OnePlus 12 vs OnePlus 11 – should you upgrade?

Has OnePlus taken its flagship to new heights?

Comparing the OnePlus 11 vs OnePlus 12 models. Image shows the OnePlus 12, the OnePlus 11, and a red VS sign, on an off-white background.

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Now that the international release date of OnePlus’s newest flagship phone is finally within arms reach, it’s time to seriously consider if it’s worth the upgrade over its predecessor: find out as we compare the OnePlus 12 vs the OnePlus 11. With its impressive capabilities, the OnePlus 12 is set to be the best device from the company so far, and offers a pretty significant leap from the OnePlus 11. However, the older model is still a decent phone in its own right, and is worth considering while the global launch of the OnePlus 12 is rolled out.

So, what exactly sets the OnePlus 12 apart from the OnePlus 11, and which one is more worthy of your time and investment? In this article, we’ll take a look at the key differences and enhancements between the two models, helping you decide which OnePlus model could be the better smartphone for your wants and needs.

OnePlus 12 vs OnePlus 11 Specs

SpecificationsOnePlus 12OnePlus 11
Screen size6.82 inches6.7 inches
DisplayAMOLED LTPO, 3168 x 1440 resolution, 120Hz refresh rate, 402ppiLTPO AMOLED, 3,216 x 1,440 resolution
120Hz variable refresh rate (1 to 120Hz),
525ppi
Dimensions160 x 74.2 x 8.7 mm163.1 x 74.1 x 8.53mm
Rear camerasRear: 50MP wide, 48MP ultrawide, 64MP 3x periscope, 13-channel multispectral color sensor
Selfie: 32MP
Rear: 50MP main (Sony IMX890), 48MP ultrawide (Sony IMX581), 32MP portrait telephoto (Sony IMX709), 1/2.74-inch sensor, ƒ/2.0
Selfie: 16MP
Chip4nm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
RAM12GB/16GB LPDDR5X8GB/16GB LPDDR5X
OSOxygenOS 14 (based on Android 14)OxygenOS 13 (based on Android 13)
Connectivity5G, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC, Wi-Fi 7, eSIM5G, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC, Wi-Fi 7, eSIM
Battery 5,400 mAh, 100W wired charging, 50W wireless charging, 10W reverse wireless charging5,000mAh battery, 80W wired charging, no wireless charging
ColorsFlowy Emerald, Silky BlackEternal Green, Titan Black
OnePlus 12 vs OnePlus 11 specs comparison table

OnePlus 12 vs OnePlus 11 Features

Design

When it comes to physical design, the OnePlus 12 closely resembles the OnePlus 11, and hones the brand’s aesthetic with a refined form and better construction materials. Both feature a sleek rectangular body with a circular camera module on the rear, although the OnePlus 12’s module is slightly larger. The front of both devices showcases a curved display panel, but the OnePlus 12 has shifted the camera notch to the top center, and unlike its predecessor, is wrapped in an aluminium frame.

There are a few other minute differences between the devices, for example, the movement of the power button and the volume rocker over to the right side of the OnePlus 12, and the alert slider moving onto the left. Overall, it simply seems that the OnePlus 12 offers a more premium handheld experience than the OnePlus 11. Its larger display and back panel are crafted from Gorilla Glass Victus 2 as opposed to Gorilla Glass 5, and from no IP rating on the 11, you’re now getting a rating of IP65 water and dust resistance, showing you’re not just getting an improved design, but a more durable device.

Display

One of the most significant differences in both devices lies in their displays. Obviously, the OnePlus 12 boasts a larger 6.82-inch AMOLED display compared to the 6.7-inch panel on the OnePlus 11. However, what truly sets the OnePlus 12 apart is its LTPO3 technology, allowing for a dynamic refresh rate ranging from 1Hz to 120Hz. In contrast, the OnePlus 11 is limited to a range of 10Hz to 120Hz.

Additionally, it has to be mentioned that the brightness capabilities of the OnePlus 12 are truly remarkable. With a peak brightness of 4,500 nits, it surpasses not only the OnePlus 11’s 1,300 nits but also the brightness levels of other smartphones on the market, setting new benchmarks of what high-end smartphones can be expected to achieve.

Cameras

Another one of the standout upgrades in the OnePlus 12 comes in the form of its camera system. While it retains the 50 MP main camera found in the OnePlus 11, the OnePlus 12 utilizes Sony’s dual-layer stacked Lytia 808 sensor, featuring 1.12µm pixels and a 24mm equivalent f/1.7 lens with optical image stabilization (OIS).

The OnePlus 12 also introduces a brand-new 64MP periscope telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom and up to 6x lossless magnification. In comparison, the OnePlus 11 only features a 32MP telephoto lens with 2x optical zoom. However, both devices do share a 48MP ultrawide sensor.

For the selfie enthusiasts, the OnePlus 12 offers a 32MP front-facing camera, while the OnePlus 11 settles for a less impressive 16MP shooter. Both cameras are color-calibrated by renowned camera manufacturer Hasselblad, ensuring accurate and vibrant colors in your photos. While the OnePlus 11 seems to offer a decent camera experience, OnePlus has put notable energy into the camera upgrades of its newer flagship, and on paper the OnePlus 12 shares specs with some of the most impressive smartphones such as the Pixel 8 Pro and the Galaxy S23 Ultra. Only time will tell if the specs live up to the expectations once international users can get their hands on the superior of OnePlus’s smartphones.

Performance

Under the hood, the OnePlus 12 takes a significant leap forward with its powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip. This new processor offers notable improvements over the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 found in the OnePlus 11, and is set to be the new standard chip included across many flagship models. With a CPU that’s up to 30% faster, a GPU that’s up to 20% faster, and a Neural Engine that’s up to 98% faster, the OnePlus 12 delivers an enhanced performance for a seamless user experience.

Another upgrade prioritized by OnePlus comes in the form of battery life and charging: a OnePlus specialty that’s gotten even better. The OnePlus 12 has clear superiority here, with its bigger 5,400 mAh battery getting a 400 mAh (8%) increase over the 5,000 mAh bank of the OnePlus 11. More importantly, the newer model gets the addition of wireless charging, a feature completely missed from the 11: it’s also 50W wireless charging, impressive compared to any wireless charging offerings across the smartphone industry.

OnePlus 12 vs OnePlus 11 Price

Following the OnePlus launch event in India on the 23rd of January, we’ve now got the full details on the international pricing for the OnePlus 12. It’s coming in just two storage variants: the smaller of the two, 256GB/12GB RAM, will cost $799, and the 512GB/16GB RAM is a bit steeper at $899. While this is a price increase compared to the OnePlus 11, a price tag of under $800 for the base model is still a competitive figure considering the phone’s high-end specs and features.

In comparison, the OnePlus 11 starts at $699 for the 128GB storage variant. Considering the significant upgrades and enhancements offered by the OnePlus 12, it’s evident that it’s the superior choice here in terms of value for money. However, now that the OnePlus 11 has been out for a while, and we’ve seen the launch of a new flagship, it’s likely that the price might start dropping, and you might be able to find it on a decent deal or discount.

Is the OnePlus 12 better than the OnePlus 11?

The OnePlus 12 is undoubtedly a substantial upgrade over its predecessor, the OnePlus 11. With its larger display, improved camera system, powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip, enhanced battery life, and impressive charging capabilities, it sets a new standard for flagship smartphones. So, if you want the best OnePlus phone on paper, then the OnePlus 12 should certainly be the source of your investment.

However, for those keen to get an upgrade, it’s likely we can expect the already modest price of the OnePlus 11 to drop even further following the announcement and launch of its successor on the 6th of February 2024 when the pre-order period has concluded. With its impressive lineup of smartphones only continuing to expand, OnePlus is certainly a brand to watch as it makes its way into the mainstream smartphone market.

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.