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OnePlus 12 Review: A proper flagship from OnePlus that will set newer standards in the market!!

OnePlus 12 Review

A flagship that is a perfect offering with no compromises at all!!

OnePlus has been a strong contender in the smartphone market ever since it came in 2014 and now it's been 10 years since the brand has created a huge impact on customers globally by crafting smartphones that were termed as "Flagship Killer" and had some excellent specifications for the price. But there were some price hikes in the past few years and the smartphone brand slowly entered the flagship category. 

In the premium segment, we now have the latest and greatest OnePlus 12 from OnePlus, their flagship offering, and this smartphone brings some outstanding specifications to the market. Last year the OnePlus 11 (Review) was a solid all-rounder in the premium flagship smartphone segment that gave fierce competition to other offerings from Samsung, Apple, etc.

Now the OnePlus 12 does bring in a few upgrades over its predecessor and brings a lot of new specifications that could just make other smartphones in this segment go into admiration. So will the OnePlus 12 fill the space in the market from where the OnePlus 11 left and is it worth the upgrade over the OnePlus 11? Is it worth buying?

Let's find out in the full review.

OnePlus 12 Design:

OnePlus 12 Review

In terms of build and design, the OnePlus 12 follows almost a similar design philosophy as its predecessor i.e. the OnePlus 11 especially the back where few changes are present. The newer circular camera module now houses triple cameras only and now the LED flashlight is placed outside this circular camera module in the squarish module. The circular module is slightly larger compared to its predecessor.

Even the Hasselblad logo on the camera module of the OnePlus 12 is now just the starting word H instead of the whole word as on the camera module on the OnePlus 11. The back has a textured glass finish that looks premium on the Flowy Emerald variant with a green-coloured back. There is another variant in the Silky Black, which has a matte finish at the back and provides a solid grip while holding hands. 

OnePlus 12 Review

The circular module does resemble the look of a luxury watch. The back is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5 which is good. The OnePlus 12 now gets an IP65 rating, making it dust and water-resistant and now there is a newer feature called rain touch, which allows the touch screen to work even under heavy rain. 

OnePlus 12 Review

Now in terms of weight distribution, the smartphone weighs around 220 grams, making it slightly heavier than the OnePlus 11, which weighs around 204 grams. Around the sides, the OnePlus 12 is thicker at 9.2mm, slightly thicker than the 8.5mm thickness of the OnePlus 11. A similar premium-looking aluminium frame houses the alert slider on the left and the right side houses the power button and volume buttons. 

To the top is an IR Blaster, a secondary noise-cancelling microphone and a secondary opening for the stereo speakers. At the bottom is a USB Type-C port, a primary microphone, a primary loudspeaker grille and a dual SIM card tray that houses two dual SIM cards as there is no additional slot for microSD card storage expansion. 

OnePlus 12 Review

On the front, there is a curved display like that of its predecessor, i.e., the OnePlus 11, which is curved towards the sides. The bezels around the display are very small which makes it look good and also the single punch-hole camera is located on the top at the centre. Overall, the back does look attractive and the build feels premium.

OnePlus 12 Display:

OnePlus 12 Review

The OnePlus 12 sports a larger 6.82-inches display which is slightly larger than the 6.7-inches display on the OnePlus 11. The OnePlus 12 has a Quad HD+ (1440x3168 pixels) AMOLED display with a screen-to-body ratio of 20:9. With the OnePlus 12, the single punch hole has been moved from the top left corner on the OnePlus 11 to the centre. The display has a screen-to-body ratio of 19.8:9.

The display is a 10-bit display and the colour reproduction is great with excellent viewing angles.
It has a similar LTPO3 technology as its predecessor which refreshes the display between 1Hz and as high as 120Hz depending on the content on the display.  Talking about the high refresh rates, there are three different settings: Auto Select, Standard, and High. 

OnePlus 12 Review

When you switch the display to Auto Select, the display automatically switches from 1Hz to 120Hz thus varying between 30Hz, 60Hz, 90Hz, etc. respectively and setting the display to Standard provides only 60Hz on the display. Switching to High sets the display at 120Hz only. Combined with the higher refresh rate, you get a 360Hz faster touch sampling rate which doubles up while gaming. 

In terms of display brightness, the display of the OnePlus 12 can reach a peak brightness of 4500nits under High Brightness Mode (while watching the content in HDR) which is the segment best. Under direct sunlight, the display has good visibility and can go as high as 1600nits which is very good. The display has three different settings to choose from - Natural, Pro, and Vivid. 

OnePlus 12 Review

Switching to the Natural mode provides softer colours that look muted and not contrasty whereas switching to Vivid and Pro mode provides saturated colours with deep blacks and blues. The Natural mode covers the sRGB while the Pro and Vivid mode covers the DCI-P3 gamut. You can also set the display to a warmer or cooler temperature using the temperature slider. 

The display of the OnePlus 12 has an optical in-display fingerprint scanner which works accurately and is faster. The display has support for HDR on YouTube and there is also the Widevine L1 present, so you can stream HDR content on OTT platforms. There is also support for Dolby Vision on Netflix which provides great colour reproduction while watching the videos. 

The front display of the OnePlus 12 has Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2 which is really good. The curved display does look premium and OnePlus has ensured there are no accidental touches. Overall the display is great for content consumption and the higher brightness levels of 4500nits are just amazing. 

OnePlus 12 Performance:

The OnePlus 12 sports this year's flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset which is found on many flagships like the iQOO 12 (Review) and the newly launched Samsung Galaxy S24 series smartphones. This chipset is slightly more powerful than last year's Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset on the OnePlus 11. In terms of daily tasks, the chipset easily handles all the tasks whether heavy or lighter ones with ease.

The powerful Adreno 750 GPU handles all the games like Call Of Duty Mobile, BGMI, Genshin Impact, etc. with ease even at the highest graphics settings. In BGMI, the smartphone could easily run at HDR graphics with Ultra frame rates without breaking a sweat. Other games play smoothly and there is an instant 1000Hz touch sampling rate which doubles up during gaming.

After playing for longer hours i.e. 3-4 hours, the back of the smartphone does feel slightly warmer around the camera module but there is a larger 9140mm2 vapour cooling chamber which does dissipate heat faster. In the CPU throttling test, the OnePlus 12 could achieve a sustained performance of around 60-70 per cent which is not so good as there is thermal throttling present. 

OnePlus 12 Review

However, this is slightly disappointing as its competitor iQOO 12 though having a similar chipset could achieve a sustained performance of around 80-85 per cent which is much better than that of the OnePlus 12. In terms of benchmarks, the scores came out very good but they were lower compared to other Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 powered smartphones. 

There is the High-Performance Mode also which when turned on shows higher scores in benchmarks.
In terms of network connectivity, there is support for good carrier aggregation and support for almost all bands of 5G. The OnePlus 12 is available in two different variants - 12GB RAM with 256GB storage and another 16GB RAM with 512GB storage with the RAM speeds of LPDDR5 and storage speeds of USF 4.0 speeds. 

OnePlus 12 Software:

OnePlus 12 Review

The OnePlus 12 runs on the latest OxygenOS 14.1 based on Android 14 out of the box. The design and feel are almost similar to OxygenOS 13 but there are a few new additions like a newer File Dock feature, Auto Pixelate 2.0, Smart Cut Out in galley and much more. You get a lot of customizations where you can change icon shape, colour and size, different themes and wallpapers, etc.

There are different styles for fingerprint scanner animations, Always-On display, etc and now with OxygenOS 14, you are getting a newer AOD style called the "Go Green AOD" which shows the impact of carbon emissions on our planet. This AOD design provides 5 different designs that do change while you are walking. 

OnePlus 12 Review

Talking about other features like File Dock which is an interesting addition as it works as a clipboard manager which lets you crop the text, images, videos and links and use it in different applications. When you are sharing any sensitive information like contact details, or credit or debit card information, the gallery itself auto pixelates/blurs the content if we go to Edit and then select Pixelate.

OnePlus 12 Review

There is also a Smart Cut Out feature which works when you long press on a specific subject in an image to extract a cutout and use it in different applications. Like Dynamic Island, OnePlus has introduced the Fluid Cloud which shows notifications within bubbles, capsules and panels flowing on top of the screen. Also with OxygenOS 14 now you can set application-specific refresh rates which is great.

OnePlus 12 Review

There is a dedicated Game Mode which provides performance mode, a game toolkit and the usage of CPU and GPU. The one area where OxygenOS shines is that there is no bloatware present and in terms of software updates, the smartphone will receive another four years of AndroidOS updates and five years of security patches which is really good.   

OnePlus 12 Cameras:

OnePlus 12 Review

The OnePlus 12 sports a newer triple camera setup that includes a 50MP f/1.6 Sony LYT-808 sensor for the primary camera with OIS, another 48MP f/2.2 Sony IMX581 sensor for the ultrawide camera, and a 64MP f/2.6 OmniVisionOV64B sensor for the telephoto camera which supports OIS. The front camera has a 32MP f/2.4 Sony IMX615 sensor for selfies. 

The images from the main camera come out with excellent details with great dynamic range and colours look saturated without any oversharpening in the background. The contrast is amazing and the noise is also very low in the images. With the HDR mode turned on, the photos have better contrast and dynamic range. The 2x zoom images came out with good details and had great dynamic range.

At night, the auto-night mode gets triggered automatically in the Photo mode and this results in images with sharper details and great dynamic range. The colours look saturated but there is slight oversharpening at times present. The exposure is well-handled and the details in the shadows look great. The noise is very low in the background.

With the 2x zoomed images from the main camera, the details look sharper and have great dynamic range. Now coming to the ultrawide camera, the 48MP camera takes some images with a great amount of detail and has a good dynamic range with less noise in the background. There is not much distortion around the edges and also the white balance is handled very well. Even the colours look saturated.

Like the primary camera, there is the auto Night Mode which triggers automatically when it detects a lowlight scenario. The images from the ultrawide camera come out with sharper details and have a good dynamic range with less noise in the background. The colours look saturated and exposure is well handled even in very low-lighting areas.

The ultrawide camera also doubles up as a macro camera which takes some macro shots with great details and has good colour saturation in the background. The 3x telephoto camera does a good job in terms of details that look sharper and have a solid dynamic range with proper colour saturation in the background. The contrast and white balance are handled very well and very less noise is present in the background.

Going beyond 3x, the images do come out with sharper details but beyond 6x, the colours do look undersaturated and there is some amount of noise introduced in the background. At night, the auto night mode triggers automatically and the details look sharper with great dynamic range. The colours look saturated and the noise is very low in the background.

In terms of portraits, the primary camera does a good job in terms of details that look sharper and have a great dynamic range. The edge detection is perfect with a proper cutout of the subject from the background and the level of background blur is perfect. It can also be adjusted manually. With the telephoto camera, the portraits look sharper but the dynamic range is not as wide as that on the primary camera.

On the front, there is a 32MP selfie camera which takes some selfies with sharper details and has a great dynamic range with saturated colours in the background. The skin tones of human subjects look natural without any oversharpening and there is very little noise in the background. In terms of selfie portraits, the edge detection is proper and the details look sharper but the background blur needs some improvement. 

In terms of videos, all three back cameras can record 4K videos at 60fps and the primary camera can only record 8K videos at 24fps. The videos taken from the main camera come out with excellent details that look sharper, and have saturated colours, and since there is OIS, the videos come out with good stabilization and noise is also less in the background.

At night, with the auto night mode turned on, the videos come out with sharper details and good dynamic range. The noise is also less in the background but there is some oversharpening present at times. The videos from the ultrawide camera come out with sharper details and have less noise in the background but the dynamic range is not so wide and colours do look muted at times.

The videos from the telephoto camera come out with sharper details and great dynamic range and since there is OIS present, the videos have almost no noise and colours look well saturated except that at night, the dynamic range is not so wider or else the details look sharper and noise is also very less in background. The videos from the front camera come out with good details and dynamic range with less noise in the background.

OnePlus 12 Battery Life: 

OnePlus 12 Review

The OnePlus 12 houses a massive 5400mAh battery which is around 400mAh more in capacity when compared to its predecessor i.e. OnePlus 11. In terms of daily usage which includes streaming social media, scrolling through webpages, attending calls and using the camera for taking videos and photos casually, the smartphone easily lasted for two and half days with some charge left which is good.

OnePlus 12 Review

With heavy usage that includes playing games like BGMI for 4-5 hours continuously, running benchmarks, taking videos longer from the cameras, etc. the smartphone lasts for one day with some charge left. Regarding screen-on time, normal usage comes to around 6.5-7 hours; heavy usage comes to around 4-5 hours, which is great.

OnePlus 12 Review

Regarding charging speeds, the OnePlus 12 is equipped with an 80W fast charger which takes around 30-35 minutes from 0 to 100 per cent and supports 50W wireless charging. This is a good upgrade over the OnePlus 11 which lacked the support for wireless charging. OnePlus has its own wireless charging pad which the smartphone takes around 55 minutes for a full charge from 0 to 100 per cent which is really good. 

OnePlus 12 Audio Quality:

The OnePlus 12 has a set of dual stereo speakers that sound adequately loud and clear. The sound comes out equally good from both the speakers and the bass level is perfect. The sound does not feel muffled even at the highest volume settings. There is Dolby Atmos present for enhanced sound output. However, you do miss out on the 3.5mm headphone jack.


OnePlus 12 Review

The OnePlus 12 is a solid all-rounder in the premium flagship segment as it carves out the best of everything and will give tough competition to other smartphone brands like Samsung, Apple, etc. in the market. The outstanding feature of OnePlus has been the presence of OxygenOS which delivers a smoother software experience as it does not have any bloatware present.

With the OnePlus 12, you get a premium build and design, a great AMOLED display along with stereo speakers for multimedia consumption, segment-best gaming performance, a great set of cameras for images and videos, great battery life with support for faster charging, and the software experience provides a premium experience with no bloatware and has a good record in terms of updates.

However, there are some areas where OnePlus could have made the smartphone better like instead of the IP65 rating, they could have provided the proper IP68 rating, the ultrawide camera performance in low-light needs some improvement, and though the performance is flagship level, there is a lot of thermal throttling which needs to be optimized properly.

On an overall basis, the OnePlus 12 is a good upgrade over the OnePlus 11 as it betters its predecessor in terms of design, support for wireless charging, a slightly better display, better performance, slightly better battery life, and a slightly better camera performance. OnePlus has definitely made a successful product out there which can definitely set the bar high in the global market out there. 

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