OnePlus 12R review: Great phone, bad price

OnePlus 12R Review
Honor X9b Ad
Honor X9b Ad

Oneplus recently launched its flagship product Oneplus 12, which has been making headlines all over the internet as of now. But, remind you the company also launched a semi-flagship level smartphone that has few identical goodies compared to OnePlus 12. If you haven’t guessed it already, I am talking about the OnePlus 12R.

OnePlus 12R is also making headlines (Okay,  not all over the internet, but deffo among the internet tech circles). I mean, for the price (global), this is a deal you don’t want to miss. But there’s also bad news for my Nepali fellas… that the OnePlus 12R is ridiculously expensive. Yeah, you heard it right, it costs 25% more than what it would cost in India. I know…I know that sounds like a big turn-off already, but before boring you with the pricing, I will walk you through my experience in this OnePlus 12R Review. Let’s have a quick rundown of the specs first

OnePlus 12R Review: Specifications

  • Display: 6.78-inch ProXDR AMOLED, 120Hz refresh rate, LTPO 4.0 (1-120Hz)
  • Resolution: 1.5K (2780 x 1264 pixels), 450 PPI
  • Processor: Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 5G (TSMC 4nm)
  • GPU: Adreno 740
  • Memory: 8/16GB LPDDR5X RAM
  • Storage: 128 / 256GB UFS 3.1 storage
  • Software: Android 14-based OxygenOS 14
  • Front Camera: 16MP, f/2.4 (punch-hole)
  • Rear Camera: Triple (with LED flash)
    • 50MP Sony IMX890 primary (OIS), 1/1.56″, f/1.8
    • 8MP ultrawide, 112° FOV, f/2.2
    • 2MP macro
  • Battery: 5500mAh with 100W SuperVOOC charging (wired)
  • Learn the full specifications of the OnePlus 12R here. 
  • Buy OnePlus 12R here

OnePlus 12R Review


  • Dimensions: 163.3 x 75.3 x 8.8 mm
  • Weight: 207 g (7.30 oz)
  • Build: Glass front (Gorilla Glass Victus 2), aluminum frame, glass back

Alright, before anything else, I want to talk about this design because I absolutely love how OnePlus has committed to establishing a uniform brand identity across its phones lately. At least on the higher-end ones. From this circular camera cutout to the gentle curves at the back, the OnePlus 12R feels every bit as premium and comfortable to hold as the OnePlus 12. It doesn’t miss out on things like an alert slider or an IR blaster either, so that’s great to see too. But there are some obvious (and some not-so-obvious) ways OnePlus wants you to know that the 12R is not a proper flagship phone. And the first thing that immediately stood out to me as soon as I started using this thing was the haptics.

I’m not saying that the 12R has terrible, buzzy haptics or anything, but compared to sharp, responsive vibration feedback that complements the user experience so well on the OnePlus 12, the 12R’s haptics feel a bit weak and… bubbly to me. It also brings a USB 2.0 connection instead of the faster, more versatile USB 3.2. The OnePlus 12R’s back glass is also just Gorilla Glass 5 Vs a stronger Gorilla Glass Victus on the OnePlus 12 and it also features a weaker IP64 dust and splash resistance.



  • Display: 6.78-inch ProXDR AMOLED, 120Hz refresh rate, LTPO 4.0 (1-120Hz)
  • Resolution: 1.5K (2780 x 1264 pixels), 450 PPI

But I think none of this is an absolute dealbreaker in any way. These are perfectly reasonable tradeoffs considering the price difference. And thankfully, there’s really no compromise in the OnePlus 12R’s display. Yes, you do get a slightly smaller and slightly lower-res screen, but OnePlus has used the same X1 OLED panel from BOE here — protected by Corning’s second-gen Victus glass — that you’ll find on the OnePlus 12.

Hence, it’s got excellent color accuracy and pretty much everything you’d expect from a flagship smartphone display. So, whether I’m out sunbasking to beat the winter cold or cooped up inside a blanket at night, the 12R’s display adjusts to all those conditions perfectly.

And its “Aqua Touch” feature is also one of my favorite things about this phone. It sounds like such a small thing at first — being able to interact with the display even when it’s moderately wet — but it has come in handy more than I care to admit. The OnePlus 12R also has Widevine L1 and all the HDR certifications in the world for a great multimedia experience. Which has been complemented pretty well with a set of stereo speakers, that sound exactly like the one on the OnePlus 12, by the way. Loud and full enough for casual listening, but could’ve used a bit better tuning in the treble region.

The 12R also ships with fourth-gen LTPO tech that’s supposed to adjust the refresh rate to as low as 1Hz to save power, however, I just can’t get it to work on my unit. It occasionally swings between 60 and 120Hz and that’s it.


  • Chipset: Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 5G (TSMC 4nm)
  • GPU: Adreno 740
  • Memory: 8/16GB LPDDR5X RAM
  • Storage: 128 UFS 3.1 / 256GB UFS 4.0 storage
  • CPU: Octa-core (1×3.2 GHz Cortex-X3 & 2×2.8 GHz Cortex-A715 & 2×2.8 GHz Cortex-A710 & 3×2.0 GHz Cortex-A510)

Alright. Let’s talk performance now. So, as I mentioned in the very beginning, the OnePlus 12R brings Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip inside. Which has been coupled with 8 or 16GB of RAM and 128 or 256GB of storage. I do wish OnePlus would’ve gone with 256 gigs of storage in the base configuration, because 128GB can get filled up pretty fast! Anyway, with the SD 8 Gen 2 chipset, the 12R is incredibly fast and a reliable performer no matter what you throw at it.

And after all this time, I pretty much have zero performance hiccups on this phone. Obviously, it’s not gonna go toe to toe against the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 if you look at all the benchmark numbers — and yeah — the 8 Gen 3 should age somewhat better with time, but trust me the 8 Gen 2 Vs 8 Gen 3 shouldn’t make a whole lot of difference in everyday use.

OnePlus 12R gaming

Matter of fact, my gaming tests show very similar results between the OnePlus 12 and the 12R. Both of them played Genshin Impact at the highest graphics with a near 60 fps average, while I did notice some minor frame drops on the 12R when playing PUBG Mobile at 90 fps. Not a big deal though. And since these phones have an identical vapor chamber cooling system, their temperature data — as you can see — is also almost exactly the same.


However, the more expensive OnePlus 12 does have a few gaming tricks up its sleeves that are not available on the 12R. Like “Hyper Resolution”, which upscales a game’s render quality, or “Adaptive frame boost”, which is a hardware-enabled feature that improves the fps numbers. But I wouldn’t say it’s a big deal as of now. Since most of the popular titles simply don’t work right now.


  • Battery capacity: 5500 mAh, non-removable
  • Charging: 100W Wired

So naturally I didn’t have high hopes for its battery life but, this phone has surprised me big time here. Even under a relatively demanding usage with a lot of gaming, and a lot of photo/videography, I’ve been getting 7 – 8 hours of screen time on average.

What’s even better is that this thing fills up insanely fast too. The 100W charger that OnePlus ships inside the box gives me like 50% juice in just 10 minutes, while a complete refill takes less than half an hour! Then again — as expected — the 12R can’t charge wirelessly. Unlike the standard OnePlus 12 which supports an impressive 50W wireless charging.

OnePlus 12R Charging

But I’m sure the 12R’s lack of wireless charging isn’t going to upset a lot of people, considering how this guy has such an excellent battery life and wicked-fast wired charging.


  • OS: Android 14, OxygenOS 14

Moving on, the software experience on the OnePlus 12R is also no different than on its more expensive sibling. It boots on Android 14, with OxygenOS 14 on top, and you get a quite optimized, bloatware-free software experience here. Although… there is this one weird bug I’m facing on YouTube, where the whole thing gets stuttered all of a sudden after I play a video in landscape mode. So I hope this gets fixed with a future update.

OnePlus 12R UI

And speaking of updates, there’s one more piece of disappointing news. While the regular OnePlus 12 enjoys four generations of OS and five years of security updates, the 12R is a year short on both ends.

OnePlus 12R Review: Cameras

  • Main: 50 MP, f/1.8, 24mm (wide), 1/1.56″, 1.0µm, PDAF, Laser AF, OIS
  • Ultrawide: 8 MP, f/2.2, 16mm, 112˚, 1/4.0″, 1.12µm
  • macro: 2 MP, f/2.4
  • Selfie: 16 MP

OnePlus 12R Cameras

Lets finally talk about the cameras. And this is definitely where you’ll find the biggest difference between these two phones. The OnePlus 12 now brings a periscope zoom camera on top of larger, higher-resolution main and ultrawide sensors, whereas the 12R is using the same camera setup as last year’s OnePlus 11R. Including a 50MP primary, an 8MP ultrawide, and a useless 2MP macro lens. Oh, and unlike the Oneplus 12, the 12R still doesn’t get any Hasselblad love.

However, in my test, I found the OnePlus 12R to have a damn good primary camera. So much so that on more than one occasion, I prefer its photos to those from the OnePlus 12. Especially when it comes to preserving natural white balance as OnePlus 12’s shots tend to come off a bit warm. The 12R’s images, on the other hand, don’t suffer from the same problem.

But looking a little closer, it’s clear that the OnePlus 12 manages better image processing in one way or the other. I noticed that the OnePlus 12R is simply playing catch-up with the OnePlus 12 during the day, from the way it handles bright highlights to the way it processes rich shadows, contrast levels, and dynamic range. It’s not something you notice right away, but in tough lighting conditions, the 12R needs to be doing better.

However, upon closer inspection, the OnePlus 12 demonstrated superior image processing, especially in challenging lighting conditions. The 12R did well in daylight, but couldn’t match the OnePlus 12’s performance in challenging lighting. The 12R’s 8MP ultrawide camera left much to be desired, with some color shift compared to the main camera. Although it produced decent shots occasionally, it couldn’t match the detail and dynamic range of the OnePlus 12’s 48MP ultrawide shooter.

And yeah, its skimpy 8MP ultrawide camera didn’t impress me much either. There’s very little color shift coming from the main camera and I did manage to take some decent pictures every now and then, but the OnePlus 12’s 48MP ultrawide shooter is in a different league altogether. Be it in terms of details or dynamic range.

The 12R’s lowlight shots are decent enough as well. It does fall behind the OnePlus 12 in things like exposure compensation, glare control, and contrast levels from time to time, but I can’t complain much.


But I must say I’m not a big fan of the selfies from either of these phones. Yes, the OnePlus 12 preserves more details and a wider field of view, although the beautified, yellowish skin tone of the subject doesn’t look very good. Whereas the reddish tint on the 12R’s selfies doesn’t help as well.

The 12R has a more-than-capable main camera to let me shoot 2x portraits just like the Pixel 8, but that’s sadly not available. Anyhoo, its 1x portraits are actually quite nice. It just… doesn’t try too hard to handle the subject’s skin tone and all, compared to how the OnePlus 12 tries to make the subject “pop” a little.


Getting to videos, the 12R can shoot at up to 4K 60 fps from its main camera. And for still footages, the 12R’s videos are pretty nice, to be honest. But move around a bit and you’ll get some wobbly videos from this guy. I also found the colors, contrast, and dynamic range to be consistently better on the OnePlus 12.

The 12R is also weirdly limited to just 1080p 30 fps recording from its ultrawide and selfie camera. And the video quality on both of them is nothing special.

OnePlus 12R Review: Conclusion 

So yeah, there are a lot of positives to talk about the 12R’s cameras, but I wish this thing had more robust hardware as well, especially in the selfie and ultra-wide lens.

But overall, except for having the A+ cameras, it’s clear that the OnePlus 12R is a fantastic phone that deserves your attention. It truly is a capable phone that stands out handsomely. And I can easily recommend this phone to anyone looking to buy a semi-flagship phone that ticks most of the boxes.

I guess the only thing that’s keeping the 12R from being a total slam dunk is the upcoming iQOO Neo9 Pro, which is launching on February 22 in India. It’s pretty much the direct competitor to the OnePlus 12R in every way imaginable, but I am pretty sure, the software experience that you get here is just unmatched to what IQOO is going to offer!

OnePlus 12R Review: Pros and Cons


  • It’s fast
  • Premium design and hands-on feel
  • Excellent display
  • Terrific battery endurance
  • The main camera is plenty reliable
  • Nice haptics


Design and Build
Back Cameras
Front Camera
Speaker and Haptics
Software and UI
Value for money
oneplus-12r-review-great-phone-bad-priceThe OnePlus 12R (almost) perfectly encapsulates that "flagship" smartphone experience at an affordable price by cutting all the right corners. But even though this is supposed to be a "flagship killer", OnePlus Nepal has once again done a terrible job on the pricing front.