OnePlus 12 Review: The Return Of The Flagship Killer

Enter The OnePlus 12, With A Beautiful Display, Excellent Cameras, And Superb Value

OnePlus
12 – Starting At $799, Find It On Amazon

The OnePlus 12 is a no-compromise Android flagship that offers a beautiful display, excellent cameras, outstanding battery life, and superb value.


hot flat

  • Unrivaled value
  • Gorgeous display
  • Excellent cameras
  • Outstanding battery life
  • Fast wired/wireless charging, charger in box
  • Clean and responsive software

    Sharp,
    bright display with 120Hz refresh

    ×Fast
    80W charging and included plug

    ×Excellent
    performance with Snapdragon 8 Gen 2

    ×Alert
    slider is back

not flat

  • No IP 68 rating
  • No mmWave 5G




Hot Hardware Editor's Choice Award

OnePlus is on a roll lately. Last year’s OnePlus 11 ($699) was a well rounded flagship that ticked (almost) all the right boxes. But the OnePlus Open that followed was a revelation. It showed that OnePlus – together with parent Oppo – could deliver a best-in-class book-style folding phone and still undercut the competition on price. Not only did the OnePlus Open earn our Editor’s Choice award, it was our favorite handset of 2023.

Enter the OnePlus 12 ($799), the company’s new flagship. After the OnePus Open’s slam dunk, expectations are high, and while the OnePlus 12 is not a folding phone, it does have big shoes to fill. But don’t be misled by the lack of “Pro” or “Ultra” branding. The OnePlus 12’s specs are hot – 4500-nit quad-HD display, triple 50/48/64MP shooters, Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, 5400mAh battery, 80W wired and 50W wireless charging – the list goes on.

Clearly, the OnePlus 12 is a beast. It competes head-on with today’s best flagships, including the Pixel 8 Pro ($999), Galaxy S24 Ultra ($1299), and iPhone 15 Pro Max ($1199), but costs hundreds less. So, is there a catch? Does the user experience live up to the lofty specs? Is the OnePlus 12 the new flagship killer? Read our full review to find out.

OnePlus 12 Features And Design

Last year’s OnePlus 11 boasted a unique new camera pod containing four separate lenses (for the three shooters and the LED flash) mounted behind a single circular glass cover inside a half-square, half-round metal island that blended into the frame along the right side. The OnePlus 12’s camera bump is similar, but more pronounced and somewhat reminiscent of the OnePlus Open’s – complete with sparkles and Hasselblad branding.

Color and flicker sensors have replaced the LED flash behind one of the lenses alongside the three shooters (50MP main, 48MP ultrawide, and 64MP periscope telephoto). The LED flash has been relocated outside the circular glass cover, to the top left of the metal island. As for the rest of the phone, the frame is made of aluminum, with Gorilla Glass Victus 2 in front, and Gorilla Glass 5 in the back.

OnePlus 12 11

The 6.82-inch AMOLED display features curved edges, minimal bezels, and a top center punch hole for the 32MP selfie camera. We aren’t big fans of waterfall screens, but this design, together with the curved sides of the rear glass, makes the OnePlus 12 supremely comfortable to hold. Build quality is top notch, but the OnePlus 12 is only rated IP65, making it only splash and dust resistant.

Everything else is standard OnePlus. Along the edges, you’ll find the volume rocker and power / lock key on the right side, and OnePlus’ signature alert slider on the left. The main speaker, USB Type-C port (USB 3.2), primary mic, and nano SIM tray are mounted on the bottom edge, while the other speaker, IR transmitter, and the secondary mic live on top. Finally, the OnePlus 12 is available in two hues: Flowy Emerald and Silky Black.

OnePlus 12 04

While we generally appreciate the OnePlus 12’s design – and really like the color green – we’re less enamored with the marble-like glass finish on our Flowy Emerald review unit. It reminds us a little too much of a tacky kitchen countertop. So we’d probably pick the Silky Black colorway this time around.

OnePlus 12 Specs, Dimensions, Pricing

Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3
Display 6.82-inch Quad HD LTPO AMOLED, 3168×1440, 1-120Hz
Memory 12/16GB LPDDR5X
Storage 256/512GB UFS 4.0
Rear-Facing
Cameras
50MP 1/1.4” f/1.6 Main OIS, Omni-Directional PDAF – 48MP f/2.2 114º Ultra-Wide AF – 64MP f/2.6 3x Periscope Telephoto OIS, PDAF
Front-Facing
Cameras
32MP f/2.4
Video
Recording
Up
to 8K @ 24 fps, 4K @ 60fps, 1080p @ 60fps, 1080p slow-mo
Battery 5400mAh, 80W SuperVOOC wired charging, 50W AIRVOOC wireless Charging
OS Android 14 with OxygenOS 14
Dimensions 164.3 x 75.8 x 9.15mm
Weight 220g
Connectivity 802.11be Wi-Fi 7, Bluetooth 5.4, NFC, USB-C, LTE, 5G (sub-6GHz)
Colors Flowy Emerald, Silky Black
Pricing Starting At $799 – Find It On Amazon

Display

The OnePlus 12 packs one of the best displays available today. It’s a 6.82-inch Quad HD+ (3168 × 1440 pixels, 510ppi, 10-bit) LTPO AMOLED screen with a 19.8:9 aspect ratio, a 1-120Hz variable refresh rate, and support for both HDR10+ and Dolby Vision. As you’d expect, it offers vibrant colors, deep blacks, and excellent viewing angles. But what really sets this panel apart is the eye-searing 4500 nits peak brightness and 2,160Hz PWM dimming.

OnePlus 12 15

Is it brighter than the display on Samsung’s Galaxy S24 Ultra (rated at 2600 nits peak)? Not really, but then again, twice the nits doesn’t mean twice the perceived brightness. Regardless, you’ll be able to watch videos in direct sunlight without eye strain, and you’ll enjoy the lack of flicker when reading in the dark. You’ll also be able to use the OnePlus 12’s touchscreen in the rain, thanks to the company’s Aqua Touch tech.

OnePlus 12 Camera System And Performance In Striking Detail

When it comes to imaging, the OnePlus 12 features three impressive shooters: a 50MP f/1.6 1.12-micron main sensor (1/1.4-inch Sony LYT-808) with omni-directional PDAF and OIS, a 48MP f/2.2 0.8-micron 114-degree ultrawide (1/2-inch Sony IMX581) with AF, and a 64MP f/2.6 0.7-micron 3x periscope telephoto lens (1/2-inch OmniVision OV64B) with PDAF and OIS. Main camera aside, these shooters are identical to the OnePlus Open.

OnePlus 12 14

Speaking of which, the OnePlus 12’s 3x periscope telephoto also supports 6x in-sensor zoom. This crops the center 16MP area of the 64MP sensor before sending the image data to the ISP, resulting in “optical quality” 6x magnification that’s virtually lossless. But it also disables pixel binning, which results in reduced low-light performance. A 32MP f/2.4 0.7-micron selfie camera rounds things up in front.

OnePlus 12 sample 33
Main, 2x

Photo modes include portrait, night (all four shooters), 50/48/64MP high-res, action, panorama, long exposure, text scanner, and tilt-shift. There’s a new Master mode (all three rear cameras), which is a pro/manual mode on steroids, with extra controls for saturation, contrast, sharpness, and vignette. OnePlus’ 12-bit RAW+ option combines the benefits of RAW and computational photography, like Apple’s multi-frame ProRAW

OnePlus 12 sample 19

Ultrawide

OnePlus 12 sample 20

Main, 1x

OnePlus 12 sample 21

Main, 2x

OnePlus 12 sample 22

Telephoto, 3x

OnePlus 12 sample 23

Telephoto, 6x

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Telephoto, 10x

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Telephoto, 20x

OnePlus 12 sample 26

Telephoto, 30x

In addition to this new Master mode, the OnePlus 12 features the familiar Hasselblad “Master Style” filters (Radiance, Serenity, and Emerald) alongside XPAN mode (which mimics Hasselblad’s iconic shooting experience with a 65:24 aspect ratio) and a Hasselblad-inspired orange shutter button. Finally, there’s also a macro mode, which takes advantage of the auto-focus-equipped ultrawide.

OnePlus 12 sample 40

Ultrawide, night mode

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Main, 1x, night mode

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Telephoto, 3x, night mode

All three rear shooters capture stabilized video (with stereo audio) at 4k/1080p 30/60fps. Video modes include 8k 24fps (main only), ultra steady (ultrawide and main, 1080p 60fps), HDR (main, 4k/1080p 30fps), movie (manual, 21:9, 4k 30fps, supports LOG), slow motion (1080p 240fps and 720p 480fps), time lapse (main and selfie 1080p 30fps), and dual view (rear plus selfie, 1080p 30fps). Selfie videos max out at 4k/1080p 30fps.

OnePlus 12 sample3

Ultrawide, macro mode

Considering the OnePlus 12’s shooters are almost identical to the OnePlus Open’s, it’s no surprise both handsets take similar pictures. And the results are fantastic, with lovely colors, impeccable exposure, and plenty of crisp detail. Low-light performance and dynamic range are excellent too, thanks to pixel binning (combining groups of four smaller pixels into one larger pixel) on all three rear cameras.

OnePlus 12 sample 53

Selfie, portrait mode

But it’s the 3x periscope telephoto that really steals the show. 6x photos look great, 10x shots are good, and even 20x results are decent. It’s only beyond 30x that image quality starts deteriorating. Oppo’s color science and camera tuning have been solid for years now, and things have only improved with the Hasselblad partnership. Clearly, this combined imaging expertise is now benefitting OnePlus devices.