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OnePlus 12 review: refreshingly basic

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OnePlus 12 review
OnePlus 12 review: refreshingly basic.

SpecificationOnePlus 12
Display6.7-inch AMOLED, 120Hz, QHD+ (3216 x 1440), HDR10+
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3
Storage128GB / 256GB / 1TB UFS 3.1
Rear cameras50MP main (f/1.8, OIS), 12MP ultra-wide (f/2.2, 120°), 8MP telephoto (f/3.4, OIS, 3x optical zoom), 2MP monochrome
Front Camera16MP (f/2.4)
Battery5000mAh, 100W wired charging, 50W wireless charging
SoftwareOxygenOS 12 based on Android 13
Dimensions163.2 x 73.6 x 8.7mm
ColorsLunar Silver, Cosmic Black, Forest Green
Price$799 / €799 / £699

Back to Basics: OnePlus 12 Prioritizes Battery Life and Durability

A Battery That Goes the Extra Mile

While AI takes a backseat, OnePlus excels in addressing a fundamental concern – battery life. In a market inundated with cutting-edge features, the OnePlus 12 stands out for its exceptional battery performance, rivaling any major flagship in the past six months. The inclusion of wireless charging, a prerequisite in 2024, enhances the user experience. Moreover, the upgraded IP65 rating instills confidence in the phone’s long-term durability.

A Compelling Package at a Competitive Price Point

The improvements in battery and durability, however, come at a marginal cost increase. Priced at $799, the OnePlus 12 surpasses its predecessor, the OnePlus 11, by a hundred dollars. Nevertheless, in the context of 2024’s high-end phone market, this price tag remains competitive, especially for a device boasting a generous 6.8-inch display.

Impressive Hardware Specifications

The OnePlus 12’s hardware is nothing short of impressive. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor powers the device, steering away from proprietary AI features. With configurations offering up to 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, the OnePlus 12 effortlessly handles intensive tasks. The collaboration with Qualcomm promises responsiveness to future AI services bundled with a Google One subscription.

Display Excellence and Charging Prowess

A Visual Treat

The OnePlus 12’s 6.8-inch screen, with a 1440p resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate, offers a visually stunning experience. Despite its tall aspect ratio, the device remains comfortable for one-handed use. The display’s brilliance, however, raises questions about the claimed peak brightness of 4,500 nits.

Rapid Charging and Wireless Convenience

OnePlus maintains its commitment to fast charging with an 80W wired charging capability. Wireless charging, absent in the OnePlus 11, returns with up to 50W support. The inclusion of standard Qi charging ensures compatibility with existing wireless chargers, a convenience users will appreciate.

Software Experience: Oxygen OS 14 and Beyond

A Familiar Interface

The OnePlus 12 runs on Oxygen OS 14, maintaining the signature OnePlus aesthetic. While some users may find similarities with the previous version, the Dynamic Island-esque status indicator adds a modern touch. However, the Color-OS-ification may not appeal to those averse to previous iterations.

Promising OS Upgrades and Security

OnePlus commits to four years of OS upgrades and five years of security updates for the OnePlus 12. While this may lag behind competitors like Google and Samsung offering seven years of OS upgrades, the promise of extended support ensures a satisfactory user experience.

Camera Innovations: Going Beyond Megapixels

Telephoto Upgrade and Hasselblad Partnership

The OnePlus 12 introduces a 3x telephoto lens with optical image stabilization, a significant improvement over its predecessor. The partnership with Hasselblad, though marked by marketing hype, manifests in superior color tuning, elevating the camera system’s overall performance.

AI Takes a Backseat in Photography

In a market inundated with AI-centric camera features, the OnePlus 12 focuses on meaningful tweaks to its existing formula. The result is an improved telephoto lens and image processing that competes with established flagships.

The OnePlus 12: A Refreshing Break from AI Hype

While competitors tout AI-driven advancements, the OnePlus 12 offers a refreshing departure. In a market saturated with promises of AI’s potential, OnePlus focuses on refining its existing features. The upgraded camera, robust battery life, and competitive pricing make the OnePlus 12 an enticing option for those seeking a reliable, AI-lite smartphone experience.

In Conclusion: Basics Done Right

In the grand scheme of AI-dominated smartphones, the OnePlus 12 stands as a testament to the value of getting the basics right. As Samsung and Google forge ahead with their AI-centric ecosystems, OnePlus delivers a device that excels in fundamental aspects, making it a compelling choice for users prioritizing core smartphone functionalities.

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