Il OnePlus 12, a flagship that was already the protagonist of one of our reviews a few days ago, is a device that overall amazed us and that managed to bring the high end of smartphones to a price that is certainly more tolerable than the average of the current top of the range, all above the 1000 euros.
If that was already a smartphone that impressed us with its performance and its value for money, the new OnePlus 12R should be even more interesting for many. Yes, because the price drops further, naturally thanks to some hardware sacrifices that do not deprive you of a good experience, but rather make some key strategic choices to obtain a more accessible starting price: 699 € and a couple of not bad freebies, but let's go in order.
OnePlus 12R review
Design and Materials
It's true: if already in the review of OnePlus 12 we almost complained about the few aesthetic differences compared to the previous generation model with this one One Plus 12R the similarities with the OnePlus 11 they have practically doubled. It is a fairly standard Android smartphone, with a curved screen along both the front and rear edges and quality finishes, as per tradition at OnePlus. The frame is made of aluminum with matte and anti-fingerprint finishes, a feature that certainly will not go unnoticed by lovers of smartphones without covers.
In the back of the One Plus 12R there is a huge camera module that blends perfectly into the aluminum edge: the most attentive will have noticed that the engraving of the Hasselblad brand in the camera is missing here, and this makes you understand what the differences between the two smartphones mainly focus on new generation. Of course you can't miss theAlert Slider which made the history of OnePlus, even if it is now on the opposite side, on the left, to improve the performance of the antenna: although it does not represent anything technological, I personally find this slider one of the best implementations by a smartphone manufacturer , because the practicality and immediacy of use are absolutely unrivaled. And I say this as an owner of iPhone 15 Pro, which revolutionized the market with its Action Button.
There are two colors available for the One Plus 12R, Cool Blue and Iron Grey: I am always very inclined towards the fresher and more youthful colors, like the Blue one in this case, but unfortunately this one is characterized by a shiny and slippery finish, while the Iron Gray variant in my possession might seem a little more traditional and boring , but in practice it tends to both get less dirty and be less slippery, it's undeniable.
Il One Plus 12R It also has an IP65 certification, but it also comes with a feature that allows the screen to work more precisely when it's wet: the 12R uses its CPU to detect when the screen is wet and adjust its responsiveness, reducing the number of incorrect touches and delayed reactions. Well done OnePlus, it is the first time that I personally try such a system and I must say that it works well: of course, it is to be evaluated how many times in life you will exploit this feature, but it is always positive to have it. Inputs and buttons, however, do not differ from the 12: here too we find the infrared port, together with the second microphone at the top, at the bottom the double speaker, USB-C connector and SIM tray, while on the right the volume and turning on, finally the slider on the left.
One thing I have never been able to complain about during my tests of OnePlus smartphones has always been the display, and I am sure you will be pleased to know that on this "economical" model OnePlus it's not even saving on the screen, because the result is exceptional. This is a panel 6,7 inch LTPO OLED with a resolution of 2780 1264 pixels x, which in the event can be scaled to 2376 x 1080 pixels to extend battery life.
This screen, in fact, beyond the resolution, shares many of the technical characteristics of its older brother: I am obviously referring to compatibility with recent standards HDR10+ and DolbyVision, but also at the adaptive refresh rate from 1 to 120Hz and above all at the maximum (theoretical) brightness of 4500 nits, just like OnePlus 12. To make a long story short, and not to dwell too much on the technicalities, it is a display with unquestionable color fidelity, especially for its price range. The color temperature adjustment is also very good, integrating "Pro" controls and settings for greater freedom of customization.
As regards the unlocking systems, under the display OnePlus has inserted a very well-functioning optical biometric sensor: the detail that I appreciated very much is the placement of the sensor itself, which for the first time is positioned higher up almost at third of the screen from the bottom, rather than very low as usual.
Hardware and Performance
OnePlus is actually promoting the OnePlus 12R as a "performance flagship", which isn't that strange when you consider that it uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen2, which ok is from the previous generation and is surpassed by the now new Gen 3, but still remains a top performer in the smartphone field, absolutely not to be underestimated. OnePlus paired it with 16 GB of RAM LPDDR5X and a storage memory 3.1GB UFS 256, with no other variants available.
As with the company's flagship model, significant attention has been paid to cooling in this 12R, with the "Cryo-Velocity" system boasting two vapor chambers to quickly cool the phone: the behavior, roughly speaking, it's the same one seen in the OnePlus 12 smooth, with slightly neutered performance after long benchmark or gaming sessions, for slightly more conservative performance management. In any case, what you will almost never complain about is certainly the temperature of the smartphone, which I barely managed to cool down after quite a few benchmarks.
Beyond the usual perverse thoughts of tech addicts, I can tell you that it works really well in everyday contexts: the software has now reached great maturity, and the performance in all scenarios is decidedly positive and satisfactory. I haven't tried the OnePlus 12, but I'm probably certain that on this front I wouldn't be able to notice practically any difference other than the numerical one in the benchmarks.
Hands down, in my point of view, it is among the products to be taken into consideration in terms of value for money even, absurdly, at the launch price which poco it differs from the street price of last year's competitors, with a similar technical sheet. In terms of connectivity, however, it supports two SIM cards with a double Nano slot, of course it is compatible with the 5G, Wi-Fi 7 and Bluetooth 5.3 with all the latest codecs.
On a software level, however, there is no difference with its older brother: it also comes with it on board Android version 14 and OxygenOS 14.0, a now consolidated and stable ROM that no longer needs much introduction. Although it may have remained rather static in recent years, as far as I'm concerned it is a point of reference for functionality and stability, as well as versatility in terms of customization.
It doesn't follow trends too much, it doesn't apply major changes from year to year, but it is a system that is always fluid, simple to use for any target user and above all completely free from slowdowns, blocks, crashes or any other similar aspect. In short, simple and effective, which personally is the best way in many circumstances. There is no shortage of Shelf features, already seen in the past, as well as a Gaming Zone optimized for game lovers and much more.
Naturally the main differences with the "top" model could not fail to lie within the photographic sector which, I will tell you, still remains high profile even on this One Plus 12R. Inside the large camera bump, in fact, there are three lenses and a flash which deceptively appears to be a fourth sensor. The main camera sensor is the Sony IMX890 50 MP f/1.8, complete with OIS, flanked by a ultra-wide 8MP f / 2.2 with FOV of 112 degrees, and a 2MP macro sensor. There's also a 16-megapixel selfie camera with f/2.4 aperture and electronic stabilization.
Speaking of quality and not numbers, however, I can tell you that in well-lit environments, the colors of the photos taken are lively and well saturated, a bit like what happens traditionally in the various OnePlus devices tested over the years; dynamic range management is excellent, and in the vast majority of cases, the images captured in automatic mode are of remarkable quality and more than good for a consumer target.
This level of performance it remains even in low light conditions, thanks to the automatic activation of the night mode which always returns appreciable results, well managed by the software image processing engine. Even the ultra-wide camera, even though it is only 8MP, surprised me, contrary to many prejudices I had while reading the technical data sheet: of course, the difference in quality with the primary lens remains evident, but especially in terms of the balance of the color tone as well as definition, I must say that I have always obtained pleasant results.
The front camera offers good performance during the day, a little less at night where the noise is more pronounced. Video recording reaches a maximum of 4K at 60 fps with the primary lens, and only in FullHD at 30fps with the Ultra-Wide lens; the quality is acceptable for the price range, with very respectable stabilization.
To keep the One Plus 12R there is one always operational battery from 5500 mAh, 100 mAh larger than that of the OnePlus 12, and a 100 W charging. There is a charger in the package that can recharge the phone from 0 to 100% in 25 minutes, although it is a bit strange now to find such a powerful charger, but equipped with a USB-A port and not a C port. Wireless charging, on the other hand, , has been removed on this model.
As regards autonomy, however, this smartphone always holds up for a whole day of use, regardless of the types of uses, whether stressful or not; you struggle to get through a day in most situations, but given the charging speed you can certainly turn a blind eye. The battery consumption in standby, however, is very good and is practically zero: in one night, with an active Wi-Fi connection, I did not exceed 2% consumption.
Price and considerations
One Plus 12R officially arrives on the market a 699 euro, a figure which at launch includes a pair of Buds Pro 2 worth €179 and in addition, in case you are a student, a 10% additional discount by validating with university email. Beyond the price assessments, the OnePlus 12R is a device that technically convinced me, it has an exceptional display, a beautiful design, a very respectable technical sheet despite not being the latest generation, and a remarkable battery with fast charging.
The evaluations, of course, must be made in a broader way: better him, or a OnePlus 11 of last year with a slightly lower street price? Or aim directly for the standard version of the new OnePlus 12 and decide to invest around 200 euros more? Honestly, the differences are very few, and unless you fall into the category of data sheet lovers, I would hardly recommend the top model for just a few tangible changes.
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