OnePlus 12: I used it. You should too — best affordable flagship phone

My take


OnePlus 12: What it is and Specs?

The OnePlus 12 boasts an impressive processor and outstanding battery life, offering compelling reasons to consider this device.

Pros:

  • Extremely powerful processor
  • Stellar battery life
  • Hyperfast charging
  • Big, vibrant display

Cons:

  • Disappointing camera performance
  • Rivals offer longer software support

Specifications

  • Display: 6.82-inch AMOLED; 3,168×1,440 pixels; 1-120Hz adaptive refresh rate
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3
  • RAM/Storage: 12GB RAM + 256GB; 16GB RAM + 512GB
  • Battery: 5,400 mAh (dual 2,700 mAh)
  • Charging: 80W wired; 100W wired (outside US); 50W wireless
  • Cameras: 50MP (wide), 48MP (ultrawide), 32MP (telephoto)
  • Front Camera: 32MP
  • Video Capture: 8K
  • Software: Android 14
  • Notable Features: IP64 rating, 4 years of software, 5 years of security updates

OnePlus 12: Features, Design and Performance

Design:
The OnePlus 12 boasts an underrated design that captures attention with its stunning aesthetics. The circular camera hump, metal trim sides, and textured casing not only contribute to its visual appeal but also prevent smudges. The phone’s narrower size enhances one-handed usability, distinguishing it from larger competitors like the Galaxy S24 Ultra and iPhone 15 Pro Max. Minor changes, such as the repositioned silent switch, maintain the overall design language. The inclusion of an IR blaster on the top edge adds functionality as a universal remote.

The only concern lies in the increased weight, making the phone feel slightly top-heavy and prompting cautious handling.

Super-bright 2K 120Hz ProXDR Display/One Plus

Display:
The OnePlus 12 features a 6.82-inch 2K ProXDR display, offering delightful visuals at a competitive price point. With a claimed peak brightness of 4,500 nits, the ProXDR display performs well in direct sunlight, ensuring crystal-clear visibility. The 120Hz display refresh rate enhances the gaming experience, providing smooth transitions and fluid visuals. Notably, the Aqua Touch technology adds increased screen sensitivity when wet, catering to users who occasionally bring their phones into wet environments.

Camera:
The OnePlus 12 aims to overcome historical camera limitations, introducing a 4th Gen Hasselblad Camera for Mobile system. This setup includes a main 50MP camera, 48MP ultrawide, and a 64MP periscope camera with 3x optical zoom. The main camera produces excellent results with sharp details and realistic colors, though the difference from the OnePlus 11 may be subtle. The 48MP ultrawide and front-facing cameras perform well, maintaining exposure balance and capturing realistic skin tones, respectively.

The standout improvement lies in the new 64MP periscope camera, offering 3x optical zoom and 6x in-sensor zoom without sacrificing detail. While low-light performance may underexpose scenes, the OnePlus 12 excels in noise reduction, delivering sharper images.

Video recording capabilities, including 8K support and various shooting modes, contribute to a well-rounded camera experience. However, the OnePlus 12 misses out on AI-assisted photo and video editing features that some competitors offer.

Performance:
Equipped with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset, the OnePlus 12 delivers responsive performance for basic operations, gaming, and graphics processing. Despite lower Geekbench scores in single-core and multi-core tests, real-world performance remains impressive, handling graphically intensive titles flawlessly. The 120Hz refresh rate contributes to a smooth user experience.

Snapdragon® 8 Gen 3, 16GB RAM

Battery Life and Charging:
Wireless charging makes a satisfying return to the OnePlus 12, boasting an impressive 50W charging rate. With a 5,000 mAh battery, the phone confidently lasts through a working day with about 25% capacity remaining on average. Benchmark testing is expected to reveal the true endurance, with the power efficiency of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 likely contributing to extended battery life.

Software:
While OxygenOS 14 maintains a clean and modern interface with special features like the smart sidebar, it falls short in AI integration compared to competitors. OnePlus plans to introduce Google’s Magic Compose and Emojify features to enhance messaging and emoji creation, respectively, by leveraging generative AI. However, OxygenOS 14 lacks significant updates from its predecessor, missing an opportunity to provide a more enhanced user experience.

Verdict:


The OnePlus 12 stands out as a highly competitive flagship, offering tremendous value with the reintroduction of wireless charging and an extended telephoto range. Despite falling behind in AI features, its considerably lower price makes it an appealing choice for those seeking a top-notch flagship without breaking the bank. The OnePlus 12 proves to be an affordable flagship that excels in design, display, camera, performance, and battery life.

Get it on Amazon or Add surround sound to your Oneplus at home.

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