OnePlus 12 5G Review: Fabulous Flagship at Affordable Price

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When flagship smartphones break the six-figure mark, boasting stellar cameras, stunning displays, and top-of-the-line performance, it begs the question: is there another way? Enter the OnePlus 12 5G, aiming to deliver a comparable flagship experience at a price tag closer to Rs. 70,000. So, does it succeed in offering the best of both worlds or are there compromises at play?

The OnePlus 12 packs some impressive specs, including the powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset, ample 512GB UFS 4.0 storage, a stunning LTPO AMOLED display, and surprisingly fast 50W wireless charging. With new Hasselblad camera features and the addition of a periscope telephoto lens OnePlus 12 hopes to challenge Samsung’s, iPhones’, and Pixel of the world. On paper, it does appear to be a formidable challenger, but can it translate these specs into real-world performance that rivals the best? This OnePlus 12 review aims to find out:

OnePlus 12 5G Review Snapshot

Editor’s rating: 4/5

Design

Display

Software

Performance

Camera

Battery

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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Pros

  • Bright AMOLED display
  • Latest powerful chipset
  • Wireless charging
  • Decent 3x lossless zoom
  • Reasonable price compared to other flagships

Cons

  • No AI features
  • Underwhelming low-light performance

OnePlus 12 5G Price & Availability

OnePlus 12 comes in Flowy Emerald and Silky Black shades via Amazon and the OnePlus website. It is available in 2 storage configurations-

  • 12GB RAM+256GB storage- Rs. 64,999
  • 16GB RAM+512GB storage- Rs. 69,999

OnePlus 12 5G Review: Design and Build

The basic design of the OnePlus 12 5G is similar to its predecessor, however, there are smaller changes that add to its overall appeal. The camera module shape is largely the same but it is now larger and it resembles the dial of a stylish watch. The camera module has a metal plate on the left that merges with the side frame seamlessly. One more thing that has changed is the Hasselblad branding at the back. This time ‘H’ logo can be found inside the camera module.

Talking about the build of the device, it is curved from all 4 edges. The rear panel and display are curved from the side as well. In the middle is the metal frame. Build quality feels premium and the grip in hand is also comfortable. Although the device doesn’t necessarily slip from hands, considering its price we would advise you to use the device with its protective cover that comes inside the box. The silicone cover bundled inside the box is also premium. The smartphone comes in 2 shades and the cover matches the color of the smartphone inside the box. Putting the cover on does make the device look thicker, but it is necessary to protect it.

We received the Silky Black color variant of the device for review purposes. The rear panel has a matte finish which looks shimmery when light falls on it. This makes the device look attractive. We have come across the flow emerald color variant as well and that one also looks stylish. The best part is that both the color variants don’t catch smudges easily. However, my personal favorite here is the black variant.

Since the phone is premium, it is bound to come with a OnePlus signature alert slider. This will be found on the left edge and has a texture as well, which makes it easy to use. The right edge houses a volume rocker and power button while the bottom edge includes a SIM tray, microphone, USB Type-C port, and speaker grille.

The design of the smartphone is very attractive, although it is slightly thick in terms of body. But if you want a larger and beefier battery, this much has to be acceptable to you. Along with a large display, the weight of the device has not increased much and for protection, it comes with a premium and strong protective cover.

OnePlus 12 5G Review: Display

OnePlus 12 sports a 6.78-inch AMOLED display. It is an LTPO panel supported by a dynamic 1Hz to 120Hz refresh rate for content consumption. The display also comes with ProXDR and Dolby Vision support as well. There is 4500 nits peak brightness which makes it super bright. In outdoor conditions under direct sunlight, the display was visible without any hassles. OnePlus 12 claimed peak brightness number beat the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra display on paper but under direct sunlight, Samsung’s display turned out comparatively more legible.

With the curved screen and slim bezels, the display looks premium. Although the bezels on the chin are thicker than others it will still fall in the sleek category. At the top is a small punch-hole selfie sensor. Content consumption on this display is an immersive experience. This is because the details and colors on the screen are beautiful. There is HDR support that makes watching any show or movie even more interesting.

Overall, OnePlus 12 is a good device for content streaming. Stereo speakers and Dolby Atmos support offer a good audio experience as well. This one doesn’t give cracked or cacophonous sound like mid-range devices. With detailed and sharp visuals, crisp audio offers an entertaining content streaming experience.

ALSO READ: Poco M6 5G Review: Affordable 5G Companion that fits the Bill

ALSO READ: Poco X6 5G Review: Mid-Ranger that Lasts All Day Long

OnePlus 12 5G Review: Performance

OnePlus 12 5G comes with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset which is arguably the most powerful octa-core processor at the moment in Android fold. Paired with it are 16GB LPDDR5x RAM and 512GB UFS 4.0 storage. There are two variants available, out of which we currently have a 16GB+512GB model. There is an additional 4GB Virtual RAM option as well, but I don’t think there will be a need to use this virtual RAM when you already have 16GB in-built RAM available.

Talking about the performance of the chipset, in simple words it is smooth and efficient. We regularly watched shows, used cameras, and gamed in high graphic settings (titles including COD Mobile) and all were very seamless. Usage included running apps like WhatsApp, Gmail, Camera, Instagram, YouTube, and Calls which means multitasking and I must say apps were quick to load and open. There were no lags at all. Even after using it for a long time, there were no heating issues with the device.

Some benchmark tests were run on the device and the results are shared below.

Benchmark TestResult
Antutu18,36,792
Geekbench: single-core and multi-core 1232 (single-core), 4980 (Multi-core)
3D Mark Wild Life Stress Test –
Best Loop score
Lowest Loop score
14021 (Best loop score)
9979 (Lowest loop score)
Work 3.0 performance score 12886

OnePlus 12 runs Android 14-based Oxygen OS 14 which offers a nice and smooth software experience. OxygenOS UI is easy to use and Android 14 offers new features as well. The smartphone has all OnePlus and Google apps but apart from that there is no bloatware issue. There are some special features as well like a smart sidebar. However, one thing in which the OnePlus 12 lags is the AI features present in the Pixel 8 and Galaxy S24 Series.

New smartphones from Samsung and Google come with advanced AI features that aren’t there on the OnePlus 12. These include live translation, voice meetings, and more. One available feature is Magic Compose which allows generative AI to personalize your messages. Other than this, OnePlus will soon roll out the Emojify feature as well, which will allow AI to scan your profile and create emojis for you.

ALSO READ: Realme 12 Pro Plus 5G Review: Stylish Companion for All Your Photography Needs

OnePlus 12 5G Review: Cameras

OnePlus tries to improve its camera setup every year. OnePlus continues to partner with Hasselblad for cameras in its flagship device. This year OnePlus has added a new periscope lens to its triple camera setup. If we talk about specs, there is a 50MP primary Sony LYT-808 sensor with f/1.6 aperture and Optical Image Stabilization. Additionally, there is a 48MP ultrawide Sony IMX581 sensor with f/2.2 aperture. The third lens is a 64MP periscope telephoto lens that is an OmniVision OV64B sensor with f/2.6 aperture, OIS, 3x optical zoom, 6x in-sensor zoom, and 120z digital zoom. There is also a 32MP front camera featuring a Sony IMX615 sensor with f/2.4 aperture.

The primary 50MP camera clicks good shots in good daylight. The details are captured well under sunlight during the day. Dynamic range is decent as well, differentiation between shadow and light is visible. The colors in the photos are natural and real. Even during night shots, dynamic range is maintained well. In evening photos, you can differentiate between the color of the sky and trees and detailing is also maintained.

Talking about the 64MP periscope lens, with 3x optical zoom the images are full of details. However, with 6x in-sensor zoom, the details get softer. The images look good but when you zoom in, the detailing is reduced. We can conclude that the zoom level is usable only until 3x. Higher than that, there is scope for improvement.

In good natural light, images clicked with 3x zoom are well-detailed but the quality deteriorates in low-light conditions. Although colors are good even in low light conditions, the dynamic range has scope for improvement.

There are certain Hasselblad modes as well like the B&W, XPan, and more.

Whereas the rear camera setup offers flagship-grade performance, the selfie sensor lags. Selfies clicked during the day showcase softer details when zoomed in. Selfies in low light or evening/night times are underwhelming as well.

OnePlus 12 5G 5G Review: Battery Life and Charging

OnePlus 12 offers a flagship-level performance in terms of battery. Compared to Galaxy S24 and iPhone 15 Series devices, this one comes with super-fast 100W wired charging support. We have earlier seen 100W charging support in the iQOO 12 as well, but in terms of camera, and display, the OnePlus 12 is better. It also packs a larger 5400mAh battery with 50W wireless fast charging capability.

After getting charged to 100%, the OnePlus 12 easily lasts an entire day. Even if you are an avid gamer who indulges in long gaming sessions, even then it easily lasts till evening. We indulged in tasks like browsing social media apps, camera apps, calling, video streaming, and more. Charging the device in the morning will make the phone last till the end of the day. However, if you use it more than this, 100W fast charging capability recharges the device in merely 23 minutes. While Apple and Samsung don’t bundle chargers with their flagship devices, OnePlus does give a 100W adapter inside the box.

Review Verdict: Should you buy the OnePlus 12 5G?

Premium features of the OnePlus 12 5G do full justice to its price tag of Rs. 64,999. The smartphone comes with a powerful chipset and a long battery life. There is also a bright display on which tasks like gaming, video streaming, and reading text under sunlight don’t disappoint. OnePlus 12 comes with all flagship features that too at a lesser price than other flagship smartphones. The telephoto lens and wireless charging support are two more features that make the OnePlus 12 better than its competitors available in the market.

Although Oneplus 12 does give a flagship-grade performance as it is loaded with premium features, there are some niggles as well which steal the tag of being ‘The Best’ from it. The biggest drawback is lack of AI features which are found in the Galaxy S24 and Pixel 8 series. Apart from 3x lossless zoom, 6x and 120x digital zoom have room for improvement. When considering buying a premium smartphone, we should keep in mind that the OnePlus 12 does cost 30-40k less than other flagships. Considering this, we can say that OnePlus 12 is one of the best performers in its segment.

Reasons to buy

  • Bright AMOLED display
  • Latest powerful chipset
  • Wireless charging
  • Decent 3x lossless zoom
  • Reasonable price compared to other flagships

Reasons to not buy

  • No AI features
  • Underwhelming low-light performance
Shivangi AgarwalShivangi Agarwal
Shivangi is an honours graduate in English from Delhi University with a passion for reading and writing. Always keen to know more about the latest gadgets, when she is not reading about tech, she loves listening to Hindi music and grooving to the latest Hindi beats.

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