OnePlus 12 Review After the Hype: Best Flagship Smartphone of 2024?

OnePlus 12 Review After the Hype: Best Flagship Smartphone of 2024?

The OnePlus 12 has been gathering overwhelmingly positive feedback recently, which is kind of a resurgence for the Chinese brand. Taking into consideration what it offers, it’s no wonder it directly competes with high-end smartphones like the Galaxy S24 Ultra. But does it truly live up to the hype?

Let’s inspect!

Summary

Pros

  • Exceptional build quality
  • Ultra-fast wireless & wired charging
  • Optimized and feature-rich thanks to OxygenOS
  • Bright and vibrant display

Cons

  • European version costs a lot
  • Inconsistent camera performance
  • Some software bugs and limitations-

OnePlus 12 – Price

The first and most important thing about OnePlus 12 is the difference in the price tag in China compared to Europe. Since I’m based in Bulgaria, the almost 300$ surge felt like a lot, so I found the Chinese option much more appealing. This despite the fact that there may be network provider compatibility issues in the future and also no eSim variant. At the end of the day, I got basically the same feature-packed device for a much lower price.

OnePlus 12 – Unboxing

Due to the regional factor, the unboxing experience of OnePlus 12 hit a bit different. Still premium and mostly identical to what you would get out of an European order, but straight out of the box, you also get high-quality accessories like the case as well as a preinstalled screen protector.

Appearance and Build Quality

Crafted from premium glass and aluminum materials, OnePlus 12 gives off a luxurious and ergonomic vibe. The screen may be a bit too curved for my taste, and the cameras configuration a little overexaggerated, but overall, it fits nice in the hand and is guaranteed to endure continuous exploitation.

I cannot be happier with the sliding button on the side of the phone. Its primary function is to manage alerts and it’s a must for every Android device, in my opinion.

Display

OnePlus 12’s display deserves its own paragraph. As I mentioned, it is a bit curved on the sides, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that it rivals even the high-end players in the market. With exceptional 4500Nits peak brightness, the display is captivating, featuring vivid colors and crisp details that give life to every image and video.

Technical Specifications

  • Display: 6.82-inch AMOLED display with 4500Nits peak brightness
  • Body: Glass front (Gorilla Glass Victus 2), glass back (Gorilla Glass), aluminum frame
  • Weight: 220g
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 8 Gen 3
  • OS: Android 14 (OxygenOS)
  • RAM: 12/16GB LPPDR5X RAM
  • Battery: 5400mAh
  • Camera: Triple camera setup with Sony LYT-808 img. sensor
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.4
  • Sensors: Fingerprint (under display, optical), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, color spectrum
  • Water resistance: IP65

OnePlus 12 – Camera

OnePlus can certainly fit the most amazing and premium specs into their phones, but when it comes to the camera, they kind of take a break. I put OnePlus 12 to the test in a variety of conditions in order to establish the strongest and weakest points of its camera performance.

In terms of daytime photography, the phone certainly holds its ground, so you will be able to capture vibrant and detailed images of the world around you. The incorporation of the Hasselblad color science adds a touch of sophistication to each shot, infusing it with a level of depth and authenticity that’s truly impressive. However, there were some inconsistencies when the camera was faced with more challenging lighting conditions.

Moving on to nighttime photography, the OnePlus 12 struggled to maintain the same level of excellence.

While it still took a lot of decent images with minimal noise in low-light scenarios, the overall quality fell short of my expectations. Details tended to get lost in the shadows, and colors appeared dull and lacking in vibrancy. Additionally, the device’s own dedicated night mode, while helpful in brightening up some dark scenes, often introduced noticeable artifacts and distortion.

Portrait mode is what I was most disappointed by.

While the bokeh effects were nice, the results often lacked the quality seen in other flagship smartphones. Edge detection can be hit or miss, resulting in unnatural-looking blurs and inconsistencies around the subject’s outline. The post-image processing tends to over-sharpen, leading to harsh transitions and a lack of subtlety in the final output.

Despite the drawbacks, I found the overall camera performance satisfactory. I sometimes took shots which were so remarkable, you would mistake them for being taken by professional equipment.

OnePlus 12 – Software and Performance

You will find the software experience of OnePlus 12 quite snappy and pleasant, and apart from the strong chipset, there’s one even more important factor to blame: OxygenOS.

This operating system is based on Android 14 and brings forth a plethora of features and enhancements designed to optimize performance and enhance user productivity. The interface is smooth and intuitive, prioritizing functionality and customization, allowing you to tailor the device to suit your unique preferences and workflow.

As for performance, I would say that OnePlus 12 delivers nothing “unexpected”. Leveraging the cutting-edge capabilities of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset, it effortlessly handles even the most demanding tasks and games with ease. Moreover, the integration of advanced cooling systems ensures that thermal management remains optimal, preventing overheating and maintaining peak performance levels even during prolonged usage periods.

Battery Endurance

Another big reason OnePlus 12 grabs everyone’s attention is its extaordinary battery performance.

Thanks to OxygenOS and the dual-cell battery configuration, the phone guarantees exceptional longevity, allowing you to stay connected and productive throughout the day without the need for frequent recharging. Battery life is so optimized, its quality should not be severely impacted even by the ultra-fast charging capability, as many often blame for causing degradations and trouble.

In fact, the “ultra-fast” label doesn’t only guarantee incredible speed, but also supports both wired and wireless ways of charging.

Conclusion

OnePlus 12 has succeeded in disturbing the 2024 smartphone market. It has almost everything you need in a flagship device, gaining the deserved reputation of a flagship killer. However, I still find its European price a bit too high. Apart from the camera, everything about this phone is perfect, so you should definitely consider it if you’re looking for a new piece of tech.

If you want to learn more about OnePlus 12, check out my YouTube video.