Chinese tech giant OnePlus launched the 2024 flagship OnePlus 12 in China earlier in December 2023 followed by its global debut in January 2024. On the other hand, OnePlus Ace 3, a sub-flagship phone that uses last year’s flagship chipset, made its debut in the Chinese market on January 4th. It will arrive in the global markets as the OnePlus 12R and will be launched alongside the OnePlus 12. Both the devices belong to the same ‘12 series’ and share many traits including vapor chamber, RAM and storage, battery, and charging among others.
The question is, how do you decide which one to consider? How can you decide which one will be better for you? Who wins between OnePlus 12 and OnePlus 12R? If these are the sort of questions you want answers to, here’s a comparison between the two.
OnePlus 12 Vs. OnePlus 12R – Specs At Glance
- 6.82” 2K OLED Vs. 6.74” 1.5K OLED
- Snapdragon 8 Gen3 Vs. Snapdragon 8 Gen2
- 4,500 nits peak brightness Vs. Same
- 256/512/1TB storage Vs. 128/256GB
- 12/16/24GB Vs. 8/16GB RAM
- 5,000mAh Vs. 5,500mAh
- 50+64+48MP Vs. 50+8+2MP
- 9140mm2 Vapor Chamber Vs. Same
Let’s say you are holding both the OnePlus 12 and 12R. Guess which is which? Without any second thought, I would say that both look too similar to each other. The OnePlus 12R packs in an aluminum frame with glass on both front and back, there are thin bezels, and both have four circular rings (for three cameras plus an LED flash) within a giant circular island that connects itself to the left side of the frame.
You might be able to tell both apart by screen size since the flagship OnePlus 12 is slightly larger than the 12R although we are talking about marginal differences.
Both the phones follow the OnePlus 12 series general design language so it’s hard to tell apart these offerings unless you are using the phone.
You can still check out the color options for the only vivid differentiator. See, the OnePlus 12 is available in Ever Green, Rock Black, and White while the OnePlus 12R has Black, Blue, Gold, and Gray colorways. The Indian variant (which is still a few days away) might get some more color options.
When it comes to display tech, the OnePlus 12 uses a 6.82” BOE X1 OLED panel with a 1440×3168 pixel resolution. There’s a variable 120Hz refresh rate along with HDR10+ and Dolby Vision. The display lights up at a whopping 4,500 units of localized peak brightness.
On the contrary, the OnePlus 12R uses a slightly smaller 6.74” BOE X1 OLED HDR10+ display. The display has a variable 120Hz refresh rate. It is capped at 1.5K resolution which gives it a flagship-ish feel without overpowering OnePlus 12. It reaches similar brightness levels as OP12 which is a good thing.
Both phones enjoy Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2 on top which keeps the display secured against scratches and falls.
When it comes to the specs, both OnePlus 12 and 12R are among the best although the former triumphs in this one-on-one comparison.
OnePlus 12 sports a leading Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 SoC with up to 24GB LPDDR5X RAM and 1TB UFS 4.0 storage. On the contrary, the OnePlus 12R (it is also known as the OnePlus Ace 3 in China) uses last year’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC with up to 16GB of LPDDR5X RAM and 1TB of UFS 4.0 storage. As one can easily see, the flagship chipset on the OnePlus 12 (SD 8 Gen3) and 24GB of RAM puts the OnePlus 12 is a significant advantage compared to 12R.
Before you can say how much of a difference having two generations of chipsets from the same maker would be, the answer is, HUGE! The AnTuTu v10 score for SD8 Gen3 is around 1.96 million (which can easily go upwards of 2 mn) whereas SD8 Gen2 is at 1.52 million to 1.74 million. The story on GeekBench v6 is the same at 11% and 39% increase in single-core and multi-core tests (respectively. Both these scores are impressive but you can see the winner here.
Thermal management is another strong suit of the OnePlus 12 series (including 12R). Both phones use a bleeding-edge 9140mm2 that helps both the devices achieve insane performance when compared to their particular segments.
Turns out there’s not much difference when the software is concerned. OnePlus 12 arrives with Android 14-powered OxygenOS 14 for the international markets. It uses ColorOS 14 for China. On the other hand, the OnePlus 12R uses the same setup for software. The exception will be the number of Android upgrades both the phones will get over their lifetimes. The OnePlus 12 is the clear winner here taking the ‘flagship’ title.
Well, on the surface, it looks like both the phones deploy a triple camera setup, right? But trust me, both devices are way different in terms of the camera setup.
OnePlus 12R borrows the same setup as the OnePlus 11R. It means the same 50MP Sony IMX890 primary camera with OIS plus an 8MP ultrawide and a 2MP macro cam. At the front, there’s a 16MP shooter. You can record up to 4K@60fps on the 12R.
On the other hand, OnePlus 12 uses a Sony LYT-808 dual-stacked 1/1.43” sensor with OIS and f/1.6 aperture. It is clubbed with a 48MP ultrawide cam plus a 64MP OV64B periscope telephoto cam with OIS and 3x optical zoom capabilities. OnePlus 12, as it has been for a few iterations, comes with Hasselblad (5th-gen) color calibration that ensures powerful mobile photography chops.
The thing is, the OnePlus 12R uses a 5,400mAh battery paired alongside a 100W SuperVOOC charger. According to OnePlus, this should charge the battery from zero to hero in 27 minutes. It is also equipped with a SuperVOOC S power management chip with a 99.5% discharge efficiency (the highest).
The OnePlus 12, on the other hand, uses a 5,400mAh battery paired with a 100W SuperVOOC charger. I won’t say there are many changes between the two up till this point. The OnePlus 12 also counts 50W wireless and 10W reverse wireless charging which you won’t find on the 12R. Again, this is fair given the price tag both the devices are targeting.
All Other Features
When it comes to all other features, OnePlus 12 breaks the bank. It has a three-step alert slider, Wi-Fi 7 dual-band, Bluetooth v5.4, GPS, NFC, IR port, USB-C 3.2, an optical under-display fingerprint scanner, and a stereo speaker to name a few.
The OnePlus 12R still manages to get many of these features such as an under-display fingerprint scanner, NFC, IR port, and a stereo speaker setup. You get a Bluetooth v5.3, Wi-Fi 6 dual-band, and USB-C 2.0 as the differentiator between the two phones.
OnePlus 12 Vs. OnePlus 12R: Which One Should You Consider?
It all boils down to watch should be your pick amongst the two, right? I would choose OnePlus 12 over 12R given the faster chipset, better display, wireless charging, faster Wi-Fi among others. However, if you consider ‘pricing’ as a deciding factor, OnePlus 12R is a worthy buy given the fact that it uses last year’s flagship SoC and still manages to keep the price tag under what I would say ‘affordable’ bracket. Still, if you can splurge a bit more, you get a flagship that has better cameras.
At the end of the day, price is undoubtedly the deciding factor. If you are short of funds, go for OnePlus 12R and you still get a few years on the phone. Similarly, you can splurge more on OnePlus 12 and spend that ‘few years’ with ease.