Technology

2 months ago

OnePlus 12 Review: Upgraded affordable flagship smartphone; check specs, price, pros & cons

OnePlus 12
OnePlus 12

 

IIE Digital Desk:  OnePlus is a brand that’s known for offering top-notch features at a digestible price tag.

The all-new OnePlus 12 continues this tradition. It's all about refinements, pushing the boundaries of what OnePlus does well, without straying too far from the familiar path.

But, is it enough to make you scream "shut up and take my money"?

OnePlus 12 Design

The OnePlus number series has adopted a recognisable family look and the new OnePlus 12 stays true to it.

It sticks with the triple-lens camera setup in the usual spot but kicks things up a notch with better lenses and a bigger camera module that now matches the phone’s colour, blending in smoothly to create a more cohesive and elegant look.

This design choice, while aesthetically pleasing, brings back the familiar wobble issue when the phone is laid flat.

The camera cutouts are ensconced under a common glass layer. Surrounding these is a shimmery texture that adds a touch of whimsy, because it can look like dust particles.

The unique marble-like finish on this green colourway is something I really like, although I know it will divide opinions. But, its matte texture is a practical choice because it resists fingerprints.

The aluminium frame, however, is a different story. It sports a very polished look that unfortunately loves to collect smudges. They’re easy enough to wipe off but you still may want to use this phone with a case.

The frame itself is a mix of curves and rounded edges, with flat edges on the top and bottom, giving the design a nice bit of contrast.

Now, unlike Samsung and Google, OnePlus still embraces the curved glass trend. But, thanks to the larger battery, this phone is on the chunkier side. It is 9.2mm thick and weighs 220g.

At the front, the camera punch hole has thankfully been migrated to the centre. So, taking selfies won’t be awkward anymore.


OnePlus 12 Display

The display on the OnePlus 12 is a BOE-manufactured ProXDR LTPO AMOLED panel. It is quite large at 6.82 inches, and boasts a variable refresh rate from 1Hz to 120Hz and QHD resolution.

It’s a terrific screen by all means. It’s smooth, super responsive, and it shines bright enough to be used comfortably in broad daylight, boasting a peak brightness that allegedly hits an eye-popping 4500 nits.

Although this number is reserved for very specific scenarios, specifically while viewing HDR content.

It’s a fantastic display for watching content too - the colours pop, and viewing angles are impressive.

Adding to this high-quality screen experience is OnePlus’ own picture quality engine and the first-gen Display P1 chip. This combo ensures that you get the brightest and most accurate images, all while keeping power consumption to a minimum.


OnePlus 12 Utility

The OnePlus 12 comes loaded with the perks you’d expect from a high-end phone. You get stereo speakers with a dedicated upper grille, which deliver a rich sound, with high loudness and deep bass.

Then, there’s a snappy optical fingerprint scanner. The phone is also decked out with Gorilla Glass Victus 2 on the front and Gorilla Glass 5 on the back for that extra toughness.

Plus, it’s sporting an IP65 rating for water and dust resistance – a step up from the OnePlus 11. Though, it does make you wonder why it doesn’t have the full IP68 rating, which even some less expensive phones boost these days.

And, keeping in line with other BBK Group phones, the OnePlus 12 features an IR blaster, adding to its toolkit of handy conveniences.

The alert slider is also back on the OnePlus 11, but this time it’s made a move to the left side of the phone, leaving the volume and sleep/wake buttons on the right. This shift might not be everyone’s favourite, but personally, I feel it adds a nice balance to the button layout.

Having all the controls on one side would feel a bit cluttered, so moving the alert slider to the opposite side spreads things out and makes everything feel a bit more balanced.

OnePlus 12 Camera Review

Kindly watch the video to see the camera samples.


The OnePlus 12's camera setup is a significant step up, showcasing an impressive trio of high-resolution sensors.

The main sensor is Sony’s new LYT-808 with a resolution of 50MP. It is accompanied by a 48MP ultrawide sensor and a 64MP 3x periscope sensor.

The main 50MP camera captures images with great detail and above average dynamic range. Thanks to Hasselblad's signature processing, the colour tone is slightly warmer, lending a distinct character to the photos.

The night mode is especially noteworthy – it produces incredibly high detail without much noise, a wide dynamic range, and maintains realistic colours.

When it comes to video, the main camera captures detailed footage with accurate colour representation, no over-sharpening, and decent dynamic range. You can also shoot 8K 24fps videos with the main sensor. However, low-light videos are prone to exposure jumps.

The Omnivision OV64B periscope sensor matches the main camera in well lit scenarios. It also produces fantastic 3x portraits with accurate skin tones and excellent edge detection.

It also maintains good quality up to 6x zoom. You can do long range 120x digital zoom as well, but that isn’t this phone’s forte.

Videos shot with the periscope camera are well-detailed, though they could benefit from better stabilisation.

As for the ultrawide sensor, it delivers good detail and dynamic range. However, images can be a bit soft around the edges.

It also tends to produce cooler tones compared to the other sensors. Night mode ultrawide photos are also quite usable. This camera doubles as a macro shooter as well.

Ultrawide video captures are stable with good dynamic range and accurate colours.

The new 32MP selfie camera is a noteworthy upgrade. Selfie photos are rich in detail with extremely accurate skin tones. It also supports 4K 30fps video shooting with decent quality.

OnePlus 12 Performance & Software Review

Unsurprisingly, the OnePlus 12 is a powerhouse thanks to its Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset. It effortlessly crushes through benchmarks like Antutu and 3D Mark.

However, like always, stability scores have room for improvement. Kindly watch the video to see the scores.

Despite this, the phone sails through demanding games like Genshin Impact without breaking a sweat. It does warm up a bit during intense gaming sessions, but it never reaches the point of discomfort.

This suggests the phone’s heat management is on point, backed by a substantial Dual VC cooling area.

torage is no issue with options of up to 512GB UFS 4.0, complemented by up to 16GB of RAM.

On the software front, there’s the new OxygenOS 14 based on Android 14. It's arguably the cleanest Android skin among BBK Group brands, devoid of bloatware and unnecessary extras.

The software experience is smooth, with fast performance and intuitive multitasking.

There are also new features to enhance user productivity. For instance, File Dock simplifies managing images, text, and files across apps, while Smart Touch allows you to capture and extract content from screenshots easily.

One area where OnePlus could leverage the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3's capabilities is in running native AI models. Other brands are already doing it, and I’d love to see what OnePlus and Oppo come up with.

OnePlus 12 Battery Life

The 5,400mAh battery on this smartphone is one of the biggest in the segment. But, the battery life, while good, isn't any better than, say, a 5,000mAh phone.

It is probably an early software bug, but I’ve noticed that this phone eats battery on idle. It can be easily fixed through a software update, and it should be done quickly.

That being said, the 100W wired charging capability is always good to have, as it ensures a full charge in around 40 minutes.

The OnePlus 12 brings back a feature we’ve missed – wireless charging, and it’s not just any wireless charging, but a powerful 50W support.

However, there’s a catch: it’s proprietary fast wireless charging, meaning you’ll need to use either the OnePlus' Warp Charge 50 wired charger or Oppo’s AirVooc wireless charger to tap into those speedy charge times.

OnePlus 12 Review

The OnePlus 12 is a natural evolution of the brand's ethos. It is a do-it-all smartphone that does not break the bank.

It has a heftier price tag compared to the OnePlus 11, but it’s a much better smartphone at the same time.

Its camera system may not be the absolute best on the market, but it’s still very robust nonetheless.

If you’re looking for a phone that strikes a fine balance between quality and versatility, the OnePlus 12 is a no-brainer.

OnePlus 12 Pros & Cons

Pros:

Improved Display: Featuring a 6.82-inch ProXDR LTPO AMOLED panel, the OnePlus 12 offers a vibrant, responsive, and exceptionally bright display, ideal for various lighting conditions and media consumption.

Robust Camera Setup: Upgrades in the camera department, including a new 50MP main sensor and enhanced periscope and ultrawide sensors, deliver detailed photos with great colour accuracy. Night mode and video capabilities are notably improved.

Performance: Powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset, the OnePlus 12 boasts impressive performance metrics, easily handling demanding applications and games. The efficient heat management system ensures the device remains comfortable to use even under load.

Software Excellence: OxygenOS 14 offers a clean, bloatware-free Android experience with added functionalities to boost productivity.


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