OnePlus 12 could be one of the best Android phones of 2024

OnePlus 12 in white render.
Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

OnePlus has had a brilliant year thanks to some great devices. The OnePlus 11 emerges as a comeback in terms of value for money, with high-end features for just $699. It offers a big, bright screen, a good quality camera, great performance with clean software, and all-day battery life.

But there are still two shortcomings, which the OnePlus 12 launched in China today seems to have fixed. If the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is anything like the Gen 2 in terms of efficiency, the OnePlus 12 could be one of the best Android phones of 2024.

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A truly impressive camera system

The OnePlus 12 camera module is green.
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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 display, it has been upgraded to offer two key features – one that I really miss, plus one that appeals to the US market, in particular.

Even though there are three cameras on the OnePlus 11, I missed the 3x optical zoom. The OnePlus 12 uses a new triple camera setup, which not only adds a better telephoto sensor, but also shares overall camera DNA with the OnePlus Open. The OnePlus 12’s triple rear camera setup is led by a 50MP Sony LYT-808 primary camera with optical image stabilization (OIS). Accompanied by a Sony IMX581 48MP ultrawide angle camera and an OV64B 64MP periscope lens with 3x optical zoom.

This is the exact lens configuration like the OnePlus Open, which houses the most versatile camera setup on a foldable phone. I’ve been using OnePlus foldable phones since they launched, and the cameras continue to improve with each update.

The Sony LYT-808 50MP sensor is very impressive in the OnePlus Open. As you can see from the image above, skin tones are good and there’s a wide dynamic range, with no excessive highlights in the clouds — the overall image looks pleasing. The camera wasn’t well tuned for low light at launch, but OnePlus has fixed that to some extent as well.

Although the 50MP main camera is capable of capturing detailed photos, I was more impressed with the 64MP periscope camera. This is because this camera not only produces great 3x shots, but also has good performance at up to 15x digital zoom, with incredible 6x zoom images. When compared to the digital zoom on my iPhone 15 Pro, the OnePlus Open performed better at 6x and up to 15x.

The image above shows excellent detail and good dynamic range at 3x and 6x zoom. Those are some of the big expectations you want to have after trying OnePlus Open. But with the same camera setup (now set to “4th Generation Hasselblad Camera for Mobile”), I’m pretty confident that the OnePlus 12 will be a step ahead of the OnePlus 11 in terms of camera quality.

OnePlus is bringing back wireless charging

Photo of someone holding a white/silver OnePlus 12.

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Both the OnePlus 11 and OnePlus Open have one glaring drawback – no wireless charging. While I haven’t had any issues (as I mostly work remotely in cafes or from the couch), I’ve had arguments about how convenient wireless charging is for some people. It’s also helpful if you have multiple wireless charging pads installed in different places in your home.

The OnePlus 12 features 50 watt wireless charging. This is reminiscent of OnePlus 10 Pro, which was the fastest wireless charging phone in the US at the time of its launch. The OnePlus 12 will soon take on that role as it is rumored to launch in the US in January.

The addition of a better camera and wireless charging makes the OnePlus 12 a complete phone. You’d expect a price increase, but I predict this will be one phone to look out for in 2024 given the company’s recent track record and my experience with the OnePlus Open camera system. The OnePlus 11 was already a great phone, and the 2024 flagship looks to take those improvements.

What else does the OnePlus 12 offer?

OnePlus 12 is Black.

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The OnePlus 12 features a 6.82-inch QHD+ 2K OLED LTPO display that supports 120Hz refresh rate. The screen is rated to reach a peak brightness of 4,500 nits, which is one of the highest numbers we’ve seen. Typically you’ll see phones hit around 1,600 nits, but it could be a Lots brighter when needed. The 4,500 nits level is intended for HDR content; some areas of the screen can reach those numbers when needed in HDR video. Like the OnePlus Open, the OnePlus 12 display supports Dolby Vision, 10Bit Color Depth, and ProXDR.

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

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

Design-wise, the OnePlus 12 hasn’t undergone an overhaul, but it still has some noticeable changes. Firstly, the alert slider is now on the other side of the phone, so you now get the volume rocker and power button on one side and the alert slider on the other. Second, the green variant features a wavy pattern on the back. It definitely looks good in pictures. The OnePlus 12 comes in three color options — white, green, and black.

OnePlus 12 price and availability

OnePlus 12 is green and white.

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OnePlus 12 prices start at 4,299 yuan ($607) in China for the base 12GB/256GB variant, while the top-end 24GB/1TB model will retail for 5,799 yuan ($818). This is a 300 yuan increase from the OnePlus 11, and you can expect a price increase on the OnePlus 12 when it launches 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 finally arrives in the US, but if China’s pricing is anything to go by, then it should be pretty competitive.

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