With the adoption of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, Samsung is poised to narrow the performance gap created by the powerful Apple Silicon chips when the Galaxy S24 Ultra arrives in January. There’s just one tiny problem, it won’t be the only flagship device launching in early 2024, and it may not be the best.
Before Samsung can truly set its sights on the iPhone’s mantle, it will be dog fighting for Android supremacy with a device that can not only rival it in terms of performance but could also come in at a more attractive price: the OnePlus 12.
The OnePlus 12 might not have the name recognition of Samsung’s Galaxy lineup, but that’s to your benefit — as you get similarly fantastic hardware for far less. But just how similar are we talking? Is the OnePlus a genuine threat to Samsung's flagship? Let's find out.
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. OnePlus 12: Specifications
Note: Some prices and specifications are based on rumors or leaked information and figures here are subject to change.
|Header Cell - Column 0
|Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra (rumored)
|$1,199 - $1,399
|$600 - $815
|Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3
|Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3
|12GB, 16GB, 24GB
|Up to 1TB
|Up to 1TB
|6.8-inch AMOLED M13 LTPO
|6.82-inch AMOLED LTPO
|3200 x 1440 (463)
|3158 x 1440
|1Hz - 144Hz
|Row 10 - Cell 0
|Row 11 - Cell 0
|10MP (Telephoto, 3x optical zoom)
|64MP (Periscope, 3x optical zoom)
|Row 12 - Cell 0
|50MP (Telephoto, 5x optical zoom)
|Row 12 - Cell 2
|6.38 x 3.11 x 0.33 inches
|6.43 x 2.98 x 0.36 inches
|233 grams (8.21 ounces)
|220 grams (7.76 ounces)
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. OnePlus 12: Price
We of course don’t officially know for certain how these devices will be priced when they make it to the U.S. market in January 2024. However, we do have a history of Samsung release prices, and the recent release of the OnePlus 12 in China to gauge potential price points.
Should the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra retain the same price as the Galaxy S23 Ultra, we’re looking at a price tag of around $1,199. However, price jumps for major flagship smartphones have been in the cards for a while now, with some tipsters hinting towards a potential $200 increase for devices like the Galaxy S24 Ultra.
That being said, we’ve seen a lot of hit-or-miss price hike predictions over the last couple of years, and the S24 Ultra retaining its predecessor’s launch price is far from an absurd suggestion.
On the other hand, the OnePlus 12 recently launched in China with its highest configuration (offering 24GB of RAM and 1TB of storage) available for CNY ¥5,799. That’s roughly $815, making the best OnePlus 12 model at least $384 cheaper than the S24 Ultra’s standing price projection, and $584 cheaper than the Ultra’s rumored $1,399 price tag.
Should the OnePlus 12 go on sale for a similar price in the U.S. (and considering the OnePlus 11’s $659 price, it just might), then OnePlus scores an impressive victory in this category — offering comparable performance (and even higher specs in places) at a far more affordable price.
Winner: OnePlus 12
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. OnePlus 12: Design & displays
Design-wise, both smartphones will stick closely to the look of the models that came before it. However, small changes could still be apparent for both.
The S24 Ultra is rumored to feature a titanium chassis with a less curved display and narrower bezels (though ultimately keeping the rounded-edge design of the S23 Ultra). For its part, the OnePlus 12 is confirmed to have relocated its Alert Slider (similar to the iPhone’s now-eliminated Ring/Silent switch) to the phone’s opposing flank to improve overall signal quality. Small changes and tweaks like this can have a significant impact on usability, but a radical redesign of either model is out of the question.
When it comes to display, both phones are expected to arrive with ~6.8-inch OLED panels. Reportedly, the S24 Ultra is set to receive the faster display of the two, outfitted with a 144Hz refresh rate.
However, when it comes to brightness, OnePlus is practically untouchable. The OnePlus 12 features a (claimed) peak brightness of 4,500 nits — far beyond the expected 2,500 nits of the S24 Ultra. Whether this retina-reducing brightness is a worthwhile addition or just a record-breaking gimmick remains to be seen.
It’s Samsung’s display that could pull ahead in the end if the rumor of the Galaxy S24 Ultra featuring an AMOLED M13 LTPO panel holds true. The M13 is a premium panel and one of Samsung’s most cutting-edge displays, with enhanced visual performance and an improved color gamut. It’s also the very same panel rumored to appear in the upcoming iPhone 16.
Winner: Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. OnePlus 12: Performance
The Galaxy S24 Ultra and OnePlus 12 will both feature Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor — bringing with it a considerable leap in mobile performance for Android devices.
Qualcomm claims that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is up to 30% faster than the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 (found in both the Galaxy S23 Ultra and OnePlus 11), and is considerably more efficient. The chipset manufacturer’s released AnTuTu and Geekbench results show a healthy leap in computing potential, placing the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 on a more level playing field with Apple’s 3nm A17 Pro processor in the iPhone 15 Pro Max.
The two phones diverge when it comes to the supporting cast working with Qualcomm’s impressive processor. The Galaxy S24 Ultra should come in two primary configurations: one with 8GB of RAM and one with 12GB of RAM.
While at one point rumored to be adding a 16GB option, those claims have since been shot down by reputable leakers, leaving many Samsung fans disappointed. Especially when you compare that to the OnePlus 12’s 12GB, 16GB, and impressive 24GB of RAM configurations.
With both phones featuring the same processor, you’d expect this particular category to result in a stalemate. However, OnePlus’ higher configurations and vapor chamber cooling allow an increased potential for the OnePlus 12 to squeeze every bit of performance possible from Qualcomm’s powerful processor.
Winner: OnePlus 12
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra vs. OnePlus 12: Cameras
The Galaxy S23 Ultra’s outstanding 200MP main camera will seemingly carry over to the S24 Ultra. However, not resting on its laurels, Samsung reportedly intends to push things even further by giving one of its 10MP telephoto lenses a 50MP upgrade. An updated 1-inch sensor could also be in the cards, with the goal of improving low-light capture and improving the phone’s overall dynamic range.
Samsung is on strong footing when it comes to its camera array, and it would take something pretty spectacular to dethrone it as king of the smartphone snappers. Sadly, while impressive, the OnePlus 12 isn’t quite there yet — though it’s not too far off. OnePlus’ flagship offers a Hasselblad 50MP primary camera, 48MP ultrawide lens, and a more than decent 64MP telephoto sensor with 3x optical zoom.
A 32MP selfie camera caps things off by doffing its hat to the Galaxy S24’s 12MP counterpart, but Samsung’s impressive sensors and variety are still likely to win the hearts of cameraphone aficionados.
Winner: Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
While the official S24 Ultra launch may have just gone down, Sean Riley, our mobile guru, got a sneak peek at CES 2024. His initial impressions? Pretty darn impressed. The Galaxy AI, vapor cooling system, flatter display, and titanium build quality all earned serious kudos.
The good news doesn't stop there. The S24 packs Galaxy AI and a solid 12GB of RAM. However, the $1,299 price tag raised eyebrows, especially considering the upcoming OnePlus 12 boasting similar specs, likely for less than $1,000.
But is Samsung's AI prowess the game-changer? Its unexpected inclusion could nudge some buyers towards the S24.
We also just received our OnePlus 12 review unit, our first impression is that its a top notch build, feels great in the hand, and it arrives with the same Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset, but OnePlus will give you 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. Pricing remains under emabrgo, and I am unable to get deeper into my experience with it.
However, if past experience holds true, the OP 12 will give the S24 a run for the money, while saving you a chunk of cash. I am interested in seeing how the battle for better cameras plays out between the two devices.
Samsung's S24 Ultra is a formidable flagship, and a continuation in form for the South Korean tech giants. It's impressive camera array and potential top-tier screen upgrades make it one to watch out for. However, OnePlus' smartphone is no slouch either, and poses a real threat as a possible flagship killer of a device.
With all that said, while its on-paper promises show great potential, the OnePlus 12 has an uphill battle on its hands if it hopes to steal Samsung’s smartphone audience. Not only has Samsung solidified itself as the defacto figurehead of Android smartphones, but it has incredible brand recognition to fall back on as well.
OnePlus’ saving grace could be its generous pricing, with the smartphone forecast to champion an impressive price-to-performance conversion on release (if OnePlus’ device lives up to the brand’s claims).
Could OnePlus succeed where so many others failed? We won’t know for sure until both phones make it into the hands of consumers. However, on paper at least, the OnePlus 12 is a very tempting alternative to Samsung’s pricey flagship.
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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.