring/Digital Trends

The OnePlus 11 has a tri-camera setup, meaning that it offers more photo-taking options than the Nothing Phone 2’s dual-camera array. That said, some of the features that it boasts aren’t exactly selling points in practice, such as the 2x telephoto lens, which is disappointing in a market where Samsung and Google have smartphones with 10x and 5x optical zooms, respectively.

The Nothing Phone 2’s 50MP main and 50 MP ultrawide lenses do take excellent photos, especially for the price, offering great colors and consistency across both lenses — something that the Nothing Phone 1 struggled with. The cameras are at their worst in low-light environments, which is a shame, but it’s something that a lot of phones tend to struggle with.

Conversely, the OnePlus 11’s camera also struggles a bit in low light settings, but it does have a telephoto lens, even though it’s just 2x. The macro mode that was marketed to offer high-quality pictures of smaller objects doesn’t always produce excellent images. However, the main 50MP lens and the 48MP ultrawide lens are just as good as the two lenses on the Phone 2.

One might be able to argue that, given the fact that it has an additional camera on its rear, the OnePlus 11 offers a more versatile camera experience, but given the number of features that come with a caveat or mixed recommendation, it’s about on par with the Nothing Phone 2.

In terms of video quality, the OnePlus 11 is able to capture 8K footage at 24 fps which is a step above the 4K footage that the Nothing Phone 2 gets. 8K footage takes up a lot of storage space, however, so it’s something of a blessing and a curse and not something that most people will ever be using. That said, it’s still a great option for those looking to film high-quality videos using the phone.

With its telephoto camera and higher-resolution video recording, the OnePlus 11 barely gets by with another win in this category — though just barely. If you’re mainly interested in taking photos with the main and ultrawide cameras, it’s hard to go wrong with either phone.

Winner: OnePlus 11

Nothing Phone 2 vs. OnePlus 11: software and updates

The Nothing Phone 2's home screen.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Both the Nothing Phone 2 and the OnePlus 11 run their own custom operating systems that are based on Android 13. The Nothing Phone 2 runs NothingOS, which fits very much in line with the physical design of the Nothing Phone, placing a high amount of emphasis on looking minimalist and analog. The OnePlus 11 runs OxygenOS. It’s a bit more customized than Nothing OS, though it also includes lots of extra features — including a more robust always-0n display, a Zen Mode app to improve your digital well-being, and more.

When it comes to software updates, OnePlus has guaranteed that the OnePlus 11 will receive four major Android updates and five years of security updates. The Nothing Phone 2 is guaranteed three years of Android updates and four years of security updates. In terms of longevity, the OnePlus 11 obviously will be supported for an additional year when compared to the Nothing Phone 2, but their life cycles are pretty standard for what should be expected from modern flagship devices.

Someone using the OnePlus 11. The display is on and showing the home screen.
Joe Maring/Digital Trends

Deciding which phone wins this category is something of a tossup and mostly comes down to preference in the operating system.

If you’re looking for a more robust Android experience, then the OnePlus 11 will satisfy you (and it helps that it’ll receive longer support than the Nothing Phone 2), but those who have bought into the minimalist, a-typical look that Nothing uses for its hardware and software will likely enjoy Nothing OS more.

Winner: Tie

Nothing Phone 2 vs. OnePlus 11: special features

The Nothing logo and lights on the Nothing Phone 2.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

We’ve already mentioned the lights on the Nothing Phone 2’s backside, but they’re more than just fancy set dressing. In fact, there’s a surprising amount you can do with them.

Their main function is that they’ll light up and flash for notifications you receive — including phone calls, texts, and more. Nothing designed a load of custom ringtones and notification sounds for you to use, each with its own unique sound and light pattern. You can also use the lights as a timer, to see the current volume of the phone, check your charging progress, and more. Some people may find it all a bit gimmicky, but we have to give Nothing credit as they make the Nothing Phone 2 wholly unique from any other smartphone.

A close-up shot of the alert slider on the OnePlus 11.
Joe Maring/Digital Trends

Comparatively, the OnePlus 11 has no such lights. It does have OnePlus’s iconic alert slider, allowing you to cycle between ring/vibrate/silent modes with the flick of a switch. It’s cool and convenient, though nowhere near as impressive as the light show you get on the Nothing Phone 2.

Winner: Nothing Phone 2

Nothing Phone 2 vs. OnePlus 11: price and availability

Nothing Phone 2 next to the OnePlus 11.
Joe Maring/Digital Trends

The Nothing Phone 2 is available for purchase exclusively from the Nothing website. There are three different storage and memory options available: $599 with 128GB internal storage and 8GB RAM, $699 with 256GB internal storage and 12GB RAM, and $799 with 512GB internal storage and 12GB RAM.

The OnePlus 11 is available for purchase directly from the OnePlus website or from select electronics retailers such as Walmart and Amazon. There are two different storage and memory options available: $699 with 128GB internal storage and 8GB RAM and $799 with 256GB internal storage and 16GB RAM.

Overall winner: OnePlus 11

Someone holding the OnePlus 11.
Joe Maring/Digital Trends

Although the Nothing Phone 2 packs a lot of value, the OnePlus 11 slightly outperforms it in most areas thanks to its more up-to-date processor, its incredible charging speeds, and its high-resolution OLED screen. That said, the OnePlus 11 doesn’t completely blow the Nothing Phone 2 out of the water in any area except for its charging speeds (but even then, that might be debatable for fans of wireless charging), so much of the deciding factor is going to come down to individual preference.

As mentioned above, the Nothing Phone 2 was designed to be interesting to look at with its clear back and LED accents, so if that’s something that appeals to you, you won’t find it with the OnePlus 11’s design. Similarly, Nothing OS has a unique take on Android that sets it apart from OxygenOS.

Some things aren’t about preference, however, and come down to the pound-for-pound differences between the devices. For example, the OnePlus 11’s 6.7-inch display offers a crisper image quality with its 1440 x 3216 resolution and 525ppi. Additionally, the fact that the OnePlus 11 can record 8K footage at 24fps makes it a useful tool for anyone who’s looking to film extremely high-quality video — as long as they have a separate hard drive to store the footage on.

The back of the Nothing Phone 2 with the lights activated.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Purchasing a phone is also a pretty large investment for most, so knowing that it’ll be supported with updates for several years is important. In that regard, the OnePlus 11 is going to be supported for a full year longer than the Nothing Phone 2, which is rated to be less durable than the OnePlus 11.

So, what’s the conclusion? If you can afford the extra $100 to get the OnePlus 11 over the Nothing Phone 2, it’s likely money well spent. But if you’re trying to spend as little as possible, or you just want a phone that stands out from the crowd, the Nothing Phone 2 is a fantastic choice in its own right.

These are two of the best Android smartphones released in 2023, and you really can’t go wrong either way.


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