Read or watch any phone review from the past three or four years, and you’ll notice a common sentiment among reviewers — phones aren’t really changing much anymore. From one generation to the next, we’re seeing incremental updates, with nothing really giving a genuine reason for upgrading your phone. People are upgrading less too, keeping their phones for longer, and — for the most part — buying either Apple or Samsung phones. At least in the UK and the US.

So what do you do when you’re not a mainstream manufacturer? The tactic employed by OnePlus as an example, is to launch a device with the most high-end hardware it can find, but price the phone below the cost of Samsung’s Galaxy S24 Ultra or Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro Max.

With the OnePlus 12 — there’s almost a sense that it’s now reached the pinnacle, offering what looks like an incremental update, but is actually much more than that. Let me explain.

Price, specs and availability


OnePlus 12


The OnePlus 12 provides stellar performance, a high-quality camera and battery life that’s sure to impress.


  • Beautiful bright display with smooth refresh rates
  • Great battery life
  • Speedy performance
  • Strong triple camera system

  • Doesn’t match Google/Samsung’s 7 year software commitment
  • Cameras could be better in low light
  • Accidental touch avoidance doesn’t always work

OnePlus 12


Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3

6.82-inch ProXDR LTPO, 3168 × 1440 (510ppi), 120Hz adaptive refresh


256GB or 512GB UFS 4.0


USB 3.2 Gen 1 (Type-C)

Operating System
OxygenOS 14 w/ Android 14

Front camera
32MP f/2.4 Sony IMX615

Rear camera
50MP f/1.6 Sony LYT-808 main w/OIS, 48MP f/2.2 Sony IMX581 ultrawide (114°), 64MP f/2.6 OmniVision OV64B 3x telephoto w/OIS

5G (no UWB), 4G, Wi-Fi 7, Bluetooth 5.4, NFC

164.3 × 75.8 × 9.2mm

Silky Black, Flowy Emerald


Charge speed
80W wired SUPERVOOC, 50W wireless AIRVOOC

IP Rating


RAM and Storage
12/256GB, 16/512GB

Micro SD card support


In-display fingerprint sensor

Release date
February 6, 2024

OnePlus 12 - top bezel

Design: Using dated ideas

Before actual skinny bezels were possible, tech manufacturers instead adopted the innovation of adding curved glass to the sides of phones, reducing the appearance of the bezel, without actually making the bezel that much smaller. This approach can make a big phone feel smaller, because the edges of the phone are slimmer than they would be if the screen was completely flat.

OnePlus has continued along this theme, even though the mainstream players have since moved back to flat screens with actually super skinny bezels. Just look at the latest Galaxy S24 series phones to see what properly thin display frames look like.

Still, while the curved look is getting a bit dated now, it does at least mean the OnePlus phone keeps a unique visual identity from the front. And the camera housing also serves its purpose. There’s no way you’re getting this confused with an iPhone, Pixel or Galaxy.

OnePlus 12 next to a OnePlus 11 camera side or back view

It’s a similar appearance to the OnePlus 11, except it’s now become more prominent to make space for larger camera sensors and more advanced optics.

My unit is the black version — with its frosted matte glass back — it has a certain grippy feel to it. That’s a good thing and ensures the phone isn’t as slippery as some of its glossy-backed predecessors. It’s also water-resistant, up to IP65 levels, which basically means it can withstand rain and splashing, but isn’t certified for being submerged in water.

OnePlus 12 - front - top down

Display: One of the best on the market

With a peak brightness of 4,500 nits, the OnePlus 12 display is one of the brightest screens I’ve ever seen on a smartphone. It’s incredibly bright, to the point where — in most indoor situations — the auto brightness would be set to about 25-30% of the available brightness. Auto-brightness is one of the things I appreciate most about OnePlus phones, because it changes so smoothly and reacts quickly to changes around you, you don’t even really notice the brightness is changing.

Otherwise, the screen sings all the right notes when it comes to specs and performance, like the fact it’s quadHD resolution and can adapt between 1 and 120Hz to ensure you not only get really smooth animations, but also that it reacts quickly to changes in the demands on screen, saving battery.

It’s a really detailed panel, fine text and curves are pin sharp, colors are vibrant but accurate, and it’s a wonderful display for just about any content you can throw on it. I’d prefer it if it was flat, so content didn’t disappear a little over those edges on the sides though. Also, I did find — despite the advancement of accidental touch detection — it would sometimes stop me from interacting with the display if my palm was gripping on to the edge.

And with OxygenOS 14 onboard, we see all the usual perks of OnePlus software. That includes the plethora of customization choices from icon packs to font styles, always-on display design, colors and scaling. Plus a bunch of handy tools like the battery optimization features that help you keep it running at peak capacity for as long as possible.

OnePlus 12 - front - in handHardware: All about longevity

Read through OnePlus’ marketing materials — or the reviewer’s guides we get handed to test these phones — and you’ll find a long list of interesting brand names like Trinity Engine, CPU Vitalisation, ROM Vitalisation, RAM Vitalisation, Hyper Boost, Hyper Rendering and Hyper Touch, among others.

What it all means — regardless of the needless names — is the internal hardware and firmware has been optimized to not only make it perform smoothly, without killing your battery, but it will perform for a long time. So the phone should act and feel new when you’re using it 2–3 years down the line. Obviously, I can’t test if that’s true. I’ve only had it for a couple of weeks, but this is one way OnePlus is trying to make its phones last for longer.

Surreal battery life

The same is true on the battery front. It’s a big 5,400mAh battery, and in my experience — on lighter days — I’d have no real trouble getting it to the end of a second day. For the right user, it can be a two-day battery, which is pretty amazing given the power available in this phone.

Thanks to the optimizations, gaming doesn’t seem to drain the battery all that heavily. And that could also be down to the fact that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 inside is more power-efficient than previous versions, but also because its thermals are more effectively managed thanks to the addition of some big cooling components like a redesigned vapor chamber.

Social media use, particularly with video playing, seems to be the way to drain the battery. Still, with 5.5 hours of screen usage split 50/50 between games and Threads/Instagram, I only used about 55% of the battery.

OnePlus 12 - camera closeupCamera: Is it the best phone for photographers?

I could spend an entire review just talking about cameras on the OnePlus 12, and maybe I will in future time-allowing, but there’s a huge amount to like about it, even if it’s not perfect.

It feels redundant to say the OnePlus 12 camera is the best OnePlus has ever had, since every new OnePlus has the best camera the company has ever had. But, with the increased size of the sensors on both the main and zoom cameras, the latter of which now has a periscope-style 3x optical zoom, this is one serious camera phone.

During the day, or any condition where there’s a good level of light, the primary camera takes photos with good detail, color and contrast. It still pushes those a little high, but in doing so produces vibrant, good-looking shots. Although OnePlus has stated it’s improved the previous lens hardware inside the camera to reduce lens flare, it’s still more than happy to create those distracting bands and lines across the display when there’s a direct light source in the shot. Especially with both the ultrawide and primary lenses.

Unlike previous years, the ultrawide camera seems to match the color of the primary camera pretty well, as does the zoom lens, so there’s no longer a feeling that you’ve got two poorer secondary and tertiary cameras. And the versatility offered thanks to the 3x optical equivalent zoom lens makes it a really strong all-round system.

With that zoom lens at 3x and even at 6x — which combines the optical with a digital zoom — the images retain sharpness, color and detail well. However, once you push past that into the realms of double figures at 20x and 30x, the images start to take on quite a nasty artificial sharpness to them, and a sense that the processing is smoothing out any noise to the point of zero texture, giving it the appearance of a painting. It obviously gets no better if you push as high as the 120x zoom limit. My advice: stick to 3x and 6x, anything over that looks quite ropey.

In the daytime, I found it matched the Pixel 8 Pro pretty well, delivering strong, detailed images. In the nighttime, or low light situations, it wasn’t quite as competent.

Like most modern phones, it’s equipped with an AI-powered night mode that automatically cancels out any handshake or movement while taking a longer exposure. However, OnePlus takes its night mode shots quickly, usually taking under a second to capture the light for the image. Compared to the Pixel 8 Pro, that meant it didn’t draw in anywhere near as much light from the shadowed, dark areas.

What that meant was, while the images were sharp, the shadows were dark, and the skies remained dark too, so you don’t get the effect of seeing the dramatic skies at nighttime. In some instances, having that dark and light contrast is preferable, as is the tendency to retain the warm street lighting over white, balancing it out to make it cool. But, it’d be great if OnePlus had a Pixel-like slider to increase the time of capture, to draw in more of that light from the shadows and dark skies.



In the end, the OnePlus 12 is an interesting phone. The camera system is a big play — especially having partnered with Hasselblad — attempting to attract photography enthusiasts and those ‘in the know’ about cameras.

Combining its photographic prowess with a device which has one of the best displays ever stuck on a phone, and one which is super speedy, long-lasting and refills an entire battery in under half an hour, and there’s very little to find fault with.

Iphone Store – 2024-02-09 03:37:41 /