OnePlus 12 review round-up – OnePlus’s latest flagship looks good

Here's what reviewers think of OnePlus's latest flagship mobile

OnePlus 12 review round-up. Image shows the OnePlus 12 beneath the PC Guide logo on a blue gradient background.

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The OnePlus 12 has found itself on the radar of both tech publications and consumers, and both parties have a lot to say about their thoughts about how the latest OnePlus flagship might potentially be the best phone from the company so far. If you’re wondering what the buzz is all about when it comes to the OnePlus 12, we’ve gone to the effort of putting together this OnePlus 12 review round-up to establish what the experts think.

2024 has already been an exciting year in terms of smartphone technology, and the Android phone competition has had the heat turned up following the global launch of the OnePlus 12. Clearly, the OnePlus 12 has been a bit of the talk of the town, with its impressive specs and affordable pricing making it a viable alternative to the Samsung Galaxy, Google Pixel, and or any other contemporary flagship mobile. Here’s what a few industry experts thought about the OnePlus 12 in their reviews.

OnePlus 12 reviews by experts

Here are some reviews gathered from industry experts like PC Mag, Tom’s Guide, Tech Radar, and CNBC.

SiteReviews from experts
Phone Arena“Easily the best OnePlus phone ever.”
PCMag“With an impressive display, long battery life, speedy charging, and premium performance, the OnePlus 12 offers most of the features found on other flagship phones for a more affordable price.”
Tom’s Guide“The OnePlus 12 proves it’s the affordable flagship to beat yet again.”
Tech Radar“The OnePlus 12 competes with the most expensive phones, so compared to any phone in its price range, it’s easily the best phone you can buy.”
CNBC“The OnePlus 12 is a true all-rounder and ticks all the right boxes.”
OnePlus 12 review quotes from Phone Arena, PC Mag, Tom’s Guide, Tech Radar, and CNBC

Overview of the OnePlus 12 – what’s good, what’s bad?

Obviously, no smartphone can be perfect, and amidst the praise there still was criticism of the OnePlus 12 despite it playing its ‘Flagship Killer’ game exceedingly well. Clearly, it’s done design, specs, and price well, but with a lack of IP rating and an unremarkable OxygenOS software, there are still some cutbacks the OnePlus 12 has to take to provide its high-end features at its affordable price.

Key specsOnePlus 12
Display6.82-inch 2K OLED screen
Refresh rate1-120 Hz adaptive refresh rate
Rear cameras50 MP main, 48 MP ultrawide, 64 MP 3x telephoto camera
Selfie camera32 MP
ChipsetSnapdragon 8 Gen 3
RAM12GB / 16GB
Storage256GB / 512GB / 1TB
Battery5,400 mAh
Charging100W wired, 50W wireless charging
ColorsFlowy Emerald, Silky Black
OnePlus 12 key specs table

Goods – outstanding design, good battery life, and great performance

The OnePlus 12 has been praised across the board for its stunning design, with Philip Berne of Tech Radar quoting it as “It’s the coolest-looking phone in a long time, maybe ever, while others are boring metal slabs”. The green ‘Flowy Emerald’ colorway with its satin finish was the most eye-catching, but even the ‘Silky Black’ has a unique finish that makes it stand out. Also on the back panel, the circular Hasselblad camera setup has become iconic of the OnePlus design: needless to say, it’s an attractive phone, and one with a huge display too. Its 6.82-inch screen rivals the S24 Ultra when it comes to size and peak brightness.

Moreover, its attractiveness is not just external, as the internal hardware is another reason the OnePlus 12 has been on the radar of so many. The phone delivers the high-speed and responsive performance you would expect from the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor, paired alongside an exceptional 5,400 mAh battery, meaning you can perform intensive tasks, including gaming, without needing to worry about battery drain or charging speeds. Phone Arena summarizes by calling the OnePlus 12 “one snappy phone that blitzes through most tasks you might throw at it”. Notably, its 50W wireless charging speeds demolish rival smartphones.

The camera capabilities of the OnePlus 12 have also received praise. It features a unique Hasselblad camera setup that captures terrific portraits and selfies. The main camera produces excellent image quality with sharp details, realistic colors, and good dynamic range. The ultrawide camera performs well, especially in high-contrast scenes. The device also boasts an impressive 3x periscope camera, allowing for optical zoom and capturing more detailed shots.

Bads – lack of water resistance and limited years of software update

While the OnePlus 12 has many positive aspects, there are naturally a few downsides to consider. One of the drawbacks is its lack of water resistance, aka its IP Rating. Unlike its competitors, the OnePlus 12 is only splash-resistant and cannot be submerged underwater. This may be a concern for users who prioritize durability and protection against accidental water damage.

Another potential drawback is the limited number of years of software updates. OnePlus has not made any specific promises regarding the duration of software support for the OnePlus 12. In the past, the company has provided three years or less of updates, which falls behind industry leaders like Samsung and Google, who promise seven years of updates for their flagship devices. This may be a concern for users who value long-term software support and timely security updates.

OnePlus 12 – overall design and features

The OnePlus 12 stands out for its unique design and features. It boasts a stunning and eye-catching design, especially in the emerald green color option. The device features a sleek and polished design with gently curved edges, making it comfortable to hold despite its obtrusive size. The circular camera seamlessly blends into the overall design, and the touches of color and polished glass add a playful and clever element to the device. PC Mag even quoted the device by saying “With an impressive display, long battery life, speedy charging, and premium performance, the OnePlus 12 offers most of the features found on other flagship phones for a more affordable price.”

In terms of durability, the OnePlus 12 does unfortunately fall short compared to its competitors. It lacks IP68 water resistance certification, which means it is not fully waterproof and cannot be submerged underwater. Tech Radar’ Philip Berne concluded by saying that “the OnePlus 12 isn’t as durable as the competition, and it isn’t IP68 water resistant”.

While the device is designed to withstand splashes and rain, it might not survive any accidental submersion. This is an important consideration for users who prioritize water resistance in their smartphones and appreciate knowing that their phones can withstand a little wear and tear.

OnePlus 12 – overall performance

When it comes to performance, the OnePlus 12 does not disappoint. Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset, the device delivers exceptional speed and responsiveness. It handles basic operations, such as navigating the interface and running apps, with ease, supported by its 120Hz refresh rate ensuring smooth animations and seamless multitasking.

Benchmark tests reveal that the OnePlus 12 performs admirably in graphics processing, averaging a fast frame rate and outperforming competitors like the iPhone 15 Pro and Galaxy S24 Ultra. The device’s performance in gaming is particularly noteworthy, with smooth gameplay and impressive graphics. Despite slightly lower scores in Geekbench tests, real-world usage proves that the OnePlus 12 is a powerful and capable device for everyday tasks and demanding applications.

OnePlus 12 – overall battery life

Battery life is a crucial aspect of any smartphone, and the OnePlus 12 excels in this area too. Equipped with a 5,400 mAh battery, the device offers impressive battery life that can comfortably last a full day of heavy usage, with users expecting to have around 25% battery capacity remaining at the end of a typical working day.

In battery benchmark tests, the OnePlus 12 achieves outstanding results, lasting an impressive 17 hours and 41 minutes, placing it as one of the best flagship phones in terms of battery life. The improved power efficiency of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset contributes to the device’s long-lasting battery performance. Additionally, the OnePlus 12 supports fast charging, with an 100W wired charger and a 50W wireless charger included with your phone purchase, allowing for quick and convenient recharging.

Is the OnePlus 12 worth the money?

Considering all its features, performance, and price point, the OnePlus 12 offers excellent value for money. With its unique design, impressive battery life, and powerful performance, the device competes with flagship phones from top brands at a significantly lower price. As rightly noted by John Velasco of Tom’s Guide, “The OnePlus 12 allows anyone on a tight budget to experience a top-notch flagship at the not-so-typical overpriced cost”. If you prioritize aesthetics, battery life, and performance while being mindful of the trade-offs, the OnePlus 12 has made itself known as a phone worth considering. 

However, it’s essential to consider the device’s limitations. The OnePlus 12 does lack sufficient water resistance, which may be a deal-breaker for users who require a fully waterproof phone. Additionally, the device offers fewer years of software updates compared to its competitors, potentially impacting long-term software support and security updates.

Final thoughts

This OnePlus 12 review round-up has shown that the OnePlus 12 has overall garnered a roster of positive reviews that praise its performance, price, design, and most notably its price point as the base model starts at just $799. With each OnePlus iteration, the brand continues to expand its fanbase and prove to more buyers that it’s worthy of the mainstream treatment it’s now starting to receive. While there are a few drawbacks, hopefully, we’ll have fewer and fewer complaints as the company refines its flagship formula.

Marla writes across a wide range of topics across PC Guide, including AI, PC hardware, and news on the latest tech releases. She's a passionate writer that's interested in the future of technology.