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OnePlus 12R review

In our OnePlus 12R review, we check out the latest mid-range offering from the Chinese tech company, but can it deliver on big promises from the brand?

Custom image for OnePlus 12R review displaying the purple back of the phone

Our Verdict

The OnePlus 12R is a killer offering in the mid-range market, but for the advanced features it sports, it falls behind with some basic functionality users have come to expect. For those who aren’t bothered about low-light photography and wireless charging, OnePlus 12R is a powerful mid-range Android handset.

Reasons to buy
  • Fantastic display
  • Great battery life and fast charging
  • Solid performance
Reasons to avoid
  • Poor camera quality in low-light
  • No wireless charging
  • No IP rating


The OnePlus 12R is a dedicated mid-range handset through and through and shouldn’t be compared to the powerhouse flagships of other manufacturers. However, it has some surprising specifications for its class compared to other Android handsets, such as the Google Pixel 8 and Samsung’s A-Series. Its Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor is a beastly SoC, especially when combined with its LTPO (low-temperature polycrystalline oxide) AMOLED (active-matrix organic light-emitting diodes) display.

While these premium features are welcome in a handset half the price of a flagship smartphone, it compromises with its camera array, particularly in low-light conditions. Of course, it’s a small price, but potential buyers should be wary of the trade-offs in mid-range handsets. So, is this latest offering worthy of our list of the best OnePlus phones? Let’s find out.

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Custom image for OnePlus 12R review showing the main camera lens

Price and availability

With a competitive pricing strategy considering the specs under the hood, the OnePlus 12R is a brilliant proposition for a mid-range handset with some top-end specifications. Kicking off at $500 / £649 depending on territory (AU$1,250, for example), we’re looking at previous years’ flagship performance at half the price.

When it comes to its release, it’s been a phased affair. OnePlus 12R’s initial release was in Asia and Europe, which is often a safer market for Android markets instead of heading further west to the States. The OnePlus fandom does cross the Atlantic, with OnePlus sometimes offering products in the US. We recommend that US and Canadian customers check the official OnePlus store or a local handset retailer for availability.


Battery 5,500mAh with 80W SuperVOOC charging (100W in certain regions)
Display 6.78-inch 1-120Hz adaptive refresh rate LTPO AMOLED (2780 x 1264 pixels)
CPU Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
RAM 8GB / 16GB
Storage 128GB / 256GB
Back cameras  50MP main (f/1.8, OIS), 8MP ultra-wide (112°), 2MP macro
Front camera 16MP
Weight 207g
Dimensions 163.3mm x 75.3mm x 8.8mm
Colors Cool Blue, Iron Grey

Features and software

OnePlus 12R runs OxygenOS, a modded version of last year’s Android 14, with a clear (sometimes giant) user-friendly experience. It would be nice to have the option of stock Android or OxygenOS like ASUS, for example. Still, it’s nothing out of the ordinary. Plus, it’s low on bloatware and features plenty of customization options to make users feel at home. OnePlus has also promised three years of firmware updates on the OnePlus 12R, so it’s safe to say we’ll be seeing the OxygenOS iterations of Android 15 and beyond.

Custom image for OnePlus 12R review showing the main menu with a Dragonball background

A couple of highlights of OxygenOS include the Game Engine and Zen Mode. Game Engine auto-detects when a game kicks off and helps users manage processing power to make sure the OnePlus 12R is focusing on giving the best gaming experience. This comes complete with a handful of preset modes for beginners. Zen Mode encourages you to consider your digital well-being, triggering screen time breaks and always-on display options to ensure all the information you need is in one place.


The OnePlus 12R features a sleek design and solid build quality in Cool Blue and Iron Gray. However, the back panel is glossy plastic. The circular camera array is a signature inclusion from OnePlus, with a minimal bezel framed in a scored metal ring for a premium feel.

A layer of Gorilla Glass Victus 2 protects the 6.78-inch screen, which is highly scratch and drop-resistant. While this is a great feature, it doesn’t negate using a good phone case and Gorilla Glass screen protector to take the impact instead.

Like most budget handsets worth their salt these days, the OnePlus 12R features an alloy metal frame holding this bit of kit together; it’s a solid way to assure the build quality of the phone and looks the part, too. Its curved edges feel great for one-handed use, with the relevant corner of the OnePlus 12R fitting snugly into a user’s palm.

Custom image for OnePlus 12R review showing the slider from the phone

The bottom of the OnePlus 12R features, from left to right, a SIM tray, a microphone USB-C port, and a hefty speaker. The right-hand facing side features the power button and volume rocker, with the left featuring the OnePlus signature alert slider. This slider allows users to turn notifications on or off quickly, a brilliant analog feature for users in and out of meetings.


As previously mentioned, the OnePlus 12R’s main selling point is its screen, which has the power to back it up. The 6.78-inch LTPO AMOLED display does put it above the mid-range opposition thanks to its deep blacks and vibrant colors. This is one of the best value-for-money propositions for gamers, power users, and casual Android users.

LTPO technology also allows for a dynamically adjustable refresh rate. This means the screen can seamlessly switch between 1Hz and 120Hz, ensuring smooth scrolling and responsiveness while optimizing battery consumption. Whether users are reading an e-book or playing Diablo Immortal, the OnePlus 12R delivers one of the best visual experiences while getting the most out of its already ample battery life.

Custom image for OnePlus 12R review with the Diablo Infinite main menu on the display

Brightness plays into the OnePlus 12R strategy too. Rocking 1600 nits, images are clear and visible in all conditions out of the box. With the aid of Dolby Vision and the previously mentioned features, noticeably the Gorilla Glas Victus 2 protective layer, this truly is one of the best displays seen on a mid-range device.

The only issue is the curved edge build, a potentially divisive element of the form factor. Though you can rectify this with a beveled OnePlus 12R phone case, it can be too easy to catch the screen when playing games or accidentally scroll while using the phone day-to-day. Again, it’s more of a gripe, but there are better design choices considering the market the OnePlus 12R is going after.


While the OnePlus 12R’s camera setup may not be its strongest suit, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset provides ample power for photo and video editing apps. Users can expect brisk performance when processing high-resolution images or rendering video clips, making it suitable for content creators who need to edit away from the office or creative space. We recommend a handset with a better camera for those looking to edit vlogs and the like on the go.

Example photo for OnePlus 12R review with a photo of two little dogs on a step

Headlined by a 50MP primary sensor, the triple camera setup performs admirably in well-lit conditions, producing sharp and detailed photos. However, low light performance doesn’t surpass the competition, such as the Google Pixel 8. Also, including a 2MP macro lens feels more like a checkbox feature, adding little real value and missing the mark on essential functions.


As mentioned, the OnePlus 12R’s battery backs up the premium screen and processing power. A 5,500mAh battery sees the OnePlus 12R through the day. It lasts long enough for a good gaming session, depending on the game you’re playing, of course. The screen’s adaptive refresh rate also allows the OnePlus 12R to conserve battery power.

To curb any battery anxiety, the OnePlus 12R features fast charging. Specifically, the OnePlus 12R features the company’s signature 80W SuperVOOC charging, providing a burst of usable battery life from zero in around 30 minutes. This climbs up to 100W in other territories outside the US, making the usual mid-range battery life gripes non-applicable here and allowing users to game, stream, and use multiple apps on the fly without rapidly draining it.


As previously mentioned, the performance of the OnePlus 12R, powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, is another big selling point. This system on a chip (SoC) represents a significant leap forward in efficiency and power, making the OnePlus 12R an excellent choice for a wide range of users, from the everyday social media enthusiast to the hardcore gamer. The device also has up to 16GB of RAM, ensuring smooth multitasking and quick app switching.

Custom image for OnePlus 12R review with the demon from Diablo on the screen

Regarding benchmarking, the OnePlus 12R showcases impressive scores that underline its capabilities. On Geekbench, a tool that measures a device’s performance across different cores, the OnePlus 12R scores highly, reflecting its ability to handle complex computations and multitask efficiently. Similarly, in GPU-focused benchmarks like 3DMark, the device demonstrates its graphical prowess, ensuring games and visually intensive apps run smoothly, with detailed textures and effects rendered without compromise. We recommend a case that allows OnePLus 12R to cool, as our longer GPU benchmarks caused the handset to heat up quite a bit.


  • Geekbench Single Core: 1561
  • Geekbench Multi Core: 5088
  • Geekbench GPU (OpenCL): 8641
  • Geekbench GPU (Vulkan): 9092

To offer a bit of context, the single core performance score of Google Pixel 8 is 1553. OnePlus 12R smashes performance in Multi-Core benchmarking, clearly beating Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus 5024 by 54 points. Long story short, we’re setting flagship performance in the OnePlus 12R, which is an absolute bargain for the mid-range market considering the cost of the competitor above handsets.

3D Mark Wild Life Stress Test:

  • Best Loop Score: 13,254
  • Lowest Loop Score: 8617
  • Stability: 65%
  • Battery Drain: 86% to 71%
  • Temperature Lowest: 25°C
  • Temperature Highest: 39°C
  • Frame Rate Lowest:
  • Frame Rate Highest:36 FPS to 101 FPS

3D Mark is a more detailed benchmark for graphical performance overall. Boiling it down to simplistic terms, we’re seeing a 43.75% rise in temperature. It’s not great news, but it performs consistently at higher temperatures, with the lowest frame rate count of 36 and highs of 101. The OnePlus Game-Mode overlay further enhances the experience, allowing users to pull more system resources for better performance. Any mobile game will run great locally on the OnePlus 12R, a great booster on a mid-range handset.

For those unfamiliar with benchmarking, the below results are crucial for some potential buyers, as they provide a quantifiable measure of the phone’s capabilities compared to its peers. For the OnePlus 12R, its scores place it comfortably among the top performers in the mid-range segment and just about creeping up on flagship territory, particularly in processing power and graphical performance.

OnePlus 12R excels in gaming scenarios, where the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2’s graphical capabilities come to the fore. Games like “Call of Duty: Mobile” and “Genshin Impact” run at high settings without noticeable lag or frame drops, providing an immersive gaming experience. The device’s thermal management system ensures minimal heat buildup, even during extended gaming sessions, preventing throttling and maintaining consistent performance.

For users who rely on their phones for work and productivity, the OnePlus 12R can juggle multiple apps, edit documents, video conferencing, and more. It easily handles day-to-day tasks thanks to its ample RAM and efficient processor. The seamless switching between apps and the lack of lag when running productivity tools is a breeze and lovely in a mid-range Android handset.

Combining the OnePlus 12R’s powerful SoC and its vibrant LTPO AMOLED display makes it ideal for video up to 2K resolution. Streaming high-definition videos or browsing through image-heavy websites is a pleasure, with the device rendering content beautifully. The processor ensures that streaming apps run smoothly, providing a buffering-free viewing experience, even at higher resolutions.

Should you buy the OnePlus 12R?

The OnePlus 12R is a formidable contender in the mid-range market, offering a premium experience at an accessible price. While it doesn’t quite reach the photographic heights of its competitors, its performance, display, and battery life make it an attractive option for a wide range of users. If you’re looking for flagship features without the price, the OnePlus 12R deserves your attention.

While it’s not a deal breaker, the OnePlus 12R camera array underperforms compared to the other mid-range competition in low-light scenarios. Some basics in other mid-range phones, such as wireless charging and official IP water and dust ratings, have also missed the boat on the OnePlus 12R. Curved edges certainly aren’t new to Android smartphones. Still, they can lead to accidental inputs if you’re not using a bezel phone case.


If our OnePlus 12R review hasn’t sold you, check out some alternative options below.

Nothing Phone (2)

If you’re looking for something different, the Nothing Phone (2) is another mid-range device with impressive specs. Still, the best thing about this alternative is the Glyph system, a unique selling point of Nothing’s flagship that allows you to create custom patterns with the LED lights visible under the phone’s transparent casing. If you want to know more, check out our Nothing Phone (2) review.

Google Pixel 8

The Google Pixel 8 is a little more expensive than the OnePlus 12R, but it’s worth it if you’re something of a smartphone photographer who wants to take great snaps in low light. This latest Pixel flagship also offers wireless charging, another department where the 12R slightly lets us down. For more on this one, see our Google Pixel 8 review.