OnePlus 12 Hands-on: Power-Packed Performance at a Competitive Price

OnePlus 12 Hands-on: Power-Packed Performance at a Competitive Price

The OnePlus 12 is an $800 flagship Android phone with powerful processing power, excellent battery life, fast charging, and a gorgeous, bright 6.8-inch display. It comes in a stunning green with a marbleized design called Flowy Emerald that I never want to cover with a case. This flagship phone checks all the boxes in its race to deliver high-end specs and design at a more affordable price than the competition.

OnePlus 12 shown from the back

When the Samsung Galaxy S24 launched last week, the focus was mainly on its AI features, intended to help with everyday tasks such as translation, transcription, and photo processing and editing. It made few changes to its hardware.

Contrast that with the OnePlus 12 launch, which focused entirely on hardware and processing power, with no mention of AI. The company collaborated with Qualcomm to optimize the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset used in other flagship phones to create “CPU-Vitalization” that it claims offers lower power consumption. Unless you’re clamoring for the latest AI features in the Samsung S24 (and Google Pixel 8 Pro), you’ll be quite pleased with the bright adaptive screen, extended battery life, and lower price point of the OnePlus 12. 

Super bright adaptive display

The 6.8-inch AMOLED display has a whopping 4,500 nits (compared to the S24’s 2,600 nits), which is incredibly bright, but the main takeaway here is that you can read the screen in the sun.

OnePlus 12 shown from the front with its box.

It has an adaptive refresh rate of 1Hz to 120Hz that changes based on what features you’re using. For instance, if you’re playing video games on the device, you’ll see the bump up to the faster refresh rate. It always looked vibrant and sharp during my time using it, and while I’m not normally a fan of larger phones, the curved edges made it feel very comfortable and secure in my hand. I know the new trend is flat edges, but I’ve never been one to follow trends.

The display is protected by the new Gorilla Glass Victus 2, with Gorilla Glass 5 on the back, which will help protect it from damage and scratches from accidental drops.


Speaking of drops, you won’t want to take the OnePlus 12 swimming with you. The IP rating has been bumped to IP65 (from IP64), which makes it fully dustproof but only water-resistant. It can handle heavy downpours and being splashed, but cannot be fully submersible like other flagship smartphones with IP68 ratings.

Battery life and charging

The OnePlus 12 is equipped with wireless charging, something the company had removed on the OnePlus 11. You’ll get 50W if you use a charger compatible with the phone’s Smart Rapid Charge Mode or 15W using a regular Qi charger.

Fast wired charging is something OnePlus gets right each time. Suggestion: “Using the included adapter and cable (thank you, OnePlus!), you can charge up to 80W, which should charge up the battery in just over 30 minutes. That battery, at 5,400 mAh, should last you well over a full day, depending on how much video you watch.

For comparison, my iPhone 12, which supports a little over 20-watt charging and has a 2,815mAh battery, charges to 50 percent in 30 minutes with my 30-watt charger

Upgraded camera

The camera system on the OnePlus 12 (in partnership with Hasselblad) is an improvement over previous models and quite impressive, but not as feature-rich as the camera capabilities on the Samsung Galaxy S24 and the Google 8 Pixel Pro.

OnePlus 12 shown close up

The three-camera system has a 50 MP primary camera with a Sony LYT-808 sensor and f/1.6 lens with optical image stabilization (OIS) and an 85-degree field of view (FoV).

The 48 MP ultra-wide-angle lens supports macro shooting at a range of 1.4 inches.  OnePlus says you’ll now get up to three times optical zoom with the 64 MP telephoto lens, thanks to its periscopic design. The front camera has a 32MP Sony IMX615 sensor with a f/2.4 lens with a 90-degree FoV.

Is it worth it?

OnePlus 12 with its box

If you’re looking for a flagship smartphone with powerful processing and beautiful bright display, the OnePlus 12 is worth a look. It costs a hundred dollars more than last year’s version, but it’s still a few hundred dollars less than similarly sized flagship devices. It matches the specs and capabilities of the Galaxy S24, and while there’s no on-device AI, it will trounce the others in a high-speed charging competition.

OnePlus is promising four years of OS upgrades and five years of security updates for the 12, though Samsung and Google have recently upped their promise to seven years.

Pricing and Availability

You can preorder the OnePlus 12 now, with device availability coming on February 6th. The Flowy Emerald version is gorgeous, but you might prefer the look of the Silky Black. The 12GB version with 256GB of storage costs $799, while the 16GB version with 512GB of storage costs $899.

OnePlus, like Samsung, is offering a free memory upgrade (pay for the 256GB model and get the 512GB model), and you can trade in any phone in any condition to get an extra $100 off purchased via

[Image credit: Andrea Smith/Techlicious]

Andrea Smith is an award-winning technology broadcast journalist, reporter, and producer. Andrea was the Technology Producer and an on-air Technology contributor at ABC News for over two decades before becoming the Lifestyle Channel Editor at Mashable, where she explored the ways in which real people, not just geeks, began using technology in their everyday lives.

Source link


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *