A couple of years ago, I made the decision to switch to Android. The main reason was that the iPhone with the newly updated PTA tax was just too much for me to justify as a phone in my pocket. Pretty sure I wasn’t alone in making such a decision, though most people went to the path of getting used iPhones – I wanted to make a pilgrimage over Apple’s walled garden into the free land of Android.
Or so I thought, see once I started looking for an equivalent phone to switch over from my dusty old Xs Max (still working for my wife by the way) – I couldn’t find a good replacement. All the Samsung flagships were plagued by the Exynos chipset; Xiaomi/Redmi/Poco (/ because these are all one company) were constantly sold out on their site (not sure if true or tactic); Oppo/Vivo/Realme (/ again, all one company) apparently don’t sell the latest flagship phones in Pakistan; and there are basically no other brands with distribution here.
Then it happened, I came across the official OnePlus flagship store on Daraz (don’t think it is up anymore), and having heard good things about it, I decided to buy one for myself (OnePlus 8T) and haven’t since looked back.
This was right around the time, when Oppo decided to merge OnePlus back into themselves and forced ColorOS which upset basically 100% of the OnePlus fanbase. I also got frustrated over forcing to change a lot of good habits I got used to with the very clean Oxygen OS prior to this. With time though, ColorOS has improved to the point where I think it is the best OS after Vanilla Android.
Enough history lesson then, let’s talk about OnePlus 11 and why am I writing this article.
Why OnePlus 11 Needs to Exist
If you are into watching every tech review as soon as a product launches, you will hear this a lot
“OnePlus has been very inconsistent recently but the 11 is a good option among many other options”
“OnePlus is really good but the software could be better, there are better options out there”
“The camera is bad and you can get a Pixel”
So on and so forth, the thing that ticks me off though is the fact that there aren’t a lot of ‘options’ unless you are living in 4 countries in the world. The sad reality is that most brands don’t bring their flagships to countries like Pakistan anymore due to low sales because of taxation and low demand.
Which is fine in itself, but for people who are actually smart with their purchases and can save up to get something long-lasting, there are basically no other ‘options’ and it pains me to see when every reviewer just ignores the fact that OnePlus is a really important company since it is the only one left which only has flagships in its lineup (yes I know Nord exists, but it is a separate entity).
The Best Thing About OnePlus 11 in Pakistan
Now I have mentioned this in one of the articles before but my tinfoil hat theory is that for some reason, Chinese brand phones get away with PTA tax or they are being heavily subsidized by the government. Because if you consider the US MSRP vs what they are available in the Pakistani market for, you immediately notice that besides Samsung (Korean) and Apple (American) – all other smartphone brands (Chinese) are actually selling their devices for cheaper than the US market MSRP – how, possible.
I got the OnePlus 10 Pro about 6 months ago, for about 190,000 PKR (Roughly 800 USD at the time) – considering the PTA tax is supposed to be about 300 USD on any device above 500 USD – then how is it possible that I can buy the OnePlus 10 Pro for 800 USD, with dual SIM PTA approval when it’s US MSRP was around 800 USD, compare to equivalent Samsung and Apple flagships, which were locally available for around 1200 USD and 1400 USD respectively at the time – so I saved 400-600 USD on a similarly specced device.
So not only do you get the phone cheaper because it is backed by a Chinese brand, but you also save extra because iPhones and Samsungs have high dealer pricing margins monopoly cash moneys.
OnePlus 11 has an even lower launch MSRP in US, 699 USD – so I can easily expect this to be around 800-900 USD again with PTA approval through proper channels. If the recent dollar inflation is to say anything about anything, iPhones and Samsungs will basically be assets from now on.
OnePlus 11 is the Best-Value Smartphone
Budget phone discussion aside, if you have read this far, you need to understand that there is no other smartphone out there you can get for this price, that will last you the next 5 years.
Just look at the specs I mean:
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 (4 nm)
- 6.7 inches LTPO3 Fluid AMOLED, 120Hz, Dolby Vision, HDR10+, 500 nits (typ), 800 nits (HBM), 1300 nits (peak) display
- 128GB 8GB RAM Starting
- Decent triple camera setup
- 80W charging
- Wifi 7!, yes 7 lol
- UFS 4.0 (128 above models) and very fast memory
This is a tech website after all but the point I want to drive home with this article is that if you are a tech enthusiast on the edge of frustration, do give OnePlus a try.
If you are an iPhone user and cannot bother getting the new one, make the switch while you can.
And if you are a western reviewer reading this, please be aware of the fact that options are not equal for all.
The fact is that OnePlus is going all out with price to value ratio with the 11, if this fails, I really don’t think there will be a future where I can recommend OnePlus ever again. So let’s hope we get the Google Pixels, Asus Zenphones, and the Nothing phones of the world over here soon as ‘options’.
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The fields of Product Management, Business Operations, and Consumer Tech are my passion.
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