The OnePlus 12 is set to make its worldwide release next month, going head-to-head with Samsung's S24 range of smartphones — including the Galaxy S24 Ultra. While many see Samsung's flagship as the premier Android option, the OnePlus 12 threatens to upset the apple cart in a big way.
While Samsung and Apple squabble over who gets the majority of the mainstream limelight, brands like OnePlus are busy pushing performance and features to the max, typically for a lot less than the market's frontrunners. The OnePlus 12 is a prime example, offering quality cameras, a record-breaking display, and a sizable battery with incredible charging potential.
One(Plus) great value smartphone
Having launched in China today, the OnePlus 12 stands as one of the best all-around smartphones on the market when it comes to price, features, and components — casting a tall shadow on the competition ahead of its wider release in January 2024.
In the meantime, Chinese adopters can pick up OnePlus' flagship device starting at just CNY ¥4,299 (~$600). This configuration includes 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. However, configurations continue through 16GB of RAM up to a whopping 24GB of RAM and 1TB of storage for CNY ¥5,799 (~$815).
U.S. prices are as of yet to be confirmed, but if this markup carries over to the dollar, then it makes the cost of a fully decked-out OnePlus 12 roughly equal in price to the standard iPhone 15 — or $300 cheaper than the projected cost of the cheapest Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra configuration.
(One)Plus all the extras
Of course, there's more to a smartphone than RAM and storage. And, despite its price. the OnePlus 12 has some impressive flagship-level features and components to offer.
Just one of which is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor — one of the most exciting mobile developments in years, and the first true potential challenger to Apple's Bionic chipsets in years (though still playing catchup).
It's the very same processor expected to feature in the Galaxy S24 Ultra. However, thanks to a vapor chamber cooling structure, there's real potential for OnePlus to squeeze every drop of performance it can out of Qualcomm's silicon without fear of thermal bottlenecking (or burnt fingers).
The smartphone's main camera array will include a 4th-Gen Hasselblad-tuned 50MP primary sensor with OIS (Optical Image Stabilization), a 48MP ultrawide lens with autofocus, and a 64MP telephoto shooter with 3x optical zoom. And, for all your selfie needs, there'll be a front-facing 32MP camera also.
Keeping everything powered is a whopping 5,400 mAh battery with support for 100W of fast charge by cable and 50W by wireless. How much of that charging potential will transpose to U.S. and European markets remains to be seen, but it places the OnePlus 12 in a sturdy position as one of the fastest-charging Android devices to date.
Add WiFi 7, Bluetooth 5.4, an under-display fingerprint reader, and an IP65 protection rating and you're looking at an impressive do-it-all device bursting with potential. But it doesn't quite end there.
A glowing display
A lot of fuss has been kicked up recently about peak brightness in smartphones. Apple claims that the peak brightness of the iPhone 15 Pro Max can reach 2000 nits, and Google claims that the peak brightness of the Pixel 8 Pro can measure 2400 nits. Rumors have even indicated that Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra will reach 2500 nits.
However, all of that pales in comparison to the OnePlus 12, with its 6.82-inch OLED display featuring a (claimed) record-breaking peak brightness of 4500 nits. Talk about making a statement. In a few years, we can likely expect OnePlus to deliver an OLED panel so bright it could cast a shadow on the surface of the sun.
Besides the OnePlus 12's fantastical brightness, the panel will also feature a dynamic 1-120Hz refresh rate and a sharp, crisp 2K resolution.
"OnePlus 12" results in a particularly unlucky number for some, and that could include Samsung's flagship Galaxy S24 Ultra when both phones arrive next month. Especially when it has to face up with this much quality, potentially at a lower price.
Keep your eyes peeled for the launch of the OnePlus 12 early next year. While it might not have the same household recognition as an Apple or a Samsung, it's a smartphone that's absolutely worth keeping on your radar.
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Rael Hornby, potentially influenced by far too many LucasArts titles at an early age, once thought he’d grow up to be a mighty pirate. However, after several interventions with close friends and family members, you’re now much more likely to see his name attached to the bylines of tech articles. While not maintaining a double life as an aspiring writer by day and indie game dev by night, you’ll find him sat in a corner somewhere muttering to himself about microtransactions or hunting down promising indie games on Twitter.