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OnePlus 12: First impressions of new product

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The official European presentation of the OnePlus 12 smartphone has taken place. This is the brand’s new flagship and one of the best Android smartphones of 2024. We had the opportunity to get acquainted with the novelty a week before it hit the shelves at a special press event. We were impressed and are ready to share our impressions. Let me tell you right away that for a price around $800, this is a very intriguing smartphone! Let’s delve into the details in the following article.

OnePlus 12

It’s worth noting that the OnePlus 12 was available for sale in China last year, but it reached other continents with some delay. Alongside the OnePlus 12, the OnePlus 12R was also released — a somewhat simplified and more affordable version of the flagship.

Read also: OnePlus 11 5G review: budget flagship

OnePlus 12 technical specifications

  • Dimensions and weight: 164.3 x 75.8 x 9.2 mm, 220 g
  • Materials: Victus 2 Gorilla Glass, aluminium frame
  • Degree of protection: IP65
  • Screen: 6.82″, 1440×3168 (510 ppi), LTPO AMOLED, 1 billion colours, 120 Hz, Dolby Vision, HDR10+, 4500 nits peak brightness, Always-on display, ability to work with a wet screen
  • Software: Android 14, OxygenOS 14 shell
  • Chipset: Qualcomm SM8650-AB Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 (4 nm), octa-core (1×3.3 GHz Cortex-X4 and 5×3.2 GHz Cortex-A720 and 2×2.3 GHz Cortex-A520), Adreno 750 GPU
  • Memory: 12/256 GB, 16/512 GB, without microSD slot, LPDDR5X RAM, UFS 4.0 storage
  • Cameras:
    • Sony LYT808 50 megapixel main lens, f/1.6, 23 mm (width), 1/1.43″, 1.12 µm, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS
    • Periscope telephoto lens 64 megapixels, f/2.6, 70 mm, 1/2.0″, 0.7 µm, PDAF, OIS, 3x optical zoom
    • Wide-angle lens 48 megapixels, f/2.2, 14 mm, 114˚, 1/2.0″, 0.8 µm, PDAF
    • Front camera 32 megapixels, f/2.4, 21 mm, 1/2.74″, 0.8 µm
    • Hasselblad Colour Calibration, Turbo RAW HDR 2.0
    • Video 8K@24fps, 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/240fps, auto HDR, gyro-EIS, Dolby Vision
  • Audio: stereo, 24-bit/192kHz Hi-Res, without 3.5mm jack
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6/7, Bluetooth 5.4, navigation (GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO, QZSS), NFC, USB Type-C 3.2, 5G, DualSIM
  • Battery: Li-Po 5400 mAh, 100W wired charging (1-100% in 26 min, 1-50% in 11 min), 50W wired charging 1-100% in 55 min, 10W wired reverse charging

Design: beautiful colours, unique Aqua Touch function

The smartphone will be sold in the brand’s traditional bright red box. It’s quite large, as it also contains a powerful 100W charger and a decent cable. There’s no case included, but there is a small adapter from USB to USB Type-C.

And one more interesting detail – inside the box lid, there is a thank you note to outstanding members of the OnePlus community who contribute to the improvement of the brand’s smartphones.

OnePlus 12The OnePlus 12’s body is crafted from aluminum and glass. The smartphone feels relatively heavy and securely fits in the hand. The screen glass is Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2, which, while not as advanced as the Gorilla Glass Armor on the S24 Ultra, is still quite reliable. The rear panel also features Gorilla Glass, albeit from an earlier generation.

In China, the model is available in three colors – black, white, and green. In most European countries, only black (Silky Black) and green colors will be available. We had the opportunity to get acquainted with both variants. The black color is a classic, with a matte finish similar to the Motorola Edge or HUAWEI P60 Pro.

And this green one, correctly named Flowy Emerald, is something extraordinary! At the presentation, we were told that the OnePlus designer drew inspiration from nature, specifically the Dart River in New Zealand.

The green back is truly luxurious. It’s a beautiful shade of green with a silverish hue when the light hits it. The back panel has a matte finish that doesn’t attract many fingerprints.

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OnePlus 12The OnePlus logo is intricately carved right in the center of the back panel. The Flowy Emerald color features dark green “marble-like” lines, giving it the appearance of natural stone or quartz. I really like this shade of green; it stands out distinctly among the colors offered by most other manufacturers.

While I like the look of the back panel in the Flowy Emerald color, I must admit that it can be a bit slippery in hand. This might be related to the matte finish. If you’re concerned about dropping the phone, I recommend getting a case.

OnePlus 12

The camera island is located in the same place as in the OnePlus 11, but now it seamlessly blends in color with the rest of the body. Instead of the full “Hasselblad” branding, only the “H” logo is visible at the center of the module, making it simple and unobtrusive.

OnePlus 12

I especially like a small detail related to the Flowy Emerald color: there are shiny silver speckles on the camera island. It’s a subtle detail that can be noticed only under the right lighting and from the right angle, but I appreciate it.

OnePlus 12The frame of the body is made of aluminum but looks like stainless steel. Unfortunately, it is prone to collecting fingerprints, smudges, and scratches. Most of the lateral edges of the OnePlus 12 are rounded, but the top and bottom parts are flat.

The smartphone feels quite comfortable in the hand, it is slim, and the rounded edges of the screen contribute to its sleekness, making one-handed operation quite comfortable. The side bezels of the display are almost imperceptible, and the curved edges help create the effect of a more immersive display.

One of the unique features of OnePlus devices is the Alert Slider. This small toggle switch is pleasant to the touch and allows users to easily switch between modes (normal, vibration, silent). Interestingly, the Alert Slider is now located on the left side of the phone, not on the right, opposite the volume control and lock/switch buttons. Users told OnePlus that this arrangement is more convenient, and they were heard.

OnePlus 12

“One more thing” – the model is equipped with water resistance according to the IP65 standard. This means that the phone is dust-resistant and can withstand light splashes of water. However, it is not designed for full immersion in water or prolonged contact with water under pressure. It would be nice to have IP68, but we have what we have.

OnePlus 12

However, there is a new feature called Aqua Touch. This means that the smartphone’s processor, together with the screen, removes water droplets and allows for comfortable screen navigation even when it’s wet. This is very convenient during rain or snow – truly a “killer feature”!

Aqua Touch OnePlus

Aqua Touch OnePlusDuring the presentation, we had the opportunity to test this feature, and it works very well! Perhaps only in the first few seconds, the phone may “act up” and try to adjust, but then there are no issues!

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Read also: OnePlus Buds Pro 2 TWS headphones review: a versatile flagship

OnePlus 12 screen: at the flagship level

The latest flagship OnePlus features a 6.82-inch LTPO AMOLED 120Hz display with support for Dolby Vision, HDR10+, and Pro HDR. The SHIM has a frequency of 2160Hz. The resolution is very high at 1440×3168, so even the smallest fonts and elements look clear and vibrant.

And now another “wow” surprise – the peak brightness of the screen reaches 4500 nits! Of course, only in extreme conditions, such as under direct sunlight, but it’s impressive! At the same time, the typical brightness is 600 nits, and the elevated brightness is 1600 nits (sufficient for most situations).

OnePlus 12

OnePlus 12’s screen is truly flagship-level, with above-average quality, perfect color reproduction, and it’s a real pleasure to work with!

Read also: All about Samsung Galaxy S24, Galaxy S24+ and Galaxy S24 Ultra: Report from presentation

OnePlus 12 hardware, battery, software

The latest flagship operates on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, and the Pixelworks X7 GPU helps process images and generate them with higher resolution and frame rates. The OnePlus 12 will be available in versions with 12/256GB and 16/512GB of memory. There is no memory card slot, so it’s better to choose the variant with more built-in storage. The RAM is a fast LPDDR5X module, and the internal storage utilizes UFS 4.0.

OnePlus 12

Certainly, more in-depth testing will be needed (which we’ll get to when we review the device), but after using the smartphone for a couple of hours, I can say that the OnePlus 12 is a productivity champion, and it handles any demanding task without a hitch.

OnePlus 12

During the initial tests, we did not observe excessive heating of the device. During the presentation, it was mentioned that the dual cryo-velocity cooling system has been improved, and the thermal dissipation area is 9140 mm², which is the largest among smartphones.

cryo-velocity cooling system

A powerful smartphone with a high-resolution display should have a large battery capacity, and the OnePlus 12 indeed features a 5400 mAh battery with the proprietary SuperVOOC 100W fast charging. The adapter is included in the package! According to the manufacturer, charging the OnePlus 12 from 0% to 100% takes just 26 minutes, and reaching 50% only takes 11 minutes. These are the manufacturer’s claims, and their verification will be done in more detailed tests, but typically, such fast-charging claims from OnePlus have proven to be accurate.

OnePlus 12

The new flagship also offers 50W wireless charging (using the AIRVOOC wireless technology, reaching 100% in 55 minutes). However, to achieve such high speeds, you’ll need the corresponding OnePlus wireless charging device. This is a significant addition, especially considering that OnePlus 11 did not have wireless charging at all.

Moreover, the smartphone can share its power with other devices, as it also supports 10W wireless reverse charging.

OnePlus 12

OnePlus 12 supports 5G, dual SIM cards, Wi-Fi 6e (and is ready for Wi-Fi 7), dual GPS, Bluetooth 5.4, NFC, USB 3.2 (finally!), has an under-display fingerprint scanner (works flawlessly), and an infrared port for controlling home appliances. It also offers a pretty good and loud stereo sound.

OnePlus 12

Cameras, first examples of images

The OnePlus 12 features a combination of a 50 MP main camera (enhanced Sony LYT808 1/1.4″) with OIS, a 48 MP ultra-wide sensor, and a 64 MP periscope telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom. The front camera module has a resolution of 32 MP. While it may not be on the level of the S24 Ultra, it still sounds impressive.

OnePlus 12

OnePlus 12

The smartphone offers up to 6x hybrid zoom without loss and up to 120x digital zoom, along with the Turbo RAW HDR 2.0 option for the most advanced mobile photographers. HDR photos are created by capturing multiple images with different exposures and combining them to showcase a wide dynamic range. The TurboRAW HDR algorithm goes further, “understanding” the photo to better highlight the nuances of reflections and shadows.

How all of this will work in practice, we will examine in a comprehensive review. In the meantime, we managed to take a few photos with the test model:

Selfie:

OnePlus 12 selfie

Macro:

Zoom examples:

In terms of video recording, we have the standard 4K 60fps format, but there is also an 8K option. A simple example in Full HD:

I am very optimistic about the improved camera features of the OnePlus 12. With the 4th generation Hasselblad Camera for Mobile, the smartphone is expected to produce high-quality photos, though the real picture will be revealed through comparative tests with other flagship models. I cannot overlook the importance of improving low-light shooting quality—a realm where OnePlus has continued to be underrated. Soon, we will find out if anything has changed.

Read also: HONOR Magic5 Lite Review: Nice Mid-range Device

OnePlus 12 test: preliminary conclusions

The OnePlus 12 is not only an incredibly beautiful smartphone but also boasts a set of promising specifications, including the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor, a 6.8-inch AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, and Android 14 with the OxygenOS 14 overlay. Additionally, it features 100W wired charging, 50W wireless charging, and a triple camera system consisting of a 50MP main Sony module with OIS, a 64MP telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom, and a 48MP wide-angle camera.

You’ll have to wait for the full review to see how all these features perform, but at first glance, everything looks very promising! What would be desirable? Perhaps better water resistance, but for now, we don’t see any other significant drawbacks.

OnePlus 12Read also:

Review ratings
Design
10
Materials, build quality
10
Ergonomics
10
Display
10
Performance
10
Cameras
9
Software
9
Sound
9
Battery life
9
Price
9
OnePlus 12 is not only an incredibly beautiful smartphone but also boasts a set of promising specifications, including the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor, a 6.8-inch AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, and Android 14 with the OxygenOS 14 interface. To learn how all these features perform, you'll have to wait for the full review, but at first glance, everything looks very promising. What would be desirable? Perhaps better water resistance; for now, we don't see any other significant drawbacks.
Olga Akukin
Olga Akukin
IT journalist with more than 15 years of experience. I love new smartphones, tablets and wearable gadgets. I do very detailed tests, write reviews, articles, news.
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OnePlus 12 is not only an incredibly beautiful smartphone but also boasts a set of promising specifications, including the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor, a 6.8-inch AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, and Android 14 with the OxygenOS 14 interface. To learn how all these features perform, you'll have to wait for the full review, but at first glance, everything looks very promising. What would be desirable? Perhaps better water resistance; for now, we don't see any other significant drawbacks.OnePlus 12: First impressions of new product
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