OnePlus 12 Review

The OnePlus One was unveiled in 2014, and now, ten years later, the OnePlus 12 has here. It seems like yesterday. We’ve tested this anniversary edition of sorts, and we now have all the information for you.

The press materials for the OnePlus 12 highlight the importance of this experience. W we won’t hesitate to mention that the brand’s vision and emphasis have evolved significantly over the previous ten years. In fact, the 2014 “startup” that thrived on aggressive pricing and guerrilla marketing for high-end technology has steadily established itself as a mainstay in the flagship market. With the passage of time, the company also developed a broad variety at lower price points. But along that process, OnePlus lost a lot of its personality and became just another division of the parent business, which is now known as Oppo.

But we’re getting off topic. We’ll make an effort to avoid these kind of philosophical digressions as we go along and instead focus only on the OnePlus 12. It certainly deserves it.

The 12 is a true high-end bundle that begins with a great display that has it all: brightness, Dolby Vision, adaptive high refresh rate, resolution, and more. It also comes as no surprise that the OP is among the first to launch on sale with the newest high-end Snapdragon. Even if the huge 24GB/1TB top-spec China version won’t be available elsewhere, we can manage with half a terabyte.

Thankfully, the cameras are not region-specific, and the arrangement is quite captivating. While the one-inch is still absent, a strong triple arrangement is anchored by another top-tier Sony imager. On one end of the zoom range is a relatively large-sensor ultrawide with autofocus. If our prior experience with a 3x telephoto (Oppo Find N3/OnePlus Open) is any guide, it should also be able to produce excellent 6x photos.

This year’s boost in battery capacity to 5,400mAh—a move that is common across the Oppo, OnePlus, and Realme portfolios—is a good improvement. As the OnePlus 12 has a built-in 100W charger, quick top-ups are also predicted.

OnePlus 12 Review
OnePlus 12 Review

Brief specifications for the OnePlus 12

Body: 163.3 x 75.8 x 9.2 mm, 220 g; aluminum frame; IP65, waterproof, dustproof; glass front (Gorilla Glass Victus 2), glass rear (Gorilla Glass).
Display: 6.82″ LTPO AMOLED with 510ppi, 19:8:9 aspect ratio, 600 nits (typ), 1600 nits (HBM), and 4500 nits (peak) with 1B colors, 120Hz, Dolby Vision, and HDR10+.
Qualcomm SM8650-AB Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 (4 nm) chipset; Adreno 750; Octa-core (1×3.3 GHz Cortex-X4 & 5×3.2 GHz Cortex-A720 & 2×2.3 GHz Cortex-A520).
Memory: UFS 4.0; 256GB 12GB, 512GB 16GB, 1TB 16GB, and 1TB 24GB RAM.
Operating System/Software: Android 14; OxygenOS 14 (Global); ColorOS 14 (Chinese).

Wide (primary) rear camera with 50 MP, f/1.6, 23mm, 1/1.43″, 1.12µm, Dual Pixel PDAF, and OIS; Using a telephoto lens, the specifications are as follows: telephoto: 64 MP, f/2.6, 70mm, 1/2.0″, 0.7µm, PDAF, OIS, 3x optical zoom; ultra wide angle: 48 MP, f/2.2, 14mm, 114˚, 1/2.0″, 0.8µm, PDAF.
Front camera: 1/2.74″, 0.8µm, f/2.4, 21mm (wide), 32 MP.
Video capture features include Auto HDR, gyro-EIS, Dolby Vision, 8K@24fps, 4K@30/60fps, and 1080p@30/60/240fps for the rear camera and 4K@30fps and 1080p@30fps for the front camera.
Power supply: 5400mAh; 100W wired, PD, QC, 1-100% in 26 minutes (promoted), 50W wireless, 1-100% in 55 minutes (promoted), 10W reverse wireless.
Networking: 5G, Bluetooth 5.4, aptX HD, NFC, eSIM, dual SIM, Wi-Fi 7, NFC, and infrared port.
Other: dual speakers; fingerprint reader (under display, optical).

The IP65 classification is one of the other standout features in the specification sheet. It’s not quite IP68, which has subtly emerged as the industry standard. However, the 12 has an infrared emitter; as it’s the first OnePlus phone with this function exclusively, perhaps it makes up for the other issue. Certain items, including stereo speakers, an optical fingerprint reader, and an alert slider, are simply marked with a checkmark.

Unboxing the OnePlus 12

Arriving in the customary red cardboard box. The OnePlus 12 sports subtle Hasselblad and OnePlus branding scattered throughout the package along with a large ’12’ debossed on the lid. Together with a USB-A-to-C connection, it comes with a 100W adaptor. The retail package does not include a protective case; neither did the preceding two versions. Apart from the instructions, the paper sleeve above the phone has three stickers that you can use to show off your love for OnePlus. On other devices and a membership card called ‘Red Cable Club’ that will give you discounts on accessory purchases.

Design, build quality, handling

The OnePlus 12 design seems to be all about continuity; it bears a striking resemblance to the previous model. Which was an enhanced version of the OnePlus 10 Pro. It seems sense that OnePlus continued to improve the unique design of its camera cluster. Which is probably the one component that gives a phone identity.

The promotional materials continuously discuss how luxury timepieces and nature serve as inspiration, and for once, we can see why. The cameras, the inset backdrop, the circular assembly with a knurled ring. The Hasselblad insignia, and the different specifications inside—all of that is, visually speaking. Not too unlike from a watch with a few complexities.

These ‘nature’ clues are a little more exclusive to the Flowy Emerald shade. According to OnePlus, it was influenced by the Dart River in the Southern Alps. Which are really in New Zealand and aren’t the Alps you probably think of first. Indeed, the similarities are evident when we examine some satellite images.

When it comes to the Silky Black coloring, things are almost as naturally inspired. It’s not like we haven’t seen this specific finish before; we’ve simply been unable to connect the dots. Normally, we would use the term sparkle to characterize it.

In actuality, the Flowy Emerald is also participating in the glittery fun.

The OnePlus 12 will also be available in one other color for the Chinese market: a white/silver combination. We perceive it to be the hero colorway based on how it is presented on the website, but the global consumer isn’t seeing it.

As far as we can tell, the white colorway, in contrast to the black and green ones. Which feature frosted anti-glare treatments, also has a glossy back panel.

Trade-offs are common, and we did find our OnePlus 12 review device to be very slippery—especially if your palms have somewhat dry skin. On the plus side, however, it was very resistant to fingerprints.

Smudges are more likely to occur on the white panel, while they aren’t as noticeable on panels with a white tint.

Gorilla Glass 5 is said to be the rear glass by OnePlus.

Gorilla Glass Victus 2 covers the front of the OnePlus 12. Which is understandable given that the OLED display receives more sophisticated protection than the induction coil on the back.

In terms of defense, the OnePlus 12 has an IP65 classification that indicates its resistance to dust and water. With the exception of foldable devices, the IP6X designation designates it as “dust-tight”. While the IPX5 designation indicates that it is not as water-resistant as the IP68 crowd, which again refers to almost every other top-tier model. Although it’s not certified for submersion, the 12 should be able to withstand most situations thanks to its strong resistance to “water jets.”

The display and its protective glass have a tiny curvature towards the sides, as is typical with OP’s high-end models. There is also a slight curvature at the corners. That gives it a more upscale appearance, but there’s still a chance you won’t like how it handles; some individuals are more prone to misinterpreting palm touch input than others.

As expected for a premium device, the bezels around the display are elegantly thin.

The OnePlus 12 weighs 220g and has dimensions of 163.3×75.8×9.2mm, making it appear like a bulky device. But in reality, it’s not quite as chonky as you might imagine. The front and rear curved edges significantly reduce the appearance of bulk. The thin aluminum frame gives the impression of slimness that the actual proportions are unable to capture.

Furthermore, compared to similar phones like the Vivo X100 Pro or the Find X7 Ultra. The 12 is less top heavy due to its relatively limited camera hardware and the arrangement of the modules. Who are we to determine what else could be to blame, yet the remark still stands.

The alert slider, a mainstay of the lineup that has already spread to sibling companies. Comes back and is located on the left side of the phone. It acts with a really pleasing impression and is just as firm as it needs to be. The volume rocker and power buttons on the right side of the phone function in the same way.

An infrared emitter—which we hadn’t seen on a “flagship” OnePlus—is located up top. A microphone and a hole for the top speaker are also located here. The USB-C connector is joined at the bottom by a second speaker and microphone. There is also a SIM slot here; one or two nano SIMs can fit in the tray.

Superior OLED Display

The 6.82-inch OLED display on the OnePlus 12 has a resolution of 1,440×3,168 pixels. Its pixel density is 510 ppi, with an aspect ratio of 19.8:9 (2.2:1). The LTPO panel employs 2160Hz pulse-width modulation (PWM) for dimming. Dynamically variable refresh rate in the 1-120Hz range. Among the HDR formats that are supported is Dolby Vision.

Up to 4,500 nits should be possible for the display in HDR usage scenarios. Or 1,600 nits in high brightness mode (full screen, in bright outdoor situations), according to OnePlus. The first figure is impossible for us to test for, and for the second, we essentially use slightly different testing conditions. We look for a white patch that occupies 75% of the screen. Another subtlety to this is that, as it found out, HBM achieves varying brightness levels based on the color mode.

The OnePlus 12 performed well enough in strong light with a default Natural color option of 1155 nits. Which is not awful at all but certainly not the greatest in the industry. It appears like OnePlus is purposefully aiming for a figure in that range because the OnePlus Open result is in the same ballpark. After switching to Vivid mode, the result was 1,253 nits, an additional hundred nits.

We measured 794 nits in Natural mode and 845 nits in Vivid mode when we manually adjusted the brightness—both very good values. The minimum brightness, which is also quite impressive, was 1.9 nits at the other end of the slider.

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