One Plus 12 Review

We’d reached the halfway point of the OnePlus 12 India launch event in Delhi on January 23, 2024, and yet there was a buzz word that didn’t get a mention. We heard the word generative AI used just once in the course of the entire launch event. A complete contrast from the Samsung Galaxy S24 launch earlier in January and the Google Pixel 8 launch late last year. It’s not a bad thing. The OnePlus 12 is quintessential OnePlus, focusing on the features that most users are looking with an affordable flagship tag. The big question is – Does it do pack enough punch to threaten pricier flagships and more importantly is it all the Android flagship you need? The short answer is yes. 



That bold camera module 


Most flagship rear camera systems seem to have settled into their comfort zones. OnePlus joins that band with an instantly recognisable camera module. We dig this design, it plays out particularly well in the Flowy Emerald colour way, one of the most gorgeous shades of green on any smartphone right now. OnePlus has moved tweaked things a bit – the fan favourite Alert Slider moves to the left spine while the power button and volume rocker move to the right. It’s a clever design decision and one that makes it easier to use the device. The smooth, matte finish ensures that the device doesn’t have an affinity for fingerprints but it’s a tad slippery. If you have butter fingers, the in-box back cover is a good idea to protect your OnePlus 12. 


The display to beat? 


At a time when peak brightness has become a key part of the sales pitch for smartphone displays, OnePlus ups the ante with the claim of 4500 nits of peak brightness at a time when most flagships are in the 2000 plus zone. It’s been a hot topic on online forums and social media and the consensus is that it boils down to how different brands measure this metric. But we’ll say this, the 6.82-inch QHD+ (3168 x 1440 pixels / 510 PPI) display is one of the most vibrant displays on any smartphone right now. Everything from gaming to videos is ultra-smooth on this display with a 120Hz refresh rate. 



Power packed


Every new OnePlus flagship is a big advert for the brand’s key credo – Speed. This one is powered by Qualcomm’s all-new Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor backed with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of internal storage (this is the top-end version that we checked out). The device is also available in a 12GB/256GB variant. The OnePlus 12 consistently breached the 4700 mark (multi-core) in our AnTuTu Benchmark test. Mighty impressive. It slayed everything we threw at it. Performance has always been a key pillar in the OnePlus pitch and the OnePlus 12 won’t disappoint gamers or power users. It’s also backed by a massive 5400 mAh battery that delivers excellent battery life. It takes a while to dip below 100% even when you’re watching a video. This battery powers up in less than 30 minutes with the 100W SuperVOOC in-box charger. We’re also relieved to see that the device supports wireless charging, one of the features we missed with the OnePlus Open. 


Powered by Hasselblad 


If there’s one area where OnePlus’ pricier Android rivals have the edge, it’s camera performance. OnePlus has aimed to bridge this gap with its partnership with the iconic Swedish photography brand Hasselblad. It gets better with each device and the OnePlus 12 is a case in point. We particularly like shooting Portraits on this rear cam and the overall colour processing of the cam. The versatile rear cam combines a 50MP primary lens, a 64MP Portrait lens and a 48MP ultra-wide lens. It delivers on most fronts including zoom photography but it’s still not in the same league as the Pixel or the Ultra in the lowlight department where performance drops a notch. Our other crib is the four years of Android OS updates when some of its rivals are now offering seven years of updates. 



Firing on all cylinders 


OnePlus’ decision to steer clear of the AI buzz and focus on everyday use case scenarios is a clever move. It’s probably also based on the calculation that most of Google’s AI features driven by Gemini might start playing out on a wider set of Android smartphones in quick time. We’ve already seen photo-edit features like Magic Eraser that debuted on Google Pixel devices now available on Google Photos. The OnePlus 12 hits all the right notes with stellar performance, a terrific display, an improved camera and premium design, making it a ‘smart choice’ flagship at an attractive price tag. 


The OnePlus 12 comes in Flowy Emerald and Silky Black. It costs Rs 64,999 (12GB/256GB) or Rs 69,999 (16GB/512GB) OnePlus is offering an instant discount of Rs 2,000 on multiple credit/debit cards.

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