OnePlus 12: What to Expect With the Next OnePlus Flagship

The OnePlus 12 launched in China on December 5, giving fans an idea about OnePlus’ next flagship phone. Now the company has revealed that both the OnePlus 12 and its lower-priced OnePlus 12R sibling will launch globally on Jan. 23. That’s when we’ll find out all the pricing and specs configurations info for devices released outside China that OnePlus has been keeping mum about.

This will be the first R-branded line of phones released outside India and China, showing OnePlus is moving into the global market for mid-range phones. With last year’s OnePlus 11R priced at the rough equivalent of $480, the company will have a cheaper option to field between its premium-priced top-end phones and its budget line, most recently the $300 OnePlus Nord N30 5G.

We do know the broad strokes of the hardware in the OnePlus 12: most of the new phone’s changes on its predecessor are internal, as it looks virtually the same as last year’s OnePlus 11. The biggest external change is that the Alert Slider, the physical toggle to switch between mute, vibrate and ringer settings, has been moved from the right side to the left side. On the back of the phone, the circular disk around the cameras is translucent instead of shiny metal in the white and green OnePlus 12 colors (the black retains last year’s shiny finish on the disk).

There are also slight camera changes with the OnePlus 12 in a sharper 64-megapixel periscope 3x optical zoom telephoto camera (up from 32-megapixel telephoto in the OnePlus 11). The new phone has a similar 50-megapixel main camera and 48-megapixel ultrawide camera as last year’s handset.

Most of the OnePlus 12’s improvements are internal. The phone is powered by Qualcomm’s top-end Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset, which has performance improvements over last year’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 as well as the debut of on-device generative AI. OnePlus hasn’t shared which ChatGPT-like generative AI features, if any, will be implemented in its new phone.

Read more: AI Is Coming for Your Phone in a Big Way

OnePlus has also doubled the minimum storage to 256GB, up from 128GB in the OnePlus 11. The baseline RAM has also been improved to 12GB, up from 8GB. The phonemaker has also increased the maximum for both specs to 1TB of storage and 24GB of RAM, an increase from the 512GB of storage and 16GB of RAM in last year’s OnePlus flagship. But don’t get your hopes up yet — it’s not certain that this configuration will be offered outside China.

OnePlus is pushing the margins for phone specs, and the OnePlus 12 outstrips rival premium phones like the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra (which tops out at 1TB of storage and 12GB of RAM) in terms of hardware. That may not translate directly to superior performance, as Samsung’s phones often best OnePlus’ numbers in benchmarks — we’ll wait to see if that trend persists when we review the OnePlus 12.

The OnePlus 12 has a 5,400-mAh battery, up from 5,000 mAh in its predecessor. Battery charging speeds on the OnePlus 12 have also been upgraded to 100W wired (the OnePlus 11’s US version topped out at 80W) and 50W wireless. The latter is especially impressive as most phones’ wireless charging tops out at 15W, though that likely means OnePlus 12 owners will have to buy a proprietary charger as popular third-party models don’t often rate above 25W.

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