OnePlus 12R review

GSMArena Team, 05 February 2024.

Introduction

Is it an R, or is it more of a T in disguise - the OnePlus 12R goes global for a change. In the past, the R models were typically a repackage of a China-only OnePlus Ace, to be sold only in India. The OnePlus Ts, on the other hand, have similarly had Chinese counterparts, but they have been more widely available internationally - only they were later releases, not so close chronologically to the 'main' model.

The OnePlus 12R is apparently both. Like previous R models, it comes out more or less at the same time as the flagship, and it's the international alter-ego to the Chinese OnePlus Ace 3. It's going to be sold in many markets, however, including the US and parts of Europe, just like the Ts. And like both Rs and Ts, the 12R is a notch below the top dog in many ways. The most notable downgrades are the chipset and camera - but also, consequently, price.

The phone features the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 - last year's every-flagship chip, and that's easily powerful enough for 2024 and who knows how many more years to come. The 8GB/128GB base version isn't quite flagshippy, and the 16GB/256GB variant sounds more like it, but there's no 512GB option here - another area where it shows that this OnePlus has a letter in the name.

Where the 12R clearly abandons all aspirations for high-end stature is the camera hardware. No telephoto, a modest ultrawide, and a proven, but unremarkable main unit team up to form a setup that's somewhere in midrange territory. You could try and slap the 'flagship killer' moniker that the OG OnePlus was so proud of, but that's largely been stripped of meaning by now. Anyway, just because cameraphone excellence isn't on the table, doesn't mean the 12R isn't good enough for what it is - we'll get to that.

OnePlus 12R review

In a few other aspects the R doesn't mean less. In fact, the 12R's 5,500mAh battery is the largest on a OnePlus phone and 100mAh more than you get on the 12. The 100W charging capability is a match between the two models (if you have a 220V socket, otherwise it's 80W, but still the same between the two), as is the IP65 rating - for better or worse.

Update, 08 Feb, 2024: OnePlus 12R official specs pages now list the IP rating as IP64, which differs from the information initially provided to us. That downgrades the level of protection from 'water jets' to 'splashes of water'.

Update, 16 Feb, 2024: OnePlus 12R 256GB official specs pages now list the storage used by the phone as UFS 3.1 instead of UFS 4.0. The company has issued a statement on the matter.

Then there's the display. Oddly enough, the promo materials insist that the 12R has "the most advanced OnePlus display, ever", making it sound superior to the 12's. The specs show one minor disadvantage here - resolution is ever so slightly lower, inconsequentially so - but we'll be interested to see how it behaves in other metrics.

There's parity when it comes to the smaller things - the 12R features an infrared emitter, stereo speakers, and an optical fingerprint reader. There's also an alert slider - always there on the main models, not guaranteed on the lesser ones.

OnePlus 12R specs at a glance:

  • Body: 163.3x75.3x8.8mm, 207g; aluminum frame, IP64 dustproof and water-resitant.
  • Display: 6.78" LTPO4 AMOLED, 1B colors, 120Hz, HDR10+, Dolby Vision, 1600 nits (HBM), 4500 nits (peak), 1264x2780px resolution, 19.8:9 aspect ratio, 450ppi.
  • Chipset: Qualcomm SM8550-AB Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 (4 nm): Octa-core (1x3.2 GHz Cortex-X3 & 2x2.8 GHz Cortex-A715 & 2x2.8 GHz Cortex-A710 & 3x2.0 GHz Cortex-A510); Adreno 740.
  • Memory: 128GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 16GB RAM; UFS 3.1.
  • OS/Software: Android 14, OxygenOS 14.
  • Rear camera: Wide (main): 50 MP, f/1.8, 24mm, 1/1.56", 1.0µm, PDAF, Laser AF, OIS; Ultra wide angle: 8 MP, f/2.2, 16mm, 112˚, 1/4.0", 1.12µm; Macro: 2 MP, f/2.4.
  • Front camera: 16 MP, f/2.4, 26mm (wide), 1/3", 1.0µm.
  • Video capture: Rear camera: 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/120/240fps, gyro-EIS, OIS; Front camera: 1080p@30fps, gyro-EIS.
  • Battery: 5500mAh; 100W wired, 1-100% in 26 min (advertised).
  • Connectivity: 5G; Dual SIM; Wi-Fi 7; BT 5.3, aptX HD; NFC; Infrared port.
  • Misc: Fingerprint reader (under display, optical); stereo speakers.

OnePlus 12R unboxing

The OnePlus 12R retail package is very similar to the 12's, only here both pieces of the box are red. A large '12R' badge dominates the front, with a more modest OnePlus logo in the bottom left corner.

Inside, you'll find a 100W adapter (which maxes out at 80W for 110V power sources) and a USB-A-to-C cable to go with it.

OnePlus 12R review

The India-exclusive previous Rs did include a protective case in the box, and apparently so too does the more widely-available 12R... in India. Our Euro review unit remains naked out of the box. The 12 itself is getting the same region-dependent treatment, we've now come to realize.

All locales appear to be receiving a sticker sheet with three stickers to spread the OnePlus love across your other devices, as well as a 'Red Cable Club' membership card for discounts when shopping for accessories. Also found in some boxes is a female USB-A to male USB-C adapter - its spot was empty in the (sealed) box that made it to us.

Reader comments

  • Anonymous
  • 18 Feb 2024
  • M8r

Hey Guys, I bought the oneplus 12r 256gb Variant expecting UFS 4.0 but now it seems they lied and are trying to back track it as an error and talking about their trinity engine. It sounds absolutely pathetic what they are trying to do and say with th...

  • S23 ULTRA
  • 18 Feb 2024
  • GXs

How do you do it

  • Chandu
  • 16 Feb 2024
  • 7tM

You have written 6 pages of long review but you did not confirm Ram type... Such a shame