Following in the footsteps of its recently unveiled flagship sibling, our review of the OnePlus 12R delves into the elegant midrange evolution from the OnePlus 11, boasting numerous affordable enhancements. The global launch of the much-lauded “R” series devices marks the first time the company has brought the more affordable tier of devices to markets outside of India. The balanced performance, competitive feature set, and remarkable value will put the OnePlus 12R among the top-tier mid-range phones in 2024.
In this review…
OnePlus 12R Performance
With the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor at its heart, the 12R incorporates last year’s premier mobile processor, enhanced with hardware finesse by OnePlus. Sporting an upgraded cooling system reminiscent of its flagship counterpart, the OnePlus 12, the 12R experiences a slight uptick in sustained performance, though it only marginally surpasses comparable devices in its class. While it may not claim the title of the fastest device available, it adeptly handles most tasks thrown its way, making it a reliable choice for the majority of users.
OnePlus 12R Software
The OnePlus 12R runs on OxygenOS, which was developed on the Android 14 platform. One notable perk of choosing OnePlus over other brands like Samsung is the absence of excessive pre-installed bloatware, which often slows down devices. The included software, such as IR Remote, O Relax, and ZenSpace, adds functionality without requiring additional subscriptions. In the realm of Android interfaces, OxygenOS stands out favourably. OnePlus has guaranteed 3 OS upgrades and 4 years of security patches during the life of the device.
OnePlus 12R Camera quality
The camera setup of the OnePlus 12R comprises a trio of lenses: a 50 MP Sony with an aperture of f/1.8 and a focal length of 24mm (wide), an 8 MP Sony with an aperture of f/2.2 and a focal length of 16mm with a 112˚ angle (ultrawide), and a 2 MP OmniVision with an aperture of f/2.4 (macro). Additionally, it boasts a 16 MP Samsung front-facing camera with an aperture of f/2.4 and a focal length of 26mm (wide). All the onboard cameras support panorama and HDR, and they have the capability to record videos in 4K at 30/60fps and in 1080p at 30/60/120/240fps. Despite lacking a telephoto lens, this camera array is robust for a midrange device.
The images above depict simultaneous captures by the OnePlus 12 and OnePlus 12R. A discernible variance is observable, subtly indicating the difference in sensors between the two devices. Unlike the OnePlus 12, the 12R lacks support for Hasselblad colour calibration. While this variance may go unnoticed by many users, the images above illustrate colour calibration’s impact on the final result. We believe most users won’t find this discrepancy troubling, but those seeking the pinnacle of optical performance may need to invest more. In this category, we think the 12R will satisfy.
OnePlus 12R Display and charging speed
Remarkably smooth, exceptionally swift, and remarkably luminous would be the three attributes we’d employ to characterize this screen. The OnePlus 12R showcases the finest displays among midrange phones in 2024. With a 6.78-inch, 111.7 cm screen boasting a pixel density of 450ppi and an impressive peak brightness of 4500 nits, it offers an immersive visual experience. Additionally, it supports 120Hz refresh rate, HDR10+, and Dolby Vision and is safeguarded by Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2. This display is, without reservation, currently our most highly regarded screen on any device in this category and is hard to pass up.
Charging speed is another way this mid-ranger pushes the boundaries on what can be called midrange. The 100W charger (or 80w in 120v markets) solidly places the 12R leap ahead against others in this category. During our testing, we were able to get from zero to a full charge in 26 minutes and thirty-two seconds. One omission from this device, though, is wireless charging.
OnePlus 12R WiFi, cellular and other connectivity
The OnePlus 12R is pretty rich in the connectivity sphere with 5G (GSM / CDMA / HSPA / LTE / 5G), dual-SIM along with Wi-Fi 7 (Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6/7), Bluetooth 5.3, aptX HD, NFC and our favourite feature, the infrared port.
Throughout our testing, we consistently attained top-tier speeds and results, constrained solely by the capabilities of our current WiFi and cellular testing equipment. Regrettably, due to certain technical constraints, we were unable to evaluate the WiFi 7 capabilities of this device. Nonetheless, we anticipate this situation to evolve shortly. Nevertheless, we believe that the majority of users will be satisfied and unlikely to encounter any connectivity-related performance issues.
We want to highlight the IR blaster in the OnePlus 12 and OnePlus 12R, which is often overlooked but significant. Paired with the IR remote app, it controls non-smart devices effortlessly, with easy setup and convenient automated programming. Particularly useful in scenarios like the gym, it offers added functionality without being a headline feature, yet worth noting.
OnePlus 12R Audio quality
We found that the OnePlus 12R offers a satisfying experience for everyday activities such as listening to music, watching movies, and enjoying podcasts. When spatial audio (Dolby Atmos) is enabled, the phone delivers a reasonably balanced sound profile through its speakers. However, we did notice room for improvement in the low-end frequency response. While the audio is pleasant, it lacks depth and richness, which could enhance its overall profile.
OnePlus 12R Battery
The OnePlus 12R’s killer battery life is hard to understate. Featuring a 5500 mAh battery, it is definitely amongst the largest in the industry. During our testing, the 12R’s battery routinely hit over 14 hours of active use and was only second to its big brother, the OnePlus 12, which features what appears to be the same/similar battery.
OnePlus 12R Price
The OnePlus 12R falls into the mid-range smartphone segment, priced at US $ 499.99 / GBP £ 649.00 / EUR € 699.00 / CAD $ 669.99, with the 16GB + 256GB variant only slightly pricier at CAD $ 799.99. In comparison to devices like the Google Pixel 8 or Samsung Galaxy S23, we believe users can generally obtain better value with the OnePlus 12R. Moreover, OnePlus provides additional incentives and discounts for students and trade-ins, likely making the purchase of any 12R model more affordable than similar competing devices.
Our opinion: The OnePlus 12R is a classy, affordable, mid-range phone that will please almost everyone.