• Wed. Feb 21st, 2024

OnePlus 12 Evaluation: A Powerhouse Flagship With One Key Flaw

OnePlus 12 Evaluation: A Powerhouse Flagship With One Key Flaw


Professionals

Extraordinarily highly effective processor

Stellar battery life

Hyperfast charging

Massive, vibrant show

Cons

Disappointing digital camera efficiency

Rivals supply longer software program help

The OnePlus 12 is filled with potent tech from its supercharged processor to its wonderful display. In my time testing it, I discovered its battery life is nice and it costs in lightning-fast time. It is a telephone that works onerous to justify its flagship title. However then it must, as its $800 beginning value (with 12GB RAM and 256GB storage) makes it costlier than final yr’s OnePlus 11. The upper-end mannequin I reviewed (16GB RAM, 512GB storage) is available in at a princely $900. 

At a time when purse strings are nonetheless tight and competitors from rivals is fierce, upping the value of its telephones is a dangerous technique for OnePlus. Within the UK, issues are worse, with the top-of-the-line mannequin costing £999, or £150 greater than the absolutely maxed-out OnePlus 11. A direct forex conversion of OnePlus 12’s $900 value comes out to £708 on the time of writing, or about £850 together with tax. That is a £150 premium, making this telephone a really completely different worth proposition for UK customers. 

Image of oneplus phone in green
Andrew Lanxon/CNET

Within the US, it nonetheless manages to undercut its chief rival, Google’s Pixel 8 Professional, which begins at $999 (£999) with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. In some methods, the OnePlus 12 punches more durable than the Pixel, with higher processor efficiency and, in my testing, higher battery life. However the Pixel 8 Professional has a typically higher digital camera, and it will get at the very least seven years of software program and safety updates, simply besting the OnePlus 12’s 4 years of software program and 5 years of safety updates.

I additionally choose the Pixel’s software program. Total, it is robust to decide on between them, however it comes all the way down to what you need out of your telephone. In case you’re a eager photographer, go for the Pixel. Extra into cellular video games? The OnePlus is for you. 

OnePlus 11 and 12 pricing

Cellphone, RAM + storageUS priceUK priceAustralian priceOnePlus 11, 8GB + 128GB $700£729NAOnePlus 11, 16GB + 256GB $800£799AU$1,399OnePlus 12, 12GB + 256GB $800£849Converts to AU$1,640*OnePlus 12, 16GB + 512GB $900£999Converts to AU$1,930*

*Australian costs for the OnePlus 12 have but to be introduced. These conversions are from the UK value, which like in Australia consists of 20% VAT.

A well-known design

Visually, the OnePlus 12’s design would not stray removed from the OnePlus 11’s. It options an nearly equivalent round digital camera unit set right into a curving glass again with a shiny aluminum body. The 12’s glass again is frosted now although, with my inexperienced evaluation mannequin that includes a wavy sample that I moderately like. It is good to carry, with a stable, luxurious really feel that I believe is extra premium than the slippery shiny again of the OnePlus 11.

Image of oneplus phone in green

With the equivalent spherical digital camera items, the OnePlus 12 seems to be acquainted to final yr’s OnePlus 11.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

That mentioned, I took the telephone to the pub and several other of my mates thought that it seemed, and felt, like “the plasticky laminate coating discovered on low cost kitchen work surfaces in scholar housing.” Like something, aesthetics are subjective, so perhaps attempt to examine one out within the flesh earlier than spending your money.

I like that the quantity buttons have been moved to the identical aspect as the facility button, which makes them simpler to make use of with one hand, whereas the attribute OnePlus toggle change now occupies its personal spot on the left aspect. The entrance glass is Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2, and the again is created from toughened Gorilla Glass 5. The telephone is IP64-rated to maintain it protected from spilled drinks or in case you take calls within the rain. 

Utilizing the telephone when it is raining ought to be a bit simpler too, because the telephone’s display has been designed to acknowledge contact inputs, even when moist. I sprinkled the display with faucet water and whereas it was noticeably much less correct than when dry, it was nonetheless usable, with nearly no incorrect inputs acknowledged. I attempted sprinkling the same quantity of water onto the display of my iPhone 15 Professional Max and located it to be nearly unusable. A win for the OnePlus right here. 

Image of oneplus phone in green

The show is vivid, daring and even works when moist. Good.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

An extremely vivid, vibrant show

At 6.82 inches, the OnePlus 12’s show is large enough to provide you loads of room for movies and cellular video games, whereas its excessive decision implies that all content material is pin-sharp. Colours are extraordinarily vibrant too, doing justice to all of the colourful Netflix exhibits or neon-toned cellular video games you can need. 

It has a variable refresh price from 1 to 120Hz to provide higher efficiency throughout extra intense duties like gaming, and OnePlus says it is the brightest show ever on a telephone, with a whopping 4,500-nit peak brightness. Theoretically, that makes it brighter than the Samsung Galaxy S24 Extremely and about twice as vivid because the iPhone 15 Professional Max. However these are lab-based figures. Aspect by aspect, the distinction between the iPhone and OnePlus 12 is not that large. There’s a distinction, nevertheless, and there is not any query that the telephone is exceptionally vivid, which makes it nice for out of doors use. 

Highly effective Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor

The OnePlus 12 runs the most recent Qualcomm Snapdragon 3 chip at its core, backed up by both 12GB or 16GB of RAM (as reviewed). As probably the most cutting-edge chip from Qualcomm, it is protected to count on it to be one thing of a powerhouse, however OnePlus additionally boasts that its “Trinity Engine” optimizes the CPU, RAM and storage for a quicker and extra secure expertise. 

Usually these claims are greatest taken with a pinch of salt, however the OnePlus 12 does really feel extraordinarily swift in use. The motion RPG Genshin Influence performed at maxed-out settings with extremely easy 60-frames-per-second gameplay with completely zero lag or stuttering seen at any level. Battle royale shooter PUBG was additionally buttery easy. Ditto for racer Asphalt 9: Legends. 

OnePlus 12 efficiency in contrast

OnePlus 12 5,066Galaxy S24 Extremely 4,415iPhone 15 Professional Max 4,193

Notice: Longer bars equal higher efficiency

On 3DMark’s Wild Life Excessive graphics benchmark, it beat each the brand new Galaxy S24 Extremely and iPhone 15 Professional Max’s scores. The truth is, its rating was the second highest I’ve ever seen on that take a look at, crushed solely marginally by the brand new Asus ROG Cellphone 8 Professional, which can also be powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3.

Normal navigation across the telephone and multitasking is extraordinarily zippy and, in truth, I struggled to seek out something that appeared to sluggish it down in any respect. Clearly, the combo of potent chip and software program optimization is doing its half. OnePlus reckons that the larger profit is that it’s going to stay easy over time, whilst your telephone fills up with apps and information. I’ve solely had the telephone per week, so that is one thing I will should proceed testing over the approaching months. 

Image of oneplus phone in green

The OnePlus 12 runs Android 14.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

The OnePlus 12 runs on Android 14, with OnePlus’ Oxygen OS laid excessive. I fairly just like the interface — it is neat and straightforward to function. Android novices are simply as effectively catered to right here as skilled Android veterans. OnePlus presents 4 years of software program updates and a further fifth yr of safety updates. That is the identical as on the OnePlus 11 and, whereas that was respectable then, firms like Google and Samsung now supply seven years of help.

Longer help intervals imply your telephone shall be safer to make use of over time, which is healthier for you and higher for the planet. Whereas 5 years is not dangerous, it is nonetheless disappointing to not see OnePlus attempt to up its sport right here, and it is a key approach that the telephone lags behind the competitors.

Extra annoying nonetheless is that OnePlus has given longer help to the OnePlus 12 than it has the cheaper OnePlus 12R, which will get one yr much less of each software program and safety help. It is a irritating stance to take right here, because it means that sustainability is a premium providing reserved just for customers who can afford it.

Image of oneplus phone in green

Within the US, the OnePlus 12 helps 80-watt quick charging.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

Notable by its absence, although, is any main push for generative AI on the OnePlus 12. AI options have been large components of Google’s Pixel telephones for a number of generations now, and AI was a significant a part of Samsung’s launch for the Galaxy S24 collection. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip powering the OnePlus 12 is even designed with AI expertise in thoughts. But, OnePlus hasn’t spoken about AI, and there aren’t any notable generative AI-based options baked into the software program. 

Personally, I discover this a refreshing stance from the corporate. I have never discovered any AI options on different telephones (just like the wallpaper generator on the Pixel 8 Professional) to be particularly helpful, and I am happy that OnePlus hasn’t jumped on a bandwagon right here, including redundant options merely in order that it will possibly boast that it has them. Maybe I will be singing a distinct tune for the OnePlus 13. 

Stellar battery life, extremely quick charging

The opposite facet to OnePlus’ software program optimizations is energy effectivity, which — along with the capacious 4,500-mAh battery (twin 2,700-mAh batteries) — permits the OnePlus 12 to ship wonderful battery life. After an hour of streaming a YouTube video on Wi-Fi at max brightness, the telephone hadn’t dropped under 100%. After a second hour, it nonetheless confirmed as 100%, and it was solely after the third hour that it dropped to 95%, which is without doubt one of the greatest efforts I’ve seen on this take a look at. 

By comparability, the Galaxy S23 Extremely dropped from full to 95% after the primary hour and went all the way down to 82% after the third hour. Equally, the iPhone 15 Professional Max had dropped to 87% remaining after three hours of streaming. Even after nearly an hour of intense gaming at max settings, the OnePlus 12’s battery had dropped solely 10%. 

In brief, I am very impressed with the telephone’s energy administration, and I am assured you will simply have the ability to get a full day of even demanding use. With extra cautious use, you can most likely get a lot of the approach by a second day for these events while you forgot to provide it a cost in a single day. 

Image of oneplus phone in green

The OnePlus 12 is without doubt one of the strongest telephones we have ever examined.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

In case you do occur to wish to high the juice up, the telephone’s fast-charging makes {that a} tremendous fast process. Within the US, the OnePlus 12 helps 80-watt quick charging, which ought to take the telephone from empty to full in somewhat over half-hour. My UK mannequin takes that even additional, with 100-watt wired charging permitting for a full recharge in 26 minutes, or from empty to half full in solely 11 minutes. 

Quick charging is one in every of my favourite battery improvements in any telephone, because it means you need not fear fairly as a lot about your battery working out later within the day. In case you’re heading out for a giant night time out and forgot to cost your telephone, you possibly can simply give it a fast enhance whilst you wait on your Uber to reach and it will maintain you going for hours. 

The telephone additionally has wi-fi charging — one thing not seen on the OnePlus 11 — which helps as much as 50-watt speeds, so long as yow will discover a suitable high-speed wi-fi charger. 

Image of oneplus phone in green

The telephone has three fundamental cameras on the again.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

Disappointing cameras

OnePlus telephones have sometimes provided wonderful processor efficiency however solely OK imaging expertise, and that is very a lot the case right here. The OnePlus 12 comes with three rear cameras. They embrace a 50-megapixel fundamental digital camera with a bigger picture sensor and large f1.6 aperture, a 48-megapixel ultrawide digital camera and a 32-megapixel telephoto digital camera with a 3x optical zoom. 

A photo of an alley

OnePlus 12, fundamental digital camera.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

a photo of people walking

OnePlus 12, fundamental digital camera.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

a photo of a graffiti

OnePlus 12, fundamental digital camera.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

In daylight, pictures from the primary digital camera are respectable. Publicity is usually good, there’s loads of element to be seen, and colours are principally fairly correct. 

a photo of a building on a river

OnePlus 12, fundamental digital camera.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

a photo of a building on a river

OnePlus 12, ultrawide digital camera.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

There’s much less colour shift while you change between fundamental and ultrawide lenses too, which was one thing I discovered to be a selected downside on the final mannequin. 

a photo of gulls on a roof

Even at 6x zoom (3x optical and digital mixed), this daylight shot is crisp and vibrant.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

The 3x zoom lens captures zoomed-in pictures with sufficient element, and even the 6x zoom can produce some handsome pictures so long as you are taking pictures in vivid situations. The 6x zoom does simply digitally crop into pictures from the 3x lens, nevertheless, so there’s a discount in high quality. It is a disgrace to not see an extended optical zoom right here as I like the 5x zoom lens on the Pixel 8 Professional and the iPhone 15 Professional Max. 

a photo of a boat at night

OnePlus 12, fundamental digital camera, night time mode.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

a photo of a boat at night

iPhone 15 Professional Max, fundamental digital camera, night time mode.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

a photo of a boat at night

OnePlus 11, fundamental digital camera, night time mode.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

At night time, efficiency considerably drops. Pictures from all lenses are surprisingly darkish, with the ultrawide particularly producing extraordinarily darkish pictures. I usually most popular pictures taken on the OnePlus 11. 

a photo of a boat at night

OnePlus 12, ultrawide digital camera, night time mode.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

The optical zoom has been very hit and miss, with some pictures trying OK, whereas others have come out with such mushy particulars that they give the impression of being out of focus.

a photo of a bar

Taken with the telephoto zoom lens, this nighttime picture has come out effectively, with respectable particulars and readability. 

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

A photo of a bridge

Whereas this shot, additionally taken with the telephoto lens, has horrible particulars.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

A photo of a building

By comparability, the iPhone 15 Professional Max’s shot from its 5x optical zoom lens is crystal clear.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

I have been moderately stunned on the poor nighttime efficiency, as the broader aperture of the lens and the big sensor dimension ought to assist it seize extra gentle in darker situations. And certainly in additional low gentle moderately than particularly night time mode situations, I did discover the digital camera was in a position to take some handsome pictures. 

Total, I am underwhelmed by the cameras on the OnePlus 12. It is undoubtedly able to taking some nice pictures, so long as you are in good situations, and people of you who perhaps simply need good snaps of your loved ones and mates shall be effectively served. But it surely’s not up there with its flagship rivals, with its night time mode pictures particularly letting it down. 

Do you have to purchase the OnePlus 12?

The OnePlus 12 has a lot to justify its lofty price ticket. It is extraordinarily highly effective, its battery life is great, and the colourful, vivid display makes your video games and movies pop. It is also obtained a slick design that appears trendy but nonetheless good. 

Image of oneplus phone in green
Andrew Lanxon/CNET

It is a true flagship in lots of respects, however there are some issues that maintain me again from singing its praises utterly. Chief amongst them is the digital camera, which actually did not impress, particularly at night time. If pictures is essential to your cellular expertise, it is price trying elsewhere. 

And whereas its software program help is not the worst round, I actually hoped to see OnePlus extending its help interval to match what each Samsung and Google are providing. 

Nonetheless, in case you’re searching for a high-performance Android telephone for gaming, with a battery that’ll put up with actual punishment, the OnePlus 12 is effectively price a glance. 

How we take a look at telephones

Each telephone examined by CNET’s critiques staff is definitely utilized in the true world. We take a look at a telephone’s options, play video games and take pictures. We look at the show to see if it is vivid, sharp and vibrant. We analyze the design and construct to see how it’s to carry and whether or not it has an IP-rating for water-resistance. We push the processor’s efficiency to the extremes, utilizing standardized benchmark instruments like GeekBench and 3DMark in addition to our personal anecdotal observations navigating the interface, recording high-resolution movies and taking part in graphically intense video games at excessive refresh charges.

All of the cameras are examined in quite a lot of situations, from vivid daylight to darkish indoor scenes. We check out particular options like night time mode and portrait mode and evaluate our findings in opposition to equally priced competing telephones. We additionally take a look at the battery life by utilizing the telephone every day in addition to working a collection of battery drain assessments.

OnePlus 12 specs vs. Samsung Galaxy S24 Extremely, Google Pixel 8 Professional, Apple iPhone 15 Professional Max

OnePlus 12Samsung Galaxy S24 UltraGoogle Pixel 8 ProApple iPhone 15 Professional MaxDisplay dimension, tech, decision, refresh price 6.82-inch AMOLED; 3,168×1,440 pixels; 1-120Hz adaptive refresh rate6.8-inch AMOLED; 3,120×1,440 pixels; 1-120Hz adaptive refresh rate6.7-inch OLED; 3,120×1,440 pixels; 1-120Hz adaptive refresh rate6.7-inch OLED; 2,796×1,290 pixels; 120Hz adaptivePixel density 510 ppi501 ppi489 ppi460 ppiDimensions (inches) 6.5 x 3 x 0.36 in6.40 x 3.11 x 0.34 in6.4 x 3.0 x 0.3 in3.02 x 6.29 x 0.32 inDimensions (millimeters) 164.3 x 76 x 9.2 mm163 x 79 x 8.6 mm162.6 x 76.5 x 8.8 mm76.7 x 159.9 x 8.25 mmWeight (grams, ounces) 220 g (7.8 oz)233 g (8.22 oz) 213 g (7.5 oz)221 g (7.81 oz)Cell software program Android 14Android 14Android 14iOS 17Camera 50-megapixel (large), 48-megapixel (ultrawide), 64-megapixel (telephoto)200-megapixel (large), 12-megapixel (ultrawide), 10-megapixel (3x telephoto), 50-megapixel (5x telephoto)50-megapixel (large), 48-megapixel (ultrawide), 48-megapixel (telephoto)48-megapixel (large), 12-megapixel (ultrawide), 12-megapixel telephoto (5x optical)Entrance-facing digital camera 32-megapixel12-megapixel10.5-megapixel12-megapixelVideo seize 8K8K4K4KProcessor Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3Google Tensor G3A17 ProRAM/storage 12GB RAM + 256GB; 16GB RAM + 512GB12GB RAM + 256GB, 512GB, 1TB12GB RAM + 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB256GB, 512GB, 1TBExpandable storage NoneNoneNoneNoneBattery 5,400 mAh (twin 2,700 mAh)5,000 mAh5,050 mAhUndisclosed; Apple claims as much as 29 hours of video playback (25 hours streamed)Fingerprint sensor Underneath displayUnder displayUnder displayNone (Face ID)Connector USB-CUSB-CUSB-CUSB-C (USB 3.0)Headphone jack NoneNoneNoneNoneSpecial options 4,500-nit peak brightness; 4 years of software program and 5 years of safety updates; 80W wired charging (100W wired charging exterior US); 50W wi-fi charging with fan dock; Wi-Fi 7; Gorilla Glass Victus 2 cowl glass; Gorilla Glass 5 again glassTitanium body, 2,600-nit peak brightness; 7 years of OS and safety updates; 5G (mmWave); IP68 water and dirt resistance; wi-fi PowerShare to cost different gadgets; built-in S Pen; UWB for locating different gadgets; 45W wired charging (charger not included); Galaxy AI; Wi-Fi 7; Gorilla Glass Armor cowl glass5G (Sub 6 and mmWave); VPN by Google One; 7 years of OS, safety and Characteristic Drop updates; front-facing digital camera has autofocus; 13W Qi wi-fi charging; 30W wired charging; USB-3.2 speeds by way of USB-C; IP68 mud and water resistance; Gorilla Glass Victus 2 on entrance and back5G (mmw/Sub6), Motion Button, At all times-On show, IP68 ranking, MagSafe, Dynamic Island, 5x optical zoom (120mm equal), satellite tv for pc connectivity, eSIM, Thread networking technologyUS value begins at $800 (256GB)$1,300 (256GB)$999 (128GB)$1,199 (256GB)UK value begins at £849 (256GB)£1,249 (256GB)£999 (128GB)£1,199 (256GB)Australia value begins at Converts to AU$1,640 (256GB)AU$2,199 (256GB)AU$1,699 (128GB)AU$2,199 (256GB)

We take into consideration further options, like help for 5G, satellite tv for pc connectivity, fingerprint and face sensors, stylus help, quick charging speeds, and foldable shows, amongst others that may be helpful. And we steadiness all this in opposition to the value to provide the verdict on whether or not that telephone, no matter value it’s, truly represents good worth. Although these assessments might not all the time be mirrored in CNET’s preliminary evaluation, we conduct follow-up and long-term testing in most circumstances.



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