It can be strange to see a new device ring from less than a decade ago. But technology is moving fast and fast , as if someone made a phone for the pre-AI era. Instead of magic editors and a bunch of machine learning, the latest flagship is incredibly simple. It has a beautiful display, solid build, reliable cameras, great performance and better battery life. So while it may not help sum up a meeting or re-compose a photo, the OP12 covers all the bases with aplomb. And with a starting price of $800 ($200 less than the similarly equipped S24+), it’s a great deal, too.
Design and display: An old-school silhouette with modern features
The shape of the OnePlus 12 looks inspired by older phones it has tapered edges and rounded corners. This makes the phone very comfortable to hold, the downside is that there is some distortion around the screen where it is curved. Thankfully, the OnePlus’ 6.8-inch 3,168 x 1440 panel looks so good you won’t notice. It has a rated peak brightness of 1,600 nits, which can go up to 4,500 nits in certain situations (like direct sunlight), so it never looks dull or faded. The display also supports 120Hz variable refresh along with a new 2,610Hz PWM (pulse width modulation) technique to help prevent screen flicker when set to very low brightness (below 70 nits).
On the back there is a huge and somewhat unusual camera module, surrounded by a layer of Gorilla Glass Victus 2 with a beautiful matte finish. It’s more textured than your average frosted glass, but it’s not as scratchy as the company’s older sandstone backs, and it feels so good that I’d have trouble covering it with a bag. The OP12 also has an IP65 rating for dust and water resistance, which isn’t as good as what you get from rival Samsung and Google phones. That said, it’s the highest rating ever on OnePlus, and it’s still more than enough to handle things like rain and splashes. Unlike most phones these days, OnePlus has included an IR blaster so you can easily adjust settings on your TV or soundbar without using a dedicated remote.
Performance: Super fast
Although the OP12 has a nostalgic design, its performance is as good as it gets for Android phones. It has a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip, along with 12 or 16 GB of RAM and up to 512 GB of storage. Despite some vague benchmarks (which other outlets have also encountered), the phone feels incredibly fluid. Switching between apps is very smooth as games load and play without any hint of stuttering. To ensure frequently used apps are always ready, OnePlus has a memory optimization feature that can pause six apps in the background for up to 72 hours, so you don’t have to reload your favorite game unnecessarily.
Cameras: Hasselblad’s large module provides
1 / 9
The OP12’s triple lens setup holds up well against the OP12 With a 50 MP main camera, a 48 MP ultra-wide and a 64 MP telephoto camera. Daytime photos were bright and vibrant, and I appreciate the OnePlus’s more neutral white balance compared to the Samsung’s warmer tones. I shot the night shots using just a touch softer and darker than the comparison shots , they were not far behind. Finally, using the 3x telephoto camera, I was able to get a very sharp shot of a squirrel as it tried to move away. When you launch the camera app for the first time, make sure you disable the option to add a Hasselblad watermark to your photos.
Battery life and charging: The best
One of the best things about the OnePlus 12 is its battery life and charging speed. In our local video test, the phone’s 5,400mAh cell lasted 26 hours and 40 minutes, the longest we’ve seen on any phone. That’s two hours longer than before (24:29) and an improvement of more than six hours over last year (19:45).
OnePlus’ proprietary charging technology enables both wired and wireless charging speeds. Using the included power brick and cable, the phone went from 10 percent to 55 percent battery in just 10 minutes. Alternatively, when placed on the company’s wireless pad (available separately for ), the OP12 went from 10 percent to 37 percent battery in 10 minutes. To put that in context, when I ran the same test with the S24U, it was only able to hold 10 to 30 percent battery in 10 minutes using a Samsung charger and compatible cable. Unfortunately, you’ll only get these speeds with OnePlus’ first-party accessories, so things are slower if you’re using standard USB-PD or Qi chargers.
Compared to other big phones that turn to AI to improve their capabilities, the OnePlus 12 is a simple device that combines good hardware with a solid build. It has a large, powerful display with excellent performance and unparalleled battery life. While OnePlus plans to add AI features , 12 doesn’t need them to offer an attractive package. With a starting price of $800, that’s $200 cheaper than the equivalent Galaxy S24+, and that’s before you even think about it. That’s another $100 off the purchase of any phone, regardless of age or condition. In a world where smartphones are becoming increasingly complex, the OnePlus 12 is a simple alternative that handles all the most important tasks with ease.