OnePlus has long since passed its prime from being the “flagship killer” in the Android space. It slowly shifted from offering value-for-money smartphones to full-on flagships with secondary mid-range iterations.
OnePlus launched the OnePlus 12 on December 11, 2023, making it the last big release of 2023. But with all that it has under the belt, OnePlus is aiming for the fastest Android experience in 2024.
Design and build quality: Same old design with a dash of character
By all means, the OnePlus 12 looks exactly the same as its predecessor, the OnePlus 11. The merging round camera housing and all sides curved front reminisce the somewhat iconic design introduced with the OnePlus 10. The front glass features Gorilla Glass Victus 2 with the rear featuring standard Gorilla Glass. The back now has a marble-like finish with a glossy inlay on the camera housing.
The device comes in at 164.3 mm by 75.8 mm by 9.2 mm and has a hefty weight of 220g. Ports and buttons are all standard as usual. The power button, volume rockers, sim slot, and alert slider are all placed in their desired position. The phone comes with IP65 water and dustproofing rather than the standard IP68 seen on most flagship smartphones. In a sense, the design of the OnePlus 12 adds a minor refinement over their proven strategy.
Display: A new standard for brightness
OnePlus has recently been marred with green line controversies on its panel. And it seems like OnePlus has decided to completely overhaul the display tech with the OnePlus 12. The 6.82-inch LTPO AMOLED ProXDR panel comes with 1B colours, 120Hz refresh rate, Dolby Vision, and HDR10+ support. OnePlus has used a diamond pixel layout compared to the traditional square layout. It has a 1440 by 3168 pixels resolution with 510 ppi density and a 19.8:9 aspect ratio. The all-around curve gives the panel about 90.8% screen-to-body ratio. The display also supports 100% Display P3 and 10-bit color depth.
What’s interesting here is the brightness of the panel. The typical brightness holds at 600 nits and up to 1600 nits at HBM. But the panel can crank up to 4500 nits in peak mode. That’s more than any smartphone out there in the market by a long mile. And its something that won’t be exercised even in the harshest sunlight. On the flip side, the panel supports 2160 Hz PWM dimming for ultra-low brightness for night-time use. All things considered, the display is definitely a highlight for the OnePlus 12.
Camera: Same old OnePlus
The camera has consistently been a point of contention with OnePlus smartphones. And unfortunately, things haven’t really changed much. There’s a triple camera setup on the OnePlus 12 with the main camera being an updated 50 MP sensor. It has an f/1.6 aperture and a 23mm wide-angle opening. The additional sensors are a 64 MP, f/2.6, 70mm periscope lens with up to 3x zoom and a 48 MP, f/2.2, 14mm, 114˚ ultrawide shooter. The front camera is a 32 MP, f/2.4, 21mm wide-angle shooter.
All the sensors are stacked with features like multidirectional PDAF, OIS, and gyro-EIS. OnePlus has been partnering with Hasselblad for a customised colour calibration. The pictures on the OnePlus 12 can be best described as slightly better than that of the 11 with somewhat similar flaws. Images have slight exposure issues with an average dynamic range. The camera is also post-processing heavy to the point that what you see on the screen grossly differs from what’s processed after the shutter click.
The videography of the rear cameras stay the same at 8K@24fps, 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/240/480fps. The selfie shooter can capture a maximum of 4K footage at 30fps. However, the exposure issue and low light videography leaves much to be desired from the Oneplus 12.
Processor and performance: The fastest Android yet
On paper, the OnePlus 12 is powered by Qualcomm SM8650-AB Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 based on the 4 Nm architecture. The octa-core processor has a 1x3.3 GHz Cortex-X4 & 5x3.2 GHz Cortex-A720 & 2x2.3 GHz Cortex-A520 chip design with Adreno 750 GPU. There’s an additional Pixelwork X7 co-chip specifically designed for hyper-rendering games.
The 12 will be available globally with OxygenOS 14. While OxygenOS went through a significant revamp, features like quick access to apps, fluid cloud (dynamic island equivalent), automatic answer, and anti-peeping notification all feel like a useful addition to an already resourceful OS.
The combination of software optimization and a powerful processor brings fluidity to the 12 unlike any other. The seamlessness goes to the point that every interaction feels like a singular experience rather than a separate move. And it is all thanks to the new processing distribution system called Trinity Engine.
The hyper-rendering works extremely well and adds a new immersive experience to the games. Every leading title like Asphalt 9, PUBG, and Genshin Impact ran without any issue. Heating also won’t be an issue as the OnePlus 12 features the largest vapour cooling chamber ever to feature on a smartphone.
All of these features come together to present a phone that’s faster than anything seen ever before.
Battery and charge time: A day’s battery under 30 minutes
The battery on the OnePlus 12 is a 5400 mAh one. The phone features 100W SUPERVOOC and 50W AIRVOOC for wired and wireless charging respectively. The wired charging can take the device from 0 to 100 in 26 minutes and the wireless one can do the same in 55W. It also offers a 10W reverse wireless charging support.
OnePlus even built a charge management chip on the device to optimize the charging for maximum battery health retention.
Pros and Cons
- Great display with absolute peak brightness
- Slightly revamped design
- High performance and optimization
- Great battery life and fast charging
- Moderately performing camera
- A bit pricey.
The OnePlus 12 is available in 12/256 GB and 12/512 GB configurations. The price of the variants are 64,999 INR and 69,999 INR respectively. That roughly translates to about 85,819 BDT and 92,420 BDT respectively.
The OnePlus 12 builds on its reputation of being one of the fastest and smoothest Android experiences out there. The subtle design changes and utility-focused OS design combined with a gorgeous design may as well hint at a OnePlus second coming. Not to mention the high level of optimisation in both processor and battery tech.
But the one thing the OnePlus 12 misses out on is the camera. It is not bad by any means but it’s in no way on par with the latest iPhone or Samsung, OnePlus’ direct competitors in this price range. So OnePlus 12 tells a similar story like its predecessor, a supremely powerful device that doesn’t quite seem to get its camera game right.