The OnePlus 12 could be one of 2024’s best Android phones

OnePlus 12 in white render.
Prakhar Khanna /

OnePlus has had a great year thanks to some great devices. The OnePlus 11 emerged as a return to form in terms of value for money, with high-end features at just $699. It offered a large and bright display, good quality cameras, excellent performance with clean software, and all-day battery life.

But it still had two omissions, which seem to have been fixed by the OnePlus 12 unveiled in China today. If the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is similar to the Gen 2 in terms of efficiency, the OnePlus 12 could be one of the best Android phones of 2024.

really impressive camera system

OnePlus 12 camera module in green.

I used the OnePlus 11 as my daily driver for a while, and I was impressed with the overall performance and design. While the OnePlus 12 doesn’t offer a complete overhaul in terms of looks, it has been upgraded under the hood to offer two key features – one that I missed a lot, and one that will specifically appeal to the US market. Attracts.

Despite the presence of three cameras on the OnePlus 11, I missed getting 3x optical zoom. The OnePlus 12 features a new triple camera setup, which not only adds an improved telephoto sensor but also shares overall camera DNA with the OnePlus Open. The triple rear camera setup of the OnePlus 12 is powered by a 50MP Sony LYT-808 primary camera with optical image stabilization (OIS). It is accompanied by a 48MP Sony IMX581 ultrawide angle camera and a 64MP OV64B periscope lens with 3x optical zoom.

This is the exact same configuration of lenses as the OnePlus Open, which has the most versatile camera setup on a foldable phone. I’ve been using a OnePlus foldable phone since its launch, and with each update the camera has only improved.

The 50MP Sony LYT-808 sensor on the OnePlus Open is impressive. As you can see from the images above, skin tones are good and there’s ample dynamic range, there are no exaggerated highlights in the clouds – the overall image looks pleasing. The camera was not tuned very well for low light at the time of launch, but OnePlus has fixed this to some extent.

While the 50MP primary camera captures detailed photos, I was more impressed by the 64MP periscope camera. And that’s because it not only takes good 3x shots, but also performs well with up to 15x digital zoom with stunning 6x zoom images. When compared to digital zoom on my iPhone 15 Pro, the OnePlus Open performed better at up to 6x and 15x.

The above images show great detail and good dynamic range at 3x as well as 6x zoom. These are some of the big expectations after experiencing the OnePlus Open. But with it featuring the same camera setup (now tuned with “fourth generation Hasselblad cameras for mobile”), I’m confident that the OnePlus 12 will be a step up from the OnePlus 11 in terms of camera quality.

OnePlus brings back wireless charging

Photo of someone holding a white/silver OnePlus 12.

There was one glaring omission on both the OnePlus 11 and OnePlus Open – no wireless charging. Although I didn’t have any issues (since I mostly work in cafes or away from the couch), I get the argument about how convenient wireless charging can be for some people. It is also beneficial if you have multiple wireless charging pads installed at different locations inside your home.

The OnePlus 12 brings 50W wireless charging to the table. This is reminiscent of the OnePlus 10 Pro, which was the phone with the fastest wireless charging in the US at launch. The OnePlus 12 will soon play that role as it is rumored to launch in the US in January.

Better cameras and the inclusion of wireless charging make the OnePlus 12 a complete phone. You should definitely expect the price to jump, but I expect this to be one of the phones to watch in 2024 given the company’s recent track record and my experience with the OnePlus Open’s camera system. The OnePlus 11 was already a great phone, and the 2024 flagship looks to take it up a notch.

What else does the OnePlus 12 offer?

OnePlus 12 in black.

The OnePlus 12 features a 6.82-inch QHD+ 2K OLED LTPO display that supports a 120Hz refresh rate. The screen is rated to reach 4,500 nits of maximum brightness, which is one of the highest numbers we’ve seen so far. You’ll typically see the phone reach around 1,600 nits, but this could be a Very Brighter when needed. The 4,500 nits level is for HDR content; In HDR video, some areas of the screen may go up to that number if needed. Like the OnePlus Open, the OnePlus 12 display supports Dolby Vision, 10-bit color depth, and ProXDR.

The OnePlus 12 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset, which I haven’t tested yet, but I expect it to be at least as efficient as the Snapdragon Gen 2. The OnePlus 12 now starts at 12GB of LPDDR5X RAM instead of 8GB and is equipped with the same base 256GB UFS 4.0 storage. It goes up to 24GB RAM and 1TB storage.

The 2024 OnePlus flagship packs a 5,400mAh battery that supports 100W wired and 50W wireless fast charging. To keep it from overheating, it has Oppo’s SuperVOOC S power management chip, which was first introduced in the OnePlus 11R. The OnePlus 12 is rated IP65 for dust and water resistance, which is a step up from its IP64-rated predecessor.

In terms of design, the OnePlus 12 doesn’t feature any overhaul, but there are still some noticeable changes. First of all, the alert slider is now on the other side of the phone, so now you’ll get the volume rocker and power button on one side and the alert slider on the other. Secondly, the green variant has a wavy pattern on the back. It sure looks good in pictures. The OnePlus 12 comes in three color options – white, green and black.

OnePlus 12 price and availability

OnePlus 12 in green and white.

OnePlus 12 price in China starts at 4,299 yuan ($607) for the base 12GB/256GB variant, while the top-end 24GB/1TB model will sell for 5,799 yuan ($818). This is a 300 yuan increase from the OnePlus 11, and you should expect a jump in price for the OnePlus 12 when it arrives globally in “early 2024.” As per previously leaked information, the device is expected to be launched in other markets by the end of January.

It’s unclear how much the OnePlus 12 will cost when it eventually arrives in the US, but if its China price is anything to go by, it should be quite competitive.

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