OnePlus 12 vs iPhone 15 – did OnePlus beat Apple?

Has OnePlus seen Apple knocked from the top spot?

Comparison between OnePlus 11 and OnePlus 12. Image shows the OnePlus 12 and the iPhone 15 on an off-white background.

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Another smartphone contender has stepped up to knock the iPhone from its pedestal, so we’re putting the two head to head and comparing the OnePlus 12 vs the iPhone 15. Apple has a longstanding position at the forefront of the smartphone industry, but recent years have seen a flux of upcoming companies launch devices with increasing innovation and impressive performance. One such company that’s recently caught the eye of consumers is OnePlus, and its latest flagship phone, the OnePlus 12, looks to be its best phone to date.

So, as Apple finds it increasingly hard to keep in front of the Android competition, is it worth going for a OnePlus 12 over investing in an iPhone 15? Both of these devices represent the pinnacle of technology and innovation in the premium smartphone segment, so it’s hard to narrow down if one is better than the other. In this article, we’ll delve into the key aspects that set the OnePlus 12 and the Apple iPhone 15 apart, comparing their design, display, performance, cameras, battery life, and price.

OnePlus 12 vs iPhone 15 Specs

SpecificationsOnePlus 12iPhone 15
DisplayAMOLED LTPO, 3168 x 1440 resolution, 120Hz refresh rate, 402ppiSuper Retina XDR OLED, 1179 x 2556 resolution, 60Hz refresh rate, (~461 ppi density)
Screen size6.82-inch6.1-inch
Dimensions160 x 74.2 x 8.7 mm147.6 x 71.6 x 7.8 mm
CameraRear: 50MP wide, 48MP ultrawide, 64MP 3x periscope, 13-channel multispectral color sensor
Selfie: 32MP
Rear: 48 MP, f/1.6, 26mm (wide), 12 MP, f/2.4, 13mm, 120˚ (ultrawide)
Selfie: 12MP
Chip4nm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3A16 Bionic chip
RAM12GB/16GB/24GB LPDDR5X6 GB RAM
Connectivity 5G, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC, Wi-Fi 7, eSIM5G, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC, Wi-Fi 6, eSIM
Battery5,400mAh, 100W wired charging, 50W wireless charging, 10W reverse wireless charging3,349 mAh, 15W wireless (MagSafe), 7.5W wireless (Qi), 4.5W reverse wired
Price$799 (256GB), $899 (512GB)From $799
OnePlus 12 vs iPhone 15 specs comparison table

OnePlus 12 vs iPhone 15 features

Following that detailed outline of the specs of the two devices, let’s dig in a bit deeper into what separates these two smartphones in terms of their unique features.

Design and Build

When it comes to design and build quality, both the OnePlus 12 and the iPhone 15 exude a sense of sophistication and elegance. Each phone builds on the existing branding and design language from older models, honing in on the aesthetics of OnePlus and Apple respectively. The OnePlus 12 boasts a fresh new design language, with a stylized Hasselblad logo and gradient colorways on the back glass. Its sleek and minimalist design retains the aesthetic established by the OnePlus 11 with its circular camera module and curved display.

On the other hand, the iPhone 15 retains the familiar design seen on its predecessor, but with refined sharp edges, a slimmer profile, and a matte color scheme. The iPhone here is also available in a larger variety of elegant shades than the OnePlus 12, such as pink, yellow, green, blue, and black. It also introduces a new USB-C port and replaces the outdated display notch with the Dynamic Island.

Display

The OnePlus 12 undoubtedly takes the lead in the display department, offering a 6.82-inch 1,440 x 3,168-pixel resolution LTPO Oriental OLED display. It boasts a variable refresh rate between 1Hz and 120Hz, as well as an impressive peak brightness of 4,500 nits and max outdoor brightness of 1,600 nits: this is the highest currently available across any smartphone.

On the other hand, the iPhone 15 sports a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display with a 60Hz refresh rate, peak HDR brightness of 2,000 nits, and max outdoor brightness of 1,000 nits. Whilst this is still impressive for a base model, the OnePlus 12 looks to be more of a rival to the iPhone 15 Pro Max as opposed to the iPhone 15, despite being potentially the cheaper option.

Cameras

When it comes to cameras, the OnePlus 12 shines with its impressive camera hardware. Its triple camera setup features a 50-megapixel Sony LYT-808 main camera, a 48-megapixel ultrawide camera, and a 64-megapixel telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom and OIS.

The iPhone 15, although seemingly underpowered on paper, relies on software prowess to make up for its lens deficit. Its dual camera setup boasts a new 48-megapixel sensor with sensor-shift OIS for its main rear camera and a 12-megapixel ultrawide camera. Without having hands-on experience with the OnePlus 12, it’s hard to fully conclude which of the two is the better smartphone in terms of camera. However, the OnePlus 12’s triple camera setup does seem to overpower the iPhone 15, but Apple’s photography experience has always been a treasured iPhone feature, and the iPhone 15 doesn’t fall short.

Performance

In terms of performance, the OnePlus 12 takes the crown with its 4nm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset. It achieves an AnTuTu benchmark score of over 2 million, surpassing the iPhone 15’s score of 1.38 million. The iPhone 15, equipped with the older A16 Bionic processor, may have lower benchmark scores but compensates with Apple’s superior optimization of iOS 17. Despite its hardware limitations, the iPhone 15 remains one of the fastest and most capable smartphones on the market.

However, its benchmark scores are not the only area in which the OnePlus 12 reaches new heights – the phone also surpasses most other top market choices when it comes to both RAM and battery capacity. It boasts a huge maximum of 24GB, four times the 6GB RAM found in the iPhone 15. With a 5,400 mAh battery, one of the biggest found in a flagship smartphone, the OnePlus 12 can achieve faster wired and wireless charging speeds of 100W and 50W respectively. This is a drastic improvement over the 3,349 mAh and 15W wireless MagSafe charging offered by the iPhone 15.

In terms of its performance, the OnePlus 12 no doubt rivals other top-market players such as the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and the Pixel 8.

OnePlus 12 vs iPhone 15 price

Price plays a significant role in the decision-making process, and the OnePlus 12 offers excellent value for money in this department. While the exact figures were elusive at first, the OnePlus launch event in India confirmed that the 12GB RAM + 256GB storage variant of the OnePlus 12 is priced at $799, and the 16GB RAM + 512GB model is $899. This marks it as $100 more expensive than the OnePlus 11, but the price seems justified considering the upgrades and advantages on offer.

On the other hand, the iPhone has a starting price of $799, positioning it as an equally priced base model here. However, buyers can naturally expect to get Apple’s high level of smartphone quality and customer care, and are investing in the company’s current flagship smartphone.

Is OnePlus 12 better than the iPhone 15?

After a thorough comparison, it’s evident that the OnePlus 12 might actually reign supreme in this battle of the tech Titans. With its latest specifications, superior performance, stunning display, impressive cameras, long-lasting battery life, and competitive pricing, it stands tall against the competition. This doesn’t just cover Apple, but many other prominent smartphone companies including Samsung and Googe.

While the iPhone 15 has its strengths, such as reliable performance, user experience, and brand legacy, it falls short when compared to the OnePlus 12. Due to being the newer release, the OnePlus 12 has the edge over the iPhone 15 in terms of display, camera specs, and pricing, and with its Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, it’s looking to be a formidable contender in the battle for best smartphone.

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.