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OnePlus 12 Review: Design, Performance, and Battery Life

Introducing the OnePlus 12: a nod to a recent era in tech evolution. In contrast to the AI-centric trend, this flagship device embraces simplicity. Boasting a sleek design, dependable cameras, stellar performance, and impressive battery life, it excels at the essentials. While lacking AI bells and whistles, it offers a compelling package. Priced at $800, it competes favorably with similar models, such as the S24+, retailing at $200 higher.

The OnePlus 12 stands out with exceptional performance and extended battery life compared to the Galaxy S24+, all while presenting a superior screen and reliable cameras at a $200 discount.

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OnePlus 12 Review: Design, Performance, and Battery Life

OnePlus 12 Review: Design and Display

The OnePlus 12 adopts a classic silhouette reminiscent of older models like the Galaxy S10+, featuring tapered edges and rounded corners. While this design enhances grip comfort, there’s some distortion around the curved screen edges. Nonetheless, the phone’s 6.8-inch 3,168 x 1440 panel impresses with a nominal peak brightness of 1,600 nits, extendable to 4,500 nits in specific conditions, ensuring vivid visuals without appearing washed out. It incorporates a 120Hz variable refresh rate and a new 2,610Hz PWM (pulse width modulation) technique, reducing screen flicker at low brightness levels (under 70 nits).

On the rear, a sizable camera module, encased in Gorilla Glass Victus 2 with a sleek matte finish, dominates the design. The texture strikes a balance between frosted glass and the company’s older sandstone backs, offering a pleasing tactile experience. Despite its bulk, it’s tempting to forgo a case to appreciate its feel. The OnePlus 12 boasts an IP65 rating for dust and water resistance, though it falls slightly short compared to competitors like Samsung and Google. Nonetheless, it represents OnePlus’s highest waterproofing standard to date, adequately safeguarding against rain and splashes. Notably, the inclusion of an IR blaster sets it apart from most contemporary handsets, allowing convenient control of TV or soundbar settings without a dedicated remote.

Performance: Exceptionally Fast

Despite its vintage-inspired design, the OnePlus 12 offers top-tier performance among Android devices. Equipped with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip, coupled with either 12GB or 16GB of RAM and up to 512GB of storage, it delivers outstanding speed. While benchmark results may appear modest, real-world usage reveals seamless multitasking and smooth gaming experiences devoid of lag. OnePlus integrates a memory optimization feature, preserving the status of up to six frequently used apps for 72 hours, ensuring swift access without the need for unnecessary reloading.

OnePlus 12 vs. Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra: Camera Comparison

Comparing apples with the OnePlus 12 and the S24 Ultra reveals intriguing insights. The OP12’s triple-lens setup, featuring a 50-MP main camera, a 48-MP ultra-wide lens, and a 64-MP telephoto camera, competes admirably with the Galaxy S24 lineup. In daylight conditions, photos exhibit vibrancy and clarity, with OnePlus showcasing a more neutral white balance, contrasting Samsung’s warmer tones. Nighttime shots, while slightly softer and darker compared to the S24 Ultra, remain commendable. Notably, utilizing the 3x telephoto lens, I captured remarkably sharp images, including a dynamic shot of a squirrel in motion. A word of advice: deactivate the Hasselblad watermark option upon the initial launch of the camera app for optimal results.

OnePlus 12 Review: Battery Life and Charging

The standout feature of the OnePlus 12 lies in its exceptional battery life and rapid charging capabilities. During our local video rundown assessment, the phone’s 5,400 mAh battery endured an impressive 26 hours and 40 minutes, surpassing all competitors. This duration notably exceeds the S24 Ultra’s runtime of 24 hours and 29 minutes and marks a significant improvement over last year’s OP11 by more than six hours.

Furthermore, OnePlus’ proprietary charging technology ensures lightning-fast wired and wireless charging. With the included power brick and cable, the phone charged from 10 to 55 percent in just 10 minutes. Alternatively, using the company’s wireless pad (available separately for $50), the OP12 reached 37 percent in the same timeframe. By comparison, the S24 Ultra managed only a 30 percent charge within 10 minutes using a Samsung charger and compatible cable. Notably, these impressive speeds are exclusive to OnePlus’ first-party accessories, with standard USB-PD or Qi chargers offering slower performance.

In Summary: OnePlus 12

Amidst a landscape where major players turn to AI for enhancement, the OnePlus 12 stands out as a straightforward device, blending robust hardware with sturdy construction. Boasting a sizable, vibrant display, stellar performance, and unrivaled battery longevity, it offers a compelling package sans AI features. Priced at $800, it undercuts its counterparts like the Galaxy S24+ by $200, further sweetened by OnePlus’ $100 trade-in offer for any phone, regardless of condition. In an era of escalating smartphone complexity, the OnePlus 12 emerges as a simple yet proficient alternative, effortlessly handling essential tasks.

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